In the last few months, the DMD Hub has recruited two new staff members to work with Emma Heslop, the DMD Hub Manager, and to look at new areas where the DMD Hub can develop support.
As part of our work plan over the next 5 years, two of the key priorities for the DMD Hub are to help staff prepare for gene therapy trials and eventually delivery, as well as to provide fair and equitable recruitment to trials across the UK. As such, Katie Pegg and Phil Cammish have joined the DMD Hub team to help deliver these priorities. Their expertise and experience of working in rare diseases will be a great attribute and we look forward to sharing their work with you over the coming months.
Katie Pegg, DMD Hub Education Coordinator
My previous roles have included a mix of education and research. My first job at Newcastle University was in the FMS graduate school, where I worked as a learning & teaching assistant on two master’s programmes. Most recently, I was the project assistant on the international dysferlin outcome study.
As the DMD Hub Education Coordinator, I am responsible for developing training and education across the DMD Hub trial sites to prepare them for upcoming Duchenne clinical trials. Much of the training needs recently has been centred around the first gene therapy trials, which has been very exciting for the Duchenne community. Our first event has been a gene therapy workshop for nurses and clinical trial coordinators.
My passion for wanting to work for the DMD Hub comes from my experience of having a family member diagnosed with a rare disease. Rare diseases are often somewhat left behind in research, so I wanted to be a part of a network that is determined to progress clinical trials for diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I share the excitement of the arrival of gene therapy trials and believe there will be many advancements in DMD care and treatment in years to come.
Phil Cammish, DMD Hub Central Recruitment Manager
I joined Newcastle University in 2009 and since then have worked in a range of roles in research and education. I initially worked at the Medical School in an assessment and admissions role for the MBBS course, before moving on to the University Research Office in 2013, focussing on the development of research policy and systems management across the University. Since then I have worked in other research-focussed roles, including as Project Manager on rare disease patient registry projects for GNE Myopathy, Myotonic Dystrophy and Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and also as the Research Manager to Newcastle University Business School.
I am delighted to return to The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre in the role of DMD Hub Central Recruitment Manager. In my role, I will be developing the DMD Hub Central Recruitment Pilot Project that will establish a centrally coordinated national recruitment contact database. The database will contain information that clinical trial sites will need, including each participants diagnosis and other key details of their disease.
Having previously worked in roles within The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre focussed on rare disease, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to re-join the team and to work on a project that is determined to ensure all patients with DMD have access to clinical research trials. I am looking forward to working with all of the amazing people involved in this area of work over the coming months and to hopefully help the patient community with the launch of the DMD Hub Central Recruitment Pilot Project.