Dr. Stephen Wright
A DOCTOR from Hillsborough will receive a
major award this Friday in recognition of his research into the
benefits of fish oil for patients suffering from the
inflammatory disease 'lupus' which can affect the skin, joints,
kidneys, lungs and nervous system.
Dr. Stephen Wright will receive the Irish
Society for Rheumatology's 'Young Investigator of the Year'
Award at the organisation's annual general meeting in Galway.
Dr. Wright, a Queen's Clinical Research
fellow now employed in Musgrave Park hospital, demonstrated that
fish oils for patients with lupus may have more than
He explained: "Part of my work was to
investigate different aspects of vascular disease (Blood
Vessels) in patients with Lupus by studying the function of the
cells lining the blood vessels. I was able to show that in
patients with Lupus there was an impaired function that could be
improved by Omega-3 fish oils."
At the end of the study, participants who had been taking low
doses of Omega-3 fish oil showed improvement in all areas of
measurement, including improved blood vessel function and a
reduction in cell damaging molecules.
There was also improvement in a number of the symptoms of
lupus such as fatigue, joint pains, skin rashes, mouth ulcers
and headaches. The location of the research was in the
Department of Therapeutics at Queen's University and also in the
Musculoskeletal Education and Research Unit in Musgrave Park
Hospital. Dr Wright's study supervisors were Professor Gary
McVeigh, Dr Aubrey Bell and Professor Michael Finch.
Professor McVeigh welcomed news of Dr
Wright's work saying: "I am delighted that Dr Wright has won
this prestigious award in the face of intense competition. It is
testimony to the quality and novelty of the blood vessel
research performed at Queen's University."
Dr Wright was the first clinical research
fellow in Northern Ireland to have his work funded by the
Wellcome Trust, an independent charity funding research to
improve human and animal health. Established in 1936 it is the
UK's largest non governmental source of funds for biomedical
research. Lupus UK also supported the research. The Irish
Society for Rheumatology (ISR) is a medical society dedicated to
the advancement of knowledge in musculoskeletal diseases and to
the practice of rheumatology.
Dr Wright's award is for excellence in clinical or scientific
research in the field of rheumatology.