December 2019 | Issue 45
TARIPH events over two days cleared the air on many issues

The inaugural TARIPH Publications workshop and a TARIPH COPD Symposium benefitted researchers and the healthcare community 

LKCMedicine Visiting Professor and Clinical Chair of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College, London Wisia Wedzicha conducted her inaugural visit to LKCMedicine from 2-6 December. The LKCMedicine and wider Singapore community benefited much from her generous sharing during this period. Based at Imperial, Prof Wedzicha is also Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and Head of the Respiratory Division. She directs an active research group specialising in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations and early COPD, and has published extensively on this topic. As the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM), a high-impact journal in the field of respiratory medicine internationally, Prof Wedzicha also has more than 17 years of experience in academic publishing as Editor-in-Chief of Thorax, Lancet Ombudsman and Publications Director for the European Respiratory Society (ERS).

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Over her week-long visit, Prof Wedzicha led the inaugural TARIPH Publications workshop on 3 December at the Clinical Sciences Building together with LKCMedicine Assistant Professor and Provost's Chair in Molecular Medicine Sanjay Chotirmall who is also an Associate Editor of AJRCCM. The workshop was attended by more than 60 healthcare professionals from across Singapore including Advanced Specialist Trainees (senior residents) as part of their National Training Programme in Respiratory Medicine as well as a number of LKCMedicine faculty, research staff and graduate students. Vice-Dean for Research Professor Lim Kah Leong opened the workshop and emphasised the importance of scientific communication through publication in his opening address. During the workshop, Prof Wedzicha and Asst Prof Chotirmall addressed the current state of publishing, major publication pitfalls and spoke about organising research for publication, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines, statistical tips, clinical trial study registration and covered publication ethics as well as introduced journal categories that are available.  They also spoke about the importance of the cover letter during article submission, and provided insight on how high-impact journals evaluate reviewer reports and deal with challenging decisions.

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Prof Wedzicha was also the keynote speaker at the TARIPH COPD Symposium on 4 December, which drew a crowd of more than 65 senior healthcare professionals, researchers and industry partners with interest in COPD research and clinical care from across Singapore. 

LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best kicked off the symposium with a welcome address and presented a token of appreciation to Prof Wedzicha for her efforts in leading events at LKCMedicine during the week.

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In his welcome address, Prof Best highlighted the disease burden of COPD worldwide and locally, and also shared that very few COPD patients are diagnosed based on airflow limitation, which is the gold standard. Improving COPD diagnosis rates is an issue which needs addressing.

Over the half-day symposium, speakers from various academic and clinical institutions across Singapore shared their insights into the unique Asian phenotypes of COPD, its effect on mental health and physical frailty, and experience gained from the two national COPD care programmes established in Singapore. 

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They also addressed how best to predict COPD risk and outcomes and how best to manage the condition in primary care as presented by clinicians from Changi General Hospital and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. The symposium concluded with a keynote talk by Prof Wedzicha who passionately shared her research findings on COPD prevention through early detection and intervention.