Centre for Inflammation Research

Crohn's & Colitis research: Having the guts to go online

October 2020: IBD researchers share their work at Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s first virtual Patient Involvement in Research Day

CCUK logo shown on a screen with the text 'Virtual patient involvement in research day 2020'

On 17 October, Crohn’s & Colitis UK (CCUK) hosted their annual Patient Involvement in Research Day online to reach as many as possible during the pandemic.

The event featured live talks from six researchers across the UK, looking at topics ranging from new methods and markers for diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to the importance of sleep and chronic pain profiling for people living with IBD.

Questions and polls during the session allowed attendees and presenters to interact and exchange important information about clinical trial design and ethics. This quick-fire format provides valuable insight on both sides, helping to improve clinical trials and other study designs for patients and research investigators.

During the scheduled breaks, participants were encouraged to look at the virtual poster sessions. Milly McAllister, a postdoctoral researcher with Dr Gwo-tzer Ho, presented one of the posters about her work on the role of gut ‘danger signals’ and the associated immune response in IBD. Both the talks and posters are available online for anyone to view.


At Crohn’s & Colitis UK we are passionate about including the patient voice in research. That’s why we’re proud to support the work of Gwo-tzer and his team, because they are always actively working to embed patient values at the heart of their research.

Gwo-tzer and Milly did a fantastic job making this laboratory-based project accessible and interesting for the attendees of our Involvement in Research event this weekend, thereby empowering patients to give them some really insightful feedback. We can’t wait to see where the project goes next!

Dr Jane FraserResearch Programme Officer at Crohn's & Colitis UK


500 people attended the event. One participant commented that the online format works well for people with IBD who may find travelling difficult.

Guts UK, which supports wider research into digestive disorders, also took part in the day. Dr Manuela Volta, Research Manager at the charity, said "At Guts UK we believe that it is key to give patients a voice in research. We are delighted to have taken part to Crohn's & Colitis UK's first virtual patient and public involvement in research last weekend. It was amazing to see progress made by researchers – some of them funded by us - and their potential impact on people’s lives. We are proud to support the work of Gwo-tzer and Milly and applaud their contribution to the event. It is a brilliant example of making a very complicated lab-based project easy for everyone to understand. This has also the added value to empower patients to give Gwo-tzer and Milly feedback to further shape their project for patients benefit."

Both CCUK and Guts UK fund some of the IBD research carried out in CIR, and are very active in patient involvement. You can visit their websites to find out more.

Visit the CCUK Patient Day 2020 webpage [External site]

Visit the Guts UK website [External site]