Professor Karim Brohi

Professor of Trauma Sciences

As head of the Trauma Sciences research team, my time is divided between surgery and science.

As a surgeon I provide care for patients with vascular diseases and traumatic injury. As a scientist, I conduct my own work and supervise 15 researchers who are investigating different aspects of traumatic disease.

 In medical practice, we use available evidence to determine and deliver the best patient care.There are many instances where best practice has not been established because we don't fully understand the disease. My aim is to improve the care of trauma patients by increasing our understanding of the disease processes.

I studied Medicine at University College Hospital London. At university I also obtained an intercalated BSc in Computer Science and spent my 12-week elective in Trinidad and Tobago. Once I started work, I realised that the management of trauma patients in the UK was extremely poor and this fuelled an ambition to improve the standards. I set up trauma.org, a non-profit making, web forum which provides education, expert discussion and online support for trauma surgeons worldwide.

I completed several years of training and became qualified in both Anaesthetics and Surgery. This was a little unusual but has given me an extremely useful set of skills for trauma patient management. I worked for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in London and spent two years working at a Trauma Hospital in San Francisco. I obtained a Consultant post at The Royal London Hospital and returned to the UK to set up a trauma research department.

Trauma Sciences joined the Centre for Neuroscience in 2008. Our centre is housed within the Blizard Institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Our aim is to improve our understanding of trauma through laboratory experiments and then use those findings to improve patient outcomes by developing new treatment strategies. We have established collaborations with trauma units within Europe and the USA and we also conduct clinical trials for products designed for use in trauma. Conducting research in emergency surgical conditions is challenging but is essential if we are to make improvements for patients. In the UK, lack of trauma experience and poor organisation of trauma services means that patients are still dying from treatable injuries.

I hope for a future where specialist trauma centres provide specialised trauma care from the moment of injury to the end of rehabilitation. Trauma research is an essential component of this process. I travel frequently to deliver lectures and teaching. In 2011 I set up an MSc in Trauma Science.

When I am not at work I like to watch movies and eat at good restaurants. Surgery is a very challenging career but it can also be very rewarding and I would encourage anyone who wants to pursue a career in surgery to do so. Trauma has finally been recognised as an important component of surgery in the UK so the future for this specialty is very exciting.

Contact

email: k.brohi@qmul.ac.uk

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