Research Champions

Our mission is to drive pioneering research that has people with Crohn's and Colitis at the centre. 

To ensure this happens, we work with our Research Champions, people living with Crohn’s or Colitis, who volunteer their time and share their experiences in our partnerships with researchers across the UK. 

The role of a Research Champion is to be part of a research project, attending meetings to share their own views and experiences, as well as representing the Crohn’s and Colitis community. This is a unique opportunity to tell researchers what matters to people with Crohn’s and Colitis, and make sure this is reflected in their work. 

We meet regularly with our Research Champions to keep up to date with the projects, to share learning and to share insights from our work. Research Champions also support us in raising awareness of research, including how to get involved and why they enjoy taking part.

Hear from each of our Research Champions below:


Louise Hunt

I became a Research Champion because I want to highlight the great and important research being done in the field of IBD. After a decade of living with Crohn’s disease, my experiences of medications, surgeries, mental health and employment are aspect of research I want to raise awareness for.

Research is driving care, education and knowledge forward, and that is always a good thing. 

Louise Hunt
PROFILE 

Vicky Buckley

I'm looking forward to being involved in the research process, bridging the gap between patients, researchers and clinical staff.  As a person with Ulcerative Colitis, I'm passionate about raising awareness on IBD and highlighting the importance of research.  Being able to use my own personal IBD experiences and knowledge to assist with research.

I'm currently involved in the AWARE-IBD Patient Oversight Committee, this research project is to improve patient care in Sheffield with a view to rolling out changes across the UK.

Vicky Buckley
AWARE-IBD

Emma Pryde

I became a Research Champion because having Ulcerative Colitis has made me acutely aware of how vital Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research is. There is still so much to discover about IBD in order to continue to develop effective treatments. For the last few years I have been a co-applicant and provided public patient involvement on an IBD Study and I hope through the Research Champion role to be able to raise awareness of more IBD Research and the fantastic work that Crohns & Colitis UK does. It means so much to me to be able to contribute in this way to exciting new research that will ultimately improve the lives of those of us living with IBD.

Emma Pryde
MODULATE

Kathleen Bone

I believe the best outcomes will come through active involvement with research initiatives. I hope applying my personal experiences with Crohns disease, surgery and medications will contribute to positive benefits in the longer term. My motivation for participating as a Research Champion is to positively advance the patient context of how IBD affects family, careers and general health. Although the scope of IBD is so varied many of the patient concerns are common but not widely shared, I’d like to help change that. 

Kathleen Bone
Gut Reaction

Henna Patel

Advocating for research has been part of my career for the last 10 years, around the same length of time that I've been living with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). I'm really excited for these two parts of my life to intersect, and to champion research to further the understanding of UC. It's taken me a long time to accept this disease and I'm still learning to live with it; each day can present a new challenge, but I'm hopeful that through this role we can develop knowledge, insight, and awareness.

Henna Patel
PREdiCCt

Marilyn Smellie

Hello, following surgery for Crohn’s I have lived with the effects of IBD for over 20 years and have benefitted from the fruits of research in various ways. I am grateful to have this opportunity to raise awareness of Research and of Crohn’s & Colitis UK and to help link the Crohn’s and Colitis Research Team to research partners. My career began in community & adult education then, following redundancy from a management position in that field, I gained an M.Sc in IT and recycled myself as a computer analyst/programmer. Now retired, I enjoy gardening, pilates and sports.

Marilyn Smellie
MEErKAT

Laura Burt

Having lived with Ulcerative Colitis for over 10 years now, I feel like I’m in a position to try and help others a little. I’ve tried lots of different medications, I've been hospitalised because of my illness and I’ve had to make significant adjustments to my life in order to accommodate my illness. I feel like I’m now in a much better place in terms of my understanding of my illness - exercise, diet, lifestyle etc as to what helps me and I hope I can now be of use to others. As a Research Champion I hope to encourage, inform and reassure other folk with IBD. I’m very much of the opinion that knowledge is power!

Laura Burt
Clarity 

How can you get involved?

To find out more about the Research Champion role and express your interest, please complete our enquiry form below.

Complete our enquiry form here