Dr Yvonne Chun - External Engagement Lead

I am a full-time specialty trainee registrar in Geriatric Medicine in South East Scotland and an early-career clinical researcher based at the University of Edinburgh. I completed my advanced stroke year training in the South West of England. Locally, I am a member of the geriatric medicine training days committee, organising teaching for geriatrician trainees in South East and East of Scotland.

My academic work is based at the Edinburgh Stroke Research Group and I work in collaboration with data scientists and informatics specialists at the University of Edinburgh. I was awarded the Chief Scientist Office of Scotland Clinical Academic Fellowship in 2014 (PhD completed 2019), during which I led a programme of research on anxiety subtyping after stroke, leading to the development and pilot testing of a telemedicine guided self-help intervention for post-stroke anxiety (TASK-CBT) in a randomised controlled trial (TASK-I RCT). I have ongoing interests in applying evidence-based innovative digital technology to improve stroke care, empower stroke patients, and expedite the generation of robust evidence through efficient and high-quality clinical trials. Current academic work includes developing an automated conversational agent for stroke patients, using actigraphy as a clinical outcome measure in stroke trials, efficient digitised clinical trial design and designing digital therapeutics for stroke

I play an active role in communications between the stroke scientific community and the public as a member of the press liaison team and a Twitter ambassador for the European Stroke Organisation Conference. With my new role as the BASP External Communications Lead, I look forward to helping BASP achieve its strategy by maximising its online presence and optimising its communications with members, affiliates, patients and the public.

Stroke and me

My early experience in stroke medicine began in 2009 when I was a core medical trainee in St Mary’s Hospital at Imperial College Healthcare London. I was there at a time when the stroke services in London were about to undergo major re-organisation and the talk about setting up hyperacute stroke units in London seemed to be always on my senior colleagues’ agenda. It was at St Mary’s where I experienced our team’s enthusiasm at delivering intravenous thrombolysis to eligible stroke patients.

I relocated to Devon for my geriatric medicine training and became more hands-on in delivering TIA clinics, thrombolysis and acute stroke unit care. I was very inspired by the strong ethos of evidence-based stroke practice. A lot of that evidence came from the inspiring work of the clinical academics at the Edinburgh stroke research group. My interest in becoming a stroke researcher started when I attended the Edinburgh Stroke Winter School (hyperlink https://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-brain-sciences/postgraduate-training/eso-edinburgh-stroke-research-workshop). I was inspired by the group’s patient-centred approach in deriving research questions and their expertise at a wide range of clinical research methodologies. Their commitment to training a new generation of stroke clinical researchers led me to relocate to Edinburgh.

After successfully securing the Princess Margaret Research Development Fellowship, supported by the Stroke Association (hyperlink: https://www.stroke.org.uk/), I went on to be awarded a competitive Chief Scientist Office of Scotland Clinical Academic Fellowship to complete a PhD programme on anxiety after stroke.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my clinical and academic training. I plan to pursue a career as a clinical academic and continue to conduct clinical research to help improve stroke patient outcomes.