2019 BRS annual meeting report

  • Report
  • Photos
  • Programme
  • Registrar papers

17th Annual BRS meeting
Science Centre, Glasgow

17 May 2019

This year saw the BRS annual meeting head north of the border again, this time to the west coast of Scotland. Hosted by Nick Calder and Alasdair Robertson, attendees headed to the splendid Science Centre on the banks of the river Clyde in Glasgow. And, true to form, Glasgow was bathed in sunshine for the day.

Following registration, we were given a brief update on the two multi-centre rhinology trials which are in progress - the NAIROS study looking into the benefits of septoplasty, which is already recruiting and well on the way to reaching it’s target number of participants following a short extension, and the MACRO RCT trial looking into effectiveness of macrolide therapy in treating CRS, which is due to start recruiting later this year. BRS President Prof Claire Hopkins then officially opened the meeting and Nick Calder gave an introduction to Glasgow and its historical wealth of surgeons and medical pioneers (as well as its football clubs).

The free paper session saw a wide mix of topics confidently presented, with Tim Biggs from Southampton being deemed the best presentation for his talk on Uptake of Staph Aureus into Epithelial Cells, and Gaurav Medikeri runner up. Congratulations also to medical student George Macfarlane for giving the best junior presentation and Pranter Brahmabhatt for the best poster presentation. The Storz Invitational lecture this year was given by Prof Martin Desrosiers from Montreal who gave a rapid-fire overview of his work on epithelial dysfunction being a root cause of CRS which may be amenable to target therapies - probiotics in particular. It does give us hope that someday soon we will be able to move on from our dependence on conventional antibiotics. The unavailability of Chris Potter left big shoes to fill for the pre-lunch rhinology quiz, but Nick Calder filled those boots more than adequately with an entertaining list of questions, some of which didn’t involve Rangers FC.

After lunch, ENTUK past-president Brian Bingham brought us up to speed with his pontifications as to where we should be with setting standards in rhinology in the current politico-clinical climate. Along with the obligatory photos of the Royal & Ancient in St Andrews, of course. That talk dove-tailed quite nicely into Prof Valerie Lund’s talk on the past, present and future of rhinology whereby she eloquently pointed out that time changes everything, including the Throat, Nose and Ear hospital. One of the highlights of the day had to be a talk from Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte &Mackay whisky, on the art of whisky blending and how and why it relies so much on the sense of olfaction. Richard is a master orator and his talk could only have been topped by him handing out free whisky samples. Which he promptly did. Before the afternoon break, Raj Bhalla quizzed an expert panel for their thoughts on the management of hard to treat CRS, using case examples that demonstrated that event the apparently straight forward cases can end up being the most difficult to sort out in the end, as proven by the varying answers given by the panel. Always a lot of food for thought from those panel discussions and a reminder of the adage that the more ways there are to treat something, the less likely it is that any of those treatments are a panacea.

The afternoon session saw the return of the Dragons Den - Rhinology Edition in which three applicants for the BRS pump-priming grant pitched their research ideas to a panel of rhinology expert dragons who dissected their proposal before deciding whether or not it merited funding from the BRS. The grant eventually went to Simon Goldie to progress his work on intracellular staph aureus in mast cells. We look forward to hearing some results from that work in the near future. Prof Hopkins then closed the meeting with the President’s Address and the BRS AGM, the minutes of which are available on request of those who were unable to attend the meeting.

Next year we are heading to Sheffield for a meeting hosted by Showkat Mirza and Matthew Oluwole. Showkat & Matthew have a lot to live up to following Nick & Alasdair’s meeting here in Glasgow but we have little doubt that they are up to that task. See you in Sheffield on Friday 15th May 2020.


1 Registration
2 Refreshments/Exhibition
3 Research Meeting - Carl Philpott
4 President's Welcome - Claire Hopkins
5 Registrar free papers - Russell Cathcart
6 Storz Invitational Lecture: The Future has Already Arrived: “Big data” Approaches Identify Epithelial Barrier Dysfunction as a Therapeutic Target in CRS - Martin Desrosiers
7 Rhinology Quiz - Nick Calder
8 Lunch / Exhibition
9 Standards in Rhinology - Brian Bingham
10 Past, present and future in rhinology - Prof Valerie Lund
11 Olfaction in the Whisky Industry - Richard Paterson
12 Round table discussion: Hard-to-treat CRS - Raj Bhalla
13 Refreshments / Exhibition
14 Dragon's Den - Rhinology Edition - Carl Philpott
15 President's Address and AGM - Claire Hopkins
16 Close of Meeting