Prominent Members under 45: Interview with Jesse Dawson

For 2018, via the ESO newsletter, we are focusing the spotlight on prominent ESO members under 45. In January we introduced you to Georgios K. Tsivgoulis. For February, we learned more about Else Charlotte Sandset. In March we presented Urs Fischer. In April you met Charlotte Cordonnier.

Hopefully you were able to meet some of these prominent young members in person during the ESOC in May. From the ESOC, the Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers Committee published daily interviews with Ayse Tanritanir, Stefania Nannoni, and Maren Ranhoff Hov. 

In the June edition of this series Marialuisa Zedde answered questions and for July, we bring you Jesse Dawson, Professor of Stroke Medicine from the University of Glasgow, UK and chair of the ESOC 2019 conference planning committee.

How has the stroke management changed in the last year and what are the future goals?
Stroke management has become much more tailored and specific to the patient at hand. For example, we have much greater understanding of who to treat with thrombolysis and thrombectomy. Our prevention strategies are also becoming more tailored. For example, dual antiplatelets are beneficial for TIA or minor stroke for a limited period but this is harmful in the longer term for people with small vessel disease. As our understanding of aetiology improves, I think our treatment strategies will become yet more refined.

What can ESO do to generate and support a new generation of stroke clinicians/researchers?
ESO is already doing a lot here and there are lots of initiatives. For example, the ESO Stroke Summer School is one of the best educational experiences I have had. It is an ideal forum for the next generation of clinical and research leaders to get to know each other and forge long-standing relationships. There is also the Department to Department Visit Programme. We also have some of the lowest registration fees for students for our conference. Also, initiatives like our blog will hopefully be useful to the more computer savvy.

What are the frontiers of clinical research about stroke now?
In my view the challenges are increasingly around implementation. We have learned huge amounts in recent years about prevention, rehabilitation and acute care. The challenge now is getting these things into practice. For example, how do we roll out thrombectomy, how do we select people for preventative therapies such as pioglitazone, how do we deliver rehabilitation at the intensity needed?

How do you manage clinical and research activity in your daily routine?
This is a real challenge but the variety is one of the things that keeps work interesting. The most helpful thing is to try and integrate your research with your clinical interests so it runs alongside your clinical work, rather than being separate. However, it is also important to make sure that when you are on clinical duties you keep your research diary as free as possible because it is stressful to be on a call, or with a study patient, knowing that at any moment the page or phone could go from the ER. I try to make sure each day I set a research task such as working on a paper, reading some research scans, or working on a grant to avoid days being consumed with only admin and clinical duties.