Trust consultant wins international prize for back pain research


Posted on Thursday 22 January 2015
Dr Frances Williams, consultant rheumatologist

Dr Frances Williams, consultant rheumatologist

Dr Frances Williams, consultant rheumatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, has won a prestigious international prize for her work in lumbar spine research.

The lumbar spine is the lower back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen.

The Clinical Studies Prize was awarded to Dr Williams by the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine for her work on intervertebral disc degeneration – erosion of the soft tissue between the vertebrae – and back pain in the Department of Twin Research, run by King's College London at St Thomas’ Hospital. 

This original research studied MRI scans of twins’ spines to prove that a particular sign of wear and tear on the scans led to an increased risk of back pain.

The prize was created to encourage lumbar spine research worldwide and so the department will receive funding of $15,000 to go towards further research.    

Dr Williams will be collecting the prize on behalf of her team in San Francisco in June, at the Society’s annual meeting. Her research will be published in the international publication Spine Journal later this year.

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