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Who We Are


Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta

Professor Dasgupta is head of rheumatology and clinical director of research and audit at Southend University Hospital. He holds an honorary professorship at Essex University and a visiting professorship at Anglia Ruskin University.

Originally trained in rheumatology at Guy's Hospital, Professor Dasgupta has been a consultant rheumatologist for 25 years at Southend and is responsible for founding modern rheumatology services in Southend and Essex. The department has an international reputation for excellence.

Professor Dasgupta has had a lifelong interest in polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) and has published numerous articles on these topics.


Lord Butler of Brockwell

Lord Butler had a high-profile career in the civil service from 1961 to 1998, serving as Private Secretary to five Prime Ministers. He was Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998.

He joined HM Treasury in 1961, becoming Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1964–66 and Secretary to the Budget Committee 1965–69.



Lady Wendy Levene

Lady Wendy Levene was Lady Mayoress of the City of London in 1998/1999 and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. In 1989 she launched a type 23 frigate, HMS ARGYLL, and as their sponsor stays in constant touch and has enjoyed on occasions going to sea with her. Lady Wendy is a Trustee of the Jewish Museum London where she helped to raise 10 million pounds for the extension and renovation of the museum and she is a member of the Trust Working Committee of the Royal National Theatre in connection with their multi million pound redevelopment project. 


Dr Sarah Mackie  -  Research

Sarah is an academic consultant rheumatologist at the University of Leeds. She is passionate about improving outcomes for patients with PMR and GCA.

Visit Sarah's profile at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine website






Professor Humphrey Hodgson

Humphrey Hodgson is a recently retired professor of Medicine from University College London.  He trained at Oxford University and St Thomas’ Hospital, and then spent his career as a clinician and researcher mainly in the Hammersmith Hospital, and then the Royal Free Hospital, specialising in gastroenterology and liver disease. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and was Chairman of the British Association for the Study of the Liver; Vice-President of the Royal College of Physicians; Editor of the journal Clinical Medicine and non-executive director of a NHS trust. He has been a trustee of the British Liver Trust, the Arthritis Research Campaign, and the Liver Group Charity. He also helped establish the University of Namibia’s School of Medicine in Windhoek.


Deputy Chair

Dorothy Byrne  -  Publicity & Campaign

Dorothy is the Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel Four Television. She was previously a producer on World In Action, the editor of The Big Story on ITV and the editor of Dispatches. Her programmes have won numerous international Emmy, BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards. She was created a Fellow of The Royal Television Society for her “outstanding contribution to television”, received a Scottish BAFTA in 2015 for Outstanding Contribution to Television and has been awarded the Women in Film and Television Award for Factual Television. She is the chair of the international organisation the Ethical Journalism Network.


Penny Denby -

Penny trained in design and communication at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design and Greenwich University. She taught Design & Technology at Darrick Wood School in Orpington and Coopers School in Chislehurst for 13 years. In 2000 she set up a partnership designing websites and corporate identities while at the same time becoming co-founder of the business network.  Penny runs our Orpington Support Group, and oversees all Kent Support Groups.



Janice Maddock - Awareness Programme

Janice is recently retired following a long and varied career in childcare.  She developed Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) and was diagnosed at 55 after a 6 month struggle of not knowing what was wrong with her. Luckily her GP was excellent and picked it up straight away and despite Janice never having heard of PMR, since her diagnosis she realised that her mum, who passed away, had it but had never been diagnosed despite various interventions. Because of this and the constant explaining to friends and family what PMR actually was, Janice decided she wanted to raise awareness of PMR and GCA. She has gone on to devise a programme to raise awareness of PMR and GCA to people over 50 and professionals who work with them.


Wendy Morrison  - Support Groups

Wendy has recently retired from a varied career in banking, insurance and customer service.  Wendy has also worked with charities, mostly in a voluntary capacity, such as Homestart, St Margaret's Hospice and the Scouts.  As treasurer of the local Scout group, she was instrumental in obtaining funding,  purchasing a building and overseeing its complete renovation, which is now a great asset to the local community.  After contracting PMR, together with others, she helped  set up PMRGCAuk and has been a trustee since inception as well as running support groups in the South West.

Chris Young  -  Helpline

Chris is a recently retired Paediatric Physiotherapist who trained in Coventry and worked in various children’s hospitals including the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, Westminster Children’s Hospital and latterly the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. Chris was prompted to become a Trustee after having PMR and GCA and benefiting from help she received from the charity. Chris is responsible for organising and participating in the charity Helpline and co-runs the West Sussex and Brighton Support Group. 


Sara Muller

Having trained as a statistician at the University of Reading, Sara undertook a PhD at Keele University, studying how to measure locomotor disability in population surveys. She then worked with large primary care records databases at the University of Manchester, before returning to Keele to work on the inflammatory arthritis research programme. She held a post-doctoral fellowship from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research to investigate the diagnosis and prognosis of inflammatory rheumatological conditions in primary care (2011-2015). She now leads a PMR Cohort study, alongside working on other related projects. 

Dr Chetan Mukhtyar

Dr Chetan Mukhtyar is a consultant rheumatologist at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.  He attended medical school in Jamnager, Gujurat, India.  After a couple of postgraduate degrees, he certified as a rheumatologist in the UK having trained in Reading, Oxford, Aylesbury and Swindon.  He developed a clinical and research interest in vasculitis whiel doing a fellowship at the University of Oxford.  He has set up separate dedicated multi-disciplined vasculitis clinics for small vessel disease and large vessel disease in Norwich.  The large vessel (GCA) service was short-listed for a national (Royal College of Physicians) award in 2020.  As seasoned volunteer, Chetan has done voluntary work for the Royal College of Physicians and served as a trustee and secretary for the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR).





Candy Horsbrugh -

Candy joined PMRGCAuk in 2018.  She comes with a wealth of experience in running and developing small charities, as a staff and as a board member, and working with smaller community groups.  She worked for many years in the music department of a large arts organisation, then changed direction 16 years ago to work with smaller organisations where she could try to help make a difference to people's lives.  Candy works part-time for the charity.



Deputy Director and Membership Secretary

Fran Benson -

Fran has a background in sales and marketing and more recently in journalism. She studied for a post graduate diploma in journalism as a mature student while her children were little and has been freelancing as a journalist and copy-writer for the past fifteen years. With an interest in helping others, she has been chair of her children's school's PTA and helped in various community initiatives. Fran works part-time for PMRGCAuk and is responsible for ensuring the member applications and renewals are processed smoothly and dealing with a variety of enquiries. She is really looking forward to meeting members and volunteers at the annual AGM.




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