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Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta

Professor Dasgupta is head of the 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 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 have 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 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 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






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.



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.


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.



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 in February 2013. This was after a 6 month struggle of not knowing what was wrong with her. Luckily her GP was excellent and picked it up straight away. She had never heard of it, but since her diagnosis realised that her mum, who sadly passed away, had it but had never been diagnosed despite various care and 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 with anyone that would listen! Through her experience of training and speaking to groups, she has devised 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 Margarets Hospice and Scouting.  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. She has a wide range of interests from all things medical through sports, history and gardening to music and dancing!



Keith Slater  -

Keith started his working life in economic forecasting (a perilous occupation) and playing professional Rugby League after completing an economics degree at Cambridge. After 7 years he got a proper job in retail where he has spent the rest of his career (appropriate as he was brought up in a village sweet shop and now lives in what used to be the village post office!) He has been a director of several national chains and managing director of several businesses including the UK’s 5th oldest business. He started his own retail consultancy in 1999 and, despite advancing years, still works mainly with major European retailers helping them with their merchandise planning. Diagnosed with PMR and GCA in July 2016 he is on the journey that we all share.




Kathryn Busby  -

Kathryn joined PMRGCAuk in 2015. She has a master's degree in human rights law and has worked in the voluntary sector since 2001, including three years as co-director of The Equality Trust, where she built the organisation from scratch alongside the founders, and two years as operations manager for The Access Project, helping steer the charity through an exciting period of growth. Kathryn loves working with small charities and campaigns to help them achieve a big impact, and does freelance work alongside her part-time role at PMRGCAuk. For many years Kathryn was a non-executive director of Campaign Against Arms Trade and she is currently treasurer of the Worcestershire branch of the Womens' Equality Party.


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.

Rheuma Research Roadshows project lead

Kate Gilbert -

Kate Gilbert developed PMR in 2005 and knew immediately what was wrong with her because her mother had also had PMR. However, Kate was shocked at how little information and support there was around at that time, and didn't know anything at all about GCA.  She helped to get the group together that eventually formed PMRGCAuk, and served as Chair of the charity's Board of Trustees for four years until 2015. Kate is author of Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis: a survival guide (to find out more visit and is passionate about preventing blindness caused by late diagnosis of GCA.

PMRGCAuk's Rheuma Research Roadshows are supported by Wellcome Trust.



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