A University of Nottingham centre, which brings together specialist experts to support ‘bench to bedside’ research projects, has been recognised as a centre of excellence.
The Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit has maintained its registration by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC), recognition of its excellence in coordinating randomised trials — which test the effectiveness of drugs and other healthcare interventions — and opening the door to potential research funding.
Professor Lelia Duley, Director of the Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), said: “We are obviously delighted that Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit has achieved full registration which we see as recognition of our best practice approach to the clinical trials we support, many of which will have a direct impact on improving the care of patients.”
The Nottingham CTU offers a ‘one stop shop’ to support academics and clinicians from universities, hospitals and NHS Trusts to plan and run large-scale randomised clinical trials.
Specialising in multi-centre studies — where studies recruit participants from a number of different locations — the unit can provide the infrastructure necessary to support a trial from its inception right through to the generation of research findings.
It offers the services of a range of specialists who can support the study every step of the way, including trial managers who can guide the day to day running of a trial, information technology experts who can create databases for gathering information from participants and statisticians who can assist in interpreting data and generating findings.
The Nottingham CTU receives CTU Support Funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support applications to NIHR research programmes and funded projects and has a current estimated annual turnover of £2 million for all its research projects.
New treatments for rare conditions
Research projects currently on its books include a dermatology trial to assess new treatments for rare skin conditions, a study to test the use of aspirin and fish oil in reducing the chances of developing bowel polyps, a potential risk factor for bowel cancer, and a trial examining the effectiveness of group therapy for people with personality disorder.
The Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit is one of 46 CTUs nationally to achieve registration following a review this year by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC).
Registered units form a network of UK wide Clinical Trials Units, some of which, including Nottingham, have been registered since the first round of the process in 2007. To be eligible to apply, the Units had to demonstrate they were capable of centrally coordinating multi-centre trials and other well-designed studies, taking overall responsibility for the design, conduct, data management, publicity and analysis of a trial in line with appropriate standards and regulations.
The CTUs support the Government’s agenda to encourage more members of the public to get involved in clinical trials through websites such as the UK Clinical Trials Gateway, which helps people with clinical conditions to find trials in which they can participate.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
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