GI and Liver Diseases Medical and Surgical Research

NDDC Clinical Trials

We are a clinical trials group conducting large-scale simple trials in primary care, as well as supporting secondary care studies into treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. Our aim is to improve the methodology of clinical trials, to ensure that large-scale studies can be conducted for important clinical issues, without the funding associated with pharmaceutical studies.

clinical trials team


Research issue

Clinical trials that measure the effect of an intervention on a clinical outcome are more influential than those that investigate intermediate surrogate measures. However, if the outcome occurs infrequently such studies need to be large, making them costly to conduct using conventional approaches. Consequently, outcomes studies tend only to be done where there is a substantial funding source, such as a pharmaceutical company, and commercial motivation, such as the development of a new class of drug. This introduces a systematic bias in the information available to prescribers. It is therefore crucial to develop new methods for conducting simple, large-scale studies to answer important clinical questions.

What we are doing about...

1. Ulcer-bleeding in aspirin users?

Aspirin use is widespread and increasing in elderly patients. The main hazard is gastrointestinal bleeding, which may be increasing because of increasing aspirin use.

We are conducting the Helicobacter Eradication Aspirin Trial (HEAT) based on evidence that peptic ulcer bleeding in aspirin users occurs predominantly in H. pylori positive people. We also run a similar trial looking into ulcer-bleeding in patients who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


2. Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be a severely debilitating condition, and we run several commercial and non-commercial studies to try to identify new treatments for this condition, and investigate the genetic factors underlying the disease. The ASTIC study is breaking boundaries in stem-cell transplantation to treat Crohn’s disease.


  • Publications in high-impact journals such as the Lancet, BMJ and New England Journal of Medicine. See more information under the publication records of our researchers.
  • Feedback to the European Medicines Agency on safety data of drugs post-marketing authorisation


Current projects


Email Christopher Hawkey




Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre

The University of Nottingham
E Floor, West Block, Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

telephone: +44 (0) 115 82 31090