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Researchers receive awards for clinical trials

Two medical researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have been given awards by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to recognise their significant contribution to commercial research in the NHS.

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The prestigious event, hosted at the British Medical Association in London, celebrated the expertise of commercial principal investigators who are responsible for NIHR supported research sites, ensuring that patients are appropriately recruited into research studies.

Professor Graham Foster from QMUL’s Blizard Institute was awarded Leading Commercial Principal Investigator to recognise the number of clinical trials that he has led and his role in recruiting to time and target for the trials.

He said: “It is important to stress that the award is based on the work of my academic trials team who have worked extremely hard to build and maintain our reputation as a major international liver unit.  I see the award as recognition of the important role that clinical trials play in the NHS and academic medicine and I hope that the trust and college will continue to support the development of active clinical trial portfolios in the future.”

Dr Michele Bombardieri from QMUL’s William Harvey Research Institute received the NIHR Principal Investigator award in recognition for testing novel therapeutics in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome (SS), an autoimmune disease that affects around 1 per cent of the general population.

He said: “The disease mainly affects glands throughout the body, but around half of the patients also experience manifestations away from the glands, and five per cent develop a form of B cell lymphoma. Currently, there are no biological therapies that are able to modify the treatment course for this condition and as such novel studies are of critical importance to improve the future outcome in patients.”

Dr Bombardieri and the Sjogren’s research team at the Departments of Rheumatology (Dr Nurhan Sutcliffe, Dr Elisa Astorri, Ms Emma Cutting, Ms Celia Breston) and Oral Medicine (Dr Anwar Tappuni) at Barts Health NHS Trust and QMUL are currently conducting phase II randomised clinical trials.

These are part of the NIHR NOCRI Translational Research Partnership portfolio in Musculoskeletal diseases, where QMUL plays a leading role both in clinical study design and patient recruitment.

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