How to become part of medical history and help to change lives

• More than 14,000 patients took part in clinical research in Sheffield last year
• The first clinical trial was conducted by James Lind in 1747 looking into the deadly disease scurvy

World-leading scientists and researchers from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust will be giving people across South Yorkshire a unique insight into how they can contribute to ground breaking medical discoveries during International Clinical Trials Day (Wednesday 20 May 2015).

The event, Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Improving Lives with Clinical Research will include a variety of interactive talks, informative discussions and intriguing tours around state-of-the-art clinical research facilities.

Visitors can explore how clinical trials, which have been responsible for the most significant medical advances for the past 260 years, are conducted, get an insight into key hole surgery and learn about extraordinary health innovations when the University, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Facility at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospital, open their doors to the public.

They will also be invited to meet staff from Sheffield’s Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s NIHR Clinical Research facility to find out how pioneering research is helps babies and young children too.

More than 14,100 patients took part in clinical research in Sheffield between April 2014 and April 2015. Their contribution has enabled many pioneering new drugs and treatments move one step closer from devastating diseases such as thyroid cancer and heart disease.

International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world to mark the day James Lind began his famous trial into the deadly disease scurvy in 1747. The trial led to the discovery that citrus fruits high in vitamin C could prevent the disease – paving the way for the development of specific vaccines to prevent diseases such as smallpox in the late 18th century.

Dr Julian Gunn from the Department of Cardiovascular ScienceDr Julian Gunn, a consultant cardiologist from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and Reader in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Sheffield will give a special talk between 6pm-7pm at the Medical School about a his revolutionary clinical trial which could play a vital role in tackling coronary heart disease which is the UK’s biggest killer.

There will also be an opportunity for visitors to speak directly with patients who have taken part in clinical research, visit a number of interactive stands and have guided tours of the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Clinical Research Facilities, which are recognised by the Department of Health as units of excellence.

The guided tours of the NIHR Clinical Research Facilities will take place between 2pm to 3pm (Northern General Hospital, 1st Floor, Centre for Biomedical Research, Herries Road) and 5pm to 6pm (Royal Hallamshire Hospital, O Floor, Glossop Road).

The healthcare research showcase will be held between 7pm and 8pm at the University of Sheffield’s Medical School on Beech Hill Road.

Staff from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will also be running a series of awareness-events throughout International Clinical Trials Day, including in the outpatients area of Weston Park Hospital, the main entrance of the Jessop Wing Maternity Unit and within the diabetes, pharmacy, cardiology and A&E departments.

Dr Tim Chico, Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: "Without clinical research the care, treatments, drugs operations and devices that we take for granted today would not exist.

"Patients who take part in clinical research make a vital contribution to pioneering medical breakthroughs that lead to new treatments which could save thousands of lives.

"Without these patients scientists and researchers like me would not be able to tackle devastating diseases such as coronary heart disease.”

Alison Mortimer, Lead Nurse for Research and Development for Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There are lots of myths about clinical research, so we’re delighted to be hosting these events which highlight that without clinical research the care, treatments, drugs, operations and devices we use to treat our patients, would not exist.

“International Clinical Trials Day celebrates the pioneering work James Lind began to improve medical care through medical research, and we’d encourage everyone to come down and find out more about the vital work we do with the University of Sheffield that helps improve lives so that they can ask their GP, nurse or consultant about how they can get involved.”

To find out more about clinical research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust email or contact 0114 226 5935.

To book a place on the ‘Getting to the Heart of the Matter’ event or NIHR Clinical Research Facility tours at the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire Hospital visit

Additional information

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of the UK’s largest NHS Foundation Trusts and one of the largest and busiest teaching hospitals. They have over 15,000 staff caring for over a million patients each year at five hospitals and in the local community:
• The Royal Hallamshire Hospital
• The Northern General Hospital
• Charles Clifford Dental Hospital
• Weston Park Cancer Hospital
• Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital
They offer a full range of local hospital and community health services for people in Sheffield as well as specialist hospital services to patients from further afield in our many specialist centres. The Trust is recognised internationally for its work in neurosciences, spinal injuries, renal, cancer, transplantation, neurosciences and orthopaedics.
The Trust has been awarded the title of ‘Hospital Trust of the Year’ in the Good Hospital Guide three times in five years and we are proud to be one of the top 20% of NHS Trusts for patient satisfaction.
The Trust is a recognised leader in medical research for bone, cardiac, neurosciences and long term conditions such as diabetes and lung disease. They also play a key role in the training and education of medical, nursing and dental students with our academic partners, including the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

The University of Sheffield
With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859

Claudia Blake
Communications Specialist
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
0114 226 5033