News and Events

Latest news and events from 2022

NIHR statement on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Photo of Queen Elizabeth II

We at the NIHR offer our sincerest condolences to the royal family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We share in the grief of the whole nation at the death of our remarkable monarch, and reflect with great pride upon her incredible reign.

Leading research into effective treatment of neuropathic pain could mean improved quality of life for diabetes patients

Researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are hopeful that diabetes patients suffering with neuropathic pain could benefit as a result of findings from the largest and longest ever neuropathic pain trial in the world. Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP) is caused by a type of nerve damage which may result in severe pain in the feet, legs and hands. Neuropathic pain, most commonly described as a burning or electric shock-like sensation, can be intractable and debilitating.

Affecting up to a quarter of people with diabetes, it can cause severe disruption to daily activities and may lead to depression, anxiety, lack of sleep and a poor quality of life.

The OPTION-DM trial, which was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), is the largest and longest ever, head-to-head, crossover neuropathic pain trial in the world. Findings will inform future treatment guidelines, not only for neuropathic pain in diabetes patients, but chronic neuropathic pain treatment in general.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(August 2022)

Photo of the diabetes team

#Red4Research 2022 - Friday 17 June

Photos of CRF staff for Red4Research

#Red4Research Day takes place this year on Friday 17 June 2022.

The day aims to get as many people as possible wearing red to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those participating, undertaking and supporting COVID-19 and other research. It is an opportunity to showcase the phenomenal work, learning legacy and the new innovative research systems/techniques that have arisen.

We are proud to support this here in Sheffield.

(June 2022)

Panel Discussion Event - International Clinical Trials Day 2022: People Power

In support of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Be Part of Research campaign and International Clinical Trials Day 2022, there will be a free panel discussion event on the 9 June discussing the vital contribution of patients and the public to healthcare research.

An expert panel of clinicians and researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield will be discussing the importance of involving patients and the public in clinical trials and research. The panel will look at the invaluable contribution that patients and members of the public make to the development of healthcare treatments and interventions, and the work that still needs to be done to make health research fully inclusive and representative.

For more information and to book your place visit the Public Engagement page on the University of Sheffield website.

(May 2022)

International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) - 20 May 2022

International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) is is an annual event that commemorates the work of James Lind, who pioneered clinical research with the first ever research trial on the disease scurvy.

In 2022, ICTD takes place on Friday 20 May. To celebrate, throughout that week we have shared some profiles and quotes written by staff in various roles here at the Sheffield CRF.

To find out more visit our ICTD 2022 page.

(May 2022)

Staff holding up a banner

Be Part of Research - TrialBlazers

The Be Part of Research TrialBlazers campaign celebrates the community of research volunteers. The thousands of people who take part in, and support trials and studies all over the UK.

TrialBlazers are people just like you. By volunteering in research, we help people live healthier and better lives, now and in the future.

Come and join the TrialBlazers.

For more information visit the Be Part of Research website.

(May 2022)

NIHR changes name to emphasise long-term commitment to social care research

The National Institute for Health Research has changed its name. To emphasise our enduring commitment to social care research, the NIHR has officially become the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Research’. The acronym ‘NIHR’ will remain unchanged.

You can read more about this on the NIHR website.

(April 2022)

Sheffield CRF awarded £7.9m to continue cutting edge medical research

Our Clinical Research Facility at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals in Sheffield has been awarded £7.9m in funding which will support the development and testing of new treatments for diseases, many of which currently have no cure.

The funding, announced by the National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR) this week (28 February 2022), will go to the Sheffield NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and run in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(February 2022)

Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine trial targeting the Omicron Variant

Moderna is conducting a clinical trial, called the mRNA-1273-P305 clinical trial, on an investigational booster vaccine that may protect against the COVID-19 Omicron variant, and you may be eligible to take part. The mRNA-1273-P305 clinical trial is evaluating the safety and immune response of the investigational mRNA-1273.529 booster vaccine compared to a booster dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax.

This trial is enrolling volunteers 16 years of age or older who are in good or stable health and have received two or three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago.

Participation in this trial lasts up to 13 months and includes phone calls and approximately 5-7 scheduled visits to the trial site. Participants will receive a single dose of either investigational booster vaccine, mRNA-1273.529, or the already authorized vaccine, Spikevax.

To learn more, please visit

(February 2022)

News and Events from 2021

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals shortlisted for award for pioneering role in Oxford vaccine development

Clinical research teams at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been shortlisted for a British Medical Journal (BMJ) award for their leading role in the research behind the development of the Oxford Vaccine.

The team have been put forward for the prestigious award as part of collective group of all of the study sites in the UK which were involved in the development of the vaccine. The nomination is for the clinical leadership category, which recognises a team that exemplifies the qualities of clinical leadership, requiring ideas and enthusiasm and often by doing things differently.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(October 2021)

Innovative therapy device delivering electrical pulses could help stroke survivors regain arm function

A new lightweight wearable device delivering tiny electrical pulses to the arm to help stroke survivors overcome abnormal stiffness in the arm, a major barrier to their recovery, is to be developed by researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust having been awarded £1.2M to develop and test this new wearable device in a ground breaking trial.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(August 2021)

Photo impression of the wearable device

Longer interval between the first and second Pfizer vaccine boosts antibody levels and ‘helper’ T cells

Photo of a cell

A new study supported by the CRF, which published today (23 July) as a pre-print on ‘Cell Press Sneak Peak’, by the Universities of Sheffield, Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Birmingham, with support from the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, shows both short and long dosing schedules of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine generate strong antibody and T cell immune responses.

Please read more on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(July 2021)

Survey of Covid-19 vaccine research participants shapes future vaccine studies

Your feedback is important

Every year, the NIHR asks thousands of people who took part in research to feedback on their experience so improvements can be made. You can read how we in the CRF acted on feedback from COVID19 vaccine participants to inform future trials as part of a case study on the NIHR Website.

(June 2021)

#Red4Research Day 2021

The Research and Development community in collaboration with the health and care sectors and voluntary organisations has achieved a phenomenal amount during the last 15 months. #Red4Research began in 2020 and aims to get as many people as possible wearing red to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those participating in, undertaking and supporting COVID-19 research.

You can find more details about how to get involved on the NHS Research and Development Forum website.

(June 2021)

International Clinical Trials Day 2021

Never before have we seen the impact of clinical research in such a short space of time, with researchers and scientists making medical breakthroughs in record time to develop and test treatments and vaccines for a virus no-one had heard of 16 months ago.

And it’s not just the pace of research that’s changed, clinical research staff have adapted to new ways of working, going above and beyond to deliver urgent public health research. At the same time, they have been taking all precautions possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 and investigating how to increase diversity among clinical trial participants.

Led by an expert panel of clinicians and researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield, this live online panel discussion will look at the progress made in finding treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the remarkable strides that have been made in how health researchers have adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic, and how this might affect health research going forward.

(May 2021)

International Nurses Day 2021 - Research Nurse Role

Photo of members of our Research Team

As part of International Nurses Day 2021 Sheffield Teaching Hospitals highlighted the work of our nursing team and other research nurses across the Trust. Our research nurses played a key part in our response to COVID-19

Over the last year the Clinical Research Facility nursing team and a number of research nurses, who are usually based within different areas of the Trust, have combined to form one team to support delivering high priority national and local clinical research trials to inform the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Please read more on Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Facebook page

(May 2021)

World Admin Day 2021

On Wednesday 21 April 2021 we celebrate World Administration Professionals Day and give an enormous thank you to our fantastic administration team here in the NIHR Sheffield CRF.

All the team work so hard and we could not have achieved the successes we have without them in what has been an incredible year!

(April 2021)

2020: A Year to Remember at NIHR Sheffield CRF

Photo of members of staff on a team calls

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across the NHS and research infrastructure like nothing else in the lifetime of Clinical Research Facilities (CRF).

Whilst we can see and appreciate the struggles and challenges the last 12 months has brought, now is surely the time to celebrate the achievements and triumphs of the research infrastructure. We look forwards to a time when we can reflect on how adaptations that we have made could be for the better.

The NIHR Sheffield CRF would like to take an opportunity to share some of the adaptations we have made in a time when there has never been more awareness of clinical research thanks to advancements that we have contributed to with unprecedented speed.

Please read more in our blog on the for the UKCRF Network website

(March 2021)

Researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals help to save up to 1 million lives worldwide by pioneering highly effective COVID-19 therapy

Researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have played a leading role in helping to pioneer a highly effective COVID-19 therapy that has saved 22,000 lives in the UK and an estimated one million worldwide.

The number of people who have successfully been treated as part of the RECOVERY trial, which found that Dexamethasone, an inexpensive and widely available steroid, cut the risk of death by a third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators and for those on oxygen it cut deaths by almost a fifth (published on 23 March 2021).

Please read more on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(March 2021)

Photo of Prof Simon Heller

News and Events from 2020

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals chosen to lead major Covid-19 Vaccine Study

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of 17 sites across the country, and the only one in the Yorkshire and Humber, to have been selected to trial the latest Covid-19 candidate vaccine.

Researchers from the Trust will be calling on 330 people, some from the NHS Covid-19 Research Vaccines Registry, to take part in the large scale study which will recruit up to 30,000 people worldwide.

The Phase 3 study is being co-funded by the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce and will test the safety and effectiveness of a new two-dose regimen for a vaccine candidate, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

The project will see volunteers visit the CRF and receive two injections of the trial vaccine within a two-month period. No one taking part in this study will be disadvantaged when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved and rolled out for general use.

Please read more on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News and Events webpage.

(November 2020)

NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry

Vaccine Research Logo

A new NHS service has been launched today (20 July), helping people across the UK sign up for information on the new COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Please click on the links below for more information and details on how to sign up:

NIHR news story

Be Part of Research

(July 2020)

International Clinical Trials Day 2020

International Clinical Trials Day is held each year on 20th May and commemorates the date when the first controlled clinical trial was conducted in 1747. Since then, research has played a vital role in improving healthcare for everyone.

Now more than ever clinical research is crucial, as it will help us understand more about COVID-19, and progress the development of potential treatments and effective vaccines in the future. Developing drugs and vaccines usually takes a number of years, but now, internationally and nationally, funding bodies, researchers and regulatory authorities are working tirelessly together to accomplish this process much quicker for COVID-19 research. However, there are still challenges ahead, such as if a suitable vaccine is identified, how quickly can it be mass produced for the global population. Researchers and healthcare professionals from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are working together at the forefront of this urgent research.

If you would like to hear more about how Sheffield is at the centre of this important work, you are invited to join a live online discussion via Skype with experts from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about research into COVID-19 on 24th June 2020 at 6pm.

The live discussion will be hosted by Sheffield Culture Hub, a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield City Council and Our Favourite Places, launched to host arts and cultural events online, as well as other activities from around the city to support the cultural and creative sectors during the coronavirus lockdown.

We are asking members of the public to submit their questions about COVID-19 research for our panel of experts by 10 June 2020, and they will try and answer as many as they can during the event. To submit your questions please complete this online form.

You can also keep up to date on all things ICTD throughout the day on our Twitter feed.

(May 2020)

News and Events from 2019

Atrial fibrillation procedure could slash waiting lists

Results from the AVATAR-AF trial which we ran here in Sheffield CRF were presented at EHRA 2019, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress on 17th March 2019.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. It causes 20–30% of all strokes and increases the risk of dying prematurely. Catheter ablation, aimed at burning or freezing heart tissue causing atrial fibrillation, is recommended to restore normal rhythm after failure of, or intolerance to, drug treatment.

The AVATAR-AF study stripped back the procedure of catheter ablation to the bare essentials to see if similar outcomes were achieved as the more complex procedures currently used.

As Principal investigator Professor Prapa Kanagaratnam, of Imperial College London said, the results showed that “some of the more technical parts of the procedure can be omitted, making it easier, cheaper and quicker, without sacrificing results. In the UK, patients with atrial fibrillation have to wait months for catheter ablation. The simpler protocol could shorten waiting lists within the same budget.”

Please read more on the European Society of Cardiology Website

(Mar 2019)

Pharmacy Placements in the CRF

This year we were delighted to welcome our first ever trainee pharmacists from the University of Sheffield to the CRF as part of their placements.

The research week rotation involved the students spending the week learning about protocols involved with clinical trials and the process of dispensing with our colleagues in the research pharmacy team in Sheffield.

They then had the opportunity to come up to the CRF, enabling the students to follow the research process and learn about the patient’s perceptions of being involved in research and what it means to them.

The feedback from the placement has been very strong and we are hoping to welcome even more new pharmacy trainees in the future, inspiring an interest in working on clinical trials throughout their careers

(Mar 2019)

World Kidney Day 2019

Our CRF Renal Research Team celebrated World Kidney Day at a city centre event at Central United Reformed Church raising awareness of all of the research studies we are undertaking here in Sheffield CRF.

Around 50-60 patients, relatives and members of the public attended the event and learned all about the theme for this year '“𝗞𝗶𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲” from a multidisciplinary clinical and research teams including dietitians, the transplant and dialysis teams, research nurses and fellow patients and relatives.

The ins and outs of children transitioning into adult renal care and a couples experience of transplant, where a wife had received a kidney from her husband, were among the fascinating talks given on the day.

(Mar 2019)

Members of the Research Nursing Team

Liver drug trialled in Parkinson's patients for the first time

A pilot study looking to assess the potential of a drug to slow down disease progression of Parkinson's is being run in Sheffield CRF in collaboration with NIHR Sheffield BRC for Neurological Disorders.

Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) has been used to treat liver disease for over 30 years and has been identified as the most promising drug to rescue mitochondrial function in Parkinson’s in a drug screen where 2,000 drugs were assessed for their rescue effect on mitochondrial function directly in the tissue of patients with Parkinson’s.

Professor Oliver Bandmann, who's leading the research has said:

"This is a pilot trial, which if successful, will lead to a bigger study to firmly establish the effectiveness of the treatment to slow down progression of Parkinson’s. Currently, Parkinson’s is relentlessly progressive but patients tend to respond very well to symptomatic medication in the early stages of the disease.

A drug which will slow down the progression of the disease – even after the first few years of diagnosis – would help people to have an improved quality of life for longer.”

For more information about the study please click the University of Sheffield News Archives

(Feb 2019)

Research Sister involved in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust Mentoring Scheme

Research Sister involved in Mentorship

In 2018-19, the Trust Board of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals adopted a reverse mentoring initiative whereby traditional mentoring has been ‘reversed’.

Faith, one of our wonderful Research Sisters, has been involved in the scheme and she has found it to be an extremely valuable experience.

Faith said "As one of the black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) members of staff as ‘Mentor’ for the last six months, I’ve had an opportunity to be matched with a trust executive director who took the role of ‘Mentee’. This allowed me to share my experiences with my mentee both inside and outside of STH and also allowed the mentee to see what it is like to work in the organisation from a BAME perspective. This also gave me access to shadow and see life in the organisation from a senior member of staff’s point of view."

Faith, and her mentee, are going to continue their partnership to further progress the valuable skill and knowledge transfer which the scheme has already brought to them, their immediate departments and the Trust as a whole.

(Jan 2019)

CRF Research Therapists to present at Annual Conference

In Sheffield CRF, we are very lucky to have two research therapists working with us. Kate, our Physiotherapist and Louise, our Occupational Therapist are an extremely valued part of our team and they are great advocates for other Allied Health Professionals to get involved in research.

We're therefore delighted to be able to announce that they will be presenting at the The Royal College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference in 2019. Their presentation 'Building allied health professions (AHP) research capacity: the impact of introducing an occupational therapist into a nurse led clinical research facility' will demonstrate the importance of having a multi-disciplinary workforce involved in research.

(Jan 2019)

2019 Royal College of Occupational Therapists Logo

Medical Student Placements in the CRF

Research Nurse and Medical Student

This year we were very excited to be a placement for medical students from the University of Sheffield for the first time.

We are a very unique clinical environment, working across sites, across specialties and as both an inpatient and outpatient facility. We were therefore able to offer a very varied placement from seeing patients in Gastroenterology and Renal outpatient departments, attending a pulmonary hypertension MDT and observing patient study visits from first in human Phase 1 trials to observational studies in such varied specialties as Oncology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Diabetes and Neurosciences. One student even attended an A&E trauma call on the helipad.

Embedding research as a key part of clinical care is a key aim for us here at Sheffield CRF and we hope that these placements will inspire medical students to make research a big part of their career and that we'll see some of them back here as the PIs of the future.

(Jan 2019)

New study in Irritable Bowel Syndrome featured in the Sheffield Star and Sheffield telegraph

We're delighted to be supporting a new innovative study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) looking at whether an anti-sickness drug, ondansetron, commonly given to patients having cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy could improve the lives of patients suffering with diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (#IBS).

To read more about the trial visit the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(Jan 2019)

Members of the Clinical Team involved in the study