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OUH staff win at local research awards

This article is more than one year old.

A number of Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) researchers have been honoured at the NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks Thames Valley Health Research Awards.

The event, held on 28 September 2022 at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford, showcases the research supported by the LCRN in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire, including the continued impact of COVID-19 trials.

The OUH winners were:

Primary Care Research Nurse Team
All-round High Performing Team

Emergency Medicine Research in Oxford (EMROx) team
Contribution to COVID-19 research award

Neonatal Research Team
Exceptional Contribution to a Commercial Study

Prof Matthew Snape, Consultant in Paediatrics and Vaccinology
Outstanding Contribution to Children's Research (Memorial prize)

Nicky McRobert, Lead Diabetes Research Nurse
Outstanding Research Team Leader

The BHF PROTECT TAVI Trial team (joint winners)
Study of the Year

BHF PROTECT TAVI was described as a 'landmark' clinical trial, designed and led by the Oxford team. It is testing whether a new device can help reduce the risk of stroke during transcatheter valve replacement for aortic stenosis.

Already 95 percent of all TAVI centres are participating in what will become the largest ever trial in UK interventional cardiology. In the nomination, the trial was praised for its 'excellent patient involvement in design and delivery', and the fact that the trial team had streamlined and adapted practices to keep the trial active during COVID. 

The EMROx research team were nominated for their work recruiting to the phase 2 CATALYST study, which aimed to guide the selection of new drug trials for hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The Of 12 participating hospitals, the Oxford team were the second highest recruiters, in challenging clinical conditions and despite some of the team having to work from home. At the same time, the team managed recruitment to the FALCON study, where Oxford were the highest recruiter from a single hospital.

The Primary Care Research Nurse Team were described as "a committed and dedicated team, applying themselves to a variety of urgent public health studies, often visiting COVID-positive people in their homes to ensure they were able to participate in research". They worked on vaccine trials and COVID treatment trials such as PRINCIPLE and PANORAMIC.

They were praised for ensuring a balance between COVID studies and old and new research studies that had come back to their workload. "The team is a friendly, approachable group of highly qualified and experienced nurses who endeavour always to achieve good recruitment to studies and ensure a high standard of care," their nomination concluded.

The Neonatal Research Team were nominated for two studies - one into the use of the antibiotic Sivextro in children under the age of two and the second into a vaccine for RSV infection. Noting the team's large portfolio of studies, their nomination said they made 'exceptional contributions to two commercial C-TIMP trials in particular, with high praise directly from the sponsor themselves'. The sponsor noted the team's 'fantastic organisation and planning, a pragmatic, problem-solving attitude and a truly engaged PI'.

Nicky McRobert received three nominations, one of which praised her 'dedication over many years to not just her role but to her staff, participants and the studies... We simply could not manage without her.' Another said she had 'never before met such an inspirational team leader. She is supportive, patient and kind as well as being very enthusiastic about research.'

Professor Matthew Snape was recognised for his work as a Consultant in Paediatrics and Vaccinology at Oxford University Hospitals and Professor in Paediatrics and Vaccinology at the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford. He was nominated by Oxford Vaccine Group Director, Prof Sir Andrew Pollard.

Prof Pollard noted the large portfolio of clinical research on vaccines for children Prof Snape has led for more than 15 years and said he had 'made major contributions' on a number of vaccines affecting children that had changed national policy.

"He has shown outstanding leadership as chief investigator of multiple vaccine clinical trials in the UK during the pandemic and placed the UK in a pivotal international role in knowledge development that has informed global vaccine policy," Prof Pollard added.

Pictured: Emergency Medicine Research in Oxford (EMROx) team