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8 June 2021

Clinicians and scientists to host online event on progress in Covid-19 research

Researchers and scientists from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield who have been at the forefront of investigating new treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 are to host a live event on 8 June about progress made in Covid-19 research in the past year.

The ‘Changing Nature of Clinical Research: Perspectives from Sheffield During Covid-19 and Beyond’ event will be live streamed from the University of Sheffield’s website from 6pm on Tuesday 8 June. Members of the public will be able to submit questions in advance via the online form to the expert panel.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield have played a leading role in helping to develop vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

As well as setting up over 45 Covid-19 studies, including 20 given urgent public health status, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals was the 2nd highest recruiter to the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial and recruited its first patients to the Recovery trial, the first to show that a drug could improve survival in patients hospitalised with Covid-19, in March 2020.

The interactive event will also be an opportunity for members of the public to find out how the Covid-19 pandemic has created a fundamental shift in the way clinical research is undertaken and what this means for the future of health research and new ways in which the Trust is engaging with diverse communities to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be involved in life-changing clinical research.

It will be chaired by Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Key speakers include Dr Paul Collini, Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sheffield, Professor Cindy Cooper, Director of the Clinical Trials Research Unit in Sheffield, The University of Sheffield and Dr Thomas Harrison, Registrar in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “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 18 months ago.

"This online event will be an excellent opportunity for members of the public to hear first-hand from our expert team about key Covid-19 research that we have been involved in, including major flagship trials, and the how this has contributed to our understanding of the disease and developing new vaccines and treatments. It’s also a unique opportunity for members of the public to find out more about how we’ve adapted clinical trials to meet the changing demands of the pandemic and what this fundamental shift in approach means for life-changing research in other key disease areas.”

Cindy Cooper, Professor of Health Services Research and Clinical Trials at the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research, said: “People may not be aware of the vital role Sheffield scientists and clinicians played in the global effort to find successful treatments and vaccines for Covid-19.

“The longstanding partnership between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the close proximity between research laboratories on campus and the Clinical Research Facility at the hospital means we have a unique pipeline for translational research. This puts South Yorkshire at the forefront of many pioneering clinical trials.”

The event is being run in support of the National Institute for Health Research’s Be Part of Research campaign and International Clinical Trials Day 2021. International Clinical Trials Day is run every year to mark the anniversary of the first clinical trial, which was conducted by James Lind in 1747 into the causes of scurvy on board the HMS Salisbury. The famous trial led to the discovery that citrus fruits high in vitamin C could prevent the disease, and establishing high quality clinical trials as the most effective way to test new treatments and vaccines that have revolutionised care for patients across the world.

For more information about how to get involved in clinical research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals email or visit



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