The MRC Midland Hub for Trials Methodology Research (MHTMR) based at the University of Birmingham is one of a national network of seven hubs funded as an exciting new initiative by the Medical Research Council

This is a collaborative venture involving researchers from across two Schools within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, namely the School of Cancer Sciences and the School of Health and Population Sciences.

The Hub’s five year programme was initiated in June 2009 and involves twelve investigators with Lucinda Billingham, Professor of Biostatistics in Cancer Sciences, as the Director. The Hub funds three Research Fellows, one administrator and five PhD students.

The Hub has a wealth of experience in trial methodology for a wide range of clinical specialities. Methodological expertise includes quality of life evaluation for clinical and health economic assessment, discovery and evaluation of diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers, Bayesian methods for the design and analysis of trials and systematic reviews for clinical and health economic evaluation. Specialist clinical areas include cancer, haematology, chronic neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular, primary care clinical sciences, maternity, women’s health, medical devices and operations, experimental medicine and early phase clinical trials, paediatric medicine and hepatology. The programme of research is driven by the expertise of the researchers and the needs of the trials community and will benefit practitioners on a national level through dissemination, training and advice. 

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In October 2008 the Medical Research Council awarded £16 million to establish a national network of hubs to develop new and improved methods to design, conduct analyse and report clinical trials. The new funding provides resource for eight hubs across the UK including one at the University of Birmingham, namely the MRC Midland Hub for Trials Methodology Research (MHTMR).

Other Hubs are located in Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Oxford the All Ireland Hub

The MRC have also provided funds for networking which supports a full-time network coordinator, short-term cross-hub collaborative projects, network workshops and events and enables the Directors to meet quarterly.