A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham has been recognised with a national award for her research work.

Dr Alexandra Sinclair, Consultant Neurologist from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), was among the winners in the prestigious NIHR Industry Principal Investigator Awards.

Dr Alexandra Sinclair

Dr Sinclair was nominated for the award by officials at the Clinical Research Network West Midlands for her work in developing innovative models for recruiting participants to her research studies at UHB, in particular two studies into the rare brain condition idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).

“I am delighted by this award,” she said. “IIH has devastating consequences for patients, including blindness and debilitating headaches. We are running clinical trials aimed at identifying optimal ways to manage the condition, including methods to support weight management and novel drugs.

“These studies would not be possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of many people.

“I would like to thank the nurses from the CRN (Jo McCormack and Bridie Rowbotham); the Wellcome Trust/NIHR Clinical Research Facility at UHB (Trish Brady, Lisa Thomas, Jo Dasgin, Karen Boardman and Jo Gray); the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (Ryan Ottridge and Cally Rick); the research fellows and lecturers (Keira Markey and Ghaniah Hassan-Smith); neuro-ophthalmology, including orthoptists (Clare Hazels’ team); and the patient charity IIH UK and their members.

“The progress and success of clinical trials is very much a team effort and is vital to improve patient outcomes. Receiving this award is recognition of not just my efforts but those of everyone involved.”

Dr Sinclair is highly active in engaging patients with research in her role as patron of IIH UK and has also put significant effort into building a network for IIH research across the UK, with hospitals from Glasgow to London already being involved.

She is currently appealing for women with a BMI greater than 35 to take part in one of her IIH studies. Details of the 'IIH: WT' and 'IIH: DT' studies can be found on the University of Birmingham website.

Dr Sinclair, Consultant Neurologist, is looking for people with migraine (between 5 and 12 attacks per month) to recruit to a research study using  a nerve stimulator on the vagus nerve to treat migraine. If you might be eligible please contact her at Alexandra.Sinclair@uhb.nhs.uk