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BCTU logo and birthday cake.
BCTU is celebrating its 25th anniversary!

To celebrate this milestone, the Unit are having an event at Hornton Grange on the afternoon of Monday 10th October. The event will celebrate the achievements of the Unit, and will be a thank you to the clinicians who the Unit have collaborated with over the years, and also to the staff for all their hard work. They also have a new logo (in the picture to this story), which the Unit shall be using in their email signatures to the end of the year.

BCTU was established in 1997 under the Directorship of Professor Richard Gray. Its main focus was supporting clinical trial research in areas that had, historically, been less well researched than cancer and cardiovascular disease. Now operational for 25 years, BCTU is a UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) registered unit and one of the largest clinical trials units in the UK, with over 100 members of staff. Importantly, the Unit has delivered a large number of practice changing clinical trials of medical, surgical and complex interventions in a wide range of diseases both in the primary and secondary care settings.

BCTU continues to be a thriving Unit, collaborating with clinicians both local, nationally and internationally to deliver clinical trial research. The Unit has established strengths in women’s health, surgery, renal disease, neuroscience, primary care, trauma, cardiovascular disease, vascular surgery and test evaluations studies. It also has a strong teaching and training program with the MSc in Clinical Trials and the Clinical Research Scholar scheme aimed at developing the clinical investigators of the future.

In October 2020, Professor Katie Morris took over the Directorship of BCTU from Professor Peter Brocklehurst, and one of her first challenges was leading the Unit through the global COVID-19 pandemic!

 

The aim of the Unit over the next 5 years is to continue to support research in our established areas of strength, but also to develop collaborations and experience in clinical areas of national priority, and also local and regional expertise e.g. liver disease, trauma and orthopaedics, paediatrics. We are looking forward to the next 25 years, and beyond!

Professor Katie Morris

BCTU: Over the Years

1997

BCTU established under the Directorship of Professor Richard Gray

1998

BCTU’s first trials, AD2000 and LUNA, opened to recruitment

1998

First Research Methods Course delivered; course is still being delivered today over 20 years later

1999

PD MED trial: BCTU’s longest running (and still going) trial opened to recruitment; published in the Lancet in 2014 and JAMA Neurology in 2022

2002

MOMS trial: BCTU’s first trial publication published in the Lancet, showing that the continuous perineal repair technique in women after childbirth reduces post-surgical pain

2005

GBS trial: BCTU’s first test evaluation study opened to recruitment; published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2010

2006

AML-16 trial: BCTU’s first MAMS design trial, opened to recruitment

2007

Pulse-Ox study: BCTU’s largest study of 20,055 babies opened to recruitment; published in the Lancet in 2011

2007

BCTU awarded UK Clinical Research Collaboration accreditation

2008

AD2000, one of the Unit’s first trials, published in the Lancet, showing that low-dose aspirin has no worthwhile benefit in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

2008

FOXTROT: BCTU’s first international trial opened to recruitment

2009

LUNA, one of the Unit’s first trials, published in JAMA, showing that laparoscopic uterosacral nerve ablation did not result in improvements in pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, or quality of life compared with laparoscopy without pelvic denervation

2011

DREAMS trial: BCTU’s first Surgical Trainee led trial opened to recruitment; published in the BMJ in 2017

2012

Professor Jon Deeks appointed BCTU Director

2012

Clinical Trial Fellowship Programme commenced

2013

Clinical Trial Training Collaboration with The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, China commenced

2013

Awarded National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CTU Support Funding

2013

Established as a partner in the Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium (BiSTC)

2013

AIMS trial: BCTU’s first trial in a low and middle-income country setting opened to recruitment; published in the NEJM in 2019

2014

BCTU re-located to its current office space in the Public Health Building and joined the Institute of Applied Health Research

2015

PRISM trial: BCTU’s largest drug intervention trial of 4150 women opened to recruitment; published in the NEJM in 2019

2016

National Centre for Miscarriage Research, funded by Tommy’s, launched in collaboration with BCTU

2016

BCTU and the Primary Care Clinical Research and Trials Unit merged

2016

Professor Peter Brocklehurst appointed BCTU Director

2016

RePHILL trial: BCTU’s first pre-hospital trial, in conjunction with the air ambulance services, opened to recruitment; published in the Lancet Haematology in 2022

2016

Data from the PD MED, PD SURG and PD REHAB trials incorporated into the NICE guidelines for the treatment and management of Parkinson’s disease

2017

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery established

2018

FALCON: First trial within the NIHR Global Surgery Unit opened to recruitment; published in the Lancet in 2021

2018

Clinical Trial Scholar Scheme launched (now Clinical Research Scholar scheme)

2019

ROSSINI II trial: BCTU’s first MAMS trial in surgery opened to recruitment

2019

Birmingham Centre for Observational and Prospective Studies (BiCOPS) established under the Directorship of Professor Tom Pinkney and Dr Laura Magill

2020

New masters programme launched with the MSc in Clinical Trials

2020

Professor Katie Morris appointed BCTU Director

2021

New CPD courses developed and launched:

· Introduction to Randomised Controlled Trials in Healthcare

· Clinical Trial Management: Maximising Effectiveness

2021

New MOOC launched:

· Introduction to Randomised Controlled Trials in Healthcare

2022

New SPOCs (Expert Tracks) in development for launch in 2023:

· Introduction to Statistics

· Trial Recruitment

· Data Management for Clinical Trials

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