Dr Claire Smith BMedSc, PhD

Dr Claire Smith

Institute of Applied Health Research
Systematic Reviewer

Contact details

Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit
Institute of Applied Health Research
Robert Aitken Institute

Claire is a systematic reviewer at BCTU for the Neurological disease portfolio which includes Parkinson’s disease and migraine. Her main responsibilities involve undertaking systematic literature searching to identify existing evidence as a basis for development of clinical trial proposals, and the synthesis of the worldwide research evidence on particular therapeutic questions. These provide the scientific rationale underpinning the Unit’s clinical trial activity.


  • PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology 2008, University of Birmingham
  • BMedSc (Honours in Physiology) 2004, University of Birmingham


Claire qualified with a BMedSc (Honours in Physiology) from the University of Birmingham in 2004. She went on to study for a PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology also at the University of Birmingham, with Professor Janice Marshall researching the influence of oestrogen on the cardiovascular response to systematic hypoxia. Claire then joined BCTU in 2008 working with the Parkinson Disease trials team before moving to work in the Systematic Review team in March 2009.


Claire teaches the Reviewing the Evidence module on the Research Methods Course run by BCTU three times a year.


Research Themes

Parkinson Disease, Migraine, Systematic Reviews, Clinical Trials.

Research Activity

Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Main research activity areas within PD are: Medical therapy, rehabilitation and surgery. Recent work has included: performing a systematic review to develop a universal formula to calculate a levodopa equivalent dose which can be used to compare dose intensities of different PD treatment regimens particularly in clinical trials; updating two Cochrane systematic reviews assessing the effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention vs. no intervention in patients with PD and the comparison physiotherapy techniques; meta-analysis of randomised trials assessing the efficacy of neurosurgery in patients with advanced PD.


Tomlinson CL, Stowe R, Patel S, Rick C, Gray R (2010). Systematic review of levodopa equivalency reporting in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 25(Suppl 3):S669.

Patel S, Tomlinson CL, Stowe R, Meek C, Clarke CE, Sackley C, Ives N (2010). Systematic overview of randomised trials of physiotherapy in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 25(Suppl 3):S680.

Tomlinson CL, Stowe R, Patel S, Rick C, Gray R, Clarke CE (2010). Systematic review of levodopa equivalency reporting in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 25(15):2649-2653.

Rick C, Ives N, Patel S, Parsons S, Tomlinson C, Gill S, Varma T, Williams A, Wheatley K, on behalf of The PD SURG Collaborative Group (2009). Benefits and risks of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease (PD) - results from the PD SURG study. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 15(Suppl 2):S101-S101.

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