Mrs Karen Turner

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse

Contact details

Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU)
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
Vincent Drive
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Karen Turner is a Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse based within the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit. As a senior nurse Karen’s post is divided between acting as the CRCTU lead nurse with professional responsibility for the clinical research nurses and working closely with CR-UK locally and nationally. This innovative post has been developed to promote the work of Cancer Research UK and cancer trials awareness amongst health care professionals, patients and the public, acting as a CR-UK spokesperson on appropriate stories and giving interviews to local media when required.

An important element of the role is being a 'public face' for clinical trials in the region and engaging with users in research both for media and promotional activities and to ensure consumer representation on local research agenda. This allows Karen to assist in promoting the patient focused nature of trials at the CRCTU.

Along with colleagues around the country Karen supports the national directives for improving recruitment to clinical trials for cancer treatments, prevention and palliative care with the aim of reducing the time taken to obtain results from cancer research projects.

Locally the senior nurse is a member of the Cancer Research UK local Forum, Research Nurse Project Meeting and the Cancer Research Network Training Links for the central region. Nationally the senior nurse is a member of the ECMC Nurses Network Steering Group, Institute of Clinical Research spring meeting working party and special interest group in patient recruitment.


  • Introduction to Cytotoxic Chemotherapy 2003 
  • Caring for Cancer Patients 2000 
  • Principles of care related to Bone Marrow Transplant 1998 
  • Oncology Nursing 1996 
  • BSc (Hons) Oncology Nursing 1995 
  • Teaching and Assessing 1995 
  • Registered General Nurse 1992


Whilst training as a Registered General Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, Karen developed a strong interest in Oncology nursing. This led her to The Royal Marsden Hospital in London where she gained vital oncology/haematology experience. During this time she completed a BSc (Hons) in Oncology Nursing and became a junior sister on a busy Oncology-Haematology ward.

An opportunity became available within the Haematology Clinical Research Team at The Royal Marsden Hospital which led her to the continued strong interest in clinical research today.

On arriving back in Birmingham in 2000, Karen worked within the Cancer Centre at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust as the Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist before taking up her current post in April 2002 as Lead Clinical Research Nurse at the CRCTU. January 2007 saw this post develop into a Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse Post forging closer ties with the work of Cancer Research UK and the world of clinical research.


• Introduction to Early Phase Research Nursing, ECMC
• Sessions within the MSc in Clinical Trials, University of Birmingham
• Patient/Nurse perspective, MSc Genomic Medicine, University of Birmingham
• Moderator for Cancer Research UK Demystifying Targeted Therapies MOOC

Other activities

  • STEM ambassador representative at local schools and science museum
  • Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) steering committee
  • Regional Clinical Research Leaders Forum
  • Public Involvement and Lay Accountability in Research (PILAR)
  • ECMC Nurses Network Steering Group


Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse; bridging the gap between science; clinical trials and local communities

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