Birmingham Professor wins Clinical Trials Award

Professor Fang Gao Smith, Professor in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, has been awarded the Clinical Trials and Evaluation Award at the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) first Celebration of Innovation awards.


Fang GaoProfessor Smith’s clinical trial investigated whether giving patients intravenous infusion of salbutamol, medication that opens up the medium and large airways in the lungs, reduced mortality in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The trial found that giving salbutamol was unlikely to be beneficial and could worsen outcomes, which has led to a change in international guidelines. This change in guidelines should lead to a decline in mortality, and improve patient safety when in the Intensive Care Unit.

Professor Gao commented: “BALTI-2 was an excellent example of West Midlands-led NHS organisations and universities conducted clinical research, which is of global significance in improving health and promoting economic growth. This AHSN inaugural Award has recognised BALTI-2 team’s innovative achievement and valued BALTI-2 trial’s remarkable impact, which is in keeping with the WMAHSN’s ambition to make the West Midlands the destination choice for the conduct of clinical trials.

The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network Celebration of Innovation awards were established to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and organisations in developing better healthcare and increasing wealth for local people.

BALTI-2 gained £2.16 million funding from NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme for a patient-centred outcome trial, which was the largest multicentre clinical trial in the history of intensive care medicine in the UK at that time.

Find out more