Schoolchildren joined patient volunteers and research staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ to for a very special virtual assembly yesterday (Thursday 20 May) to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day.
Celebrated all over the world, International Clinical Trials Day recognises the day in 1747 that James Lind, a ship’s surgeon aboard the HMS Salisbury, began his pioneering clinical trial into the causes of scurvy.
60 year 11 students from Oasis Academy South Bank met Dr Marlies Ostermann (Consultant in critical care and nephrology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Reader at King’s College London) Dr Charlotte Kühlbrandt (Research Fellow at the Department of Population Health Sciences) and Clive Moore and Fola Afolabi from our Research Advisory Group.
The aims of the assembly were to reach to young people in our community, to give them an idea of the research carried out at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London and to encourage them to get involved.
Marlies and Charlotte talked about their research and also about how they came to be involved in science and medicine. Clive and Fola then shared their own experiences with research and invited questions from the students and their teacher.
At the end of the assembly, students worked with their teachers to take part in a mock clinical trial, testing the taste of a market-leading brand of Jaffa cake, versus the taste of a supermarket’s own brand.
Dominic Williams, teacher at Oasis Academy said “The range and level of expertise was incredible. It was amazing to hear from a consultant as well as a member of the public who has been instrumental in shaping research trials”
Clive said “It was a great experience to be a small part of engaging with the youth of south London and getting them involved in biomedical research”.
Patients and members of the public can find out more about getting involved in trials by asking their doctor, visiting Guy’s and St Thomas’ research pages, or by visiting bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk. Be Part of Research is an online service that provides an opportunity to help members of the public understand what research is and what it might mean to take part, as well as showing what research is currently happening across the UK. The site supports the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) aim to help people make informed choices about taking part in health and social care research and make sure everyone has the chance to get involved, if they want to.