The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Guy’s and St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility (CRF) team along with our Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Platform joined teams from across the UK to share best practice and achievements at the annual UK Clinical Research Facility Network Conference 2022 – Collaborating for Success. The event held in Bournemouth was hosted by the NIHR Southampton CRF.

Themed  “Collaborating for Success” the event reflected on successes during the pandemic, new ways of working that the pandemic has brought and how we can capitalise on these new ways of working in the future.

COVID-19 vaccine trials featured on the agenda with particular highlights on novel approaches to delivery of these trials.  We were reminded that our collaborative efforts in research contributed significantly to the successful vaccination programme not just in the UK but globally, with an estimated six million lives saved worldwide by the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine alone.

The prominent presence from our Guy’s and St Thomas’ team included poster presentations and contributions to the delivery of workshops within the conference’s CRF Summer School.

Posters presentation featured a selection of clinical research delivered by our teams at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and included:

MONACO Cell Therapy study poster. Presented by Alex Kerr, Senior production scientist.


GUPI Peanut allergy study poster. Presented by Nishat Halim, Clinical research practitioner.


Hub and spoke model adopted for recruiting sickle cell patients poster. Presented by Isabelle Lanigan, Research nurse.


Developing patient access to novel IBD therapies poster. Presented by Zandile Khumalo, Research nurse.


T4 Phase I Cell Therapy studies poster. Presented by Sarah Ruiz, Quality assurance manager.

Our teams also co-delivered a session in the CRF Summer School on Inspection readiness led by Sarah Ruiz, Quality assurance manager, with Gerry Trillana, CRF matron, inputting content into a session on Business management of Advanced Therapy Investigational Medicinal Products trials.

Reflecting on the conference, the input of our team and the opportunities for shared learning that the conference offered Professor James Spicer, NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ CRF Director said: “Developing new therapies and diagnostics is vital for so many of the patient groups we serve at Guy’s and ST Thomas’. Our Clinical Research Facility provides space and highly specialist staff to do this across many disease areas. The UKCRF annual meeting was an excellent opportunity, in this of all years, to get together in person with our peers from other institutions doing similar work. The team and I came away from Bournemouth with fresh ideas and new collaborative relationships. This will help us to  drive what we are confident will be another successful year for delivering important and impactful clinical research within our Trust; for the benefit of patients locally, nationally and globally.”