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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

International Clinical Trials Day 2020: COVID-19 Research in Sheffield


Please let us know what you thought about the International Clinical Trials Day event – what worked well and what could be improved. It will help us plan and improve future events.

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Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Research and Innovation Office @Shef_Research and Partnerships and Regional Engagement @UniShefEngage bring you researchers and clinicians from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a live online panel discussion, answering questions provided by the public about COVID-19 research. The live event took place on 24 June and was open to all, free to attend as part of International Clinical Trials Day 2020 – see above to now stream it any time.

Developing drugs and vaccines usually takes a number of years, but now, internationally and nationally, funding bodies, researchers and regulatory authorities are working tirelessly together to accomplish this process much quicker for COVID-19 research. However, there are still challenges ahead, such as if a suitable vaccine is identified, how quickly can it be mass produced for the global population. Researchers and healthcare professionals from The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are working together at the forefront of this urgent research.

International Clinical Trials Day commemorates when the first controlled clinical trial was conducted on 20 May 1747. Since then, research has played a vital role in improving healthcare for everyone. Now more than ever clinical research is crucial, as it will help us understand more about COVID-19, and progress the development of potential treatments and effective vaccines in the future.


Professor Simon Heller
Simon Heller is Professor of Clinical Diabetes at the University of Sheffield, Director of Research and Development and Honorary Consultant Physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK. Among his many current research interests is the development of interventions that help encourage effective self management of diabetes.

Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones
Sarah Rowland-Jones is Professor of Infection and Immunity at the University of Sheffield and is an Honorary Consultant in adult Infectious Diseases. For many years her research has focused on how our immune systems respond to virus infections, particularly in HIV infection, and she has longstanding collaborations with researchers in Zimbabwe studying how the immune system behaves in older children and teenagers who acquired HIV infection as babies.

Dr Ruth Payne
Ruth Payne is a Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Infectious Diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests are in vaccinology and malaria infections, in particular, the immune responses to vaccination.

Dr Paul Collini
Paul Collini is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases based at the University of Sheffield and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. His research has focused on lung infections and immune responses in HIV and other infectious diseases. Paul is currently Principal Investigator on several research trials into COVID-19 at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Information on national opportunities to be involved in research can be found on the Be Part of Research website.

Information for patients and the public on how to get in involved in research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals can be found on the Clinical Research and Innovation website.

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