Clinical Research

Our world-class translational research is enabled by investment in facilities provided by NIHR Cambridge BRC in partnership with a number of research institutes and other key organisations engaged in health research:

Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit

The Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU) has been established as a partnership between the NIHR Cambridge BRC, the MRC Biostatistics Unit and West Anglia Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) to facilitate and support local principal investigators in the design and implementation of high quality early phase clinical trials in order to enable them to reach the highest standards of clinical trials management.

Further advice, template documents and key contacts can be found here, cambridge university hospitals website

Alternatively you can contact the CCTU directly for General information:-

Addenbrooke's Clinical Research Centre

The ACRC, consisting of the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (CRF), Clinical Investigation Ward (CIW) and CRF Satellite Unit, is a safe, well-equipped and professionally staffed research facility. Facilities include 11 24/7  inpatient beds, 7 day case beds for interventional treatments, outpatient and investigation rooms available Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm.  The unit employs highly trained staff skilled in chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody drug administration, endoscopy procedures, metabolic and physiological measurement expertise and has equipment for DXA, BOD POD, direct and indirect calorimetry. Facilities are also available for dietetic interventions, diet manipulations, sample handling and processing, university and NHS IT systems including wifi.     

Specialising in supporting researchers, especially those with experimental medicine projects and early phase clinical trials, early discussion with investigators is welcomed. Applications can be sent through to:

From first contact with our office, our highly experienced staff can not only support your research but can guide you through any necessary administrative processes from governance and indemnity issues to best clinical practice and staff education.

We currently support over 220 studies the majority of these studies involve either medium or high-intensity interventions in adults and children.

For further information visit

Brain and Mind Sciences

Photos Herchel Smith 102129L_1597A new venture, the Herchel Smith Building for Brain and Mind Sciences, opened on the biomedical campus in 2009 after a complete refurbishment. The facilities include about 1000 square metres of office and meeting space, as well as a clinical research facility, to support interdisciplinary collaborations between the four key stakeholders in the project: the University Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Psychiatry, the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and the MRC and Wellcome Trust-funded Behavioural & Clinical Neurosciences Institute, along with their key NHS partners of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

The new office space accommodates 50 staff and the clinical research space includes specialist facilities for EEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation, cognitive testing and blood sampling. The building is located in close physical proximity to clinical research groups on the Forvie site and neuroimaging facilities in the Department of Radiology and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre. The Herchel Smith Building was founded in 1984 following a gift to the University from Dr Herchel Smith. The refurbishment was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research, Cambridge Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre.

Clinical Trials Pharmacy

Building on the success of the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit, early phase clinical trials are further supported by a designated Clinical Trials Pharmacy, which is joint-funded by the NIHR Cambridge BRC and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

GMP Resource for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

The GMP Resource for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, funded by NIHR Cambridge BRC and CUHFT, provides a modern, high throughput resource for derivation, characterisation and maintenance of numerous types of human cells, including embryonic stem cells

Haematology Translational Research Laboratory

NIHR Cambridge BRC funding has been used to refurbish space in the NHS Blood and Transplant Centre to create a Haematology Translational Research Laboratory, with funding for equipment being secured from the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust and the Evelyn Trust

GSK Clinical Unit Cambridge

The CUC is a clinical research facility embedded in the heart of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge since 1999. The Unit specialises in innovative Phase 1 and early Phase 2 studies across a broad range of therapeutic areas, exemplified by recent studies on atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cognitive impairment, and various aspects of inflammation.

The majority of the CUC's work is on asset-related decision-making studies for project teams as well as studies that do not immediately involve a specific asset but are intended to advance drug development in future, by validating new methodology or by improving understanding of major disorders.

The CUC leads on innovation in early clinical development, for example through the use of a new endpoint or lab assay, access to a stratified patient group, or development of a new phase 1 model. This is usually inaccessible by outsourcing to CROs that are operating a traditional, high volume, "feed and bleed" business model.

In addition to the state-of-the-art facilities of the CUC itself, the GSK team also maintains an extensive network of contacts in the Cambridge clinical and academic community. This means that the Unit can offer the benefits of externalising GSK R&D projects, by engaging local academic talent, while maintaining high standards of regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. About half of the Unit's current portfolio involves experts at The University of Cambridge. One recent example of CUC-based academic-industrial partnership has been a series of projects commissioned by the Academic DPU to develop a new drug for over-eating and obesity. The University of Cambridge has world-class academic leadership in several therapeutic areas and the Clinical School is strategically committed to support closer working with GSK ' so this is an aspect of CUC activity where the team hopes to see more growth in future.

Access to patients and healthy volunteers is another critical aspect of CUC operations where the team has invested heavily to improve its service to discovery customers. For example, the Unit maintains a panel of healthy volunteers, many of whom have provided a sample of DNA so that they can be screened for recruitment into genetically stratified phase 1 studies. In 2009, the CUC successfully completed two studies using this resource to investigate the effects of genetic variation in a drug target. This experimental approach can provide compelling early evidence to a project team that their compound is having pharmacodynamic effects by hitting the intended target; the existence of the CUC panel helps to make it logistically easier to access whatever genetically-defined groups the team is interested in. The Unit has also built specialist patient databases for obesity and type 2 diabetes and is open for discussion with partners in discovery about any disease area where they see a long-term requirement for enhanced patient access.

If you are interested in volunteering to participate in a research study or clinical trial please visit GSK volunteers