Clinical research saves lives

Clinical research

Saves lives, improves health and changes NHS treatment and care

Nottingham is one of the largest centres for clinical research in the UK.

What is clinical research?

The drugs, tests and treatments we use in the NHS today have only been made possible because of clinical research.

Without clinical research, we cannot know if new treatments and medical technology developed in the laboratory are effective and safe for patients and the public. 

Other ways of testing how a new treatment might work do not tell us enough about how it will work in humans.

There are three main types of research which together move ideas from the laboratory into effective new treatments:

  • basic research – looks at questions relating to how our bodies work or how disease might affect our bodies
  • translational research – takes the findings from basic research and applies them to develop new solutions to improve health and treat diseases
  • clinical research – takes those solutions and studies them in clinical trials.

NHS clinical trials allow testing and monitoring of the effect of a treatment on larger groups of people to ensure that any improvement is not just a random effect for one person. The researchers who carry out these trials are doctors, nurses, health professionals like physiotherapists and scientists who treat patients in our local hospitals, GP surgeries and clinics.

Why is clinical research important?

The clinical research we do across the organisations that make up Nottingham Health Science Partners is helping to save lives, prevent injury and illness and find better ways to treat and care for people in the NHS. Our research is also helping to:

  • prevent diseases by testing a vaccine
  • detect or diagnose diseases or conditions, for example by developing new tests which are better at identifying diseases
  • treat diseases or conditions by testing a new medicines, therapies or technology
  • find out how people can control their symptoms or improve their quality of life by testing how changes in their diet, exercise or lifestyle may have an effect.

Learn more about research

You can explore the world of health research and the role volunteers play in transforming treatments and improving health care in a free online course.

Find out why research matters, how it happens and how you can make a difference. The course details are online:

Introducing translational research

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Learn more about gene therapies

New therapies using human genes are evolving rapidly. If you would like to know more about this area of research, you can find a range of information and resources on the Gene Home website: