Manchester’s Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility welcomes 100,000th study participant
The Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility
Manchester (WTCRF) recently celebrated its 100,000th
participant visit to the Facility since its opening in November
The 100,000th participant was Ms Leslie Dickinson, taking part
in Professor Rayaz Malik's trial funded by the National Institutes
of Health (USA): Corneal confocal microscopy: A non-invasive
surrogate for diabetic neuropathy.
Ms Dickinson said: "I just wanted to contribute to research for
the future - more people, including me, will benefit from this work
further down the line."
She went on to encourage other patients and volunteers to take
part in clinical research, and said attending the WTCRF had been
anything but a chore over the past two and a half years: "I've got
to know everybody here, and they've all treated me so well. Another
plus is that I have another way of hearing if I need any additional
treatment when I attend.
"I'd recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to
participate in research studies."
With around 10,000 participant visits a year, the Facility
provides specialist space for clinical researchers, as well as
other NHS partners. During the first nine years the Facility has
housed over 400 researchers from across more than 30 different
The Facility has had over 375 study submissions to date and is
currently serving 120 active studies and trials in both its Grafton
Street site and the more recent sister-site, the Wellcome Trust
Children's Clinical Research Facility (WTCCRF), located in the
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
Of the study Professor Malik said: "The accurate and early
detection of human diabetic neuropathy is important to define at
risk patients, anticipate deterioration, and assess new therapies.
Current measures of neuropathy fail to detect the earliest damage
"We have secured funding from the NIH to evaluate over 4 years
for the novel non-invasive technique of corneal confocal microscopy
(CCM) for the assessment of nerve damage and repair in diabetic
patients following pancreas transplantation. We will compare CCM
with the established techniques of neurophysiology, quantitative
sensory testing and skin biopsy in the WTCRF."
Nursing staff at the WTCRF perform a clinical assessment
followed by ophthalmic and neurological evaluation. Professor
Malik's research team also undertake a skin biopsy in the newly
opened Minor Procedures Suite, funded by the NIHR Manchester
Biomedical Research Centre.
Ms Dickinson was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Medical
Director of the WTCRF Professor Tony Heagerty, who said: "I am
delighted that Ms Dickinson can join us to celebrate this
significant landmark for the WTCRF. It pays tribute to the hard
work of the staff and the ever increasing quality of the work