Public Release: 

Collaboration the theme for annual research conference

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Plymouth University partner at health research event

University of Plymouth

Healthcare professionals and academic researchers will have the opportunity to hear from research teams at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and its research partners next month.

Recognised by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for their role in promoting clinical research in the NHS, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Research Team will be hosting the annual research conference at the Postgraduate Medical Centre on Friday 13 September. The conference is directly supported by Plymouth University which reflects the close collaboration between the two organisations.

Research and clinical trials are a daily part of the work at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the conference is an opportunity to showcase the Trust's wide portfolio of research and to encourage collaboration, participation and a generation of new, innovative research, both within the hospital, with academic partners such as Plymouth University, and across the South West Peninsula for the benefit of the patients.

A number of leading researchers have been invited to speak at the event including this year's key note speaker, the eminent consultant of neurology, Professor John Hodges from Australia who will share his learning as the Senior Principal Research Fellow at NeuRA.

Professor Hodges has written over 400 papers on aspects of neuropsychology (especially memory and languages) and dementia, plus six books and he is currently building a multidisciplinary research group focusing on aspects of frontotemporal dementia.

He is working with a team from the hospital and Plymouth University in the development of an app for assessing dementia, which will broaden the number of clinical team members who can make such assessments and which will be made available to clinicians free of charge later this year. It is an excellent example of collaboration in action.

Other speakers include:

  • Jeremy Hobart, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Health Measurement, Institute of Translational & Stratified Medicine, Plymouth University
  • Professor Rob Sneyd, Dean of Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Dr David Hilton, Consultant Pathologist, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Professor Carl Roobottom, Consultant Radiologist, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Dr Gary Minto, Anaesthetics Consultant, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Professor Oliver Hanemann, Director of the Institute for Translational and Stratified Medicine, Plymouth University
  • Dr Lucy Ellis, Chief Investigator, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
  • Bridie Kent, Professor in Leadership in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Plymouth University
  • Professor Tony Belpaeme, Professor in Cognitive Robotics, School of Computing/Mathematics, Plymouth University

Lisa Vickers, Research and Development Manager said: "The Trust has a profile of a truly research active establishment, which acts to attract high calibre staff. This is a significant benefit to patients in the South West, with a resulting improvement in their healthcare.

"Our trials bring the latest developments in health care to Plymouth patients and patients can be assured that, if they are recruited to a research study at Derriford, they have access to well designed and well regulated studies."

Dr Helen Neilens, Research Advisor explains: "The conference is an opportunity to reflect the diversity of the South West's health research and provide the platform to encourage collaboration, participation and the generation of new, innovative research, both locally and across the South West Peninsula."

Professor Janusz Jankowski, Associate Dean of Research at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, added: "Collaboration between academia and the clinical environment is vital to the development of research projects that have real impact on patient health and wellbeing, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the way in which care is delivered. We consider it entirely fortunate to be able to collaborate so closely with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the relationship is greatly valued. Together we have already contributed to research that has made a difference to people's lives, and we believe that this conference is the ideal showcase for our successful collaborative approach."

Clinical research is a vital part of the NHS and provides the evidence required to establish 'what works' to help develop effective treatments for patient care.

Research and clinical trials range from questionnaires to highly complex randomised control trials, testing new drugs and therapies on sometimes rare conditions. Key research disciplines for Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are: neurology and neurosciences; inflammation, immunity and infection; and cancer.


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