The TVCTU is delighted to welcome Hayley Perry to the team. Hayley joins the team from GlaxoSmithKline and here she tells us a little bit about herself and her new role as the Lead Clinical Trials Statistician.
Please tell us a little about your background.
I’m a University of Reading graduate and have gained 12 ½ years’ experience as a statistician at GlaxoSmithKline working up through various positions there. Primarily my focus was on Immuno-Inflammation diseases.
Please explain the purpose of your new position at the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit.
I am six months into my role as the Lead Clinical Trials Statistician so I have responsibility for all the statistical aspects of the clinical trials undertaken at the TVCTU. Typically this will involve working on grant applications, trial design, randomisation and analysis. This is also a new position at the TVCTU and therefore adds new capability.
Why is having a statistician for clinical trials important?
Having a statistician working on a clinical trial is extremely important as we can help optimise the trial design to ensure it is robust and can answer the hypothesis appropriately. We will then analyse the data and provide interpretation of the results. For the clinical trial unit, without a statistician you would only be able to work on particular aspects of a clinical trial, for example the trial management, whereas my role and expertise means that we can take on many more of the components of a trial. Having a statistician is also a requirement of The UKCRC Registered CTU Network which the CTU is working towards. This is a network of academic CTUs in the UK who have been assessed by an international panel of experts and deemed capable of supporting high quality, efficient, effective and sustainable clinical research.
What is the focus of the projects that you are working on?
Currently I am involved in a number of discussions for potential trials activity within the University of Reading, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and the Royal Berkshire Hospital – the three partner institutions – in areas ranging from childhood anxiety through mental health online interventions, to Type 2 Diabetes, showing the breadth of projects with which the CTU is involved. So far I have been working on the EPICC study which is a trial looking at child development and how this is influenced by activities taking place within children’s centres.
What are the benefits of having a Clinical Trials Unit based in the Thames Valley region?
Previously any company or clinician wanting to run a trial would need to go to another CTU such as Southampton or Oxford which isn’t ideal in terms of accessing certain patient cohorts. Also, the proximity of a trial management service being closer to the hospital or company base engaging the service is a significant benefit as it means more trials happening within the region are going to be using a CTU rather than managing it themselves. Hopefully it will encourage more research to take place within the Thames Valley and therefore increase patient uptake in the region.