Clinical Research Facility

Published on: 9 June 2014

Taking part in the Exeter 10,000 project could help improve the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions.

Exeter residents can help the advancement of medical research in a number of different ways with the Exeter Clinical Research Facility (CRF).

The CRF, a partnership between the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation trust, offers opportunities from donating samples to the Exeter 10,000 study to sitting on a committee that decides what research is done by the CRF.

The aim of the CRF’s research is to bring maximum benefit to patients, they rely on healthy volunteers and patients to take part in different aspects of their research.

The main gateway to participation in CRF research is the Exeter 10,000 study, which has already enrolled more than 7,000 participants and is open to anyone over 18. This study is a research register and a biobank. By participating in a 30 minute health assessment volunteers can donate samples that may be used 100s of times in the future by scientists who are studying the causes of disease. They can also sign-up to find out about other research run through the CRF.

The majority of our research examines the mechanism of disease. By understanding an individual’s pre-disposition to and protection from disease we hope to be able to improve healthcare in the future.

Dr Gillian Baker, Clinical Research Facility Manager

Dr Gillian Baker Clinical Research Facility Manager said: “The majority of our research examines the mechanism of disease. In lay terms, that is like looking at a room full of dominoes and understanding that rate at which they fall over. By understanding individual’s pre-disposition to and protection from disease we hope to be able to improve healthcare in the future.”


The CRF also has a patient involvement group called the Peninsula Research Bank Steering Committee. This committee meets monthly and members are invited to give opinions on research proposals, ensure CRF publications are written in plain English and also help make decisions about the distribution of samples in CRF biobanks.

The CRF also supports the National Institute of Health research’s ‘OK to Ask’ campaign which encourages people to tell their doctors or their hospital if they would like to participate in medical research.

Dr Baker explained: “When you go and see your doctor or go to hospital you should ask them about your right to know about research opportunities. This can help us identify people with a specific condition who are suitable for a study. For example we want to recruit everybody who is about to change diabetes medication. We rely on patients and doctors letting us know as soon as a new prescription is written so that we can see how individuals respond to their new tablets .”

For more information please see the Exeter CRF website. To join the Peninsula Research Bank Steering Committee please contact Louisa Bolt on 01392 408182

Related links

» Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation trust
» OK to Ask

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