Clinical Research FacilityWhen the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) opens in 2018 it will host health and nutrition research undertaken by researchers from both within and external to the Norwich Research Park.

Research studies involving patients and healthy volunteers will aim to explore how food and nutrition affects health and disease. The results of these trials will lead to new strategies and treatments for improving and preventing diet-related disease.

As an NHS-governed facility, the Clinical Research Facility will undertake human health and nutrition research in compliance with the International Conference on Harmonisation-Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP); the Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care (DoH), the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004, and the Human Tissue Act 2004.

Accessing the Clinical Research Facility

  • The Clinical Research Facility will have a core team of staff including research nurses who can assist researchers with various aspects of their studies including clinical procedures, and study and data management.
  • The Clinical Research Facility is overseen by an experienced management team (the CRF Executive), and will be able to host investigators working on a wide range of research studies. Researchers are invited to discuss their specific requirements with the Clinical Research Facility team prior to grant application.

Note: The provision of Clinical Research Facility facilities will be subject to availability, and whilst all efforts will be made to ensure that the facilities are provided in accordance with the authorised usage fairly and in a timely fashion, this may not always be possible.

Planned facilities

Clinical space

  • 6 clinical rooms with basic clinical equipment,
  • 3 screening rooms,
  • a multi-function clinic room with space for 5 phlebotomy couches
  • 2 en-suite consultation rooms.

DXA Scanner

The CRF houses a dual-energy X-ray facility (DXA) that provides measurements for research involving body composition (fat and fat-free mass) and bone mineral (content and density) either in the whole body, or specific parts of the body (limbs, trunk etc.). For further information about the scanner please contact Dr Ailsa Welch (a.welch@uea.ac.uk).

Laboratory

There is a small laboratory equipped with centrifuges for immediate sample processing. There are also fridges and freezers for short-term storage prior to sample transfer to researchers’ own laboratories or the Norwich Biorepository with which the CRF maintains a close liaison.

Catering/Kitchen facilities

Two kitchens:

  • A general kitchen for the preparation of meals and refreshments for study participants, with a serving hatch opening directly into the participants’ lounge/dining room.
  • A test kitchen equipped to commercial standards for batch preparation of food products and standardised test meals.
  • The CRF has access to an on-site -40°C walk-in food storage freezer, along with several domestic food fridges and freezers located within the CRF.

Participants’ Lounge/Diner

The lounge/diner will be available for the provision of study test meals, breakfasts for fasted study participants and general refreshments for participants and accompanying guests.

Trials Pharmacy

An on-site pharmacy where trial medication can be dispensed by the NNUH pharmacy in compliance with Pharmacy Clinical Research Standard Operating Procedures.