Meet the brilliant people behind our clinical trials

20 May 2022, 8 a.m.

At GOSH we are committed to carrying out pioneering research to find treatments and cures for some of the most complex illness, for the benefit of children here in the UK and worldwide. We often have over 500 research projects active at one time.

At GOSH we often have over 500 research projects active at one time. A brain illustration accompanies this text.

What are clinical trials?

Many of those research projects are clinical trials, the last step of rigorous research testing that a new treatment must go through before it can be approved for everyday use. Due to the complex nature of the conditions that we treat at GOSH, for many of our patients, a clinical trial is their only hope of a treatment or cure.

The fact that we are able to run so many clinical trials at GOSH is thanks to our dedicated research team who work tirelessly both with our families and behind the scenes.

We are so proud of the huge team effort that goes into running each and every clinical trial here at GOSH. All of these teams, both within the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility and across the hospital, share a vision for research at GOSH that helps to make all of our trials possible.

Prof Stephen Marks, Director of the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility
A portrait midshot of Stephen Marks, wearing a blue striped shirt.

Prof Stephen Marks, Director of the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility

Read on to find out a little more about just some of the amazing team that make clinical trials possible at GOSH.

Fahmida Rahman – Clinical Research Facility Receptionist

I love being a receptionist at the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility (CRF), we’re the first faces families see when they start their journeys here with us, so I know how important it is for us to make them feel at home.

Some of the children come to the CRF once a week for many years and so we really do develop relationships with them and their families. I like to make sure I research the conditions beforehand so that I can at least start to understand the children before they visit us – I really feel like small things like that make a difference to the relationships we build.

Fahmida stands in front a wall smiling - the wall has a leaf motif behind her

Fahmida Rahman – Clinical Research Facility Receptionist

Because we see these families so often, we get a feel for their daily lives and I hope we provide them with another person to talk to through the process. And when we can see the treatments making a difference it's amazing to see how that impacts not just the children but their whole family. 

I want to let all children coming to take part in clinicals trials here at GOSH know that they don’t need to be scared, we hope this is the start of a new beginning for them and their treatment. Every day and every appointment might be different but we will do everything within our power to make things comfortable for them.

Haigen David – Sample Processing Manager

I’ve worked at GOSH for 2 years as part of the sample processing team. We deal with patient samples from trials that are taking place all across the hospital and prepare them for testing. We ship the samples to sites all across the world because often the tests we run are so specialised that we can’t do them at GOSH. 

Haigen is in a lab wearing a lab coat, gloves and a white mask. She is pipetting liquids out of a sample tube

Haigen David – Sample Processing Manager

I love being able to work on such a huge variety of trials here at GOSH, across lots of different teams and conditions – it gives me such a great opportunity to keep learning. All of the teams at GOSH are so wonderful and friendly, they really make me feel like I am a part of their work and I really enjoying building those relationships. 

When people take part in clinical trials here at GOSH, I can imagine it must be very overwhelming but having worked with so many of the teams here I know they are in great hands!

Christopher Jackson - Senior Research Co-ordinator

I work as a senior research coordinator on the clinical research facility. I primarily support the setup and coordination of a number of early phase complex clinical trials, as well as line managing a number of the coordinator team.

Christopher Jackson

I have worked in the clinical research facility for a number of years and have seen various trials go from phase 1 trials to seeing sponsors applying for licencing, as well as seeing results of the trials I have been supporting. I like working here, with the great people, as well as knowing that myself and my team playing a key role in contributing and providing to the care and support to the children and families participating on the clinical trials, as these will be a huge commitment to participate, and providing the best possible support to help with their research journeys

Kavita Thind – Research Co-ordinator

In my job I work with teams across the CRF to set-up and co-ordinate the trials that are run in our facility. I really love my job, partly because I get to work with so many great people. Not just the doctors and nurses but all of the support staff that make clinical trials possible at GOSH.  It’s great to be a part of something bigger. 

Kavita stands in front a wall smiling - the wall has a leaf motif behind her

Kavita Thind – Research Co-ordinator

I hope that families taking part at clinical trials at GOSH always feel comfortable here and that they feel happy to ask our teams as many questions as they need to understand the trials they are on. Those relationships are a vital part of making clinical trials at GOSH a success.

Petra Vanova – Clinical Trials Officer (pharmacy)

I’m a clinical trials officer who has worked at GOSH for three years in the pharmacy team. We help to prepare the treatments for children taking part in clinical trials at GOSH. During the pandemic we had to make sure that some of our families were still able to access the treatments they needed for their trials at home. 

Petra sits smiling at the camera with a computer screen behind her

Petra Vanova – Clinical Trials Officer (pharmacy)

I love the fact that the work we do ultimately leads to new treatments being discovered, which will allow children in the future to lead longer, healthier, happier lives.

If I could give children coming to GOSH one bit of advice it would be don't be scared!  Everyone at GOSH is kind, friendly and wants you to get better.  Plus, there's usually lots of cute dogs here to cheer you up if you ever feel sad!

Anastasia (Stacie) Rousou – Healthcare Assistant

As a Healthcare assistant within the clinical trials team, I really love supporting my fellow colleagues. But most of all I like the hope it offers to families. 

Stacie stands in front a wall smiling - the wall has a leaf motif behind her

Anastasia (Stacie) Rousou – Healthcare Assistant

Many of the children that we see have very rare conditions and not many people know about their condition or how to support them and their families. It feels like the CRF is a place for them, that they can have some hope about their and their child’s quality of life and their future. Some parents say to us that even though they don’t know if the treatment will help their child, they hope it will help other children in the future. 

I try really hard within my role to never assume that the children that visit us understand everything - I believe person-centred care is so vital to what we do. I want to make sure children that visit us can be outspoken about their needs, their likes and dislikes. It means that we can get to know them better and make the whole experience better for them. 

Some of the patients have been coming to the CRF much longer than any of us have been working here and I hope that means they know how much their opinions shape the care we give them!

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