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Leicester set to host national experimental medicine conference in 2024


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is set to host the 2024 UK Clinical Research Facility Network (UKCRF) annual conference. 

“Making the invisible, visible: addressing unequal access to clinical trials” will take place in July and is the 19th annual event dedicated to future developments in experimental medicine. 

The UK is leading the world in early phase clinical research, which contributes significantly to the health and wealth of the nation. Across the UK, we have one of the most comprehensive research systems in the world.  

The UKCRF Network was established in 2008 with the aim of identifying and developing systems that enable a coordinated approach for the delivery and management of clinical trials across the UK’s experimental medicine infrastructure. The 2024 conference, “Making the invisible, visible: addressing unequal access to clinical trials”, will be delivered through a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, as well as an extremely popular 'summer school' format, and will focus on making sure that people from diverse populations equitably benefit from the most advanced therapies currently in development. 

Professor Nigel Brunskill, Director of the NIHR Leicester CRF, said: “We are delighted to bring this important national conference to Leicester. The conference's theme is fitting for the first UK city with no overall ethnic majority.  

“Researchers in Leicester were the first to publish findings on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from ethnic minority backgrounds compared to white populations and led an urgent public health study into its impact on healthcare workers. 

“Leicester is home to the Centre for Ethnic Health Research and works with researchers in low- and middle-income countries to share knowledge and expertise to find solutions to some of the biggest health issues globally.” 

The Conference is expected to attract over 400 delegates from across the UK’s experimental medicine infrastructure, including senior researchers, scientists, research leaders, managers, nurses, allied health professionals, laboratory staff, technical and support staff. Collectively, they are responsible for delivering thousands of experimental medicine studies across the UK. 

The Conference includes national and international speakers from across the UK’s Clinical Research Facilities, and this year will include new scientific developments in: 

  • Maximising inclusion in clinical research 
  • Early phase research in acute platforms 
  • Rare disease studies  
  • Collaborative working with Biomedical Research Centres and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres

To stay up to date with developments, including exhibitor and sponsor packages, calls for abstracts, and ticket sales, visit the UK CRF Network’s website: Conference - UKCRF (ukcrfnetwork.co.uk). 

The NIHR Leicester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is part of the NIHR and hosted by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, in partnership with the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.  

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has a 5-year research and innovation strategy which has a cross-cutting theme of reducing health inequalities. 


For more information, contact Joanna Jones, science communications manager, NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and Leicester Clinical Research Facility, on joanna.x.jones@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.