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Leicester’s Hospitals celebrate best of research


Research staff at Leicester’s Hospitals were celebrating their success over the past two years at their first ever Research and Innovation Awards ceremony on Wednesday 18 January 2023.

Sponsored by TriNetX, the awards celebrated inspiring achievements by individuals and teams from the Trust - together with their University of Leicester clinical research colleagues who work in the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre – who dedicate themselves to finding better treatments and care pathways for patients. 

Professor Melanie Davies, Director of the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, opened the evening. She said: “We want Leicester to be the best place to do research in the NHS. In many ways, it already is. Tonight we celebrate you – our research and innovation workforce – and all the incredible things you have achieved. As a judge, we were overwhelmed by the standard of entries from such an excellent calibre of nominees.”

Richard Mitchell, Chief Executive of Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Research is a vital part of what we do at Leicester’s Hospitals because evidence shows patients who are treated in research active hospitals recover faster and have fewer complications. 

“Our track record in research has been rewarded with over £30million investment from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) for a Biomedical Research Centre and a Clinical Research Facility. I am so proud of all the winners and finalists who go above and beyond to help develop the latest diagnostics, treatments and care pathways for patients, now and in the future.”

A special Research Directors’ Award was given to Professor Anne Thomas, professor of cancer therapeutics and consultant in medical oncology. It recognised Professor Thomas’ tireless dedication to patients with cancer and to her life’s work to bring hope to many people’s lives, as well as developing the next generation of clinical researchers. 

On receiving the award, Professor Thomas said: “Firstly, this is about patients, and I am totally in awe of their selflessness when they take part in research. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I would also like to thank all the staff who have supported cancer research in Leicester. It is truly a team effort. Over the past 25 years, we have made so much progress and I am confident that the future for cancer research in Leicester will be even brighter.



Outstanding achievement by an individual

Winner: Professor Manish Pareek – for developing and leading research into the impact of COVID-19 on the health of people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and for mentoring a team of trainees to be able to continue Leicester’s incredible research into infectious diseases.

Research Team of the Year

Winner: Hope Cancer Trials Centre set-up and delivery team – for successfully overseeing the expansion of their facility to double its size, while maintaining outstanding levels of patient care, all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Putting Patients First

Winner: Virtual AF Ward team – for developing and implementing the UK’s first virtual atrial fibrillation ward to support patient recovery at home through the innovative use of digital technology.

Newcomer of the Year

Winner: Dr Zaki Arshad – for a remarkable contribution to research in orthopaedic surgery “well beyond what is expected of a doctor at his career stage”.

Unsung Hero

Winner: Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff – for promoting research for allied health professionals (including physiotherapists, dietitians and operating department practitioners) and supporting public involvement in Long COVID research.

Anthony Gershlick Memorial Award for research and innovation impact on healthcare

Winner: Dr Bhavik Modi – for setting up an innovative pathway to support patients who have had a heart attack return to the comfort of their home with continued hospital support.

Research Directors’ Award

Winner: Professor Anne Thomas – lifetime achievement award for dedication to clinical cancer research.



Rachael Dowling, head of research communications, researchcomm@uhl-tr.nhs.uk