Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility
Edinburgh CRF logo

About Us

Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility provides state of the art facilities to support multidisciplinary clinical research locally, nationally and internationally.

The University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian logos

A joint venture between University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, Edinburgh CRF was one of only five facilities in the UK to receive Wellcome Trust Millennium funding.  Our Scientific Cores and Specialist support teams have many years’ experience in supporting high quality, high impact research. 

History

In 1997 the Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with the English and Scottish Executive Health departments, launched an initiative to strengthen clinical research in the UK by funding the construction costs of five new Wellcome Trust clinical research facilities.

The aim was to provide purpose-built environments for patient-oriented research that were specifically designed to encourage collaborations between basic and clinically trained scientists.

As a result of a joint bid submitted by University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, Edinburgh was the only Scottish site to receive funding and became the first CRF in Scotland.

Purpose-built facility

Edinburgh CRF operates on all the clinical sites in Edinburgh. The original Wellcome Trust award funded a purpose-built facility (WTCRF) on the Western General Hospital site. This was quickly followed by the opening of a facility embedded in the new Royal Infirmary at Little France (RIECRF).

Our paediatric facility (Children’s CRF) is currently housed in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes, and will be moving to purpose built and expanded accommodation in the new Sick Children’s Hospital at Little France.

MHRA Phase I Accreditation and Quality Assurance

In July 2011, we became the first academic non-commercial clinical research facility in the UK to receive accreditation under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Phase I Scheme. Our tried and tested Quality Assurance system ensures that your study will be conducted in line with current governance and regulatory requirements.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Phase I Scheme

Our Directors

David Newby

David Newby | CRF Director

David initially used the facility as a Principal Investigator, undertaking numerous experimental medicine studies funded principally by the British Heart Foundation. He became co-director of the facility shortly after the turn of the millennium. He has overseen numerous developments and in particular initiated the facility’s application for accreditation under the MHRA Phase I Scheme.

He also led the development of advanced imaging for experimental medicine applications and established the Clinical Research Imaging Centre which he co-directs with Professor Edwin van Beek.

Clinical Research Imaging Centre

I am keen to help investigators across all disciplines to achieve excellence in clinical research, and particularly to rise to the challenges demanded by cutting-edge experimental medicine studies.

David Newby
Peter Hayes

Peter Hayes | CRF Director

Peter has been part of Edinburgh CRF management since it opened and has shared director duties with David for many years. Part of his remit is to facilitate the smooth running of the facility and promote its use by the many researchers in Edinburgh.

He also chairs the Phase I committee which oversees the increasing portfolio of Phase I activity running in Edinburgh CRF.

As a very experienced clinical researcher I fully understand the importance of the team approach to well-run research as well as the importance of encouraging motivated individuals. Setting priorities for the unit as it gets busier is important.

Peter Hayes
Steve Cunningham

Steve Cunningham | Children’s CRF Director and CRF Associate Director

Steve joined the CRF management team in 2016 having helped develop the portfolio of studies at the Children’s CRF, including those leading to MHRA Phase I accreditation for children – the first standalone Phase I children’s CRF in the UK. Steve leads national and international trials in children’s respiratory research.

Embedding research in clinical practice is vital – and the CRF facilities in Edinburgh help make that happen, not just for our large international projects, but as pilot studies to build clinical trials for the future.

Steve Cunningham
Steve McSwiggan

Steve McSwiggan | CRF Deputy Director

Steve has responsibility for the direct delivery of Edinburgh CRFs across its three hospital sites. Steve has many years’ experience working in a variety of clinical research roles, including acting as Principal Investigator on multi-centre studies, helping design clinical trials, completing regulatory submissions as a Senior Trials Manager and leading a commercial research team in a busy NHS R&D office.

The Edinburgh CRFs exist to support researchers in delivering quality-assured clinical research that will drive improvements in future health care. I am keen to discuss how we can support your research ideas and facilitate delivery of your planned activity within our first class facilities. If you have any queries on how we may help you please just get in touch.

Steve McSwiggan