Staff, patients and the public heard more about the potentially life-saving research taking place at the Royal Free London at the recent research and development open day.

Highlights included how the Royal Free Hospital has been a leader in the use of gene therapy to improve the lives of people with inherited immune disorders and the potential of using fat and stem cells to treat diabetic wounds.

Over 12,000 patients across the trust are taking part in research studies every year. A key theme of the day was the benefit that clinical research has for participants and how best to engage them in studies.

Saira Bhatti shared her experience of being part of the Athena study and the positive impact it has had for her.  Saira has Alport syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes kidney disease. The Athena study is collecting data from patients like Saira to try and understand more about the disease.

The day was rounded off with a poster competition with participants invited to share their recent research highlights from the trust. The winner was Sara Hamilton with her poster ‘Royal Free patients benefit from practice changing cancer trials". The poster summarised the contribution made by the oncology research department to cutting edge, practice changing clinical trials over the last 5 years.

Farhan Naim, director of research and development, said: “The Research and Development open day was a great opportunity to hear directly from people across the trust who are participating in clinical research. These studies have the potential to make a huge difference for patients and are at the heart of our ambition for the Royal Free London to being a top NHS clinical research provider.”