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Birmingham Children’s Hospital doctor to put West Midlands on the map for world-class research in new role

Press release   •   Oct 15, 2012 12:11 BST

A paediatrician from Birmingham Children’s Hospital has taken on the prestigious role of leading the development of healthcare research in Birmingham and the Black Country.

Dr Jeremy Kirk, from Edgbaston, has been appointed as Director of the Birmingham and Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) - the only paediatrician in the country to hold the role as CLRN Director. He has great ambitions and is ‘committed to putting Birmingham on the map’ for research globally.

The CLRN is one of the largest in the UK and one of 25 across England that form the National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) Comprehensive Clinical Research Network (CCRN). The CCRN provides support for clinical trials and other studies in all areas of disease and clinical need so that patients can benefit from new and better treatments, and we can learn how to improve NHS healthcare for the future.

The Prime Minister recently announced his commitment to increasing research in the UK and more than £1 billion a year for the NIHR to enable the UK to remain a world leader in research.

The Birmingham and Black Country CLRN, which covers a large area with a population of around three million, looks set to benefit from over £10 million funding, which is accessible to hospitals, universities and primary care trusts.

Dr Kirk, Director of the Birmingham and Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network, said:

“It’s my job is to stimulate research in all areas of healthcare, and the experience I have from Birmingham Children’s Hospital will be invaluable, as even though we are a small hospital, we have run many clinical trials over the years, and have tripled patient recruitment in the last year alone.

“This is an exciting time for research in the UK. There are huge opportunities for the health sector in Birmingham, the Black Country and wider West Midlands to be involved in world-class research and I relish the opportunity to help secure projects and trials that will benefit not only children and young people, but anyone who needs to use NHS services in the future too.”

Professor Stephen Smye, National Director of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Network, part of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: "Jeremy is an exceptional clinical leader and we are delighted that he has been appointed to this important role, which aims to ensure that more patients than ever before have the opportunity to participate in high quality clinical research studies."

Jeremy replaces Rob Stockley, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Birmingham.


Note to editors

  •  Interviews and a photograph of Dr Kirk is available on request.
  •  Birmingham Children’s Hospital benefited from £1.4m in 2011-12 from the CLRN for research nurses, consultant time and administrative infrastructure.

 One of the latest trials at BCH is in partnership with McLaren Electronics, which uses the same telemetrics technology used to monitor the performance of their Formula 1 race cars, to monitor young patients. For the full story click here:

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a comprehensive service to children, young people and their families.

We are one of the leading paediatric teaching centres in the country, with international research and development in areas such as:

Our facilities include:


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