VIDEO: Sheffield showcase of valuable clinical research

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What do fake arms, key hole surgery and zebra fish all have in common?

They may sound unrelated, but all three were on display as part of a showcase in honour of International Clinical Trials Day.

Beth Wood takes blood from a patient with Branwen Ellison-Handley, experimental medicine research sister, at University of Sheffield Medical School for international clinical trials day. Picture: Andrew Roe

Beth Wood takes blood from a patient with Branwen Ellison-Handley, experimental medicine research sister, at University of Sheffield Medical School for international clinical trials day. Picture: Andrew Roe

From taking ‘blood’ from a false arm to watching zebra fish under a microscope, visitors to the University of Sheffield’s Medical School got a taste of what researchers do in the city.

The event was celebrated at medical venues across the city and included a variety of talks, discussions, displays and tours.

Alison Mortimer, lead nurse in research and development for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “I have worked in research since 2004 and have seen so many positive benefits for patients, not just in terms of physical improvements but in the support they receive.

“It’s another opportunity for them to think about their treatment choices and have access to new therapies.

“It’s the patients at the heart of it all and we want to get the best results possible out of their treatments.”

Showcase guests were able to see how zebra fish are used by scientists at the university to test the effect of certain drugs - as humans and zebra fish are remarkably similar in terms of their genetic make-up.

They could also have a go at ‘keyhole’ surgery to thread a bootlace through a series of coloured hoops, and hear about all sorts of research breakthroughs including future ways to tackle such diseases as coronary heart disease.