The Clinical Research Podcast

The podcast about research

Our podcast series gets to the heart of clinical research through the views of world-leading researchers, scientists and academics involved in answering the big questions about our health.

From experimental medicine through to understanding common illnesses like asthma and arthritis, we discuss the latest research, what it means for our health and what scientific discoveries are next. We also take you behind the scenes of clinical research to meet some of the people - and heroes - who make research happen.

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How do you explain your research? Interview with Rory Cellan Jones

However good research is, if it stays in the lab or on a hard drive somewhere, isn't going to help anyone and of course the reality is that researchers do literally get points for how many people see their publications. But how do you do that? How do break out of the world of peer reviewed journals and 

This episode is an interview with Rory Cellan Jones who was the BBC's tech editor so he's been explaining complicated stories to mainstream audiences - by which I mean non-technical audience =s - for forty years. Now he's freelance, publishing a weekly newsletter and tweeting about tech, and particularly health tech. He's also been diagnosed with Parkinson's so unsurprisingly he has a particular interest in its treatment.

I met him recently at a conference organised by Health Data Research UK and sat down with him to pick his brains about the care and feeding of journalists - how researchers can get journalists' attention, how to explain complicated, nuanced ideas to journalists, and whether being a patient has given him a new perspective.

Rory's Twitter is @ruskin147. He's the author of a book about social media use, 'Always On’ and his newsletter is at


How do we detect Breast Cancer earlier? - Dr Elisabetta Giannotti

One in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and like most cancers, the sooner it can be detected, the better the patient's prospects. That's why there's a national screening programme for women over fifty. which has been successful at cutting the mortality rate.

But it's a one size fits all solution at a time where medicine is getting more personalised. Some breast tissue is denser than others, and the denser it is, the more likely it is to develop a cancer, and the more aggressive that cancer is likely to be. So anything that can help differentiate fom person to person what's going on, early on, will improve how effectively we can treat cancer.  

Being able to use dye to help imaging is one of those ways, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust was one of the first hospitals to be able to to carry out contrast mammograms using dye. That expertise has meant we're part of the BRAID trial  the acronym in this case stands for Breast Screening – Risk Adaptive Imaging for Density and means we can offer it at early stage in the process. 

Dr Elisabetta Giannotti, a consultant breast radiologist, is leading the trial at Nottingham.

More information on the the BRAID study website: 

This Podcast is brought to you by the Research & Innovation team at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Follow us on @ResearchNUH and @NottmBRC, or email R&

If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast where-ever you get your podcasts, and like/review us on Apple Podcasts especially. It's For Science.

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How do you ask research questions that numbers won't answer? - Professor Jane Coad

If your child was seriously ill enough that they had to take their nutrients through a tube into their stomach, you might assume as a parent, you'd follow everything medics told you to the letter. But a few years ago, doctors and nurses began to realise that rather than the prescribed commercial 'feed', a lot of those parents were giving their child real food - blended up. Researchers started to ask what the effect of this would be.  But for Professor Jane Coad, who's now head of Nottingham's Centre for Children and Young People's Health Research, there was a deeper question to ask. You can Prof Coad on Twitter at @CoadProfessor.

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