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Manchester CTU

Collaborating with you to ensure successful clinical research.

In an increasingly complex environment for the development and delivery of clinical trials, the Manchester Clinical Trials Unit (Manchester CTU) is here to provide the expertise you require.

Our expertise

We aim to collaborate and conduct high-quality clinical research that leads to individual and societal benefit.

Our team of 55 staff have expertise in the design, management, analysis and delivery of multi-centre trials. These studies influence positive developments in clinical practice.

Manchester CTU (formerly MAHSC-CTU) is registered by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) and receives funding from NIHR, CRUK, The University of Manchester and Health Innovation Manchester.

We are currently managing a portfolio of 39 trials, totalling £18m of grant funding.

What is a CTU?

Clinical trials units (CTU) are specialised biomedical research units which design, centrally coordinate and analyse clinical trials and other studies.



Working with us

From an early stage, our collaboration with you is an essential part of an application for funding and completing a trial.

We will work with you to develop your application and trial design, and can provide information on:

  • study design;
  • statistics;
  • protocol development;
  • trial management;
  • data management with our Electronic Data Capture Database;
  • quality assurance.

When to contact us

We recommend that you contact us at the earliest stage of your study design to start discussions. This should also be at least 12 weeks in advance of your grant submission deadline

This allows us to provide advice, liaise with the study sponsor, and develop an accurate costing of our work.

Our process

Our trial adoption process is set out in a flowchart for ease of reference.

Requesting support

If you have any initial enquiries regarding a collaboration with us, please email our Director, Professor Kevin O’Brien.

If you wish to request Manchester CTU support, please complete our request form and submit to

After funding is secured

Once funded, we will manage the different aspects of your trial, including data management and analysis, monitoring and publications.

We are successfully funded by:

  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Industry
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Our team

Manchester CTU is led by a board of directors which develops and delivers our activity with senior CTU staff.

Kevin O’Brien, Director

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O’Brien was appointed Professor of Orthodontics in the Division of Dentistry at The University of Manchester in 1996. He has previously held posts in the USA and was Dean of Manchester Dental School from 2004-2007 and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences from 2007-2010.

He was Chair of the General Dental Council from 2011-2013 and appointed to the role of Director of the Manchester CTU in September 2016.

His main research interests are clinical trials of the care of children with severe dentofacial problems.

email: kevin.o’

View research profile


Juan Valle, Clinical Director

Juan Valle

Juan is Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Honorary Professor of Medical Oncology at The University of Manchester.

Within The Christie’s gastrointestinal disease group, Juan treats cancers of the pancreas, liver and biliary tract, neuroendocrine tumours and colorectal cancer.

He is the lead clinician of The Christie’s Neuroendocrine Tumour Service, awarded European Centre of Excellence status in March 2011.


View research profile


Rachel Elliott, Deputy Director

Rachel Elliot

Rachel is a UK registered pharmacist and Professor of Health Economics at the Manchester Centre for Health Economics. She has extensive experience in applied health economics and economic evaluation.

Current key research themes are medicines policy, prescribing and consumption, mental health, either as overall project lead, or health economics theme lead. She is a member of a NICE Technology Appraisals committee.

Rachel ensures that health economics expertise is integrated into our strategy.


View research profile


Chris Sutton, Deputy Director (Methodology)

Chris Sutton

Chris moved to The University of Manchester in March 2018 to lead the development of the statistical functions of the Clinical Trials Unit as it moved into the University.

He holds the roles of Deputy Director (Methodology) and Lead Statistician for Manchester CTU, as well as Senior Lecturer in Clinical Trial Statistics. Chris previously held posts of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer and Reader at Leicester Polytechnic (1987-1988) and the University of Central Lancashire (1998-2018).

He has an interest in improving health through improving trials. He collaborates widely with clinicians on complex intervention trials in various disciplines, with specific interest in the topics of stroke, musculoskeletal and mental health. He also collaborates with statisticians and methodologists interested in improving how trials are designed and implemented.


View research profile


Philip Barley, Associate Director

Philip Barley

Philip is an experienced senior operations director having held a number of management positions within both the pharmaceutical industry and NHS.

Over a period of nearly forty years, Philip has developed a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of regulatory affairs and clinical trials management within the biologics, pharmaceutical and medical device industry (US and Europe).



David Ryder, Senior Statistician

David Ryder

David has over 25 years’ experience as a medical statistician at The Christie, collaborating with scientists and clinical investigators, primarily in cancer.

He has been a co-applicant on several successful grant applications including two currently recruiting CRUK-funded phase III trials.

David ensures that biostatistics expertise is integrated into our strategy.



Rosalyn Chandler, Operations and Business Manager

Rosalyn Chandler

Rosalyn is a clinical research professional with over 20 years’ experience. She has broad global knowledge, through all phases of trial development, gained in the pharmaceutical industry, contract research organisations and academic institutions.

Rosayln joined Manchester CTU in her current role in November 2017.



Ian Emerson, Operations and Governance Manager

Ian Emerson

Ian has over 6 years’ experience working in the Manchester Clinical Trials Unit as Operations and Governance Manager, Clinical Trial Project Manager and Lead Clinical Trial Project Manager.

He has over 18 years’ experience of working in academic-led research, in partnership with NHS institutions, major research funding bodies, and research networks. Ian has also held several senior roles at The Christie and, prior to that, was employed in data management.




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Contact us

Please contact us at the earliest stage of your study design to start discussions. This should also be at least 12 weeks in advance of your grant submission deadline.

Please contact:
Barbara McKay
Manchester CTU Administrator
tel: +44 (0) 161 306 7041


Manchester CTU registration with UKCRC is currently under review while a new database is implemented.

NIHR logo

Manchester CTU also receives support from the National Institute for Health Research.

This NIHR funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials.