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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

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
Blue glowing connections in space with particles, big data, computer generated abstract background

Our team

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

Rachel Elliott, Co-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, and was appointed as Co-Director to the MCTU in April 2019.

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


Guy Makin, Co-Director

Guy is a Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology in the Division of Cancer Sciences and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. His research interests are mainly now in improving access to new agents for children with cancer, and improving the use of existing agents.

He is the national lead for the NIHR/CRUK funded paediatric network experimental cancer medicine centre (ECMC); national chief investigator for the SIOPEN phase II VERITAS trial of intensified treatment for refractory neuroblastoma; and has active research collaborations in real time therapeutic drug monitoring (with Gareth Veal in Newcastle), and the national SM-PAEDS programme (identification of targetable molecular abnormalities at relapse in childhood cancer).

He is a member of the NCRI Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia (CCL) new agents and neuroblastoma groups; director of the MRes in Oncology at the University; training programme director for paediatrics ST4-8 for Greater Manchester and Lancashire; Chair of the Neuroblastoma UK scientific advisory board 2017 and 2019; and member of the research advisory committee for Action for AT.


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


Chris Sutton, Director of Methodology (Statistics)

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 Director of Methodology (Statistics) 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, Director of Strategy and Governance

Philip Barley

Philip is an experienced senior operations and governance 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).



Rosalyn Chandler, Director of Operations

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.

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



Cliona Kirwan, Surgical Trials Director

Cliona KirwanCliona is a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon at the Nightingale Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and a clinician scientist in surgical oncology at The University of Manchester. She also holds the Royal College of Surgeons of England & University of Manchester Professorship in Surgical Trials. In her translational research, Cliona leads a team investigating the symbiotic relationship between cancer and the clotting system. She runs clinical and laboratory based studies, and supervises PhD, MD and MRes students.

As a surgical trialist and a Director of Manchester Clinical Trials Unit and of the North West Surgical Trials Centre, she is helping to develop the surgical trials portfolio across the North West. In addition, she is Chief Investigator for the TIP trial, and surgical lead for LORIS (surgery vs surveillance for low risk DCIS) and PRIMETIME studies (biomarker directed avoidance of radiotherapy in breast cancer), a member of the NCRI Breast Cancer Studies Group and NCRI Screening, Prevention and Early Detection Group, the Sloane Project Steering Committee and is Chair of the Prevent Breast Cancer Scientific Advisory Board. She is also mentor to the Northwest Research Collaborative (a trainee-led collaborative) and the Northwest and Mersey Breast Trainees Research Collaborative.

View Cliona's research profile

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.



Ian Emerson, CTU Head of Business Development

Ian Emerson

Ian has over 6 years’ experience working in the Manchester Clinical Trials Unit as as CTU Business Support Manager, Operations and Governance 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.


Follow us

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Twitter: @manc_ctu

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


Manchester CTU is a registered UK CRC Clinical Trial Unit.

NIHR - funded by logo

Manchester CTU receives National Institute for Health Research CTU Support Funding.
This funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials.