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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 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 mixed portfolio of trials.

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

Following a review of the role and function of the CTU we are not accepting new studies. We will continue to manage our current portfolio of studies to the high standards expected by our collaborators.

Details of CTUs which may be able to support the development of an application and trial design can be found on the UKCRC website.

We may still be able to provide limited support to help with the development of applications for internships and RfPB.

Requesting support

If you have any initial enquiries regarding a collaboration with us, please email

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.

Guy Makin, 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

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


Jane Pearson, CTU Operations and Business Manager


Jane is an experienced Operations and Business Manager, having held a number of positions in the NHS and academic institutions. Over a period of 30 years Jane has developed a comprehensive knowledge of clinical trial management and regulatory affairs.

Jane joined Manchester CTU in November 2021.

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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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.