Our Research Facilities

The Clinical Research Facility

The Quadram Institute

The Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in the Quadram Institute is home to a host of research initiatives to aid the development of new treatments and improve patient care.

The facility, run by NNUH, brings together researchers and scientists from the hospital, Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), University of East Anglia (UEA) and across the Norwich Research Park.

The CRF is home to a host of research studies into a range of health conditions, involving patients and volunteers.

Because of its close association with the NNUH Endoscopy Centre and links with QIB and UEA, the CRF is perfect for doing research into food and nutrition. The results of these trials will lead to new strategies and treatments for improving health and preventing related disease.

The  CRF is the hospital’s primary facility for all clinical trials that do not need to be located within the main building providing a mixture of outpatient clinical and laboratory space as well as a food-preparation area for diet-related studies.

Reception space

The CRF has a fully functioning and staffed reception area to manage and welcome patients and participants into the unit.

Clinical space

  • The CRF has six clinical rooms with clinical equipment and computers
  • Three screening rooms with computers
  • A multi-function clinic room with 5 bariatric phlebotomy couches
  • Two en-suite clinical rooms with bariatric hospital beds
  • Short-term use of document, sample and food storage, subject to availability.

DXA Scanner

The CRF houses a dual-energy X-ray facility (DXA) that provides measurements for research involving body composition (fat and fat-free mass) and bone mineral (content and density) either in the whole body, or specific parts of the body (limbs, trunk etc.). For further information about the scanner please contact Felicia Rowe on 01603 647322 or felicia.rowe@nnuh.nhs.uk

Laboratory

There is a dedicated CRF laboratory for immediate sample processing. There are also fridges and freezers for short-term storage prior to sample transfer to researchers’ own laboratories or the Norwich Biorepository with which the CRF maintains a close liaison. The laboratory is equipped with ultracold -80C freezer, four bench top centrifuges, sample fridge, sample -20c freezer, microfuge, vortex, and two sets of pipetmen kits. The laboratory will also be stocked with basic laboratory supplies.

Catering/Kitchen facilities

The CRF has a general kitchen for the preparation of meals and refreshments for study participants and patients, with a serving hatch opening directly into the participants’ lounge/dining room and also a research kitchen equipped to commercial standards for batch preparation of food products and standardised test meals.

Research food storage facilities

The CRF has access to an on-site -40°C walk-in food storage freezer, along with several domestic food fridges and freezers located within the CRF.

Participants’ Lounge and Diner

The lounge and diner will be available for the provision of study test meals, breakfasts for fasted study participants and general refreshments for participants and patients accompanying guests.

Norwich Research Park Biorepository

The roots of the Norwich Research Park (NRP) Biorepository date back to 1999, when the “Norwich Tissue Bank” was first established. Professor Richard Ball, then Director of Pathology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and a group of individuals interested in cancer research and treatment from the NNUH, University of East Anglia (UEA) and the James Paget University Hospital set up the tissue bank to support biomedical research, as “The Partners in Cancer Research Human Tissue Bank.”

Setting up and running the tissue bank was made possible through a grant from Big C, Norfolk’s Cancer Charity. The bank collected samples of tumour tissues donated by patients who had given their informed consent before undergoing surgery at the partner NHS trusts. The initial focus was on breast, prostate and bladder cancer tissue, reflecting the interests of the research groups at UEA at the time.

Over time, the scope widened to include other tissues as other research groups became partners, including those from across the Norwich Research Park in the Norwich Medical School at UEA, and the Quadram Institute. The tissue bank also provided material for organisations beyond the local area, including companies. Its work was overseen by a committee that scrutinised applications for tissue, ensuring that they have full scientific and ethical validity.

In 2016, and now known as the Norwich Research Park Biorepository, the facility moved into a purpose-built space with state-of-the-art freezer and retrieval systems in the Bob Champion Research and Education (BCRE) building, with capital funding awarded through the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

For more information please visit www.biorepository.org.uk

Contact Details

Telephone: 01603 647322