Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit appoints Clinical Deputy Director

Tom Hellyer has been appointed as Clinical Deputy Director for the Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU). Tom will be working with directors to provide clinical and strategic leadership for the unit.

NCTU supports the design and development of high-quality clinical trials and clinical studies. These studies investigate the efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency of therapeutic, complex and service-level interventions.

Based in critical care in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Tom is Clinical Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant in critical care medicine. He graduated from Newcastle University in 2006, and undertook his clinical training in critical care medicine in the North East. Professor John Simpson supervised Tom’s PhD, evaluating a novel diagnostic test for pneumonia in critically ill patients.


Tom furthered his postdoctoral research as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer, before being appointed as Senior Clinical Fellow and honorary consultant through the Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP) in 2022 and more recently appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer.


“I am delighted to be appointed as Clinical Deputy Director of Newcastle Clinical Trial Unit I am passionate about the design and delivery of clinical trials. I recognise the pivotal importance that a NCTU plays in translating research and innovation from academic, healthcare, and other partners to achieve societal benefits.”


Throughout his career, Tom has conducted focused research on optimising antibiotic use in critically ill patents. His research particularly uses clinical trials to find practical solutions that can be adapted in clinical practice. Tom leads a trial called the SHORTER trial, which is a large pragmatic trial to see if antibiotic course length can be safely shortened in critically ill patients with sepsis.


“The clinical trials landscape is facing calls for innovation to design the trials of the future. NCTU is well placed to respond to this challenge with a wealth of clinical trials expertise in NCTU and the Biostatistics Research Group. I am excited to be part of this opportunity for development and to provide greater clinical-academic representation as part of the senior leadership team.”


As Clinical Deputy Director, Tom will be working closely with Directors, the Senior Team and clinical collaborators to develop and implement strategic direction for the Clinical Trials Unit.


For further information on the SHORTER trial, visit: 

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