Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Clinical Trials Unit

Finding the treatments of the future - International Clinical Trials Day 2022

Maggie Fay
Maggie Fay

Maggie Fay – trial participant and public contributor

“In 2008 I was diagnosed and treated for oesophageal cancer. My recovery was a long process. During this time, I had been fitted with bio-degradable stents and because of this experience I was approached by the medical team to be a public contributor in a clinical trial for stent effectiveness in oesophageal cancer.

“I willingly agreed and since then have assisted in public contributor roles for many other trials because I believe without research treatments would not progress and survival rates would not increase. Research and clinical trials are necessary to strive for the best and most effective treatments possible.

“There’s so much I enjoy about the role, from meeting interesting people and becoming part of a team whose aim is to improve care and treatment which is relevant to the public. Having a voice heard for the future of public health. There are many roles and activities in which one can be involved.

“I would encourage anyone to give it a try. Research needs the public input and voice to ensure it is valid. There is so much support from the team if you are interested, and everyone’s opinion is valued. You are the public and your opinion is what is needed.

“I’m really proud that I have had the opportunity to assist as a public member in so many areas of research and clinical trials which are continually improving healthcare for us all.”

Maggie is a public contributor on several clinical trials at the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, and also part of the Wessex Public Involvement Network (Wessex PIN)


Ali Richards
Ali Richards

Ali Richards – trial participant and fundraiser

“I'm really proud to have been involved in a trial of a new treatment and hope my participation will help to make a difference. My sincere hope is that through research we can help stop this horrible disease for most, if not all people with cancer.”

“My experience of being part of a trial was great. Everything was clearly explained to me, and I was really cared for throughout by the excellent medical and nursing teams.”

“I would be so happy to know that I have played a small role in developing a treatment to help fight cancer.”

Ali was recently given the all-clear after first being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016 and taking part in the HARE-40 trial of a therapeutic cancer vaccine. Read more on Ali’s story on our news pages.

I believe without research treatments would not progress and survival rates would not increase. Research and clinical trials are necessary to strive for the best and most effective treatments possible.

Professor Mark Cragg
Professor Mark Cragg

Professor Mark Cragg – Chair of Experimental Cancer Biology, Centre for Cancer Immunology (CCI)

“The Centre for Cancer Immunology was born through our need to better understand how cancer and the immune system interact in people’s bodies. We now know that if we can really engage the immune system, we can find much better therapies for patients that can actually cause long-term remissions and, in some cases, cures. But also, it allows us to perhaps develop therapeutics which have less toxic side effects as we often know we see with things like chemotherapy.

“I think it‘s really critical that we have the Centre for Cancer Immunology which includes basic lab scientist like myself, and also clinical trials. We can sit down and discuss a new idea with clinical scientists and the team at the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit. They help us to design effective trials that will actually give us the answers to whether the basic science we’re doing could be translated into effective new treatments for patients.”

Find out more about Mark's work and all the research at the Centre for Cancer Immunology on the CCI website.

Anna Song
Anna Song

Anna Song – Senior Trial Manager, SCTU

“Trial management is quite a broad term, just because there are so many different departments that take part in the trial management. But as a senior trial manager or trial manager, the main role on a day-to-day basis is ensuring that the project runs smoothly.

“It’s making sure there’s a way forward in treatments for any disease you are researching, and the focus will always be patient safety, no matter what you do.“

Anna is the Senior Trial Manager for the Agile Coronavirus Drug Testing Platform.


Sam Wilding – Senior Medical Statistician, SCTU

“Being in the statistics team is really exciting because we get to see the results of a trial before anyone else. We do the analysis completely separately to the trial team, because their influence could potentially bias the result.

“My favourite part of working in stats is that I have very limited medical or biological knowledge, so it’s really interesting working with a range of clinicians on a range of different clinical problems and just learning how much we understand about our bodies, health and disease. But also, the reason we do clinical trials is because there’s still so much information we don’t know.

“There have been some studies that have come through the CTU where the intervention or medication seemed like it worked, and that’s a really positive result because then they’ve been rolled out into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.”

Sam is a Senior Medical Statistician working on the CANDID trial and the iDx Lung study which looks at how we can improve the early diagnosis of lung cancer.


Take a virtual tour of the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit's office, meet some of our staff and even take a look around the CCI laboratories!

SCTU virtual tour


Privacy Settings