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Researchers and teams celebrate winning ENT UK Foundation and NIHR awards

Published: 14 November 2022

NIHR and the ENT UK Foundation have recognised the achievements of Ear Nose Throat researchers at the ENT UK Awards.

The awards, hosted in York,celebrate healthcare professionals who have made outstanding contributions to NIHR portfolio research.

Chief Investigator category: Vinidh Paleri

Vinidh Paleri received the Chief Investigator (CI) award, acknowledging CIs who have excellently designed, conducted and published NIHR portfolio studies and built research capacity.

Mr Paleri is a Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and is the director of the International Centre for Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer.

His work has had an incredible impact on those with Head and Neck cancers (HNCs).

Mr Paleri led a remote evaluation service, covering a population of 26 million, which assessed suspected HNCs. This led to a study seeking to redesign the referral process for those with HNCs. His EVEREST-HN PGfAR study looks to speed up HNC diagnoses, improve the patient experience and make best use of healthcare resources.

He said: “It is an honour and privilege to receive an ENT UK Foundation and NIHR CRN award in the Chief Investigator category. I am merely the front end of a talented and collaborative team. This award is for the team!”

Early Career Researcher category: John Hardman

Dr John Hardman clinched this award, recognising significant contributions of newcomers to research in the recruitment of NIHR portfolio studies.

Dr Hardman is an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Specialty Registrar at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. His research has also been important in the reassessing of how HNCs are diagnosed.

He is a clinical research fellow on the MOSES study, which looks to robotic surgery to increase detection rate of unknown primary HNCs.

He led on the study’s design and set up 20 UK sites. His efforts have enabled a high number of participants to take part in the MOSES study and oversaw the recruitment of 62 patients across the UK and seven at his local site.

He said: “Receiving this inaugural ENT UK Foundation / NIHR early career researcher award is a real honour. I am privileged to have worked in teams delivering multicentre projects for many years and have seen the benefits collaborative working can bring first hand. I look forward to engaging with patients and researchers to deliver practice changing studies for years to come”

Research Team Category: Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals clinical research team

The ENT clinical research team, at the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals (RNENT&EDH) University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have been instrumental to a range of NIHR portfolio studies.

The team worked on the CovidTrach study that informed how COVID-19 tracheostomies, an opening created at the front of the neck so a tube can be inserted into the windpipe helping patients to breathe, should be carried out.

The research team provided data management support for over 1,600 patients on the Covid Trach study.

Fei Long, Clinical Research Manager said: "I am really honoured to accept this award. Our hard work and significant contribution to high-quality research delivery promotes the research culture within the NHS; inspires new researchers and will ultimately bring benefits to future patients and the wider community"

Recognising outstanding research

Professor Nirmal Kumar, Chair, ENT UK Foundation said: “As the philanthropic and fundraising arm of ENT UK, the ENT UK Foundation has a mission to invest in the specialty, engage with patients, partners and other stakeholders, and facilitate global innovation. The Foundation is pleased to partner with NIHR for the celebration of high quality clinical research in the specialty”

Mr Jameel Muzaffar, National Specialty Lead for Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, NIHR CRN: “The NIHR CRN ENT is delighted to partner with ENT-UK to recognise and celebrate research within our specialty. We were really pleased to receive so many high quality applications. We look forward to continuing the awards in the future“

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