Research assistants Jade Harris and Laura Durrans

Research Assistants playing key role in Covid-19 studies

Research Assistants are playing a key role in our response to Covid-19, including recruiting patients and carrying out study procedures.

As with many others, the pandemic has meant changes to working routines and teams.

Recently Laura Durrans from North Manchester General Hospital and Jade Harris from Salford Royal successfully recruited to the MERMAIDS clinical trial. They have teamed up from different research domains (diabetes and neurology) to join the North Manchester Covid-19 clinical research team and have adapted well to the changes, learning new skills and taking on new tasks. For the study, they screened and consented the patient, as well as carrying out all study procedures – taking bloods, nasal and RNA swabs, centrifuging and pipetting serum, data collection and data entry.

Laura said: “I have thoroughly enjoy the experience of being able to work as part of a larger team, being able to recruit to new studies and complete all study procedures. I have learnt a lot from this experience and am proud that I have been able to develop my clinical skills further.”

Jade said: “Moving to a new hospital during the pandemic to work on Covid- 19 trials has been a challenge, however I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my new team and have been able develop my knowledge and skills on domains I otherwise wouldn’t be involved in.”

Laura and Jade, along with fellow Research Assistants Karen Connolly and Jacinta Guerin also lead on two other studies, including consenting and collecting samples for the NCA Research Collection.

They say being able to take responsibility for conducting studies is an exciting step in their personal and research career development. They have thoroughly enjoyed working together and have formed a support network for each other.