The first official celebration of Clinical Research Day, which falls on 20 May, was held at the Medical University of Gdańsk on 18 May 2023 in the Prof Zdzislaw Kieturakis Auditorium at the Centre for Invasive Medicine. The day aims to celebrate the first randomised clinical trial conducted in 1747 by James Linda on sailors suffering from scurvy. TheClinical Research Support Centre of the MUG joined in the celebrations by organising a conference aimed at all those interested in the topic of clinical research, both students and experienced researchers.
The event was attended by, among others, Prof. Michał Markuszewski – Vice-Rector for Science, Prof. Piotr Widłak – Head of the Clinical Research Support Centre at GUMed, Ewa Schmidt – Head of the Non-commercial Clinical Research Department at the MUG. Also present were: Jakub Kraszewski – UCC Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Habil. Tomasz Stefaniak – UCC Director’s Plenipotentiary for CWBK. There was no shortage of principal investigators and research teams carrying out ABM-funded projects, MCWBK staff from the MUG and the UCC, as well as students, Ph.D. students, and others interested in the topic of clinical research.
Prof. Piotr Widłak
The assembled guests and staff were welcomed by Professor Piotr Widłak.
– There are various answers to the question of what clinical research is. For us, for researchers, clinical trials are a source of information for what we call Evidence-based medicine (EBM) – began Prof. Widłak. – For economic operators, i.e. businesses, clinical trials, as an important part of medical technology, are a huge economic sector, exceptionally innovative, exceptionally fast-growing, a source of huge profits.
Professor Widłak encouraged participants to take an active part in the event and invited them to take part in the discussion after each lecture.
Prof. Michał Markuszewski
As Professor Michał Markuszewski emphasised in his speech, the event deserves to be cyclical.
– The cyclical nature of the event is most in line with the development strategy of the University, whose clinical research is the foundation for the development of disciplines such as medical sciences. We are an adjectival university, a medical university, and therefore our research in the area of health sciences, medical sciences or pharmaceutical sciences is a priority, the development of which we will take care of – explained Prof. Markuszewski. – I am a pharmacist by training. At the beginning of my work, I was assigned to a unit that carried out clinical research together with the Department of Cardiology as early as 1996; this was bioequivalence research. In other words, not the kind of research you are usually interested in, but clinical trials that end, or not, with the introduction of a genetic drug onto the market. In these studies, I had the opportunity to meet the current Rector of our University, Professor Marcin Gruchała, who also took part, as I did, as one of the contractors from the Department of Cardiology. I particularly appreciated this research for showing how to move from basic research to the utilitarian phase. To verifiability, to the possibility of introducing certain solutions into everyday life. That is why I have a special respect for those of you who devote your energy and strength to developing clinical research.
The Medical University of Gdańsk is the beneficiary of many competitions of the Medical Research Agency for non-commercial clinical research. Currently, the University is the leader of 15 research and development projects funded by the ABM. The total value of the funding is more than PLN 191 million.
During the event, the University’s experts presented their lectures. Professor Jacek Jassem from the Chair and Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the MUG introduced the topic of evidence-based medicine. In his presentation, he tried to focus on the shadows and shines of the issue. In the next part of the event, specialists from the Clinical Research Support Centre: Marta Bednarek, Ph.D. and Damian Świeczkowski, Ph.D. discussed the topic of clinical trials in practice. In the final part of the event, dr. Łukasz Jędrzejewski, Ph.D. from the Department of Prevention and Didactics at the MUG and Agnieszka Pliszka from the Chair and Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy presented perspectives on the implementation of clinical trials from the level of the centre implementing the project and the patients participating in them.
A lively discussion on the further development of clinical research ensued during the lecture. The organisers announced further editions of the event, which attracted great interest.
More information about the research conducted at the University can be found on the website of the Clinical Research Support Centre of the MUG. The researchers conducting them talk about one of them in the video below.
photo: Paweł Sudara/MUG