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Award winning Principal Investigator at PRC: Leicester

Adrian Palfreeman

Dr Adrian Palfreeman, Principal Investigator at NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester, won the Outstanding Achievement by an Individual Award at the recent NIHR CRN East Midlands Research Awards 2021.

Dr Palfreeman was nominated for his work on the ENSEMBLE-2 COVID-19 vaccine trial. As Principal Investigator, he was responsible for leading the team delivering the trial in Leicester, and under his leadership almost 600 participants were recruited to the study.

He also led the local delivery of the Cov-Boost vaccine trial, which is exploring the effectiveness of different COVID-19 vaccines when given as a third ‘booster’ dose. Adrian was a co-author for the Lancet article about this trial.In addition to leading these two important vaccine trials, Dr Palfreeman continued to work on Intensive Care Unit wards to support patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, and was also praised for making himself available to speak to research participants at all stages during the trials.

Commenting after receiving the award, Dr Palfreeman said: “We managed to screen over 600 participants due to the staff here who all pulled together. The reception staff who organised all the people coming, all the admin staff who assisted all the volunteers to make sure they were eligible and gave them all appointments, and all the nursing staff and everybody else who helped deliver the vaccines.

“It was a real challenge as we had to do all that whilst social distancing in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic and all of that was fairly challenging.”

Gail Melvin, Research Business Manager for NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester, who nominated Adrian for this award, said: “I am delighted to see Adrian's extraordinary hard work acknowledged. He came to be Principal Investigator for a COVID vaccine study and liked it so much he stayed! He is now supporting our broad portfolio of studies.”