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Parkinson’s expert wins award for involving patients in research

Dr Camille Carroll, Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Neurodegeneration

A South West researcher has been recognised for her work to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Camille Carroll, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)’s National Specialty Lead for Neurodegeneration, has been named winner of the Tom Isaacs Award by charity Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute.

The charity said Camille encapsulates the essence of the award, which was set up in memory of Cure Parkinson’s late co-founder and President to recognise a researcher who has shown significant impact on the lives of people living with Parkinson’s, and has involved people with Parkinson’s in their work.

Camille, who is also a Clinical Research Lead in the NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula, Associate Professor in Neurology at University of Plymouth and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s. Her work aims to ensure that the care provided to those living with the condition meets their needs, and empower people with Parkinson’s and their families to help shape both healthcare models and clinical research.

Helen Matthews, Deputy CEO, Cure Parkinson’s said: “Camille is a shining light in both Parkinson’s care and research. Camille truly recognises the importance of each individual’s experience of living with Parkinson’s. Her determination to ensure those affected by the condition are kept at the heart of research and healthcare decisions is inspirational, and a perfect example of the very ethos of this award. And simply, she is an outstandingly kind and caring member of the Parkinson’s community. Thank you, Camille, for all that you do.”

Camille actively encourages researchers, clinicians and people affected by Parkinson’s to work together. She was instrumental in the creation of the Peninsula Parkinson’s Research Interest Group (PenPRIG), an event and online resource which encourages people with Parkinson’s and their families to keep informed and get involved with research, and leads the Home Based Parkinson’s Care project, utilising user-friendly technology to allow more accurate monitoring of an individual’s symptoms.

She has led the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust to become one of the UK’s foremost research delivery sites for Parkinson’s studies, overseeing the development of a DNA bank and regional clinical research registers, while also developing and leading the award-winning Parkinson’s disease care service in Plymouth.

Patient collaboration also underpins the EJS-ACT PD initiative, which Camille leads alongside researchers from University College London (UCL), to improve clinical trial design for Parkinson’s. The pioneering project will create a multi-arm, multi-stage platform that has the potential to evaluate several new treatments at once, and speed up the clinical trial process for disease-modifying treatments.