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Doctoral Research Fellowship for research nurse Claire Nolan

In September 2014, Claire Nolan received the much-anticipated notification that she was now the beneficiary of a £250K NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship, notable not least because this award invites researchers from all different backgrounds, including medics. 

Claire, a specialist physiotherapist, is based at Harefield and works under the supervision of Dr William Man.  

The aims of this fellowship are to determine the reliability, validity and responsiveness of usual gait speed in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In particular, baseline gait speed at diagnosis and change in gait speed over time, will be prospectively assessed for its ability to predict all-cause mortality and all cause non-elective hospital admission in patients with IPF. This will be compared with other currently used surrogate markers, such as baseline and change in forced vital capacity (FVC), gas transfer (TLCO), 6MWT and features on high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning. 

Claire Nolan

Validating 4MGS as a feasible surrogate endpoint has the potential to change the future design of therapeutic trials in IPF, and provide further impetus to the NHS and industry to develop and test therapies for a highly vulnerable patient group. According to Dr Will Man, Claire’s supervisor: “Should 4MGS prove to be a valid surrogate endpoint in IPF, it will allow clinicians in the NHS to provide more information about prognosis to patients with IPF and their carers, who currently face a highly uncertain and unpredictable future.”

The team supporting Claire’s fellowship include Dr Will Man, Dr Toby Maher, Dr Matthew Maddocks (King's College London) and Professor Paul Cullinan

October 2014

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