Research Support Teams and Facilities

A small blue circle within larger red circle within even larger white circle

The Cambridge Clinical Vision Laboratory

The Cambridge Clinical Vision Laboratory is an innovative facility, established in the NIHR Cambridge CRF with support from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and the Cambridge Eye Trust. It has been developed to facilitate clinical research that helps to further our understanding of ocular and neurological disorders, including the effects they have on the function and structure of the eyes and brain, the impact they have on affected individuals, and how we can modify disease progression with new treatment modalities.

Techniques include:

  • Assessment of visual function: visual acuity, colour vision, contrast sensitivity, and visual field
  • Visual electrophysiology
  • Ocular motility including tests of vestibular-ocular function
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal flavoprotein fluorescence
  • Assessment and analysis of patient-reported outcomes
Patient sitting down completing an eye test overseen by a staff member

Sample Processing 

All our clinical units have dedicated sample processing facilities, including direct transportation via pneumatic tube to Cambridge University Hospitals clinical biochemistry department. We provide trained staff to process samples as required in research protocols.

Samples can be analysed by the local hospital pathology laboratories or sent to investigators’ central laboratories.

Staff member with a blood sample in a test tube

COVID-19 Testing 

We are able to provide a 90-minute validated COVID-19 test for participants requiring a negative test prior to trial interventions.

Nurse with ipad and tubes next to a samba machine

Soundproof Room

A soundproof room for audiometric and neurocognitive testing is located in the Maternal and Child Health Clinical Research Facility. 

A room with a small table with an audiology machine and two chairs

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)

For MRS scanning, we support and collaborate with a metabolic research scientist, based in the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre Annex, which is nearby on the campus.

Patient lying down preparing to enter the MRI scanner with staff member by her side

Research Tissue Banks and Volunteer Groups

We have established the Volunteers Advancing Medicine Panel (VAMP), a recallable panel of healthy volunteers aged 18 years and over, who have agreed to provide fresh biological samples such as blood, urine and saliva for researchers associated with the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The panel has been established to enable a quality-controlled supply of human biological samples to researchers undertaking basic science experiments.

If you would like to know more please contact our Research Tissue Bank lead, Dr Laura Watson.

The NIHR BioResource supports health research by recruiting and maintaining a resource of data and samples donated by over 200,000 volunteers. They can also recall those volunteers to participate in further research based on specific genetic data or health and lifestyle criteria as set by researchers. We work closely with the NIHR BioResource Centre Cambridge, and have delivered multiple Stage 1 and Stage 2 BioResource studies.

Volunteers Advancing Medicine Panel logo with pegs on a rope asking can you help?