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EASD - Robert Turner Clinical Research Training Course

19-23 June in Oxford, UK

Day 1

Our academic adventure of the post-pandemic Robert Turner Course began on Monday 19 June.

For some, arriving in the metropolis of academic knowledge on time proved as challenging as finding a cure for diabetes. Punctual attendees were rewarded with a captivating tour of Oxford's historic streets, while the others joined in due course. The day concluded with a dinner, facilitating the blossoming of new acquaintances and sharing our research interests.

Day 2

The classic British breakfast kick-started our Tuesday before Prof David Ray warmly welcomed us at the Robert Turner Lecture Hall at OCDEM. A succession of enlightening seminars followed, covering everything from crafting a compelling research question to a concise introduction to medical statistics.

The afternoon introduced us to "R" coding. This was initially overwhelming, but Toryn Poolman skilfully guided us through the process, ensuring nobody was left adrift in the sea of code. Very practical seminar on data manipulation by Prof Rustam Rea and Yue Ruan rounded off the day.

Day 3

Wednesday was a whirlwind of sessions on the critical evaluation of articles by Prof Amanda Adler and systematic reviews and meta analysis by Prof Apostolos Tsapas.

A lunchtime presentation by Dr Lumb shed light on the latest technological applications in diabetes research and practice. Prof Tsapas then gave a compelling presentation on the significance of evidence-based medicine in clinical practice.

The day concluded with an introduction to clinical research unit operations and experiment planning by Dr Anne Clark, Pam Dyson and the rest of the CRU team. We were divided into four teams, each tasked with designing experiments for the following day.

The evening was a delightful cultural exchange with tastes from our various homelands.

Day 4

Thursday dawned bright and early at the research unit of OCDEM. With a zealous spirit, we delved into the mysteries of exercise, ketone supplementation, glucose monitoring, and alcohol consumption.

The team, led by Anne Clark and David Dearlove, provided invaluable support during the process.

A seminar on presentation skills proved immediately useful as we presented our experimental results and proceeded to work on our datasets.

Day 5

By Friday, we were finalising our data analysis, preparing presentations, and crafting abstracts. Prof Ray delivered an inspirational talk on fellowships and crafting applications. This was followed by the presentation of our groundbreaking results, leading up to the final session of feedback and farewells.


Reflecting on the abundant learnings from this course, a standout highlight - beyond the broad array of research-related topics - was undoubtedly the camaraderie formed with other passionate early-career researchers. The exchange of experiences from diverse research environments added a rich tapestry to our shared understanding.

Furthermore, the privilege of engaging in candid conversations with distinguished scientists during programme breaks was an unexpected boon. Gleaning insights and garnering career advice from these accomplished scholars added an immeasurable depth to our experience, enhancing the educational journey beyond the confines of the lecture hall.

Sincere thanks go to the entire team for their stellar guidance throughout this unforgettable week.

Special gratitude to Mary Hata, who proved a comforting maternal figure during the course. Prof Ray's infectious scientific enthusiasm and Dr Poolman's skilful guidance through the turbulent waters of “R “coding deserve special mentions.

We would also like to thank our course sponsors, Lilly Diabetes and EASD, for their generous funding.


Nino Berekashvili, Umberto Capece, Alfredo Caturano, Rui Gao, Nithya Kadiyala, Katerina Koudelkova, Katharina Maruszczak, Renald Mecani, Jonathan Mertens, Mina Milovancevic, Ana Petakov, Lakshmi Rengarajan, Lukas Seebauer, Konstantinos Toulis, Gabriele Traviglia, Ekaterine Tsakazde, Peter van Dijk.