Last month we said a fond farewell to Alison McDonald who retired at the end of 2020.
Alison joined the Health Services Research Unit in 1993 as Project Administrator for the NEST Trial. She gained her MSc in Health Services and Public Health Research in 1999 and subsequently taught on that very same MSc course for many years.
Alison has been the Senior Trial Manager in the Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials (CHaRT) since it was established in 2004 and was a key staff member working towards the successful accreditation of the clinical trials unit with the UKCRC, which opened up many opportunities for collaboration and funding.
Alison was (and still is) very active in the UK Trial Managers Network, in a leadership capacity. The Network exists to promote good practice and raise standards of trial managers working on publicly funded trials. Alison was senior author on a commentary from the Network executive on dealing with clinical research during the pandemic.
Alison is also an active member of the Society of Clinical Trials, in 2009 she joined the Programme Committee and in 2011 joined the Membership Committee. Her role was to promote diversity in the SCT program and attendees. In 2014 she was elected a Fellow of the Society. Alison received that award in Philadelphia and several of us were lucky enough to be there to celebrate her achievement with her.
Alison has authorship on over 60 papers and has overseen the management of about 50 clinical trials, during which time we’ve recruited more than 47,000 trial participants.
Alison is a much loved and respected member of staff who will be missed by everyone at HSRU and we wish her a very happy retirement.