King’s haematology registrar wins national research award

Dr Jennifer Vidler claimed the joint NIHR Clinical Research Network and Royal College of Physicians' award

Dr Jennifer Vidler

Dr Jennifer Vidler, haematology registrar at King’s College Hospital, has won the joint NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) and Royal College of Physicians' Award for outstanding contribution to research, becoming the only trainee doctor in London to do so.

Dr Vidler was redeployed to the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) during the first and second waves of COVID-19 and played an important role in recruiting patients to the RECOVERY trial, which resulted in the licencing of low-cost dexamethasone for use for people with severe COVID-19. In March 2021, it was estimated that it had already saved 22,000 lives in the UK and 1 million lives globally.

Dr Vidler said: “During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, I was redeployed from my job as a haematology registrar to work in respiratory outreach and the high dependency unit. Here I became actively involved with the clinical trials team in recruiting patient to the RECOVERY trial from April 2020.

“Before I started to work with the trials team there was no middle grade doctor to oversee the day-to-day running and recruiting to the trials. With the huge increase in COVID-19 trials in a short space of time there were a lot of new protocols to be reviewed and recruitment pathways to be identified. I helped to lead the team through these changes.”

Dr Vidler was also instrumental in recruiting haematology patients to the SOAP study, which looks at the immune response of cancer patients to the COVID vaccines. She contacted outpatients, many of whom who were not on active treatment and were not attending hospital regularly. Without Dr Vidler’s direct contact, these patients would not have had the opportunity to participate in COVID-19 vaccine-related studies.

The mother of two has since returned to King’s College Hospital, and resumed her role as a part-time haematology registrar.