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Our Staff

Professor Jesse Dawson
Clinical Reader and Honorary Consultant / Research Champion - Stroke

Clinical Reader specialising in clinical stroke research and Honorary Consultant in the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Research portfolio includes complex clinical trials in stroke survivors and large multi-centre trials. Main interest lies in long-term outcome after stroke. Holds a BHF/Stroke Association programme grant, HTA NIHR funding and NIH funding. Member of a Whitehall Research Ethics Committee, the editorial board of Stroke and grant review panels for the Stroke Association. Regularly reviews grants and reports for major funders including the NIHR. and has forged substantial international collaborations. A medical outcomes manager for 2 pivotal phase III NIH funded studies, an EU FP-7 funded study and other international trials. Trials are among the fastest recruiting studies in the UK Clinical Research Network (Stroke).

Claire McFarlane,
Manager, NRS Stroke Research Network

Claire has over 25 years nursing experience in patient care and clinical research (academic and commercial research).

In 2000 Claire joined the Clinical Trials Unit (Glasgow Royal Infirmary) as a Clinical Events Monitor for the PROSPER Study, a five-year international commercial trial studying the use of a statin in older adults. 

In 2002 - 2004, Claire enrolled in a post-graduate course – Certificate in Clinical Research at Liverpool John Moores University/Institute of Clinical Research (ICR), graduating in 2004. She has been involved in the design, set-up and management of clinical trials in various projects.  Claire has also worked as a freelance Clinical Research Associate for TowerMains Ltd CRO (UK Project Office) and also within Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS.

In 2006, Claire took up the role of setting up the Stroke Research Network alongside Professor Peter Langhorne.  She is part of a small coordinating centre based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and her remit covers the whole of Scotland. The SRN compromises 20 CSO SRN funded research nurses covering 24 sites (acute stroke units) across Scotland. As Manager she is responsible for operationally managing the SRN research portfolio which includes national and international clinical trials.

Karen McBurnie
Network Senior Research Administrator, NRS Stroke Research Network

Karen joined the NHS in August 2001 as a Research Nursing Assistant in the Clinical Investigation & Research Unit (CIRU), Western Infirmary, Glasgow which was headed up by Professor Gordon McInnes.  The CIRU was a purpose-built research facility designed to support commercial and academic research studies, mainly concerning hypertension, cardiovascular and diabetes.   Karen’s role within the CIRU was to provide nursing, laboratory and administrative support to the research team.  

In June 2008 Karen joined the Stroke Research Network as Research Administrator.  During the first year of employment within SRN Karen gained a diploma in Business, Administration & IT at her local college.   Karen administrates and manages the SRN portfolio of studies and provides administrative support to the network manager, executive committee and research nurses.

From 2010 – 2014 Karen was seconded to work part-time for Professor Peter Langhorne as the UK coordinator for the INTERSTROKE research study – an international case-control study investigating ‘The Importance of Conventional and emerging Risk factors for Stroke in Different regions of the World and in Different Ethnic Groups’.

Bridget Colam
Network Coordinator, NRS Stroke Research Network (South East of Scotland)

Bridget began working in medical research at the University of Edinburgh in 1999. She enrolled in the University’s postgraduate Epidemiology course and graduated in 2001. After graduating, she became part of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) as Trial Coordinator for the GALA trial: (General Anaesthetic v Local Anaesthetic for Carotid Endarterectomy) an international multi-centre randomised trial in 24 countries with 3,526 patients; a nine-year trial published in 2008.

Since 2008, Bridget has worked with the Stroke Research Network as the Network Coordinator for the South East of Scotland. Her remit covers the South East hospitals in Lothian, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Forth Valley and Tayside Health Boards.

In 2012, Bridget became part of the team working on the European Commission FP7 Trial, EuroHYP-1: European multicentre, randomised, phase III clinical trial of therapeutic hypothermia plus best medical treatment versus best medical treatment alone for acute ischaemic stroke. Her role includes trial management for 16 countries.

In 2015, Bridget added to her international stroke trial management experience the role of UK Trial Manager for the European Commission Horizon 2020 project, PRECIOUS: PREvention of Complications to Improve OUtcome in elderly patients with acute Stroke. A randomised, open, phase III, clinical trial with blinded outcome assessment.


NRS Stroke Research Network
4th Floor Walton Annexe
Glasgow Royal Infirmary
G4 0SF
Tel 0141 414 6596