A new Blizard Institute website will be launched in the coming months to encompass the reorganisation of the Institute.  …

Explore a cell

Explore a cell

Centre of the Cell gets you up close and personal with the building blocks of the body.

Postgraduate taught courses at the Blizard Institute

Postgraduate taught courses at the Blizard Institute

Expert-led programmes informed by the latest research, taught in-house and through Distance Learning.

Research Degrees at the Blizard Institute

Research Degrees at the Blizard Institute

Full and part-time University of London MPhil, PhD and MD (Res) degrees in a superb working environment.

Blizard Institute, as part of QMUL, ranked in the UK’s top 10 for research quality

Blizard Institute, as part of QMUL, ranked in the UK’s top 10 for research quality

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published 18th December 2014, confirm Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)’s place…

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Campaign for real evidence-based medicine launches

A campaign to put patient care at the centre of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is launched by Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Public Health expert at Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, at the BioMed Central’s Health Services Research conference at Kings’ College London.

The ‘Campaign for real EBM’, a collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, aims to combat some the unintended consequences of the EBM movement, whilst acknowledging its achievements so far.

The evidence-based medicine movement began more than 20 years ago. Its aim has been to ensure the treatments used in clinical practice are justified through evidence – especially evidence derived from clinical trials (in which patients are randomly allocated to one treatment or another) used in combination with practical clinical knowledge and awareness of the needs of patients. The evidence-based approach replaced the traditional practice of relying on accumulated clinical experience and reasoning from basic science discoveries in a laboratory.

Clinical trials and other types of research aim to provide evidence; showing whether a particular treatment works, how well it works compared to other treatments, and what the risks of the treatment may be. Different organisations collate the results of clinical trials and other research to determine the evidence for various treatments and procedures.

Evidence-based medicine has seen success stories, such as NICE’s evidence-based guidelines on blood clots (venous thromboembolism) after surgery first launched in 2007. Following publication of the guidelines there was a steady uptake of the recommendations and a significant reduction in post-surgery complications.

However, the campaign highlights that EBM has also seen problems that should be of concern to clinicians, patient advocates and policymakers, amongst others.  These concerns include the misuse of the ‘evidence-based’ kitemark by those with conflicts of interest; the ever-increasing and unmanageable volumes of evidence; patients’ voices going unheard; and lack of suitable guidelines for the growing number of people with multiple conditions.

Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Health Care and Dean for Research Impact, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, comments: “We want the Campaign for Real EBM to be a grass-roots movement, not a programme of work led by academic professors. One of the main drivers for a more ‘personalised’ version of EBM is patients, who have – rightly – demanded to be treated as individuals by caring doctors and nurses, not tyrannised by protocols. We need to develop tools and techniques for supporting conversations with patients about the best and most appropriate treatments, taking into account their priorities and preferences.”

Jigisha Patel, Medical Editor at BioMed Central, says: “In the early days of evidence-based medicine I witnessed the focus of patient care shift from the individual patient’s concerns to a box-ticking, target-hitting exercise. Patients expect to be informed about and take part in decision making about their care. BioMed Central supports the principles of evidence-based medicine and the right of patients to have access to this evidence through the publication of open access journals such as Systematic Reviews and Trials. We welcome the long overdue Campaign for Real EBM that aims to put the focus of patient care right back onto the concerns and wishes of the patient.”

Professor Trish Greenhalgh continues: “Currently, when someone visits their GP or a hospital doctor, quite a bit of the encounter will typically be taken up by the doctor working through a structured computer template that directs the questions to be asked, the parts of the body to be examined and the recommended medication. In the future, we want to be in a situation where doctor and patient collaboratively set the agenda and share decision-making in a more emergent way, guided and supported by tools that both reflect best research evidence - how the average patient is likely to respond to the different treatment options - and also prompt discussion about what matters to this patient.”


Medical & Dental School Ranking 14/15 - Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the Top Ten


Three different University ranking systems have placed Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the top 10 institutes in the world and the UK.

The Leiden Ranking 2014, the Guardian University Guide 2015 and the Complete University Guide 2015 have all ranked the medical and dental school (part of Queen Mary University of London) in the top tier, using a variety of measurements, showing that medical research and teaching at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is absolutely world-class.


The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014 measures the scientific performance of 750 major universities worldwide. Using a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators, the ranking aims to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and of universities' involvement in scientific collaboration. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014 is based on Web of Science indexed publications from the period 2009–2012. The main outcomes of the ranking are summarized in a press release, and Barts and The London's impact ranking by two diffferent metrics are illustrated in the tables below.

University League table1

PP(top 10%) = Proportion of top 10% publications: Proportion of the publications of a university belonging to the top 10% of their field.

Table 2

MNCS = Mean Normalised Citation Score: Average number of citations of the publications of a university, normalised for field differences and publication year.

Filtered by Medical Sciences. Publication number (P) lower limit set at 500.

For teaching, the Complete University Guidewhich ranks UK universities in nine quality factors important to students, placed Barts and The London Medical School 4th (up from 7th last year) and Denistry 1st (up from 11th last year).


CUG Ranks


CUG Ranks Denistry

Similarly, The Guardian University Guide 2015 ranked Barts and The London 2nd in London (6th in the UK) for Medicine; for Dentistry, we were ranked 1st in London (2nd in the UK).

Guardian table

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Blizard Institute’s Professor Newland to become President of the International Society of Hematology


Congratulations to Professor Adrian Newland CBE from the Blizard Institute who has been elected as President of the International Society of Hematology (ISH). He will take up the post for a period of two years from September this year.

Professor Newland comments: “I am honoured to have been elected the next President of the ISH and to continue the work of the Society in developing educational opportunities for developing countries. I will be working with national societies and the three divisions of the Society – the Inter-American, Asian-Pacific and the European-African Divisions – to pursue these aims.”

Professor Newland was previously Chair of the Education and Training Committee and helped develop the Society’s journal 'Hematology', which is now available electronically to ISH members, and of which he is a senior editor. In addition to supporting local meetings of the Society, he will be holding its international meeting in Glasgow in 2016, showcasing developments in haematology and training opportunities.