Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit

Staff Profile

Rebecca Maier

Deputy Lead for Clinical Trials & Engagement


I have expertise and a track record in the design and delivery of multi-centre, peer-reviewed nationally funded, internationally important, randomised controlled trials. My current portfolio includes two of the world’s largest trials in minimally invasive cardiac surgery. I regularly collaborate with statisticians, health economists and clinicians; my work has been critical to the growth of clinical trials led by Clinical Investigators from across the North East.

My research determines the evidence base for effective and innovative treatments and interventions with a focus on cardiac surgery, cardio-oncology, and oncology, aiming to improve outcomes and care of patients in the NHS and internationally.

I was previously co-Director of Durham Clinical Trials Unit (DCTU), Durham University, providing strategic and academic leadership of the multi-disciplinary team. DCTU merged with Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU) in August 2017, and I am now part of the NCTU senior leadership team.

I am also a specialist advisor in clinical trials to the NIHR Research Design Service – North East (RDSNE). The RDS provides free-of-charge help to investigators preparing research proposals for submission to national peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.


Research Interests:

Randomised Controlled Trials

Surgical Trials

Cardiac Surgery



Current Clinical Trials as co-Investigator:


Spyridopolous I, Maier R, Hancock HC, Kasim A, Austin D

Telomerase ACTivator to reverse Immunoscenescence in Coronary Artery Disease (TACTIC)

Funder: T.A.Sciences         

Value: 815k


Austin D, Hancock HC, Maier R, Kasim A, Graham J, Stewart M, Wardley A, Verrill M, Plummer C

Preventing cardiac damage in patients treated for breast cancer: a phase 3 Randomised, Open label, blinded endpoint, superiority trial of enalapril to prevent Anthracycline-induced CardioToxicity (PROACT)

Funder: NIHR RfPB            

Value: £349k


Akowuah E, Hancock H, Maier R, Kasim A, Zacharias J, Deshpande R, Birdi I, Vale L, Livesey S, Stewart M, Murphy G.

Minimally invasive thoracoscopically-guided right minithoracotomy versus conventional sternotomy for mitral valve repair: a multicentre randomised controlled trial (UK Mini Mitral)

Funder: NIHR HTA             

Value: £1.515m


Akowuah E, Hancock HC, Maier R, Kasim A, Goodwin A, Owens WAO, Murphy G, Mason JM

Manubrium-limited ministernotomy versus conventional sternotomy for aortic valve replacement: A randomised controlled trial (MAVRIC).

Funder: NIHR RfPB            

Value: £337k


Undergraduate Teaching:

CMB2000 : Essential Biomedical Research Skills (ethics strand)