The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Top research accolade for Leeds children's cancer consultant

30 April 2015

Congratulations to paediatric cancer consultant Dr Bob Phillips, from Leeds Children's Hospital, who has been named the SPARKS Young Investigator of the Year for his tireless child and adolescent research work. 

Presented at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Annual Conference, the SPARKS award, which is funded by Sport Aiding Medical Research for Kids (SPARKS) recognises excellence in research and is offered once a year to an outstanding young medical research worker in British paediatrics. 

From social media delivered medical education to research into dietetics, neuropsychology and childhood cancer, Dr Philips' research has brought together clinicians and researchers from the UK and overseas. It has also provided clinicians as well as patients and their families, with information on which to make important healthcare decisions – this has ultimately improved the experience of healthcare for children and their families.

He said: “I was delighted and completely surprised to be given this award. It's great to see that the science of evidence synthesis, where we take the data from existing research studies and combine it, has been recognised by the College and supported by SPARKS. This sort of research maximises the value of clinical study data, not wasting any of the information which the families, children and research teams involved in these studies have worked so hard to produce."

As well as winning the accolade for his extensive clinical research, Dr Phillips was singled out for another piece of work which specifically looked at reducing hospital admissions for children with ‘febrile neutropenia’ - a potentially life-threatening condition developed during cancer treatment. He has recently been awarded an NIHR fellowship* to build on this important work.

Professor Lesley Stewart, Director of the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York, who nominated Dr Phillips, said: “The research that Dr Phillips undertakes has great potential to impact directly on clinical practice and patient experience. It also has high potential to positively shape the way that health services are configured – an achievement of great importance for child health not only in Yorkshire, but across the rest of the UK and beyond."