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Dr Cheney Drew

Dr Cheney Drew

Research Fellow - Senior Trial Manager for Mind, Brain Neuroscience trials

School of Medicine

+44 (0)29 2068 7243
Neuadd Meirionnydd
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a research fellow and senior trials manager for the Mind, Brain Neuroscience study portfolio at the Centre for Trials Research in Cardiff University. I have a background in pharmacological research, with particular reference to neurodegenerative diseases, having completed my PhD in Huntington’s disease.

Since transitioning to clinical research, I have been involved in the development and delivery of trials aimed at evaluating interventions (non-pharmacological and novel advanced therapies) in people with Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders including Tuberous Sclerosis and epilepsy.

I am member of the European Huntington’s Disease Network advanced therapies working group, aimed at devising the most efficient and robust methods for evaluating novel, non-traditional, treatments for this rare disorder.

Given the complex and experimental nature of advanced therapies, I am particularly interested in how participants are approached, informed and provide consent to involvement in these trials. This includes listening to the participant voice as a central tenet of trial design.


Current Role:    Research Fellow/ Senior Trial Manager for Mind, Brain and Neuroscience Trials, Centre For Trials Research,        

                          Cardiff University

2015 – 2017        Research Associate/ Trials Manger. Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University.

2010 -2015          Wales Epilepsy Research Network Manager. College of Medicine, Swansea University.

2007- 2010           Post-doctoral research associate. Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology,University of Bath.

2012-2015  MSc In Epilepsy.  Kings College, London

2003-2007  PhD in Pharmacology. University of Cambridge (Behavioural characterisation of Complexin1 knockout mice)

1999-2003  BSc Pharmacology with study in industry. University of Bristol.









My main research interests include investigating advanced therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular focus on the impact of participants taking part in these studies and how we might improve experiences for them. I am also interested in epielpsy and how we can developnew therapies, not necessarily new medicines, to improve quality of life and outcomes for people with epilepsy.

I am invovled in the follwoing studies and trials:

DOMINO-HD (Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets for Improving ProgNOsis in Huntington's Disease): This JPND funded consortium is investigating how lifestly and genetic factors may be influencing the progression of Huntington's disease (HD). As part of this we are also looking at how digital technologies (such as activity trackers) can be used to support people with HD and HD research. We hope to use the data collected in this study to develop a lifestyle intervention for people with HD aimed at improving quality of life for people with HD.

TRIDENT (Trial designs for delivery of novel therapies for neurodegeneration.) The TRIDENT trial focuses on the safety and tolerabilty of foetal cell transplants in people with Huntingtons disease. This involves taking foetal cells (not affected by the genetic mutation that is responsible for HD) and transplanting them into the specific area of the brain where cells are lsot as part of the disease. We will then be following up these participants closely to see if the transplant is safe and if the cells remain alive and integrate into the part of the brain where they are transplanted.

LEARN (Listening to the experience of participants in neurosurgical trials). This is a qualitative study where we will be interviewing people (and their family members/ carers) who have taken part in a trial for a neurological disorder which required brain surgery for the treatment to be administered. Initially the intereviews  will be focussed on aprticpants form the GDNF trial for Parkison's disease, but their is scopr to extend this to other trials of advanced therapies in Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders.

PACE-HD (Physical activity and exercise outcomes in Huntington’s disease). In this international trial we looked at the feasibility of a 12 month physical activity intervention in people with Huntington's disease as a nested RCT in a larger observational study of people with HD across Europe and the USA.

FLAME (Fluoxetine, Learning and Memory in Epilpesy) The FLAME study is a feasibility trial investigating the use of the common anti-depressant drug, fluoxetine (more commonly known as Prozac), for treating the learning and memory problems found in people with a particular type of epilepsy called temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). TLE affects a specific regrion of the brain that is involved in spatial learning and the formation of memory. Fluoxetine can improve learning and memory in mice with TLE and it is hoped that this can be replicated in humans.

TRON :The TRON study was designed to look at treating the neurocognive problems (learning and thinking) in people with a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC) where tumours (mostly benign) grow in different parts of the body. The trial looked at treating people with a drug called Everolimus which stops the tumours from growing and then measured their performance in certain thinking and learning tasks.


I am interested in supervising students on projects involving neurodegenerative conditions and trial methodology

Past projects

Co-Supervisor (50%) for Abbie Gerard (MSc Clinical research) ; A study to assess whether Electronic Data Capture (EDC) can improve data quality in clinical research compared to Paper Data Capture (PDC)

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