The NI Clinical Research Network (NICRN) undertakes Renal research throughout Northern Ireland. The NICRN is part of a UK-wide initiative to provide opportunities for patients and clinicians to participate in high-quality clinical research. The Renal group undertakes kidney disease research throughout Northern Ireland.


The NICRN aims to:

  • Promote research in kidney disease within Northern Ireland
  • Attract clinical trials in kidney disease to Northern Ireland
  • Conduct clinical trials across Northern Ireland to the highest standards of quality and safety
  • Provide infrastructure to facilitate the start-up of new trials in kidney disease
  • Improve access for patients with kidney disease to new cutting-edge treatments


Areas of interest include the following:

  • Studies of kidney transplant outcomes and immunosuppressive therapy
  • Effectiveness of dialysis treatments and medications for dialysis patients
  • Novel therapies for progressive chronic kidney disease
  • Prevention and management of acute kidney injury
  • Genetic studies of kidney diseases

Dr Christopher Hill – BHSCT

Renal Clinical Lead

Dr Christopher Hill is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast.  After completing core medical training he entered nephrology training in 2009 and was appointed as a Consultant Nephrologist in 2014 working in the Regional Nephrology Unit, Belfast City Hospital.

During his higher medical training, he completed a MD research project investigating the epidemiology of diabetic kidney disease.  He has also published meta-analyses of studies in acute kidney injury and renal transplantation.

Dr Hill is also active in medical education.  He is an Honorary Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, supervises medical students and postgraduate doctors and has recently been appointed to oversee undergraduate education in renal medicine at Queen’s.

Dr Hill has been a co-lead and PI for the Clinical Research Network since 2019.

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Dr Neal Morgan – SHSCT

Renal Clinical Lead

Dr Neal Morgan is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast. After completing specialty nephrology training in 2007 he worked as a Consultant Nephrologist (Locum) in 2007-2008 at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, before being appointed as a Consultant Nephrologist to the Southern Trust in 2009.

During medical training he completed a PhD research project further characterising the role of a novel erythropoietin sensitive gene and attained the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Queens University of Belfast in July 2006. His published research work has extended to both renal and cardiology studies.

Dr Morgan co-established the Renal Network in 2012 with Professor Peter Maxwell. He represents Northern Ireland at the UK Renal Research Consortium and has been a local Principal Investigator on numerous national and international clinical trials.

Dr Morgan also has a longstanding interest in medical education. Accredited as Royal College of London Physician Educator in 2008, he is a Senior Honorary Lecturer in Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast and works closely with University colleagues to develop the Final Year Assistantship programme amongst other projects. He continues to make a significant contribution to the teaching of intravenous fluid therapy regionally and is actively involved in a range of simulation-based learning programmes to improve healthcare outcomes.

Dr Morgan has been a co-lead and PI for the Clinical Research Network since 2012.

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