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Leicester Real World Evidence Unit

Leicester Real World Evidence Unit, headed up by Professor Kamlesh Khunti, works with clinical, academic and industrial investigators to design and deliver high quality real world evidence studies. We are an academic unit, funded by University of Leicester, with additional matched funding from other academic departments and bodies, including the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands (CLAHRC-EM). We are located within the grounds of the University of Leicester NHS Trust (Leicester General Hospital) and hosted by University of Leicester.


ERICAS (Evidence Review on Cardiometabolic Observational Studies) is funded through an unrestricted educational grant provided by AstraZeneca. The aim of ERICAS is to provide contemporary good quality real world evidence on cardiometabolic medicine from published biomedical literature.

The Team

Our team includes experts in database epidemiology, prognostic modelling, decision modelling, evidence synthesis and systematic reviews as well as clinical experts.

Key members of our team include:

  • Dr Francesco Zaccardi, Clinical Epidemiologist and Assistant Director
  • Dr Clare Gillies, Lecturer in Medical Statistics
  • Freya Tyrer, Research Fellow in Epidemiology
  • Dr Claire Lawson, Clinical Epidemiologist
  • Dr Suping Ling, Statistician/Epidemiologist
  • Briana Coles, Statistician/Epidemiologist
  • Joanne Miksza, Statistician/Epidemiologist
  • Dr Muna Adan, Pharmacoepidemiologist
  • Sophia Abner, Statistician/Epidemiologist
  • Dr Sam Seidu, Clinical GP Fellow
  • Humaira Hussein, PhD student

The ERICAS team work closely with University of Leicester Library Services, particularly Selina Lock, to help with the ERICAS search strategy and the selection of key articles.

Other members of our team include colleagues at the Diabetes Research Centre and the LRWE Steering Group: Professor Melanie Davies, Dr Tom Yates, Dr Alison Dunkley, Sue Enright, Dr Keith Abrams, Martin Williams, Professor Nilesh Samani, Dr Manish Pareek, Professor Christopher Brightling, Professor Tom Robinson, Professor Tony Brookes, Professor Karen Brown and Dr Eyad Issa.

ERICAS Process

We retrieve articles using an explicit search strategy developed in collaboration with University of Leicester Library Services.  We then read through the abstracts and exclude any that are not directly related to ERICAS. We search for large real-world observational studies and focus on outcomes related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mortality and kidney disease (Step 1). The ERICAS statisticians/epidemiologists assess the quality of the retrieved articles using our own bespoke quality assessment tool (Assessment of Real World Observation Studies [ArRoWS]). Only those articles that receive a moderate-to-good rating for producing real-world evidence are sent on to our ERICAS Faculty Members for a clinical review (Step 2). We classify journal articles into category and disease area (Step 3). Our ERICAS faculty members rate the articles for their relevance, innovativeness and clinical applicability (Step 4). The articles and clinical reviews are published on our website. You can also subscribe to an alert system to receive information on articles as they published.

ERICAS Faculty Members

Our Faculty Members play a key role in reviewing papers that have passed the quality assessment stage, from  a clinical perspective. If you would like to become an ERICAS Faculty Member, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email lrwe@le.ac.uk with your name, job role and organisation, explaining briefly why you would like to become a Faculty Member.

  • Dr Harpreet Bajaj, Clinical Endocrinologist and Epidemiologist, Mount Sinai Hospital, Canada
  • Dr Amitava Banerjee, Senior Clinical Lecturer, University College London, UK
  • Dr Srikanth Bellary, Senior Lecturer, Aston University, UK
  • Ngoni Chigwana, Diabetes Educator, Zimbabwe Diabetes Association, Zimbabwe
  • Lina Rae Farhat, Dietititian and Awareness Program Coordinator, National Diabetes Organisation, Lebanon
  • Professor Fadlo Fraige Filho, Associação Nacional de Atenção ao Diabetes, Brazil
  • Professor Wasim Hanif, Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Professor Khalida Ismail, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Kings College London, UK
  • Dr Naresh Kanumili, Clinical Champion - Diabetes UK, UK
  • Dr Vimal Karani, Assistant Professor in Nutrigenetics, University of Reading
  • Professor Sudhesh Kumar, Clinical Endocrinologist, Warwick Medical School, UK
  • Professor Ramaz Kurashvili, Director of Georgian Diabetes Center, Georgia
  • Dr Claire Lawson, Wellcome Post Doc Clinical Fellow, University of Leicester, UK
  • Dr Didac Mauricio, Director of the Department of Endocrinology (also affliliated with the DAP-Cat group), Barcelona, Spain
  • Professor Donal O’Donoghue, Consultant Renal Physician, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Professor Vinod Patel, Consultant Physical in Endocrinology and Diabetes, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, UK
  • Dr Sam Seidu, General Practitioner and Primary Care Research Fellow, University of Leicester, UK
  • Professor Nicola Thomas, Professor of Kidney Care, London Southbank University, UK
  • Fiona Willingham, Clinical Lead Renal Dietician, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Dr Kirsty Winkley, Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Lecturer, Kings College London, UK
  • Dr Francesco Zaccardi, Clinical Epidemiologist, University of Leicester, UK


"Thank you for starting this initiative. It helps us clinicians to make sense of the ever growing literature in relation to real-world evidence."

ERICAS Search Strategy

  1. Epidemiologic Studies/
  2. exp cohort studies/
  3. cross-sectional studies/
  4. case-control studies/
  5. (epidemiolog* adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  6. (cohort adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  7. (case-control adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  8. cross sectional.ab,ti
  9. cohort analy*.ab,ti
  10. (follow up adj (study or studies)).ab,ti
  11. longitudinal.ab,ti
  12. retrospective*.ab,ti
  13. prospective*.ab,ti
  14. (observ* adj3 (study or studies)).ab,ti
  15. 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14
  16. exp diabetes mellitus/
  17. exp kidney disease/
  18. exp cardiovascular disease/
  19. cardiometab*.ab,ti
  20. metabol*.ab,ti
  21. diab*.ab, ti
  22. kidney dis*.ab, ti
  23. cardiovasc*.ab, ti
  24. 16 or 17 or 18 or 19 or 20 or 21 or 22 or 23
  25. 15 and 24
  26. limit 25 to English language
  27. exp animals /not humans.sh
  28. 26 not 27
  29. limit 28 to review articles
  30. 28 not 29
  31. systematic review.ti
  32. (meta-analysis.ti OR "meta analysis").ti
  33. 31 or 32
  34. 30 not 33
  35. clinical trial/
  36. 34 not 35