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DPhil/PhD Supervision

Supervisor for Helen Ashdown’s NIHR Clinical Research Training Fellowship (University of Oxford). Predicting inhaled steroid responsiveness using near-patient testing: Personalizing long-term management of COPD in primary care.  

Supervisor for Haroon Ahmed NIHR Clinical Research Training Fellowship (Cardiff University). Improving Outcomes for Older People with Urinary Tract Infection in Primary Care.  

Supervisor Oliver van Hecke, (University of Oxford). Over-using antibiotics in the community: what might this mean for you and your family?

Co-supervisor for Elftheria Vasileiou, (Edinburgh University). Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Asthma.

Chris Butler


Professor of Primary Care

  • NIHR Senior Investigator
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Professorial Fellow, Trinity College
  • Director, Primary care and Vaccines Clinical Trials Unit
  • Director, NIHR Community Healthcare MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

Chris Butler is Professor of Primary Care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Professorial Fellow at Trinity College, and is the Clinical Director of the University of Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit. Chris  is also the Director of the NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Cooperative for innovative diagnostic and monitoring technology to enhance Community Healthcare.  

He is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator, and practices as a salaried GP in Mountain Ash in South Wales for the Cwm Taf University Health Board.

Chris trained in Medicine at the University of Cape Town, did doctoral work at the University of Wales College of Medicine, and studied Clinical Epidemiology at The University of Toronto.  He has led or helped lead 16 randomised clinical trials, 13 qualitative studies, 10 prospective cohort studies, 6 systematic reviews and four large data studies.  He has helped win >£140M in research and research infrastructure funding, and has >250 publications. He has supervised 12 out of 12 doctoral students to successful completion and currently has 4 doctoral students.

His main research interests are in common infections (especially the appropriate use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance), and health behaviour change (especially adaptations of motivational interviewing in health care). His roles include:


Chief or Co-Chief investigator for the following current trials:

1.         Oral STeroids for Resolution of otitis media with effusion in CHildren: The OSTRICH Study. NIHR HTA.  Achieved recruitment target of >380 in April 2016. In analysis.

2.         Point of Care Testing for Urinary Tract Infection in Primary Care (POETIC) study which is part of the Resistance in Gram-Negative Organisms: Studying Intervention Strategies (R-GNOSIS) consortium. EU FP6. This four-country observational study (795 participants) and RCT (654 participants) recruited to target is in analysis.

3.         General Practitioner (GP) use of a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Point of Care Test (POCT) to help target antibiotic prescribing to patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) who are most likely to benefit (The PACE Study). NIHR HTA. This study has recruited to target (>650 patients with acute exacerbations of COPD from > 70 GP practices), and the study is being analysed.

4.         Antivirals for influenza Like Illness? An rCt of Clinical and Cost effectiveness in primary CarE (ALIC4E), which is part of the Platform foR European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) consortium. EU FP7.  This study has just completed its first (pilot) winter recruitment in 2016 and randomised >1700 patients with influenza like illness in 16 EU countries. >1700 already randomised. Recruitment continues for one more winter.

5.         Probiotics to Reduce Infections iN Care homE reSidentS (PRINCESS). MRC  Efficacy and Mechanisms Evaluation Board. Open to recruitment.

6.        A phase II study to determine the safety and efficacy of candidate INfluenza Vaccine MVA-NP+M1 in combination with licensed InaCTivated inflUenza vaccine in adultS aged 65 years and above - INVICTUS. Funded by Vaccitech. Open to recruitment. 


Co-investigator on these current studies:

1.         The effectiveness and acceptability of urine collection devices to reduce contaminated urine samples in women presenting with symptoms of urinary tract infection. A three arm trial in UK primary care (CONDUCT). NIHR RfPB.  (CI Haywood)

2.        Improving the uptake and SusTainability of Effective interventions to promote Prudent antibiotic Use in Primary care (STEP-UP). ESRC (Cross Council Initiative) (CI Walker)

3.         A Multi-Centre Randomised Controlled Trial of Admission Avoidance Hospital at Home with Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. NIHR SDO. (CI Shepherd)

4.         Strengthening South Africa's health system through integrating treatment for mental illness into chronic disease care (Project MIND). Wellcome Trust-DIFFID. (CI Myers)

5.         At-Risk Registers Integrated into primary care to Stop Asthma crises in the UK (ARRISA-UK): A pragmatic cluster randomised trial with nested economic and process evaluations examining the effects of integrating at-risk asthma registers into primary care with internet-based training and support. HTA. (CI Wilson)

6.         Antibiotics for Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Children presenting in Primary Care. NIHR HTA. (CI Little)

7.         Antibiotic Reduction and Conservation in Hospitals (ARK-Hospital). NIHR RfPB  Program Grant. (CI Peto)

8.        Penicillin allergy status and its effect on antimicrobial prescribing, patient outcomes, and antimicrobial resistance. Short title: ALABAMA: Allergy AntiBiotics And Microbial resistance. NIHR Program Grant for Applied Research. (CI Sandoe)

9.        D-mannose to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI): a double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial. NIHR SPCR (CI Hayward).

10.      REspiratory Syncytial virus Consortium in EUrope (RESCEU). IMI 2 JU Funding


CI of platform grant

NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Cooperative for innovative diagnostic and monitoring technology to enhance Community Healthcare  (from January 2018)


Co-Investigator on the following current platform grants:

1.         Centre for the Improvement of Population Health through E-health Research (CIPHER) platform; Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research

 2.        Asthma UK Centre for Applied Asthma Research

3.         NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on Health Care Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance


Selected additional and recent roles:

1.         Medical Research Council Efficacy and Mechanisms Board member (2011 – Oct 2016)

2.         Longitude Prize Jury (2015-2020)

3.         Clinical Professor, Michael G. De Groote School of Medicine, McMaster University (2003-2018)

4.         Member, joint Academy of Medical Science/Wellcome Trust Steering Group on the Treatment of Epidemic Influenza (2014-2015)

5.         Trial Steering Committee Chair of AnTIC study, and Independent Data Mentoring Committee Chair, COBALT and GTOG trials (on going).

6.         Examined 18 doctoral degrees

7.         Editor in Chief, Antibiotics (2012-on going)