Our story

The CTC was established in October 1988 to coordinate large multicentre clinical trials in Australia and to promote high quality clinical trials research. It was acknowledged that therapeutic advances are generally modest in size, and large trials were needed to provide convincing evidence. A unit grant was provided by the NHMRC to provide better health outcomes through research. 

In its first year, the CTC undertook eight large scale clinical trials recruiting over 2,000 patients together with 500 investigators from 90 centres in Australia and New Zealand. Staff numbers grew to 17 and included biostatisticians, computer systems experts, trial coordinators, and research fellows.

Over the decades, the CTC added new research and expertise in treatments and therapies for premature babies and various kinds of cancer, the economics around trials, translating research into clinical practice, reviewing existing trial evidence to make new findings, and in biostatistics. 


Flagship research centre at the University of Sydney

Today, the CTC is a flagship research centre within the University of Sydney's Faculty of Medicine and Health (FMH). We run studies to improve global health outcomes by bringing together world-leading experts in trials (design, methods, and conduct), biostatistics, patient-reported outcomes, health economics, translational research, research synthesis, and health technology assessment. Collaborative partnerships help us to ensure trial results best inform clinical practice.

We add value across the full spectrum of trials research – from identifying important gaps and research questions, and developing and conducting trials, to collecting and analysing data, reporting, and synthesising research results.

Our mission is to embed high quality research in healthcare practice. Since our beginning in 1988, we have run over 200 clinical trials involving more than 80,000 participants and 800 researchers around the world. Our studies have improved healthcare and outcomes in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neonatology, and perinatal health.

We collaborate with six national cancer bodies, and are home to the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia. We comprise over 260 academics, students, and professional staff working in the Medical Foundation Building and the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at the University of Sydney.