• Biomedical Evidence Synthesis and Translation (BEST) to Practice Research Unit

The BEST unit sits within the School of Medicine. The team houses experts active in synthesising evidence in all areas of biomedical and health sciences research.

The BEST unit are key contributors to two international networks, Cochrane and Best Evidence Medical Education Collaboration.

Cochrane an international network of people helping healthcare providers, policy makers, patients, their advocates and carers, make well-informed decisions about health care by preparing and publishing systematic reviews in The Cochrane Library.

Within BEST, we house an editorial review group satellite centre for Cochrane Gut, working with colleagues in Mcmaster university. The mission of the Cochrane  Group is to perform systematic reviews of health care interventions directed at ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease with a secondary interest in other intestinal disorders including Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, microscopic colitis, collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation and diarrhoea.

In our UCLan BEST unit, we focus on a portfolio containing:

  • All IBD reviews in adults and children (except those pertaining to interventions based on manipulating the microbiome, as we author those reviews)
  • All reviews in paediatric functional bowel disease
  • All reviews completed by our colleagues within the mcmaster Cochrane Gut base.

BEME, the Best Evidence Medical Education Collaboration (Harden et al., 1999), is an international group of individuals, universities and professional organisations committed to the development of evidence informed education in the medical and health professions through:

  • the dissemination of information which allows teachers and stakeholders in the medical and health professions to make decisions on the basis of the best evidence available;
  • the production of reviews which present the best available evidence and meet the needs of the user; and
  • the creation of a culture of best evidence education amongst individuals, institutions and national bodies.

At UCLan, we house a BEME International Collaborating centre. We support the author and editorial processes for reviews moving through BEME.

We offer for BEME the PASREV course at the annual AMEE meeting, the only accredited course on synthesis in medical education.

Anyone interested in our research or completing works with our team, should contact mgordon@uclan.ac.uk

Additionally, we work with colleagues within the postgraduate degree programme and are able to offer our unit and research works to students completing an MRes degree. This allows them to achieve expert skills within evidence synthesis and techniques related to Cochrane and BEME, as well as potentially achieving research output whilst complete a review. Again, please contact mgordon@uclan.ac.uk or see Medical Sciences, MRes.

Expertise and subject areas

  • Systematic Reviews
  • Guidelines
  • Gut diseases and health
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease


  • [number] systematic reviews published on IBD and its associated conditions
  • Our reviews have helped inform best policy and practice decisions and guidelines related to IBD
  • Our reviews cover a wide range of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of IBD conditions and their symptomatology and their safety, using the most up-to-date methodology and risk of bias assessment
  • Our reviews have a direct impact on patient involvement and empowerment as we regularly collaborate with IBD patients in the authorship and planning of our reviews

Publications and outputs

Selected publications:

  • Akobeng, A. K., Zhang, D., Gordon, M., & MacDonald, J. K. (2016). Oral 5‐aminosalicylic acid for maintenance of medically‐induced remission in Crohn's disease. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (9)
  • Kaur, L., Gordon, M., Baines, P. A., Iheozor‐Ejiofor, Z., Sinopoulou, V., & Akobeng, A. K. (2020). Probiotics for induction of remission in ulcerative colitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3)
  • Iheozor‐Ejiofor, Z., Kaur, L., Gordon, M., Baines, P. A., Sinopoulou, V., & Akobeng, A. K. (2020). Probiotics for maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3)
  • Limketkai, B. N., Iheozor‐Ejiofor, Z., Gjuladin‐Hellon, T., Parian, A., Matarese, L. E., Bracewell, K., ... & Mullin, G. E. (2019). Dietary interventions for induction and maintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2)
  • Akobeng, A. K., Elawad, M., & Gordon, M. (2016). Glutamine for induction of remission in Crohn's disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2)


  • Prof Morris Gordon: Lead
  • Vassiliki Sinopoulou: Senior Research Assistant
  • [Future Managing Editor]
  • [Future Information Specialist]

Related Research Groups

  • Cochrane Gut
  • Cochrane

Related Research Projects

  • Two upcoming reviews on abdominal pain in UC and CD
  • One upcoming review on the treatment of IDA in IBD
  • One upcoming review on probiotics in CD
  • One upcoming review on antibiotics in UC