Much of the research currently undertaken under the remit of the COR takes place in world class research facilities that are continuing to develop and expand. These are closely aligned with key NHS service and infrastructure developments.
Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility
(WTCRF), QEH, Birmingham.
This is one of only 5 such units in the country and is dedicated to clinical research and represents an unrivalled setting for conducting translational research. Recently, a successful bid to expand the existing WTCRF has been approved and will include not only additional staff, but also a focus on metabolic disease including obesity. Over a number of years, the staff on the WTCRF have acquired considerable expertise in the running of translational clinical studies in the field of obesity research.
Wellcome Trust funded satellite Clinical Research Facility, Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
This new unit will have 4 day case beds, 2 outpatient rooms and a metabolic/exercise laboratory. In addition, access to the DEXA body composition scanner (will be co-located from March 2009)
Health Research Bus (HRB)
The Health Research Bus provides a unique opportunity to take clinical research directly into the community. A significant new development for our research and public engagement capabilities in 2010, it is a fully functional clinical research facility and contain all the equipment necessary to perform a wide variety of clinical studies, allowing translational obesity studies to be performed in locations that do not have clinical research facilities (GP surgeries, district general hospitals), therefore considerably enhancing patient recruitment.
Institute of Biomedical Research (IBR)
The WTCRF is located adjacent to the recently established Institute of Biomedical Research (IBR). The IBR houses state-of-the-art equipment for the analysis of clinical samples. Through the AWM bid a dedicated tissue biorepository will be established at UoB to house all tissue samples from translational clinical research.
School of Sports and Exercise Sciences
Formally opened in 2007, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has the largest purpose built facility of its nature in the UK and most likely Europe. The £16.7M building houses world class facilities to perform both fundamental and applied research relating to exercise and obesity.
Key NHS partnerships; UHB and Heartlands Hospitals
Strategic links to NHS services are crucial. The University of Birmingham has established links with University Hospitals Birmingham through staff and on-going research projects. The building of the new hospital adjacent to the WTCRF and IBR will only serve to enhance these links. In addition, the COR works closely with Birmingham Heartlands Hospital which has the largest clinical obesity service in the country.
Birmingham University Imaging Centre (BUIC)
BUIC provides scientists and clinicians with excellent access to a research-dedicated 3T Philips Achieva MRI scanner. BUIC has state-of-the-art stimulus delivery and recording equipment, including eye tracking and limb movement recording in the scanner, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and 64 channel simultaneous EEG recording. Research at the Centre is focused around the use of MR and related techniques to investigate the brain and the heart, with various research groups concentrating on a wide range of applications, including visual cognition, motor control, multimodal data integration, cardiac energetics, cardiac micro-vascular function and pain. As well as work in healthy subjects, researchers scan patients with a number of ailments (stroke, epilepsy, cardiomyopathy, Type 1 diabetes and grown up congenital heart disease (GUCH)) to develop new and improved methods of diagnosis and treatment.
School of Psychology
One of the largest and most active psychology departments in Britain with an excellent reputation for research. Facilities include laboratories specially equipped for work in cognition, psychophysics, visual perception, auditory perception, speech production, human motor performance, cognitive neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, food, drink and nutritional psychology, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, social psychology; and developmental psychology. The clinical psychology centre and forensic psychology centre support professional training and research. Laboratories and offices are also equipped with computers for experimental control, data collection and analysis, and word processing. There are dedicated brain imaging workstations for work in perception and cognitive science, including a computational modelling and brain analysis suite.