A £20 million trauma care collaboration between the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust, the Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence is officially launched today.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology brings together military and trauma surgeons and scientists to share their medical research expertise to boost trauma care delivery at the earliest stages of injury.

This ground-breaking centre has been pioneered by University of Birmingham scientists and is the first and only research centre of its kind in the UK to focus on military and civilian care and treatment.

Housed in state-of-the-art facilities at Birmingham’s recently opened new Queen Elizabeth hospital - where all returning injured UK military personnel are treated – the centre will receive combined funding of £20 million which will include £5 million from UHBFT and UoB over five years.

News of the initiative was announced by the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, at a Technical Briefing at the Department of Health on Tuesday.

Interim Director of the centre is to be Professor Sir Keith Porter, Honorary Professor of Clinical Traumatology at the University of Birmingham and a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, who was knighted for services to this field in the New Year Honours 2011 for services to the armed forces.

University of Birmingham Provost and Vice-Principal Professor Michael Sheppard commented: ‘The University is delighted to be a key partner in this ground-breaking initiative to improve and enhance clinical and scientific capability in trauma care.

‘We expect the NIHR centre to provide an unrivalled research environment to improve the treatment of military and civilian trauma patients during the next five years. This will, in part, be achieved by applying the latest microbiological and immunological techniques to improve our understanding, diagnosis and management of trauma-related infection.’

Microbiology research at the centre is supported by the University’s high-throughput sequencing capability funded via Birmingham Science City. This has the potential to replace existing laboratory methods and will bring fresh insight into the epidemiology and pathogenesis of wound infection.

The above techniques will be complimented by the University’s world-leading expertise in clinical trials. The Birmingham Centre for Clinical Trials manages more than 100 clinical trials per year, generating around £15 million.

For more information, please contact Jenni Ameghino, University of Birmingham Press Office, 0121 415 8134. Mobile 07768 924156.

Notes to editors

Birmingham scientists involved in the NIHR Centre are available for interview. Please contact the press office to arrange.

  • Professor Paul Stewart, Dean of Medicine, Professor of Medicine and . Expert in Endocrinology.
  • Professor Lawrence Young, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences.
  • Professor Richard Lilford, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Director Birmingham Clinical Research Academy.
  • Professor Jon Frampton, Professor of Stem Cell Biology, Head of Birmingham University Stem Cell Centre, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer
  • Professor Janet Lord, Professor of Immune Cell Biology.
  • Professor Mark Pallen, Professor of Microbial Genomics.
  • Professor Cath Sackley, Professor of Physiotherapy.
  • Professor Glyn Humphries, Professor of Cognitive Psychology.