The NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) opened on 1 April 2017 with the aim of using cutting edge experimental medicine to accelerate access to, and adoption of, drugs, devices and diagnostics tests for patients living with chronic inflammatory diseases.
The NIHR Birmingham BRC brings together the expertise of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and the University of Birmingham, both members of Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), and is one of 20 NHS and University partnerships across England that have been awarded funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Professor David Adams, Head of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Director of BHP and the new NIHR Birmingham BRC commented: ‘We are delighted that the NIHR has funded a biomedical research centre in inflammatory disease in Birmingham. We will build a centre of excellence that will allow us to take scientific discoveries through into new treatments for patients with inflammatory and autoimmune joint, muscle, bowel and liver diseases.
‘Chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, colitis and liver diseases are increasingly common and a major cause of suffering and early death. In Birmingham, we have been researching the underlying processes behind these diseases for many years. This award will enable Birmingham Health Partners to continue to develop the facilities and teams to better understand and treat these disabling diseases.’
The research themes are being led by University staff within the following areas:
- Inflammatory arthritis – Professor Christopher Buckley
- Inflammatory gastroenterology – Professor Subrata Ghosh
- Inflammatory sarcopenia – Professor Janet Lord
- Devices and evaluation of tests – Professor Jon Deeks
- Entrepreneurship and commercialisation – Professor David Wraith
- Trial design and delivery – Professor Philip Newsome
- Rare diseases lead – Dr Gideon Hirschfield
Dame Julie Moore, Chief Executive, UHB, said: ‘We are delighted to have a Biomedical Research Centre based here in Birmingham to explore new treatments for inflammatory diseases. These conditions affects so many of our patients who present to many of our specialties in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
‘Patient involvement and understanding of our research is vital, because without them we would not be able to carry out the work that will lead to better treatments and improved outcomes. We have the clinical and academic experts, and now the infrastructure too, to create new treatments that will help relieve suffering for so many people.’
Each of the new biomedical research centres will host the development of ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases like cancer and dementia. The centres will benefit from new world class facilities and support services built by the five-year funding package totalling £816 million – the largest ever investment into health research.
BHP is a strategic alliance between UHB, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. BHP’s mission is to harness research strengths in the University and NHS to deliver better treatments and care to our patients. The NIHR Birmingham BRC will draw on expertise from the partners.