The award, made to the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, is part of a package of funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) for Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) in a competitive process involving international review.
The Oxford Health BRC, one of only two centres in the country currently wholly dedicated to mental health, was successful in securing funding for 11 themes of research.
The University of Birmingham is a partner in the programme, along with the city’s Mental Health Trusts, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham and Solihull NHS Foundation Trust.
Theme areas, including depression therapeutics, mental health in development with a focus on children and young people, psychological treatments and brain technologies, can now be advanced by leading scientists, clinicians and academics who are linked via a network of centres of excellence in brain health.
These include NHS organisations and universities complemented by collaborations around the globe. Together they will make it possible to directly translate research into potential new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical technologies for NHS patients.
This important investment will support discovery science in emerging and established mental illness, offer our population the benefits of new therapeutic advances for depression and psychosis, and lead the development of a clinical data analysis pipeline for new brain imaging technologies.Professor Matthew Broome, Director of the Institute for Mental Health
Professor Matthew Broome, Director of the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Birmingham said: “Birmingham is a young and diverse city with high levels of deprivation and mental health morbidity. This important investment will support discovery science in emerging and established mental illness, offer our population the benefits of new therapeutic advances for depression and psychosis, and lead the development of a clinical data analysis pipeline for new brain imaging technologies.
“This collective expertise will help improve our mechanistic understanding of health and illness, and will prioritise the experiences of young people throughout, working closely with them and their communities to support their flourishing and wellbeing.”
“It builds on the success of the current centre which has, over the past five years, delivered new psychological and digital treatments, advances in drug discovery and new ways of integrating research and clinical care.
“The new award now provides us with a wonderful opportunity to transform care for mental and brain health and wellbeing across the whole country and, actually, the world. We can now translate the best research from UK biomedical science, data science and engineering, social science and arts and the humanities for the benefit of clinical care and population health.
“We are enormously grateful to the NIHR and the International Panel for both understanding and generously supporting our ambitious plans and vision. We are now looking forward to co-designing with patients and the public powerful new approaches that can be tested, refined and then implemented across the NHS and beyond.”