Translational Biomaterials – From Scientific Innovation to Clinical Translation

Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical and Dental Sciences
Monday 10th December 2012 (09:30-16:00)
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Workshop leader: Dr Liam Grover 

Although scientific advances have meant that we can extend the lifetime of individuals, we are still unable to stem the tide of ageing and successfully regenerate diseased and damaged tissues in individuals who may be of working age.  This ageing of the UK population is placing a significant economic burden both on the taxpayer (musculoskeletal injuries are thought to cost the UK economy £7 billion alone) and on the National Health Service.  Although there is significant research in regenerative medicine in the UK, there tends to be little dialogue between researchers working on fundamental science, end-users (clinicians and medical technology companies), and the regulatory authorities.  Securing research funding in this area now requires that the researchers involved are able to demonstrate that their novel technologies will have a real economic and societal benefit, which can be a significant challenge. With the four UK Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board recently announcing a new roadmap for UK regenerative medicine research, with £75M of investment into translational science, the University should be well placed to generate a strong coordinated bid with EOIs due in Autumn/Winter 2012.

The University and University Hospital Birmingham currently has a very diverse research portfolio in this area, with researchers in biomaterials development (Liam Grover, Richard Shelton, Duncan Shepherd, Alison Davenport, Artemis Stamboulis, Daniel Espino, Rachel Sammons, Hoffman, Addison, Dong, Logan, Belli), health care economics (Richard Lilford), device regulation (Tom Clutton-Brock) and clinical evaluation (Edward Davis - Royal Orthopaedic Hospital).  

The University of Birmingham has a significant amount of expertise spread across the colleges of Engineering and Physical Science, Medical and Dental Sciences and Life and Environmental Sciences in the area of medical device development and characterisation. The full potential of this expertise has not been fully realised due to a lack of co-ordination between researchers across the colleges.  The University now finds itself uniquely positioned in the UK with one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, the Centre for Defence medicine and the NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology all located on one site.  There is potential therefore, for much of the fundamental research to be translated to the clinic.  The workshop aims to showcase the breadth of expertise available across the university and the university hospitals.  The workshop will build partnerships across the university and identify exemplar projects that will consider clinical translation from the onset of development.

The aim of the workshop is to:

• discuss pertinent clinical problems to the multidisciplinary academic and medical technologies audience to identify key areas for collaboration. 

• propose answers to the identified problems, and establish groups of potential collaborators, aiming to specifically address future funding opportunities.  

Confirmed attendees:  PR Cooper, AJ Smith, BAA Scheven, RM Shelton, RL Sammons, T Dietrich, O Addison, AD Walmsey, G Landini, WM Palin, MP Hofmann (School of Dentistry);  LM Grover, P Mendes, A Robinson, R Bridson (School of Chemical Engineering); A J Wright (School of Chemistry); D Shepherd, M Ward, D Espino (School of Mechanical Engineering); Clinical and Experimental Medicine (A Logan, T Belli); E Davis (Royal Orthopaedic Hospital); Other Academic and Clinical Invitees: A Davenport, H Dong, A Stamboulis, M Jenkins (Met and Mat); R Lilford; T Clutton-Brock, S Parmar (UHB) B Richards, R Slater, J Hardwicke (Children’s Hospital)

Industrial invitees: Smith and Nephew, Depuy, Corin, JRI, DSTL