Birmingham researcher receives leading award for translational biomedical research

Dr Ye Htun Oo

University of Birmingham clinician scientist and hepatologist Dr Ye Htun Oo has been awarded £1.7 million to fund translational biomedical research into autoimmune liver diseases.

The Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research is a single grant of up to £1.7 million awarded by the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust. The Trust’s main objective is to fund translational research that will bring benefits to patients through improved diagnosis or by assisting in the development of new therapies for important clinical problems.

Dr Oo, who has been at the University of Birmingham since the completion of his PhD in 2010, is a clinical academic researcher in the Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research, consultant hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and supported by the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.

This award will provide significant funding to further Dr Oo’s group research into the dissection of basic science immunopathogenesis and to allow him to deliver a ‘bench-to-bedside’ regulatory T cell immunotherapy programme in patients with autoimmune liver diseases. The research will also be applicable to other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases so beneficial to a wider community.

When asked what attracted him to the University of Birmingham, Dr Oo explained: “Birmingham has not only a very well established centre for liver research, supportive of translational research programmes but, at its core, it also has a strong academic and clinical community who work  together closely and deliver the outcomes to benefit patients.”

The Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research is offered annually to support a five-year programme of translational biomedical research. The recipient is selected following a national competition among applicants sponsored by leading UK medical schools and NHS bodies.

Organisations are eligible to submit one application annually, selected following an internal competition coordinated by the respective Research Dean, Head of the Medical School, or other appropriate person having delegated authority.

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