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Research in Bristol boosted by £21 million award over five years

Press release issued: 14 September 2016

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) in partnership with the University of Bristol has been awarded more than £20 million over five years by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to fund cutting-edge research.


A partnership between University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) and the University of Bristol has been awarded nearly £21 million over five years by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Bristol will conduct cutting-edge research to develop new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases. This will be one of 20 such NHS and university partnerships across England to have been awarded funding through the NIHR.

Led by John Iredale (Bristol Pro Vice Chancellor for Health) and Jonathan Sterne, NIHR BRC Bristol will bring together two existing Biomedical Research Units in Cardiovascular Research (led by Gianni Angelini) and Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle (led by Andy Ness) with three new Research Themes: Mental Health (led by David Gunnell), Perinatal and Reproductive Health (led by Debbie Lawlor) and Surgical Innovation (led by Jane Blazeby). The Research Themes will be underpinned by Cross cutting Themes in Translational Population Science (led by George Davey Smith) and Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Informatics (led by Jonathan Sterne).

A strand of population health science runs through all Themes of the BRC, with a focus on translating scientific discoveries that have arisen from population science into better care for NHS patients. John Iredale commented “This is a remarkable achievement for a fantastic, united team across the University of Bristol and UH Bristol, building on our existing NIHR funding and strengths, particularly in cardiac surgery. Uniquely in Bristol, we can take information from population level studies and marry it with our outstanding clinical expertise to provide tangible advances in patient care. We can do this because of the strong partnership between our researchers, health professionals and citizens, who are all committed to our research programmes.”

Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of UH Bristol, said: “This funding and designation is testimony to the special health research strengths that we have in Bristol and will help us to build on the excellent partnership that exists between the local Trusts and the University of Bristol. Working together, we will marry population studies, laboratory science and patient-based research to improve practice and design ground-breaking treatments and care for all.”

Further information

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world.

This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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