June 19, 2017, by Emma Thorne

New era of life-changing research and innovation for patients begins in Nottingham

A new era of medical research that could have an impact on the health of millions of people dawned in Nottingham on Thursday 1 June with the official launch of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre.

The new Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), working with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.  It is one of 20 prestigious centres around the country working in collaboration to translate medical research into the treatments, therapies and technology that will save lives and improve health in the future. Nottingham is one of the largest BRCs in the country outside of those in Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Professor Ian Hall, Director of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, said: “Nottingham has fantastic underpinning science coupled with excellent clinical translational research – that is, research which is linked to patients. We also have the capacity to deliver large scale clinical research projects because of the size of the patient population we deal with.


“We have a fantastic ‘cross-cutting’ theme in MR Imaging research, which makes Nottingham probably the best place in the world to do this kind of imaging research, and we have strengths in doing large scale analyses of data sets.”

Speaking at the launch of the BRC at East Midlands Conference Centre on the University of Nottingham Park campus, Professor Hall added:

“The new centre provides an opportunity to bring all our researchers together so individuals can learn from approaches that other research groups have taken. This will provide synergistic opportunities which ultimately should develop novel ideas and approaches to managing patients and developing therapies.”

Nottingham already has an international reputation for the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which over the last 30 years has revolutionised diagnosis and treatment.  This theme will cut across the work of researchers in all the new BRC’s themes, and closer collaboration will build on Nottingham’s previous research achievements and drive treatment breakthroughs in the future.

Leading researchers, clinicians, academics and industry and patient representatives were in Nottingham on 1 June to learn more about the opportunities for ground-breaking innovations, celebrate past breakthroughs and hear how Nottingham University, NUH and their partners are taking medical research to the next level.

Aside from MRI, the research themes the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre will be developing over the next five years are:

  • gastrointestinal and liver disease
  • hearing loss and tinnitus
  • mental health and technology
  • musculoskeletal
  • respiratory medicine

The new centre is funded by the National Institute of Health Research, the research arm of the NHS, who last year confirmed £23.6 million of investment in research locally.

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