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Biomedical Research Units

£23.6 million boost for Nottingham research

Nottingham’s hospitals have been awarded £23.6 million from the Government to make world-first medical breakthroughs, as part of a record package of research funding announced today by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Nottingham already has two Biomedical Research Units (BRUs) in digestive diseases and hearing. BRUs will be replaced by Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) by April 2017.

Nottingham has been awarded £23.6m of the £816m funding that has gone to NHS and University partnerships across England through the National Institute for Health Research.

“We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

Dr Maria Koufali, Deputy Director of Research & Innovation, for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with The University of Nottingham, our charity and industry partners, to develop the new Biomedical Research Centre for Nottingham. The new Centre in Nottingham will drive innovation and internationally competitive translational research in therapeutic areas which are highly relevant to the health of our patients and public: gastrointestinal and liver disease, hearing loss and tinnitus, respiratory and musculoskeletal disease and mental health and technology. At the core of our centre will be our world leading expertise in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). NUH is one of the leading NHS Trusts in developing research which will address important clinical questions and improve outcomes for patients. The new Biomedical Research Centre will further strengthen Nottingham’s position as a leading city for research and innovation.”

Nottingham’s hospitals have a large portfolio of active research programmes for patients and aim to offer every patient the opportunity to participate in research.

Previous research funding grants have helped Nottingham’s hospitals develop non-invasive tests for liver disease. The current tests are hospital-based, expensive and inaccurate meaning many cases of liver disease fail to be diagnosed until patients are seriously ill. The new study, which used a new ultrasound test to detect liver scarring and cirrhosis, was award the NHS Innovations Challenge Prize for Improving Diagnostic Innovation in 2013.

It has also been used to provide a multi-media information service for first-time hearing aid users. The C2Hear programme provides videos on how to adjust to the use of hearing aids for both users and families.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing. Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine.”

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