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Biomedical Research Units

Nottingham Awarded £7.2 Million for Gastrointestinal Translational Research Through to 2017

NIHR has awarded funding for a Gastrointestinal Disease BRU to NUH Trust in partnership with Nottingham University. The £7.2 million investment underpins a strategy focused on gastrointestinal infections and their long term consequences for patients and is designed to drive innovation and collaboration with industry and charities, helping to develop the science and research base.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies said the selection had been made “because of the world class quality of their translational research.”

An independent panel of leading international experts assessed the applications from across England. The £7.2 million award is the highest of the three Gastrointestinal Disease Biomedical Research Units funded in the country.

The focus on gastrointestinal infections and their long term consequences for patients drives a strategy of redefining such patients based on pathophysiological mechanisms to allow the development and better targeting.

The Biomedical Research Unit will establish well characterised patient cohorts with associated samples to enable the development of tests for identifying sub groups of patients, who will enter appropriately targeted treatment studies.

The strategy incorporates important collaborations with other centres of excellence in Nottingham. These cross cutting disciplines include microbiology, with heavy investment in personnel and equipment; advanced imaging, particularly MRI, in which Nottingham is world-leading; and pharmacy, Nottingham’s nationally premier research unit.

These will be applied to three research areas: Gastro-duodenal, particularly Helicobacter pylori induced disease; intestinal, particularly Clostridium difficile toxicity and relapse, and post-Campylobacter jejuni chronic bowel dysfunction and liver, particularly post Hepatitis C disease.

Peter Homa, Chief Executive of NUH, said: “Bidding for the funding was a highly-competitive process, where we were up against the best Biomedical Research Units in the country. With this money we will continue to ensure the latest scientific advancements are translated into improved care for patients.”

Brian Thomson, Director of Research and Innovation at NUH, added: “The Gastrointestinal Diseases Biomedical Research Unit underpins the strong research partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals and will allow us to translate new medical discoveries into benefit for our patients. It is therefore an exciting opportunity to improve the quality and effectiveness of our clinical care and are excellent news for patients in Nottingham and elsewhere.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “This investment means that patients will see real improvements in early diagnosis, survival rates and living a more independent and better quality of life.”


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