Research institute awarded £12m to help discover new medical treatments

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has received a £12m funding boost.

It will help the centre improve early diagnosis, develop new treatments and improve outcomes for patients with a range of medical conditions.

A partnership between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the NIHR Sheffield BRC is dedicated to improving the health and care of people, and ensuring patients have the opportunity to take part in and benefit from cutting-edge research studies.

In addition to the neurological research already conducted at the centre, the new funding will allow researchers to expand their investigations into other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Over the next five years researchers will be working to improve early diagnosis for pulmonary vascular disease, care pathways for patients living with HIV, outcomes for cardiovascular disease patients, and develop new vaccines for infectious diseases.

The centre will also apply the expertise of imaging researchers, engineers and data scientists at the University of Sheffield to harness the value of NHS data to understand disease prevalence in the region and improve disease prevention and health outcomes.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw is the director of the NIHR Sheffield BRC, alongside her role as director of the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

She said: “The Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre has a track record of giving access to experimental medical trials for patients living with a variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as MND, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.

“This work has improved the outlook in multiple ways for patients facing devastating neurological conditions.

“This new round of funding will allow the centre to continue this important work and develop a portfolio of promising new therapeutic approaches, as well as creating opportunities for the next generation of clinical and scientific researchers working to improve the lives of those living in South Yorkshire.”

Kirsten Major, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased that our bid for an additional £12m funding has been successful. This means we can expand the ground breaking research we do in partnership with the University of Sheffield which impacts on the future care and treatment of so many patients not just locally but worldwide.”

The cash award followed a competitive process judged by international experts and patients at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Professor Lucy Chappell, chief executive of the NIHR, said: “Research by NIHR Biomedical Research Centres has led to a number of ground-breaking new treatments, such as new gene therapies for haemophilia and motor neurone disease, the world-first treatment for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, a nose-drop vaccine for whooping cough, and the first UK-wide study into the long-term impact of COVID-19.

“This latest round of funding recognises the strength of expertise underpinning health and care research across the country and gives our nation’s best researchers more opportunities to develop innovative new treatments for patients.”

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