Researchers awarded £12m to accelerate scientific discoveries

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 17-Oct-2022

Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre receives funding to expand investigations and create new medical treatments

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has been awarded £12m to accelerate scientific discoveries into new medical treatments.

The cash, from the National Institute for Health and Care Research, will enable scientists and clinicians to expand their investigations into other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and inflammatory and infectious diseases.

The NIHR Sheffield BRC is a partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield dedicated to improving the treatment and care of people living with a range of conditions, including neurological disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, and stroke.

Previous NIHR funding has been used by the BRC to conduct 304 clinical studies, through which 2,974 patients had access to innovative experimental medicine treatments and therapies.

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.

Improving outcomes

The centre will also apply the world-leading 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. 

And the funding will provide opportunities for a diverse range of professionals to undertake research, expanding expertise in allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, radiologists and dietitians, as well as in doctors and nurses.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, director of the NIHR Sheffield BRC, director of the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) and its Neuroscience Institute, and a consultant neurologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 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. 

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

“The work of the new healthcare themes includes breakthroughs in anti-platelet therapies for cardiovascular disease, innovative rehabilitation approaches for stroke victims, and life-changing biological treatments for severe inflammatory skin disease, which have all significantly improved the lives of patients. 

A worldwide impact

“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, a region that still suffers from lower life expectancy and wider health inequalities.”

Kirsten Major, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are absolutely delighted 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 enlarged Biomedical Research Centre will allow even more of our patients to participate in research, which we know in itself also improves patients’ health and outcomes.”

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