NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facility officially opened in Leicestershire

Posted by pt91 at Oct 11, 2017 04:31 PM |
Two new programmes in partnership with University of Leicester

Issued by Leicester's Hospitals on 11 October 2017

Two programmes of pioneering research into medical advancements in the Leicestershire region have been officially launched, thanks to grants from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

An £11.6 million investment enables the newly formed NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) – a partnership between Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University - to push the boundaries of knowledge in illnesses linked to respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and the consequence of inactivity and benefits of increasing physical activity or reducing sedentary time.

In addition, £1.4 million has been awarded to create a Clinical Research Facility (CRF), which brings pioneering clinical trials into fields such as emergency medicine at Leicester’s Hospitals, in partnership with the University of Leicester.

Leicester is now one of only 20 Biomedical Research Centres and one of 23 Clinical Research Facilities across England.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “This provides us with a great opportunity to improve and enhance the already successful research that has taken place in our former biomedical units by bringing them together under one new centre. By working collaboratively, we will continue to push the boundaries of science in the quest for more answers and ultimately improved care for people with, or at risk of, long term conditions.”

Professor Nigel Brunskill, Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility and Consultant Nephrologist at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are proud that the NIHR has recognised the quality of Leicester’s clinical research by funding our brand new Clinical Research Facility. It is an exciting time for Leicester’s Hospitals because it will further enable us to bring cutting edge treatments to our patients.”

Professor Philip Baker, Head of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: “The new BRC will engender enormous patient benefit – not just to people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, but far beyond – as our research has a strong track record of impacting on national and international guidelines for patient care, treatments and use of medical devices.”

Professor Mark Lewis, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, said: “By funding our staff’s vital research work, the new BRC will help to cement the already close ties between our university, Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester.”

NIHR funding for the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre is spread over a five-year programme. The funding for the Leicester Clinical Research Facility is for an initial two-year period.


For more information:
Rachael Dowling
Research Communications Manager
T: 0116 2584971

The NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University. It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The NIHR Leicester BRC undertakes translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need. These include cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and lifestyle, obesity and physical activity. There is also a cross-cutting theme for precision medicine. The BRC harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat chronic disease. It brings together 70 highly skilled researchers, 30 of which are at the forefront of clinical services delivery. By having scientists working closely with clinicians, the BRC can deliver research that is relevant to patients and the professionals who treat them.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.
Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR:
- Funds high quality research to improve health
- Trains and supports health researchers
- Provides world-class research facilities
- Works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
- Involves patients and the public at every step
For further information, visit the NIHR website (

The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment.

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University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) is one of the UK’s biggest and busiest hospitals, particularly recognised for high-quality research in cardiovascular, respiratory and diabetes. Together with the University of Leicester and Loughborough University, UHL applied to be a Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), focused on very important disease areas, including cardiovascular disease, the largest single cause of death (500,000 people in the UK have heart failure), respiratory disease including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (this will be the world’s third highest cause of death by 2030) and lifestyle specifically focused on increasing physical activity to prevent and manage lifestyle-related chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sport-related subjects in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 10th in The UK Complete University Guide 2018 and was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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