- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has been awarded £12 million from the National Institute for Health and Care Research to accelerate scientific discoveries into new medical treatments
- The NIHR Sheffield BRC is a partnership between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 (MND) and stroke
- The new funding will allow scientists and clinicians to expand the centre’s pioneering research into areas such as infection, immune disorders and cardiovascular diseases in addition to neurology research
- Previous NIHR funding has been used by NIHR Sheffield BRC to conduct 304 clinical studies, through which 2,974 patients had access to innovative experimental medicine treatments and therapies
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has received a £12 million funding boost which will help the centre improve early diagnosis, develop new treatments and improve outcomes for patients with a range of medical conditions, in a region with significant inequalities for health and life-expectancy.
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 across the country have the opportunity to take part in, and benefit from, cutting-edge research studies.
In addition to the world-renowned 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 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.
The NIHR Sheffield BRC was launched in 2017. Previous NIHR funding has been used to conduct 304 clinical studies, through which 2,974 patients had access to innovative experimental medicine treatments and therapies, 10 of which have patents underpinning further development towards the clinic.
The new funding will also provide opportunities for a diverse range of professionals to undertake research, expanding research expertise in allied health professionals – such as physiotherapists, radiologists and dietitians – as well as in doctors and nurses.
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 (SITraN). 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.
“The work of the new health-care 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.
“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, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our bid for an additional £12 million 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.”
The 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.”
Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our booming research sector and the potential it has to not only strengthen health and care services, but lead to lifesaving developments.
“This additional funding will harness the UK’s world leading innovation and allow research centres up and down the country to attract experts in their field and conduct research that saves lives.
“From helping develop the Covid vaccine to discovering world-first treatments, these centres have already delivered ground-breaking research and will continue to help us tackle some of the biggest health challenges we face, including cancer, to ensure the NHS continues to deliver world-class care.”
Media contact: Rebecca Ferguson, Media Relations Officer, 0114 222 3670, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Sheffield
With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in and develop solutions to society’s biggest challenges.
Sheffield researchers use their expertise to tackle some of the biggest issues of our time together with partners ranging from SMEs to some of the world’s biggest companies, from across the South Yorkshire region, the UK and beyond.
The University of Sheffield provides an outstanding student experience for its students, with the number one Students’ Union in the UK and both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that help its students stand out in the jobs market and develop successful careers after graduation, wherever they choose to live and work.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations
NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre
The mission of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:
- Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;
- Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;
- Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;
- Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;
- Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;
- Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.
NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.