MSP welcomes landmark biomedical research award

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Manchester Science Partnerships has welcomed the announcement today that Manchester has been awarded £28.5 million and granted the prestigious Biomedical Research Centre status by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

The successful bid was made by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) in partnership with The University of Manchester and a number of other key institutions in Greater Manchester. These include The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, with support from the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre.

These include The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, with support from the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre.

The NIHR is funded through the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, pushing faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy. It also helps develop and support the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research.

Today’s NIHR award will drive forward pioneering research in Manchester into new tests and treatments in the areas of musculoskeletal disease, hearing health, respiratory disease and dermatology and three cancer themes (prevention, radiotherapy and precision medicine).

Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and chair of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “We congratulate the bid team on this landmark achievement. To date these awards have largely been confined to London, Oxford and Cambridge - this is recognition of the world class research carried on in Manchester.

“Biomedical research has a vital role to play in driving economic growth and strengthening Manchester’s reputation as a knowledge-driven economy. CMFT and the University of Manchester are shareholders in MSP, and founders of the Health Innovation Manchester Partnership which is working to improve the health of people in Greater Manchester through research and innovation.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the body overseeing the devolution of the £6bn health and social care budget, said:
"The new partnership approach under devolution means that we have both the opportunity - and the means - to combine the talents of people from a whole range of areas to benefit our population. This hugely welcome funding is recognition that in Greater Manchester we can combine the best clinical skills with the best research, innovation and academic talent to take huge steps in improving the health and wellbeing of our people.'

Professor Ian Bruce, Director of the NIHR Manchester BRC, added: "Working closely with patients, we will use the latest advances in biology, medicine and health technology to better predict disease and likely treatment response. The new diagnostic tests and therapies we develop will enable doctors to offer a more tailored approach and to better personalise treatments to the individual. We are also working on better ways to prevent disease developing in the first place."

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, explained: "The achievement of a BRC for Manchester is a landmark moment which will see £28.5m directly invested into finding new ways of preventing, predicting and treating some of the major causes of premature death and disability," commented "Bringing together our research expertise has only been made possible by the unique connectivity which devolution provides."

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, said: "The BRC focuses the research efforts of the University and NHS Partners so that we can address the considerable health needs of Greater Manchester. As the areas of research being targeted by the BRC represent complex global health issues our work also has the potential to have an impact much further afield."

Roger Spencer, Chief Executive of The Christie, said: "Having a BRC that focuses on three areas of cancer research is to be warmly welcomed. Together with cutting edge advances in treatment such as the new proton beam therapy unit, The Christie is improving research into cancer which means we will be even better able to serve the health needs of this region."