Barts Health NHS Trust have received £20.9 million in funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), providing a major boost to their plans to tackle health inequalities and deliver pioneering, innovative healthcare to the people of east London and beyond.
The funding will be used by healthcare professionals and scientists to research and develop new ways to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses including cancer, musculoskeletal conditions and heart disease, based on an individual patient’s genetic make-up and health history, known as precision or personalised medicine.
The Trust will carry out this research in partnership with Queen Mary University of London and St George's University of London and NHS Trust, forming the new ‘NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)’.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Vice Principal for Health at Queen Mary and the Barts BRC Director, said: “The new NIHR Barts BRC partnership between three leading healthcare and academic organisations provides a unique opportunity to tackle health inequalities in our diverse local communities. This new centre will help make our ambition to bring personalised healthcare that improve survival and quality of life to those suffering from disease in east London and beyond a reality.”
Building on the existing research carried out by the Trust, the new BRC has a particular focus on finding new ways to diagnose diseases like cancer earlier, which increases the chances of survival. One way they will do this is by looking for patterns and clues in existing healthcare data that has been depersonalised, which could reveal new information about a disease, and in turn how to better diagnose and even treat it.
Shane De Garis, Groups Chief Executive of Barts Health, said: “I’m thrilled that Barts Health are a key player in this new centre. By researching, developing and creating new ways to treat diseases, facilitating and running clinical trials and developing new technologies, it will help drive healthcare forwards and make a real difference to those we treat.
Funding for the NIHR Barts BRC is part of the NIHR’s wider £790 million investment in 20 BRCs across England, which all aim to translate scientific discoveries into new diagnostic tests, treatments and medical technologies for patients.”
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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