Innovation and excellence in science and health

NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre

The NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre is a partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge. The partnership between the hospital and the university creates an environment where internationally outstanding biomedical and clinical scientists work alongside clinical practitioners to achieve translation of research for the benefit of patients. The centre was established in 2007 to facilitate this partnership, and received a further £110 million of government funding to invest in existing and new research themes in 2012.

This is the UK’s biggest-ever investment in early-stage health research. In Cambridge, the money will back projects designed to benefit patients with diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, specifically targeting advances in diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The Cambridge partnership has also been awarded £4.5m funding for a new specialist Biomedical Research Unit focussed on dementia – a field in which it was identified as a national research leader. This unit will work at the interface of many disciplines in the physical, chemical and biological sciences to provide solutions to improve the diagnosis and care of dementia patients.

The Cambridge NIHR BRC is divided into 8 research themes (including cancer, women’s health, brain injury and repair, and cardiovascular studies); 4 cross cutting themes -evaluation & implementation, imaging, genomics, and population health science; and 1 cross cutting resouce, capacity & development; and the Cambridge Dementia Biomedical Research Unit, encompassing the dementia and neurodegenerative research theme; you can read more about each of the research themes by following the fly out menus on the left. All of the research is supported by world class facilities and resources to support evaluation and implementation; and to develop skills and capacity for further research.

The NIHR Cambridge BRC fosters interdisciplinary initiatives and innovates research training and learning to generate new ideas and attract talented individuals. Since its inception, our centre has evolved into a coherent, democratic organisation that enables, and adds value to, scientific research. It provides an intellectual home and core critical mass for world class translational research, supported by a high degree of public involvement, and connects the laboratory bench to the treatment of patients in and out of hospital.

Cambridge BRC investment has facilitated, and in many cases provided full investment for a wide-reaching research infrastructure that includes the Core Biomedical Assay Laboratory, the Eastern Sequence and Informatics Hub (EASIH), Cambridge NIHR Genomics CoreLab, the GMP Resource for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Haematology Translational Research Laboratory, the Herchel Smith Building for Brain and Mind Sciences, MRI core facilities, PET/CT, the Human Tissue Bank and the Addenbrooke’s Clinical Research Centre. The Addenbrooke’s Clinical Research Centre, which consists of the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility and the Clinical Investigation Ward provides outstanding facilities, including a 3T MR scanner dedicated to magnetic resonance spectroscopy, appetite laboratory and nutrition resource, a research endoscopy suite and an area dedicated to intravenous treatment including cancer chemotherapies. Without support via our NIHR funding many of these facilities, now used widely across the research campus, would not be available.

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