Southampton researchers awarded £17m to progress pioneering nutrition and respiratory research
Clinicians and scientists working in the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research, established by the partnership between Southampton’s University Hospitals Trust (SUHT) and the University of Southampton, have been awarded £17m to progress the city’s world-leading nutrition and respiratory research facilities.
The funding, which is part of the Government’s record £800m investment in NHS and university partnerships, has secured the future of the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research for the next five years by supporting its core infrastructure required for cutting edge clinical research for patient benefit.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Respiratory Biomedical Research unit (BRU) and the Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) – key elements of the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research – focus on taking research out of the laboratory and into the clinic.
Having already shown how poor nutrition in childhood can set the stage for chronic ill health during adulthood, experts recently discovered that a child’s chances of developing allergies or wheezing is related to how they grow at vital stages in the womb.
“It is testament to the quality and expertise of clinicians and scientists within the Trust and the University of Southampton that the government and our fellow professionals nationally and internationally are so strong in their support both clinically and financially,” says Christine McGrath, Director of Research and Development at SUHT.
“This huge investment is a striking endorsement of our achievements to-date but also of our ambition to move forward and continue to be at the forefront of medical developments.”
The Respiratory BRU, which specialises in looking at new therapies for diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis, and neonatal, paediatric and adult intensive care, has been allocated £7.3m. Meanwhile the NIHR review panel’s decision to increase funds for the nutrition, diet and lifestyle BRC, based on the quality of its application, means it will receive a total of £9.6m.
Professor Ratko Djukanovic, Director of the Respiratory BRU and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Southampton, says: “We are extremely pleased that the results we have achieved over the past three years and the direct effect we are having on clinical research worldwide has been recognised with such significant funding.”
Professor Iain Cameron, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Medicine, adds, “This backing enables Southampton to continue as a major player in national and international health policies and initiatives to develop new therapies. It allows further development of our expertise and innovation.”
Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, says: “This investment will see scientists in Southampton contribute to the UK-wide development of exciting new science into tangible, effective treatments that can be used across the NHS.”