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Published on 10 April 2008

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New research unit plans revealed


A series of new biomedical research units will drive a £45m programme aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating illnesses such as heart disease, asthma and obesity, Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo announced.

The new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) units will focus on “translational research” that will take advances in basic medical research out of the laboratory and into the hospital clinic – meaning patients will benefit more quickly from new scientific breakthroughs.

Areas which have previously received relatively limited amounts of research funding such as heart disease; deafness and hearing problems and gastrointestinal and liver disease along with musculoskeletal disease (including arthritis); nutrition (including obesity) and respiratory disease (including asthma) will be concentrated on by researchers.

The units will join the existing twelve NIHR Biomedical Research Centres in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Dawn Primarolo said: “People who suffer from illnesses such as asthma, arthritis and hearing problems will really benefit from these new NIHR Biomedical Research Units.

“The new funding will also enable high quality research to flourish in smaller centres across the country. This will strengthen our drive to put the UK at the forefront of vital health research and contribute to the nation’s international reputation as a centre for excellence.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

National Institute for Health Research

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