latest health care news

18.03.14

Cambridge to spearhead national network for health research

A Cambridge medical research hub is to spearhead a national network of centres in an effort to make the UK the best place in the world for health research.

The new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) BioResource panel,  which is made up of over 75,000 volunteers, both with and without health problems, who are willing to be approached to participate in research studies investigating the links between genes, the environment, health and disease, will be headquartered at Cambridge University Hospitals.

A key part the Government’s commitment to life sciences, BioResource volunteers donate a small sample of blood or saliva for DNA analysis – called a genotype – and this sample is used to ‘matchmake’ them to research studies based on their genotype and/or phenotype, which is about gender and lifestyle.

In 2005 the Cambridge BioResource was launched and now has around 14,000 local volunteers. In 2012 it received funding from the NIHR to develop a national service and now has seven centres, four in London, one in Oxford and another in Leicester. A new centre will open in Newcastle in April this year. 

Dr John Bradley, director of the NIHR BioResource, explained: “By pooling together resources from all the centres, research teams can quickly access the volunteers they need to help with their research. This sharing of expertise will speed up the research process which will ultimately bring benefits to patients and their families.”

The NIHR BioResource facilitates research into a range of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and rare diseases. Ultimately it could speed-up the development of new treatments and attract international investment as a result of companies having access to a growing bank of tens of thousands of volunteers from across the country who are keen to help medical research.

Health minister Lord Howe added: “We are determined to make the UK the best place in the world for health research, development and innovation, which is why we are so proud of the NIHR BioResource project. It will become an unrivalled, world-leading resource for health researchers.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

12/08/2020Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers Last week the NHS was widely described as providing a ‘Covid-19 only’ service for much of the last few months. Fr... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >