Two University and NHS research partnerships in Bristol have been awarded over £11million in funding for research into cardiovascular disease, nutrition, diet and lifestyle.
The award is part of a government initiative intended to enable top UK scientists to develop new medicines, treatments and to improve patient care.
The funding was awarded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is part of an £800million investment over five years to improve disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The funding will go towards two Biomedical Research Unit s (BRUs) at the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust which focuses on treating cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Professor David Wynick, director of research for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This is a fantastic demonstration of the quality of the science undertaken at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol. It is a very welcome award that will directly benefit patients in the future.”
There are two Biomedical Resarch Units in Bristol, one of them at the University of Bristol Dental Hospital and the other at the Bristol Heart Institute. Prof Wynick explained that the overall aim of the unit at the dental hospital is to develop treatments for conditions related to poor or sub-optimal nutrition.
This includes improvements in the health of children with chronic disorders, treatment of prostate cancer in male patients and other work related to patients undergoing surgery.
Another function is to reduce sedentary time in patients with Type II diabetes. The unit also has the responsibility of providing training in nutritional research methods for clinicians and non-clinical scientists.
The unit at the Bristol Heart Institute will conduct research into cardiovascular disease. Professor Gianni Angelini, Director of the Institute’s Cardiac Unit and British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiac Surgery at the University said that the funding will create a state-of-the-art facility.
“We can now perform internationally competitive research and at the same time train the next generation of cardiovascular scientists and clinicians,” Prof Wynick added. “The unit will lead studies into such areas as heart disease in children, stem cell research and platelet function.”
Alongside the funding given to Bristol, the government’s £800million initiative, primarily intended for work on dementia, also provides for four new Biomedical Research Units across the country specialising in dementia research.