The National Institute for Health Research Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Bristol BRC) is a partnership between University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol. We are one of 20 BRCs across England funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.
The Bristol BRC launched in April 2017. We conduct innovative biomedical research to drive through improvements in health and healthcare and encourage closer working with industry.
We have world-leading scientists working on many aspects of health, from the role played by individual genes and proteins to analysing large collections of information on hundreds of thousands of people. We have extensive experience in taking science from the laboratory bench or computer and developing it into new drugs, treatments or health advice.
What sets the Bristol BRC apart is the strand of exciting and ground-breaking population health research that runs through it. This is about examining patterns of health and illness in large groups of people. We have expertise in interpreting this information to learn about causes of disease. Uniquely, we can combine this work with our laboratory-based science and the knowledge of the doctors working directly with patients to identify possible treatments and find out how effective they are.
Clinical research themes
Led by Professor John Iredale (University of Bristol Pro Vice Chancellor for Health) and Professor Jonathan Sterne, with Professor George Davey Smith as Scientific Director, the Bristol BRC covers five clinical research themes:
- Cardiovascular disease: Reducing complications and increasing the chance of survival for patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
- Mental health: Targeting new and existing treatments for common mental and behavioural disorders.
- Nutrition, diet and lifestyle: Improving people’s health through nutrition, diet and lifestyle research.
- Reproductive and perinatal health: Improving the reproductive health of women and the health of their babies in the first year of life.
- Surgical innovation: Developing better ways to evaluate new surgical techniques and devices.
These research themes are underpinned by four cross-cutting themes:
- Translational population science: Using sophisticated genetic and mathematical techniques to work out what factors might help prevent illness, predict how a disease might affect an individual and which treatments are most effective.
- Biostatistics, evidence synthesis and informatics: Helping researchers throughout the BRC use cutting edge approaches for organising and analysing different information types.
- Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPI/E): Working with patients and members of the public who advise us on what research we should do, how we should do it and what we should do with the findings.
- Our qualitative research network brings together researchers with expertise in social science research, who collect and interpret non-numeric information such as observation, interviews and surveys.
All BRC publications up to March 2019 are listed on the University’s Explore Research portal