NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre funded for another five years

  • 14 October 2022

An aerial shot of Bristol city centre, with Castle Park in the foreground

The National Institute for Health and Care Research Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Bristol BRC) has been awarded nearly £12m of new funding for the next five years. The funding has been awarded to University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust by the NIHR, with the University of Bristol a major partner.

This award will enable the BRC to continue its work in conducting cutting-edge research to translate scientific discoveries into new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical technologies for patients.

The new funding round is from December 2022 to November 2027. It is part of a larger award of £790m to 20 Biomedical Research Centres across England.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres are partnerships between healthcare professionals and academics in the country’s leading NHS trusts and universities. The centres, part of NIHR’s research infrastructure, receive substantial levels of sustained funding to attract the best scientists and create an environment where experimental medicine can thrive.

First funded in 2017, the new iteration of the NIHR Bristol BRC will be led by Professor Jonathan Sterne as Director with Professor George Davey Smith as Scientific Director.

Its research themes will be:

  • Diet and physical activity
  • Mental health
  • Respiratory disease
  • Surgical and orthopaedic innovation
  • Translational data science

The centre will benefit from a new partnership with the Bradford Institute for Health Research that will build on existing collaborations and allow the centre to work with a more varied population. Bradford’s population is different from Bristol’s, especially in terms of people of different ethnicities. This partnership will also mean the centre’s researchers can continue to combine and analyse data from Bristol’s Children of the 90s and the Born in Bradford birth cohort studies.

Jonathan Sterne, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at Bristol Medical School and Director of the new Bristol BRC, said:

“This second round of funding as an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre is testament to the hard work so many people put in to both our first five years as a BRC and developing the bid for this next five years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Bristol BRC.”

Eugine Yafele, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be awarded further funding. The cutting-edge research that our expert teams are working on today will transform into the treatment and care we offer to our patients in the future. I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued hard work.”

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, said:

“The Bradford Institute for Health Research has worked for many years with the University of Bristol on our Born in Bradford research programme. This major award is a fantastic opportunity to cement our partnership and apply the expertise from some of the best clinical scientists in the country to help develop cutting-edge innovation in Bradford.”

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said:

“This huge investment into early stage health and care research and patient safety innovation recognises the strength of expertise in these areas across the country, and gives our best researchers more opportunities to improve care and treatment for patients nationwide.

“These investments showcase our scientific excellence, ensuring that the UK benefits from the latest innovations and advancements in research and enables a strong and competitive research workforce to be further developed. They are crucial to ensuring that patients receive the highest quality, safest care.”