UCL is the research partner of the NIHR UCLH BRC, awarded £90m, the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) BRC, awarded £35m, and the NIHR Moorfields BRC, awarded £20m.
The total award to UCL is the most of any UK university and signals the strength of UCL’s world-class translational research and scientific discovery.
The funding, announced by the UK Government today, will be spread over five years from December 2022 to November 2027, and will directly benefit patients through the development of ground-breaking new treatments and new techniques to diagnose disease.
Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice-Provost (Health), said: “I am delighted that the NIHR has recognised the outstanding work being done by our Biomedical Research Centres.
“These collaborations between UCL Health and our NHS partners bring together academics and clinicians in a way that helps us translate breakthroughs in the lab into innovative new treatments, diagnostics and technologies. The renewed funding is excellent news and will result in real benefits for patients.”
In total 20 BRCs in England received awards totalling £790m, following an open and competitive process judged by international experts and members of the public.
For this BRC funding round, university and NHS partnerships were invited to apply for up to £100 million over the five-year period. The BRC at UCLH and UCL is one of only two BRCs to be awarded over £90 million.
UCLH Chief Executive David Probert said: “This funding award is fantastic news and I want to congratulate everyone at UCLH and UCL involved in this achievement. Our strong partnership with UCL in research is key to the care we are able to offer at UCLH.”
Professor Bryan Williams, UCL Chair of Medicine, BRC Director and UCLH Director of Research, said: “This was a very competitive funding round and our success is testament to the strength of our partnership working and the world class strength of our research across a number of areas. We are very pleased to receive this funding and I want to acknowledge the outstanding colleagues who have made this possible. This funding which will enable us to continue to deliver ground-breaking research in a number of areas including cancer, neurological diseases, infection and cardiovascular diseases.
“Ultimately this is about improving the outcomes for patients – locally, nationally and internationally – who will benefit from this funding, thanks to innovations in care made possible by the BRC, changing and saving lives.”
The NIHR GOSH BRC is a collaboration between UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital and is the only BRC that focuses solely on paediatric research.
Professor Thomas Voit, Director of the NIHR GOSH BRC, said: “Since 2007, we have shown that our BRC can deliver life-changing and life-saving impacts for children across the world, and the adults they will become. We are so pleased that we can continue to develop innovative medicine for the benefit of our patients.
“Our work is always a huge team effort, involving clinical teams, researchers, patients and families. In the last five years alone, we have worked together to lead and support research that has resulted in 11 new treatments getting regulatory approval in Europe and the USA and this new funding will further strengthen our expertise and collaborations.”
NIHR Moorfields BRC is a partnership between UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, ranked number one in the world for ophthalmology research, and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Sir Peng Tee Khaw, Professor of Glaucoma Studies and Wound Healing at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the NIHR Moorfields BRC, commented: “I am extremely pleased that we have been awarded NIHR BRC funding for the fourth time, demonstrating our joint sites’ world-leading track record and potential for translating vision research though to patient benefit. We are excited to deliver our mission of preserving sight and driving equity through innovation, particularly for those in the greatest need. As we age, all of us are likely to be affected by an eye disorder at some point. The impact on quality of life and the cost to healthcare services and the economy due to visual impairment are vast. The NIHR BRC funding has been, and continues to be, a critical component of our mission to use research to improve the lives of people in the UK and across the world.”
This article was first published on 14 October by UCL.