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The University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) have won £113.7 million to support groundbreaking medical research.

The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) is leading two of the themes of the new NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), in Musculoskeletal sciences (Professor Andrew Carr) and Gastroenterology & Mucosal Immunity (Professor Fiona Powrie).

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which is funded through the Department for Health, today announced that the Oxford BRC was one of 20 successful BRCs throughout England to receive funding for 2017 to 2022 following a competitive bidding process. NIHR BRCs bring together expertise within the NHS and leading research organisations to turn latest discoveries into fundamentally new treatments for patients.

The musculoskeletal theme now in the NIHR Oxford BRC replaces the current NIHR Oxford Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), to end in March 2017.

Professor Andrew Carr, Head of Department and theme lead on the new NIHR Oxford BRC, said: 'We are delighted to lead two themes in this successful NIHR Oxford BRC, building on the excellence of translational research of our NIHR Oxford BRU. The close working relationship between basic scientists and clinicians fostered by the BRC partnerships has already led to novel treatments and will continue to allow us to improve the lives of our patients.'

MUSCULOSKELETAL THEME

Our vision is to build on our established and proven strengths in the identification of therapeutic targets and to accelerate the translation of new personalized therapies in inflammatory joint disease, degenerative joint disorders and in rare bone diseases. We will also further develop and translate Oxford's promising tissue engineering implants and devices and regenerative medicine therapies for the benefit of patients.

GASTROENTEROLOGY & MUCOSAL IMMUNITY THEME

Inflammation underpins many common gastrointestinal tract and liver (GI) and skin diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD) that are a significant source of morbidity and mortality. We will examine molecular pathogenesis in well characterised patient cohorts to identify unique and common drivers of chronic inflammatory GI and skin diseases. This will enable enhanced diagnosis and treatment strategies ensuring expensive immunotherapies with potential side effects are targeted to those patients most likely to benefit.


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