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Health and care research in Oxford is to receive £122 million in government funding over the next five years to improve diagnosis, treatment and care for NHS patients.

Montage of images for BRC themes


The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) is leading two of the themes of the new NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) funding announced recently. Its musculoskeletal theme will now be under the leadership of Professor Matt Costa, while Professor Christopher Buckley leads a new theme called inflammation across tissues.

The NIHR BRCs bring together academics and clinicians to translate scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies that benefit NHS patients.

Professor Jonathan Rees, Head of Department, said: 'We are delighted to lead two themes in this successful NIHR Oxford BRC. Our close working relationship between basic scientists, clinicians, and engineers, coordinated with patients and charities, creates an opportunity for our translational research to transform care for patients with musculoskeletal and inflammatory diseases across the NHS."


The new musculoskeletal (MSK) strategy focuses on integrated care pathways, with a number of sub-themes focused on patients. The Acute Care sub-theme follows MSK patients through pre-hospital, emergency department, trauma inpatients and back into the community through rehabilitation. The MSK Planned Care sub-theme will research referral pathways into and out of secondary care, integrating surgical, medical and rehabilitation interventions with community services. The MSK Trauma PPI Group direct Acute Care, while the new Open Arms public and patient involvement (PPI) group direct Planned Care. These clinical sub-themes host our translational research sub-themes: 'clinical trials/device evaluation', 'MSK big data' and 'biomaterials and drug delivery'.

"This new funding from the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research will ensure that patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disease from all over the UK will continue to benefit from new treatments developed and tested through the Oxford BRC," said Matt Costa.


Our goal is to uncover the cellular, molecular, and genetic pathways that cause and are common to a range of inflammatory diseases. With cross-disease and cross-disciplinary research, we aim to accelerate the delivery of new drugs to patients by advancing precision treatment and matching the right family of drug to the right type of inflammatory disease.

"Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases (IMIDs) such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases are a common and growing problem for the NHS. The NIHR funding for our new theme will allow us to build partnerships and collaborations in research centres and NHS Trusts to deliver research outcomes that improve the lives of patients across the UK," said Christopher Buckley.

The Oxford funding was awarded to the city's two National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres (BRC).

The NIHR Oxford BRC, a partnership between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, will receive £86.6m over the next five years to fund 15 research themes.

The NIHR Oxford Health BRC, a partnership between the University and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT), will receive £35.4m to support research across 11 themes. The award will create a network of centres of excellence in brain health across NHS and university sites in England.

See the full story on the Oxford Medical Sciences Division website.