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NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facility officially opened in Leicestershire

Two programmes of pioneering research into medical advancements in the Leicestershire region have been officially launched, thanks to grants from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

An £11.6 million investment enables the newly formed NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) – a partnership between Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University – to push the boundaries of knowledge in illnesses linked to respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and the consequence of inactivity and benefits of increasing physical activity or reducing sedentary time.

In addition, £1.4 million has been awarded to create a Clinical Research Facility (CRF), which brings pioneering clinical trials into fields such as emergency medicine at Leicester’s Hospitals, in partnership with the University of Leicester.

Leicester is now one of only 20 Biomedical Research Centres and one of 23 Clinical Research Facilities across England.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “This provides us with a great opportunity to improve and enhance the already successful research that has taken place in our former biomedical units by bringing them together under one new centre. By working collaboratively, we will continue to push the boundaries of science in the quest for more answers and ultimately improved care for people with, or at risk of, long term conditions.”

Professor Nigel Brunskill, Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility and Consultant Nephrologist at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are proud that the NIHR has recognised the quality of Leicester’s clinical research by funding our brand new Clinical Research Facility. It is an exciting time for Leicester’s Hospitals because it will further enable us to bring cutting edge treatments to our patients.”

Professor Philip Baker, Head of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: “The new BRC will engender enormous patient benefit – not just to people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, but far beyond – as our research has a strong track record of impacting on national and international guidelines for patient care, treatments and use of medical devices.”

Professor Mark Lewis, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, said: “By funding our staff’s vital research work, the new BRC will help to cement the already close ties between our university, Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester.”

NIHR funding for the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre is spread over a five-year programme. The funding for the Leicester Clinical Research Facility is for an initial two-year period.