We’ve committed to funding £1.5 million towards advancing clinical research as part of a national clinical research fund, investing in a range of revolutionary technologies aimed at identifying the causes of diseases such as cancer and dementia and dramatically speeding up diagnosis.
The fund, known as the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, led by the Medical Research Council, will advance clinical research across 23 projects across the country, including research teams at fifteen universities. The funding will bring some of the most sophisticated imaging technologies in the world into UK clinical research and then develop the techniques still further using the UK’s expertise in this area.
What are we funding?
The BHF is delighted to be able to contribute to the awards
Professor Jeremy Pearson
Associate Medical Director at the BHF
Professor Jeremy Pearson, our Associate Medical Director said: “Universities are hard pressed to find funds for the major items of new equipment needed to enable them to continue to carry out world-leading research. This large new investment is therefore timely and welcome. The BHF is delighted to be able to contribute to the awards relevant to clinical cardiovascular research: specifically the development of new technologies in Leeds and Sheffield to image hearts and measure their function.”
We will be providing £1 million to support the University of Leeds in the development of a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) method called SABRE. This technology will magnetically ‘label’ specific molecules so that they can be visualised as they pass through the body. With this technique it is possible to label drugs and other substances that occur naturally in the body. This method is expected to work with any hospital MRI scanner and could be applied to patients withcardiovascular disease within five years. The technique will help speed up the development of new drugs for heart and stroke patients.
The remaining £0.5 million will be used to fund the University of Sheffield’s development of a MRI scanner called the 1.5T scanner. This technology will create highly detailed images of conditions such as pulmonary hypertension. This is a condition where blood pressure rises in the blood vessels that supply the lungs, increasing the risk of heart failure. The MRI scanner will ensure that the UK becomes the leading nation in diagnosing lung conditions and will contribute towards reducing the risk of heart failure.
Combatting the biggest medical challenges
Announcing the launch of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, Chancellor George Osborne said: “The Government, charities, universities and industry will be working together to advance our knowledge in combatting the biggest medical challenges of our time.”
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