Welcome to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)
The NIHR Cambridge BRC is part of the NIHR and hosted by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Cambridge, bringing together the expertise and resources of both partners to support ‘translational research’ – research that builds on scientific discoveries, turning them into new ways to detect, diagnose, treat and ultimately prevent disease.
We are at the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Europe’s largest health research area. The campus combines research in world-class institutes, patient care in Cambridge University Hospitals and the Royal Papworth Hospital, and drug discovery though GlaxoSmithKline’s Clinical Unit, AstraZeneca’s global research headquarters.
Working with other NIHR and NHS organisations, universities, research councils, research charities, industry and patients and the public, we play a central role in supporting, delivering and providing leadership for translational research within the NHS, both locally and nationally.
Our funding allocation provides the resources to invest in essential research equipment, infrastructure and services, train and mentor the next generation of research leaders and to work with patients, communities and the public to understand their research needs and priorities.
Over the next five years our BRC plans to undertake translational research on key health problems across thirteen themes, including cancer, infection, diabetes, obesity, dementia, cardiovascular, immune and neurological disease and mental health.
Our extensive cohorts (groups) of patients, data and samples and cross-theme expertise, particularly in genomics and data science, will be strengthened by new resources to securely collect and analyse health data from individuals and populations to study how our genetic make-up influences the development of various illnesses. This will enable our themes to explore the earliest origins of disease and build on this knowledge to develop diagnostics, treatments and preventative strategies to improve health outcomes.
Our vision is to tackle the most significant health problems of our time by accelerating the steps from scientific discovery to patient and population benefit, while nurturing the next generation of researchers, guided by values of scientific excellence, collaboration, equality, diversity and inclusion.
Our mission is to undertake world-class experimental medicine and early translational research that promotes health and wellbeing, enables personalised medicine, supports policy and practice, and addresses the pressing challenges of health inequalities. We will be governed by an ethos of collaboration, most importantly with patients and the public and our partner organisations.
Our goals are to:
- Make research excellence our focus, working across themes to enable synergies and generate new thinking. Collaboration with investigators and populations beyond Cambridge will be a defining feature.
- Engage patients and the public using inclusive and innovative methods to identify research priorities, co-design studies, and secure impact. We will offer a research opportunity to every patient attending our hospitals – from health data research to interventional trials.
- Investigate early pathways leading to diseases of high health burden and explore how to prevent and alter them, including through personalised medicine approaches.
- Build research capacity across health professions, developing early-career translational researchers, engaging NHS staff, and encouraging a research culture that celebrates equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Strengthen research infrastructure, creating cutting-edge analytical tools, datasets and BioResources; and pump-prime early translational projects.
- Foster the innovation and entrepreneurship that define Cambridge.
The NIHR Cambridge BRC works closely with our local NIHR infrastructure on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to deliver clinical research studies and provide simple, meaningful ways for members of the public to participate in our research. This includes:
- NIHR BioResource and NIHR BioResource Cambridge Centre
- NIHR Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative
- NIHR BTRU in Donor Health and Behaviour
- NIHR BTRU in Organ Donation and Transplantation
- NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility
I invite you now to read through our work to gain a better understanding of the NIHR Cambridge BRC and hope you will consider supporting and joining us in future projects.
Professor Miles Parkes,
Director NIHR Cambridge BRC
The NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between NHS organisations and universities. They bring together academics and clinicians to translate scientific discoveries into potential new treatments, diagnostics and technologies.