A delegation tasked with improving the health and wealth of the nation through research has visited Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Institute of Child Health.
Louise Wood, deputy director of the National Institute for Health Research and Tony Soteriou, Manager NHS Research Infrastructure visited the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Institute of Child Health – the UK’s only Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) specialising in paediatrics. As part of the visit they were shown a range of translational research facilities that form key parts of the BRC.
The sites visited included the Somers Clinical Research Facility, a tour of cellular therapies facility on Butterfly Ward and the Angiography and MRI suites. The visit also included a presentation by Professor David Goldblatt on the refreshed strategy for the GOSH/UCL BRC focusing on the four BRC themes of: the molecular basis of childhood diseases; diagnostics and biomarkers; gene, stem and cellular therapies; and novel therapies for childhood diseases.
After the tour Louise said: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm and commitment of the team here and the impact the NIHR funding can make in translating basic science into benefits to patients.”
Tony added: “Paediatrics is an important specialty, however, we recognise in some areas it is under-researched.
“It has been fantastic to have the opportunity to visit the facility within the BRC at GOSH. I particularly liked seeing the children and family focus of the clinical research facilities and how research is integrated within the clinical service.”
BRCs are the primary vehicles by which the government aims to improve health through funding translational research. Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Institute of Child Health were first awarded BRC status in 2007 with £31.5 million in funding. A second award of approximately £36 million was made in 2011 for work starting in April 2012 and finishing in 2017.
Professor David Goldblatt is the director of the GOSH/ICH BRC. He said: “This has been a great opportunity to showcase the superb work we have been able to undertake since funding started in April 2012.
“It has also allowed us to hear about the NIHR priorities for their BRCs so that we remain confident in delivering what is expected of us.”