University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) treats a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal surgery.

Research into gastrointestinal conditions is translational and involves both basic science, at the University Of Birmingham laboratories, and clinical trials, which are mainly conducted at the Wellcome Clinical Trials Unit.  Both these areas are crucial to developing the understanding of the complex conditions which can affect the stomach and intestines.

Basic science research

This research focuses on investigating biomarkers to predict cancer risk for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the role of iron in cancer and IBD. IBD is a collective term for a number of different conditions, particularly Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Clinical trials

UHB is running a number of clinical trials looking at IBD. These involve a mix of commercially sponsored and academically designed studies to treat IBD and its complications, such as anaemia.


Because UHB is a large, regional centre for treating gastrointestinal conditions, the hospital is active in taking and storing tissue samples from patients for future study. This process involves careful consent processes to ensure patients understand why samples are being stored, enabling researchers to analyse samples of tissue from an even larger range of patients.


UHB works closely with many other large hospitals around the West Midlands and the UK on a range of different projects, including research into idiosyncratic reactions to drugs in collaboration with groups at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

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