Research centres

UHB hosts a number of research centres which focus their work on specific areas of disease or injury. Many of these are supported by funding from outside agencies, and are run in collaboration with other organisations, such as the University of Birmingham and the Ministry of Defence.

Healing Foundation Birmingham Burn Injury Research Centre

UHB, along with research partners University of Birmingahm, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and University College London, are currently working with the Healing Foundation to establish a major centre for research in burns. This follows a comprehensive, international and expert-led Peer Review and Selection Process which was completed in June 2011. The centre will provide a vital, international base for clinically-driven, patient relevant research into all aspects of burns care, from prevention and acute care to longer-term rehabilitation.

Birmingham and the Black Country Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC)

There is a nationally-recognised paucity of centres that systematically study well defined cohorts of patients to help understand the pathogenesis of disease as well as providing ready access to cohorts for intervention studies.

The Birmingham CDRC, hosted by UHB, houses clinics in which cohorts of patients with arthritis, kidney, lung and endocrine disease can be studied using shared facilities, while at the same time providing resources for disease specific assessments. There is a cross-disciplinary approach to inflammation with careful characterisation of cohorts of patients to explore how pathology is manifested and differs across different organs and to explore cardiovascular, bone and periodontal co-morbidity.

The Comprehensive Local Research Network has pump-primed the development of this Centre with dedicated research fellows and nurses for each speciality and bespoke database development. The CDRC will be physically co-located with the Centre for Translational Inflammation on the first floor of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Birmingham Centre for Clinical Haematology

The Birmingham Centre for Clinical Haematology oversees one of the most active academic and clinical haematology practices in the world. The centre hosts an internationally competitive early phase clinical trials portfolio. Its mission is to develop and deliver novel drug and transplant therapies in patients with haematological malignancies.

NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Birmingham and the Black Country (CLAHRC-BBC)

The CLAHRC-BBC undertakes high-quality applied health research focused on the needs of patients, the results of which can be put into practice in the NHS. Activity is based upon six core aims:

  • To assess if changes to NHS services work, where, for whom and at what cost.
  • To develop cross-cutting research topics to enrich evaluations.
  • To encourage and support sustainable research activity in partnership with NHS organisations in our region and beyond.
  • To build upon existing relationships between academics, NHS staff, patients and the public.
  • To build a cohesive knowledge management function.
  • To create and build international collaborations.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Technology Hub

CRUK launched its first super cancer centre in Birmingham in 2010 to draw together worldclass research and provides more than £8 million funding each year. CRUK is setting the pace for national and international progress for genetics, gene therapy and the link between viruses and some cancers, as well as focusing on cancers of the prostate and bladder and leukaemia. It is a leading centre for clinical trials.

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)

Birmingham ECMC aims to improve the feasibility and quality of research in the areas of immunotherapy and gene therapy, translational genetics and biomarkers. This is being conducted in many different types of cancer. The centre has established bio-repositories, developed antibody-based assays and conducted various immunotherapy/gene therapy trials. Launched in October 2006, the ECMC network is jointly supported by Cancer Research UK and the Departments of Health for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, providing a total of £35 million over five years to fund a network of 19 ECMCs across the UK.

NIHR Health Technology Co-operative (HTC)

The NIHR infrastructure funding for HTCs enables NHS Organisations to act as centres of expertise that focus in clinical areas or themes of high morbidity and unmet need for NHS patients. Working collaboratively with industry, they develop new medical devices, healthcare technologies or technology-dependent interventions, which improve treatment and quality of life for patients.

Working with key partners the Birmingham HTC is concentrating on the clinical area of trauma and is under the clinical directorship of Dr Tom Clutton-Brock.

NIHR Liver Biomedical Research Unit (BRU)

The Birmingham NIHR Liver BRU at UHB, in partnership with University of Birmingham, is part of a multi-million pound scheme to prevent, diagnose and treat ill-health. It is one of 16 BRUs in England funded by the National Institute for Health Research that focus on translational research. The funding supports people, infrastructure, equipment and running costs, allowing a team of scientists to undertake challenging and complex translational research to develop new therapies for liver disease.

NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiologu Research Centre (SRMRC)

The NIHR SRMRC is a joint venture between the Ministry of Defence, UHB and University of Birmingham to innovate in, and share, medical research and advanced clinical practice in battlefield medicine to benefit all trauma patients in the NHS at an early stage of injury.

The centre carries out world-leading research to help people recover better and faster from severe injuries helping to make the NHS leaders in the world of trauma care. Its clinical director is Professor Sir Keith Porter, who is the UK’s only Professor of Clinical Traumatology and has been leading a team to develop world-class treatment for injured military servicemen and women for the past 10 years.