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Research centres

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) hosts a number of research centres, many of which focus their work on specific areas of disease or injury.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility

The NIHR/Wellcome Trust Birmingham Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is a purpose-built dedicated unit where study participants take part in research programmes safely according to robust, ethically approved trial protocols.

The CRF is a collaboration between UHB, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC).

NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre

The NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre is a partnership between UHB and the University of Birmingham. The centre's purpose is to shed light on the common and distinct mechanisms underpinning diseases of the immune system, including colitis, Crohn’s disease and arthritis.

The centre aims to establish a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, nurses, scientists and clinical trials experts that can deliver a trials acceleration programme (TAP) to reduce the time taken to translate scientific discoveries into clinical benefits for patients.

NIHR Trauma Management MedTech Co-operative

Based at UHB, the NIHR Trauma Management MedTech Co-operative is one of eleven MedTech and in vitro diagnostic co-operatives (MICs) set up to build expertise and capacity in the NHS. The goal is to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially supplied in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests.

The remit of the Trauma MIC is to develop and deliver a programme of work that could improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients who have suffered a traumatic injury.

NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre

The NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) is a national hub for trauma research.

The main aim of the SRMRC is to transfer new emergency medicine practices developed in the military frontline to the NHS to improve outcomes for all patients. In addition, the SRMRC takes findings from the science lab to the patient’s bedside to improve emergency medicine practice in military and civilian settings.

Since the centre’s start in 2011, civilian and military scientists have worked alongside civilian and military clinicians in a variety of specialist areas to improve the care and treatment of trauma patients.

The centre is jointly funded by the NIHR and the Ministry of Defence, with additional "matched" funding provided by UHB and UoB.

Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre

Based in the Institute for Translational Medicine on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham site, the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) provides med–tech and life sciences businesses with access to state-of-the-art simulation and usability facilities alongside dedicated medical device expertise from the academic and clinical environment.

The centre supports the acceleration of products from bench to market, at less cost and with reduced risk. Companies can ensure their products match need and avoid the re-engineering and re-evaluation caused by an initial lack of user testing and the hurdles of regulatory blockages.

MD-TEC facilities include a near-replica operating theatre, and intensive care and ward bed areas, boosting Birmingham’s provision of test bed facilities suitable for manufacturers.

Centre for Conflict Wound Research

The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, based at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, is a partnership between:

  • UHB
  • University of Birmingham
  • the Scar Free Foundation
  • the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR, University of the West of England)
  • CASEVAC injured veterans club

The centre aims to generate a national and international network of clinical and academic research with the common goals of:

  • improving the lives of patients living with scarring
  • developing approaches to prevent scarring

Midlands and Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre

The Midlands and Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC) is funded by Innovate UK and is part of the ATTC network. It consists of a large regional network with the commercial and NHS infrastructure required to facilitate the delivery of advanced therapy treatments to patients.

The centre includes a wide range of specialists in advanced therapy manufacturing, including academic and commercial partners, logistics companies, specialists in clinical trial delivery and teams focused on IT solutions and health economics.

The MW-ATTC has clinical sites based in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leicester, Nottingham and Swansea.


PIONEER, the Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care, is one of seven HDR UK hubs.

PIONEER aims to improve healthcare pathways and treatments by understanding:

  • the symptoms and diseases people have when they become unwell
  • whether those people had been to hospital or other healthcare providers with the same problems
  • the time it took to make a diagnosis and the care they received

UHB is the data controller for PIONEER, with the overall project led by University of Birmingham. The West Midlands Ambulance Service, the University of Warwick and Insignia Medical Systems are also founding members of the hub.


INSIGHT is a Health Data Research Hub focusing on eye health and its connection to wider health issues, including diabetes and dementia. It's one of seven HDR UK hubs.

The hub uses anonymised, large-scale data and advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence (AI), to develop new insights in disease detection, diagnosis, treatments and personalised healthcare.

INSIGHT is a collaboration between six partners:

  • UHB (lead institution)
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • UoB
  • Roche
  • Google
  • Action Against AMD (founded by Fight for Sight, Macular Society, Blind Veterans UK, Sight Scotland/Sight Scotland Veterans)

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands is a five-year initiative (2019 – 2024) with a mission to create lasting and effective partnerships across health and social care organisations, and universities (Birmingham, Keele and Warwick), in order to improve care services across the West Midlands.

The ARC is one of 15 across England aiming to improve the health and care of patients and the public. Its work builds on research conducted by its predecessors, the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for West Midlands, and the CLAHRC Birmingham and Black Country pilot.

Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre

The Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research, is led by Professor Gary Middleton and has an international reputation for innovation in personalised medicine, with the development of novel, stratified studies driven in partnership with the CRUK Clinical Trials Unit.

Research is developed at UHB, with University of Birmingham providing academic leadership. Strengths of the ECMC include the National Lung Matrix Trial, the development of innovative immunotherapeutic strategies and experimental haematology studies. Most recently, the Bladder Cancer Centre has been launched, led by Birmingham’s Dr Rik Bryan working in collaboration with the universities of Oxford, Cardiff and Manchester.

Centre for Clinical Haematology

The Birmingham Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH), supported by Cure Leukaemia, 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. Many of these trials provide pioneering treatments for patients who have exhausted all other available treatments.

The trials, which have the potential to be practice changing, cover a range of haematological conditions, including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and amyloidosis, as well as rarer conditions.

Last reviewed: 26 April 2021