New £5m biomedical research Unit for Liverpool

The University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital have been awarded £5 million to establish a new Biomedical Research Unit.

The facility will specialise in pancreatic digestive diseases, focusing on “translational research”, offering a direct link between University and the hospital trust and allowing patients to benefit more quickly from scientific breakthroughs.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Unit will be based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. One of only 15 nationwide, it will be only unit dedicated to diseases of the pancreas. The funding will provide facilities, equipment and new staff to translate Liverpool’s research advances into better outcomes for patients.

Robert Sutton, Professor of Surgery at the University and Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, orchestrated the plans for the new facility and led the successful bid.

“Liverpool is outstanding internationally for biomedical research in pancreatic disease,” he said. “This award is highly significant for the pursuit of new treatments for many patients throughout the UK and the world. It capitalises on our strengths to advance the management of pancreatic digestive disease, providing a vital new clinical research platform to develop new diagnostics, and most importantly, new treatments.”

Talib Yaseen, Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool University and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to receive funding for a Biomedical Research Unit.

“The Royal University Hospital has particular expertise in gastrointestinal and pancreatic disease and is a major centre for pancreatic surgery in terms of new treatment and research. This will allow us to take that research forward.”

Notes to editors:

1. Pancreatic digestive diseases develop in over 50,000 people per year in the UK, causing major illness and death, costing the nation over £1bn. At present there are no specific drugs to treat acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis, and very few to treat pancreatic cancer.

2. The Liverpool Biomedical Research Unit will pioneer new drugs and interventions, as well as new diagnostic techniques and preventive strategies, to translate research discoveries into improved care for patients with pancreatic digestive diseases.

3. The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £108 million annually

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