UKs largest ever investment into groundbreaking health research

Leicester’s hospitals and the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough are set to receive funding of £11m from the Government to make world-leading medical breakthroughs, as part of a record package of research funding announced today by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Leading NHS clinicians and top universities will benefit from new world class facilities and support services built by the five-year funding package – the largest ever investment into health research.

Twenty NHS and University partnerships across England have each been awarded funding, through the National Institute for Health Research.

Each of the twenty Biomedical Research Centres will host the development of new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases like cancer and dementia.

Professor Phil Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester said: “This award recognises the world-leading research carried out by academic researchers and clinicians at the University in cardiovascular, respiratory and lifestyle research. This ongoing investment in our research activity will enable us to extend our work in these areas and to build our collaborations with Leicester’s hospitals and Loughborough University. Research conducted as part of this Biomedical Research Centre will lead to improvements in patient care and clinical practice and will enhance the translation of medical research. It will enable the development of precision medicine, targeted to the needs of individual patients.”

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing. Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine.

“We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”

The UK is already a world leader in pioneering medical breakthroughs and this record investment will ensure this strong tradition continues. It is estimated that for every £1 the Department of Health invests, hospitals/universities will generate £6 – from public funders of research, charities and industry partners - a boost for the economy.

Previous rounds of funding have led to medical breakthroughs including:

  • Scientists genetically engineer patients’ own cells to attack cancer
  • World first use of gene-edited immune cells to treat ‘incurable’ leukemia
  • Clinical trials of new T-cell treatment for cancer
  • MRI brain scans to detect early Parkinson’s
  • Detection of the early signs of Alzheimer's disease
  • Diagnosing Barrett’s oesophagus in primary care
  • Multi-gene DNA sequencing which can help predict cancer patients' responses to treatment was launched in the NHS
  • New immunotherapy trial to test cancer vaccine.


University of Leicester press release

Regional press release by Leicester's hospitals

Department of Health press release

More information about the Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit

More information about the Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit