A PANEL of international experts will help the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) build on its achievement so far.
This September, a two-day mid-term review will assess the science and impact of the centre’s 14 themes and seven working groups.
Prior to the meeting, some 60 leading international scientists will review the each theme’s output. The final report will be based on these findings along with representations by BRC theme leaders at the meeting.
Initiated by the BRC steering committee, the review will help shape the centre’s future direction and ensure it continues to support excellent translational research.
BRC Director Professor Keith Channon said: “We are at a pivotal stage in the current five year programme of the Biomedical Research Centre and that, combined with significant developments in the research landscape, make this an ideal time to examine success so far.
“The BRC is and will remain a key platform and we need to ensure it capitalises on new opportunities and supports new science and new collaborations.”
Oxford BRC is part of a Government initiative to improve the translation of basic science into clinical and patient benefit. It is a partnership of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Oxford. First awarded in 2007, it was renewed in 2012 with a significant increase in funding to more than £100m over five years.
The mid-term review will be carried out by an international panel chaired by Professor Jonathan Knowles, who has served as Head of Group Research at Roche and Head of European Research at Glaxo Wellcome.
Professor Knowles also holds a Visiting Chair at the University of Oxford and is a Visiting Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 2011, he was appointed as a Trustee of Cancer Research UK, one of the world’s leading cancer research organisations.
Professor Channon added: “Dr Knowles brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that spans academia and industry. We are delighted to have him lead this Review.”
BRC-supported projects have included pioneering gene tests to select effective treatments for cancer patients, an iPad-based early-warning system for inpatient monitoring and ongoing work to improve stroke treatment.
Professor Channon said the review marked the start of a process that would help shape future research directions beyond the current BRC funding cycle in 2017.
He added: “The research landscape continues to change. Oxford has achieved Academic Health Science Centre status and now hosts an Academic Health Science Network. Both will support greater collaboration and increased opportunities to capitalise on discovery, for patient and economic benefit.
“Throughout 2015 we will be engaging with researchers, clinical staff and our partners to explore ways we can improve the BRC structure and the impact of our science.
“The mid-term review is in many ways the start of that process. It will give us an independent assessment of our achievements and how we can build for the future.”
Further details about the BRC mid-turn review and the engagement workshops will be posted on the BRC website.