Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Sheffield Hospitals awarded £4m to pioneer medical breakthroughs in neurosciences

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded over £4m of Government funding to pioneer medical breakthroughs in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of devastatingly progressive illnesses such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease,  motor neurone disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in partnership with the University of Sheffield will now be designated as one of twenty NIHR Biomedical Research Centres.

The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Sheffield will focus on translational neuroscience and will host the development of new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients suffering from debilitating diseases such as dementia, motor neurone disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease.

The investment is part of a record £816 million  package of national research funding announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Twenty NHS and University partnerships across England, including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have each been awarded funding, through the National Institute for Health Research, boosting growth in clinical research in cities across the country.

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been designated as an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Sheffield is a recognised leader in neurosciences, and together with our strong partnerships with the city’s universities, this £4m will help us further develop and pioneer medical breakthroughs which aim to improve the lives of patients with neurological disorders and their families across the globe.”

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Consultant Neurologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the University’s Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), said:  “We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award from the National Institute for Health Research. This will take our research effort to a new level for the benefit of patients with neurological conditions.  The funding will enable us to develop exciting discoveries emerging from basic neuroscience research into experimental medicine studies aimed at developing new treatments and better outcomes for our 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.”

Pioneering medical breakthroughs in neurosciences currently being developed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust include:

  • New neuroprotective and symptomatic treatments for motor neurone disease including gene therapy studies
  • Innovative treatment using bone marrow stem cell transplantation to halt disease progression in patients with severe multiple sclerosis as featured on BBC Panorama
  • Improving the acute care of patients with cerebrovascular disease, linking with research to improve long-term disability following stroke
  • Using new technologies including advanced neuroimaging, genomics and predictive medicine measurement and modelling to better sub classify neurological disorders and to allow us to find the right treatment for the right patient on a more rapid timescale than is currently possible.  

Funding will commence in April 2017.