£11 million cleft research study will have global impact
The largest ever research programme into cleft lip and palate
will bring huge potential benefit to patients around the world, say
scientists speaking at the project's launch on Tuesday.
Cleft is one of the most common congenital abnormalities in the
world, affecting 1,200 children born in the UK every year, but
little is known about its causes, with opinion divided on best
The £11 million, five-year programme - called The Cleft
Collective - is the single biggest investment in cleft research
anywhere in the world and will draw on expertise from across the
UK. The Healing Foundation charity will be providing £5 million
towards the project, with additional funding coming from university
and NHS partners.
The Universities of Manchester and Bristol will lead the
programme, in partnership with the Central Manchester University
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the NIHR Medicines for Children
Research Network Clinical Trials Unit at the University of
Liverpool and the University of the West of England.
In Manchester, researchers will run a programme of clinical
studies, while in Bristol scientists will host a cleft gene bank
and cohort study.
Professor Bill Shaw, lead researcher for the Manchester team,
said: "Even today, we neither know the cause of cleft nor the best
approaches to treatment. Here in Manchester we will be coordinating
a nationwide programme of research in order to improve the
treatments available and reduce the burden of care on children and
their families. The benefits of our collaborative work will be felt
by patients and their families worldwide."
Acting Chief Executive of The Cleft Lip and Palate Association
(CLAPA) Sue Carroll added: "We at CLAPA welcome this new and
exciting research programme which, over the next five years, will
provide huge insights into cleft lip and palate. We urge as many
people as possible nationwide to get involved."
Notes for editors:
The Cleft Collective research programme, hosted by the
Universities of Manchester and Bristol and part-funded by The
Healing Foundation, will be launched at the Science Media Centre,
The Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 on Tuesday, 27
March, at 10.30am.
Speakers at the launch event include:
- Professor Jonathan Sandy, Director, Healing
Foundation Cleft Gene Bank, Bristol
- Professor Nichola Rumsey, Director, Centre for
Appearance Research, University of the West of England
- Professor Bill Shaw, Director, Healing Foundation Centre for
Cleft Research, The University of Manchester
- Professor Jill Clayton Smith, Consultant Clinical Geneticist,
North Western Regional Genetic Service, Manchester
The Healing Foundation is a UK charity supporting research in
all aspects of disfigurement, scarring and reconstructive surgery.
It is a registered charity (number 1078666) and a company limited
by guarantee (no. 3831398); registered in England and Wales.
CLAPA is the only UK-wide voluntary organisation specifically
helping those with, and affected by, cleft lip and palate.
Media enquiries to:
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8383
Mob: 07717 881563