New £6m arthritis research unit is going for gold
Britain's Olympic athletes may be among the many people to
benefit from a new biomedical research unit focusing on
musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis which was
officially launched yesterday in Manchester (4th July 2012).
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Manchester
Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) brings together
experts from our Trust and The University of Manchester to tackle
diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis which affect
the joints and other tissues. Over 10 million people in the
UK have some form of arthritis, which can affect children as well
Trust Chairman Peter Mount and Chief Executive Mike Deegan
attended the launch. "By combining the best research and
clinical skills, and capitalising on patients' enthusiasm to be
part of the research process, we can make significant strides in
tackling arthritis and related diseases," said Mike Deegan.
Professor Deborah Symmons, the BRU Director, added: "The
launch of the new unit under the 'Going for Gold' theme highlights
our aim to deliver world class research to help people living with
musculoskeletal disorders. Our ultimate goal is to deliver the best
possible treatment for patients with arthritis, whatever the cause
The BRU has received funding from the NIHR (£4.9m) and the
Department of Health (£1.5m). Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
"We know that conditions like arthritis and rheumatism can have a
devastating effect on peoples' lives, so it is essential that we
develop new treatments to help NHS patients and their families.
"Researchers working at this research unit will develop
innovative new ways of treating these conditions which will have a
real, lasting and positive impact on patient care."
Manchester has played a leading role in studying and treating
musculoskeletal disorders since 1945, when the first research
centre for the study of chronic rheumatism was set up at Manchester
Royal Infirmary. It was founded by rheumatology expert Professor
Jonas Kellgren, whose pioneering work is commemorated by the
Kellgren Centre at MRI.