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Advancing Welsh healthcare

22 May 2009

Doctor examining patient

Improvements in health and healthcare in Wales are to be advanced by University research following the award of eight new grants totalling £1.8M to support the translation of medical research into new therapies and treatments to benefit patients.

The awards funded by the Welsh Assembly Government will help ensure that the world-leading research carried out at Cardiff will directly improve the health of people in Wales.

Of the eight awards, four were made to the School of Medicine, two to the School of Biosciences, and one each to the Schools of Pharmacy and Social Sciences. A wide range of activities are supported by the new funding, including:

  • The development of a novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) /Positron Emission Tomography (PET) contrast agent to be used in the early detection of cancers; the completion of validation, environmental monitoring and tissue evaluation to run a new Good Manufacturing Practice laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility that will, in the future, carry out trials for Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stem cell alternatives (School of Biosciences).

Nurse checking on patient

  • The development of a programme of research in community based primary prevention of cancer (School of Social Sciences).
  • The development of novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial sepsis, the main cause of mortality in intensive care; research to better inform the planning and provision of mental health care in Wales; assessing the impact of genetic variation on clinical outcome in patients diagnosed with leukaemia or lymphoma; translating the epidemiology of Health Care Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance into improved clinical care (School of Medicine)
  • A pilot study in breast cancer to evaluate if mechanistic markers identified from experimental models can be monitored clinically and can predict whether patients will respond or be resistant to targeted cancer therapies (Welsh School of Pharmacy).

The grants were awarded by the Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care (WORD), part of the Welsh Assembly Government that is committed to improving the translation of research findings into clinical practice and developing the research continuum to improve health and increase wealth.

Professor Teresa Rees, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research said: "A central theme in Cardiff’s research activity is improving the health and well-being of people in Wales and beyond. The funding from WORD will significantly help the practical application of that research, bringing real benefits to society."