Cardiff/Bristol Neuroscience Research Collaboration
Our collaboration with the University of Bristol began in April 2006 as an initiative to enable greater knowledge sharing and partnership between our neuroscience communities.
In the last few years, we’ve undertaken several new joint projects, including:
- Study of links between multi-morbidities and mental health disorders - £3.6 million MRC/NIHR funded project
- Modalities for understanding recording and integrating data across early life (MURIDAE) cluster - £2.7 million MRC-funded project
- Biological and cognitive changes that occur in schizophrenia - £2.1 million MRC-funded project
- Understanding of genetic mutations in mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions - £2 million MRC-funded project
- Sleep stratification in young people at high risk of psychosis - £930k Wellcome Trust funded project
- Improving mental health outcomes in children born with an orofacial cleft - £748k MRC-funded project
Our collaboration initially focused on establishing specialised focus groups in various areas of neuroscience, including psychiatry, neuroimaging, schizophrenia, systems neuroscience, and the biological basis of mental health disorders. These groups were formed through joint meetings, laboratory exchange visits, tours of our Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) and Experimental MRI Centre (EMRIC), as well as training days and other collaborative activities. These focus groups resulted in several joint projects, grant applications, PhD studentships, training days, workshops, and an international three-day showcase which welcomed over 150 delegates.
Another notable development is the GW4 Early Career Neuroscientist's Day, which has taken place in Bristol (2007, 2010, 2015), Cardiff (2008, 2012, 2017), and Exeter (2019). Organised by a committee comprising young neuroscientists from both universities, this event fostered a productive working relationship and ongoing collaboration, as well as attracting considerable attention from hundreds of young neuroscientists from across the UK.
To encourage further collaboration between our universities, a travel prize scheme was introduced, with grants worth up to £500 on offer. These grants enabled early career researchers to attend international conferences – widening their worldview and allowing them to build valuable networking opportunities.
As we step into a new phase of neuroscientific breakthroughs, maintaining and expanding our relationship with the University of Bristol becomes ever more vital. By combining the brilliant academic and clinical minds of our institutions we aim to make the South Wales/West of England region the gold standard for neuroscience and mental health research in the UK.
Developments in neuroscience and mental health research mean that we take another step closer to solving the mysteries lying behind psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.