Medical schools get Pounds 16m injection

December 26, 1997

CLINICAL research at five medical schools has been boosted by Wellcome Trust Millennial Awards of more than Pounds 16 million, writes Julia Hinde.

The awards to hospital trusts and medical schools at Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Southampton universities, will enable the building of state-of-the-art facilities for medical clinical research. This will allow advances made in the laboratory to be taken to the bedside as part of the development of new diagnoses and treatments.

The awards aim to bring clinical patient-orientated research to the forefront of academic medicine, says the trust.

A spokesman for Wellcome said that a space shortage in recent years had led to a decline in the amount of patient-orientated research conducted in the United Kingdom and a subsequent decline in the numbers of suitably trained clinical scientists. The new centres aim to address this and help train a new generation of clinical scientists.

Medical schools and their related NHS hospital trusts had to make collaborative bids for the new research centres. The NHS trusts have guaranteed to pay running costs from NHS research and development funds, with the research being led by both university academics and NHS consultants. This could lead to an almost unique situation of joint management of facilities by the NHS and medical schools.

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