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Oxford Health plays a leading role in 42.7 million research efforts to find innovative new treatments for mental illness

Oxford Health plays a leading role in 42.7 million research efforts to find innovative new treatments for mental illness


Research with the potential to change the lives of millions of people worldwide who suffer from mental illness has received a boost with the announcement of £42.7m in government funding.

Clinicians and scientists inNIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Center (BRC)are playing a key role in coordinating the Mental Health Mission which will be based on the BRC andNIHR Mental Health Translational Collaboration Research (MH-TRC) to increase research capacity across the country.

The government’s announcement is designed to promote national collaboration across sectors to strengthen research and attract further investment from industry and research organisations. It follows on from the priority healthcare missions launched last year as part of the Science Vision of Life and is part of a series of life science policy announcements made today.

The NIHR MH-TRC, hosted by the NIHR Oxford Health BRC, played a leading role in securing £42.7 million in funding in a national effort to boost mental health research infrastructure across the UK and accelerate the discovery of treatments for effective new mental illness through Office of Life Sciences Mission of Mental Health.

Major funding has been awarded to two demonstration sites in Birmingham and Liverpool with further significant funding awarded to the University of Manchester.

Prof. Manji

Visit to Oxford UniversityProfessor Huseini Manjiwill co-chair the Mental Health Mission with the Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of ManchesterKathryn Abel.

Professor Manji and Professor Abel said:

We are delighted to be working together to make the new Mental Health Mission a truly revolutionary force behind mental health research. We want Mission to make a tangible difference to the lives of patients, both in the UK and internationally. Between us, we bring a wealth of experience in mental health research and innovation, and a commitment to genuine collaboration with patients, industry and healthcare staff.

Prof. Abel

Bringing together the public sector, patients and industry as equal partners, the Mission will work with the Office for Life Sciences and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to support the NHS and NIHR to take advantage of its size and scope , and in the depth of its data sources. Alongside additional investment in mental health research and infrastructure, the Mission will drive a step change in the way we think about mental health, mental illness and its treatment. This will support the development of critically needed treatments across the spectrum of mental illness.

We want the UK to be the most attractive place to conduct robust and high-impact mental health research, ensuring people have access to the best and newest treatments. We are confident that the Mission will be unique in its ability to bring together and challenge national partners to make this happen.

Dr Nick Broughton

Dr. Broughton

Dr Nick Broughton, CEO of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

This unprecedented additional investment in mental health research in the UK will help revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and change the lives of millions of people around the world.

There has been a great leap forward in the understanding of the brain and the genetic roots of these disorders by the global research communities over the past few decades. Our clinicians and scientists are at the forefront of this.

The Mental Health Mission will build on Oxford’s leadership role to create the national research infrastructure we need to make major advances in the treatment of devastating conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and children’s mental health. We are delighted to be working with researchers across the country to make this a reality.

Prof. Geddes

Professor John Geddes, Director of Oxford Health BRC, said:The mission builds on recent major investment in mental health research in the NIHR biomedical research center competition, recognizing the outstanding strength of UK research in this area. The mission extends research infrastructure across the UK, ensuring that all patients and populations can benefit from being offered the opportunity to participate in research.

The successful award is based on a huge collective effort from researchers, clinicians, patients, charities, research funders, regulators, industry working with the Life Sciences Office and NIHR, we are extremely grateful to everyone and look forward to the Mission making an impact great, benefiting Great Britain and the world.

BRC was awarded 35.4 million in government fundingNational Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)last year to help deliver a range of life-changing innovations in brain health.

The NIHR is the UK’s largest funder of health and care research.




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