Biomedical Research Unit in Musculoskeletal Disease
Many medical advances start life behind the scenes in the laboratory. It can take years of research and development before scientific breakthroughs come out of the laboratory and into hospital clinics. Much of this work is carried out by teams of medical staff and researchers working collaboratively as part of a Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).
The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in partnership with the University of Oxford has received funding for a BRU to boost research into musculoskeletal disease. The BRU research teams are developing treatments for chronic bone and joint conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and developing advances in joint replacement surgery. It is one of only three units in the UK dedicated to supporting this important clinical area.
BRUs are created and funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and are at the forefront of a multi-million pound drive to prevent, diagnose and treat ill-health. The wider NIHR network also has BRUs looking at conditions from heart disease to hearing problems.
The Oxford unit is led by Professor Andy Carr who has a dual role as Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford, and is also a senior consultant specialising in shoulder surgery at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.
Research activities are wide-ranging and have involved nearly 2,500 patients participating in 38 separate projects. In addition to the direct research projects, the unit also has an important role teaching many medical specialisms and supervises a number of post-graduate students.
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Involving patients and the public
There is a concerted effort to make widely available to the public both the results of the current research and plans for future projects. Engagement takes place through the Patient and Research Engagement Forum. In addition, there is a series of lectures - 'Joint Ventures' - where medical experts and researchers describe their work to interested members of the public and answer questions and discuss future plans. Follow this link to find out about up and coming lectures of the Joint Ventures series.