The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and Dementia Unit (BRC/U) is a partnership between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London. It is also part of the King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.
Our aim is to undertake experimental medicine and translational research which accelerates the translation of the latest scientific discoveries into first-in-man clinical trials, which can be developed and implemented to produce new tests and treatments for patients with mental health problems.
We are developing individualised treatments for patients and supporting advances in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of mental ill health and dementia. To do this, we bring together researchers, clinicians, allied health professionals and service users from across our clinical and academic partnership, who work together to meet the challenges of finding better treatments and improving care for our patients.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the organisation responsible for managing research and development within the NHS – we are part of the NIHR infrastructure and one of 11 NIHR Biomedical Research Centres in England. However, we are the only Biomedical Research Centre specialising in the full spectrum of research into mental health across all ages, from infancy to older adults. The NIHR Dementia Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) is one of four BRUs in the UK specifically tasked with meeting the Government's challenge to develop new tests and treatments to improve outcomes for people with dementia.
How we work
To support our BRC/U research strategy, we have received funding of £53m over five years from the Department of Health through NIHR. We use our funds to support clinical research infrastructure, including our Nucleus (a hub which brings together numerous informatics projects), research nurses, technicians and technology specialists. Our infrastructure bridges the gap between basic discovery research and early phase clinical trials, and we also use our funds to help provide early start-up costs for pilot studies which test new ideas in experimental medicine and translational research. Lastly, we fund training schemes in experimental medicine and neuroscience to ensure there is a new generation of clinical academic researchers ready to meet future mental healthcare challenges.
Originally established in 2007 through a NIHR open competition judged by an international panel of experts, our partnership was successful in winning a second round of NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funding from 1st April 2012, as well as a new NIHR Dementia Biomedical Research Unit. We are closely linked to the NIHR Wellcome Trust King's Clinical Research Facility, the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, and the Maudsley BioResource for Mental Health, as well as numerous academic and industry partners.