Creating a state-of-the-art research environment at NNUH
A development to increase and enhance research at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will take a big step forward later this year.
A new Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in the state-of-the-art Quadram Institute will be home to a host of research initiatives to aid the development of new treatments and improve patient care.
The NNUH-run facility will bring together researchers and scientists from the hospital, Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), University of East Anglia (UEA) and across the Norwich Research Park.
Dr Melanie Pascale said she was “delighted” to take up the new post as manager of the CRF, which will be an integral part of the collaboration between researchers and scientists at the Quadram Institute on Norwich Research Park.
The CRF will champion research studies that will explore how food and nutrition affect health and disease and a vast array of other clinical trials, which will involve patients and volunteers. The results of these trials will lead to new strategies and treatments for improving health and preventing related disease.
Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted that the Trust is leading on this exciting partnership, which will bring together some of the brightest research talent under one roof. I look forward to seeing the many innovations that will come out of the CRF over the coming years, which will help to improve patient care.”
The NNUH-run CRF will be the hospital’s primary facility for clinical trials that do not need to be located within the main hospital building. In a facility designed by researchers and hospital clinicians, it will provide a mixture of outpatient clinical and laboratory space as well as a food-preparation area for diet-related studies. It is estimated to have capacity to accommodate around 5,000 research participants a year.
Dr Pascale added: “The Quadram Institute is a wonderful building and the NNUH’s CRF creates a novel state-of-the-art collaborative working environment for hospital researchers and scientists from the UEA and QIB. It is really exciting to bring all these experts in their field together.
“Evidence clearly demonstrates that patient outcomes are significantly improved by involvement in research and being treated in a research active environment such as the NNUH.
“It will represent a turning point for research for the hospital and will build on our partnership with the UEA, QIB and other partners on the research park.”
Dr Pascale began her career as a biomedical scientist at NNUH 20 years ago before studying for her PhD at QIB (formerly the Institute of Food Research). She returned to the NNUH after some time as a research scientist on the Norwich Research Park, working with the Cancer Research Network, Eastern.
For the last seven years she has been Senior Programme Manager and Principal Investigator of the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study, which is hosted by NNUH.
The Quadram Institute has been created by four partner organisations – NNUH, UEA, QIB and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It is run by a charity – the Quadram Institute Partners.
The Quadram Institute will also be home to a new regional endoscopy centre, which will be run by NNUH. The centre will have capacity to carry out at least 40,000 procedures a year, making it one of the largest in Europe.