Healthcare researchers from Sheffield were awarded £12m to battle infectious diseases and speed up research for medical treatments.

Last week Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) received a massive funding boost from the National Institute for Health and Care Research to amplify scientific discoveries, not only into their world-renowned neurological research, but into other ailments such as inflammatory and infectious diseases.

In the next five years, scientists will try to find ways to get patients an earlier diagnosis for pulmonary vascular disease (lung disease), care pathways for patients living with HIV and find new vaccines and treatments for other infectious diseases.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Director of the NIHR Sheffield BRC, said: “The Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre has a track record of giving access to experimental medical trials for patients living with a variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as MND, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. This work has improved the outlook in multiple ways for patients facing devastating neurological conditions.”

The NIHR Sheffield BRC was launched in 2017 and has since conducted 304 clinical studies, through which 2,974 patients have had access to new experimental medical treatments and therapies.

The new funding will give the scientists the opportunity to do more diverse research and give more patients the opportunity to participate in studies.

Thérèse Coffey, Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our booming research sector and the potential it has to not only strengthen health and care services but lead to lifesaving developments.

“From helping develop the Covid vaccine to discovering world-first treatments, these centres have already delivered ground-breaking research and will continue to help us tackle some of the biggest health challenges we face, including cancer, to ensure the NHS continues to deliver world-class care.”