Research is driven by patient needs
The research strategy of the Trust for 2008-11 is based on placing the clinical needs of patients at the heart of our drive for scientific advancement and innovation. Together with Imperial College, the Trust was successful in obtaining Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) status for cardiovascular and respiratory research in 2008. This significant achievement led to the establishment of a Research Directorate (see diagram below).
This is centred around the Research Management Committee (RMC) chaired by Professor Timothy Evans, medical director, who was appointed director of research & development in August 2008.
The Trust’s research is directed by the RMC
The RMC will direct the Trust’s research and development portfolio in order to maximise its academic, strategic and financial contribution. It will oversee the Trust’s systems of research governance and identify
and exploit relevant, strategic National Institute of Health Research and related initiatives, as well as government, charitable, commercial and other funding opportunities.
In addition, the RMC will explore opportunities for closer collaboration in the management, administration and governance of research between the Trust, National Heart and Lung Institute and the rest of Imperial College. To achieve this, two appointments were made in 2008: Dr Marcus Flather was appointed deputy director of research & development and Professor Peter Collins Trust-wide director of education.
A technical review of the clinical databases the Trust supports was carried out in 2008/09. The Trust has large, well established and phenotyped populations of patients with both relatively common (e.g. difficult asthma, advanced heart failure) and rare (e.g. interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, grown-up congenital heart disease) conditions. These provide a unique national resource for research into all aspects of cardiac and pulmonary diseases. A Biobank will also be established, to be run by commercial partners, which will archive biological samples.