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Launch of the Tayside Academic Health Sciences Centre

16th February, 2010 @ 01.40 pm

The University of Dundee and NHS Tayside have formed a new collaborative venture - the Tayside Academic Health Sciences Centre - to boost clinical research activity in the region.

Existing expertise at both organisations has helped make Dundee and Tayside a leading international centre for innovative health research and education. The creation of TAHSC will further boost the amount of research being carried out here.

'The University of Dundee and NHS Tayside have long shared in a strong and mutually beneficial relationship - the launch of TAHSC will take that a step further and see both institutions working together across the field of clinical research to maximise the potential of the excellent staff and facilities we have here,' said Professor John Connell, Director of TAHSC and Dean of the University’s School of Medicine. 'This will complement other new initiatives, such as the recently launched Dundee Cancer Centre, that will help us make real progress in advancing human health.'

Professor Jill Belch, Research and Development Director of TAHSC, said the new collaboration would offer a 'one-stop shop' providing the infrastructure support required for high quality clinical research, which focuses on the development of new treatments for disease.

'What TAHSC will do is make the sum of what we have here in Tayside ultimately greater than the individuals parts,' said Professor Belch. 'So many major clinical trials now demand different disciplines and components. We can combine much of that expertise and offer a more attractive package for carrying out this kind of vitally important research.'

The Scottish Academic Health Science Collaboration (SAHSC) was launched in June 2009 and comprises four nodes based around NHS and University collaborations in Tayside, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. SAHSC is supported by funding from the Chief Scientist Office, with the intention of increasing research activity across the NHS and academia. The main focus is to increase the volume of both commercial and non-commercial research in Scotland, and to significantly increase access to research for patients.

Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, Professor Tony Wells, said, 'We very much welcome the launch of this new collaboration, which will allow us to build on the excellent working relationship we have with the University of Dundee.'

'This will benefit our patients through research findings and innovation, as well as the professional development of our staff.'

The University of Dundee and NHS Tayside combine excellence in academia, clinical service delivery, research management and education. Together they employ 16,000 staff and have an annual turnover of over £1billion. There is a wide range of joint expertise in research into cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, photobiology/dermatology, and infection, inflammation and immunity.

Joint facilities that support this activity include:

  • the Tayside Clinical Research Centre, offering first-class facilities for the conduct of patient-based research and clinical trials
  • the Clinical Imaging Centre, a custom-designed space whichhouses advanced MRI and PET/CT scanners with a unique adjoining interventional suite
  • the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit, co-ordinating all clinical trials expertise in Tayside
    Laboratories and biorepositories such as the Tayside Tissue Bank which allow patient derived samples to be used (with permission) to advance medical research
  • Dundee Epidemiolgy and Biostatistics Unit and the Health Informatics Centre, offering internationally renowned expertise in eHealth solutions and analysis of large patient databases

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