Swansea University is set to play a key role in a new research platform. The UK Rare Disease Research Platform has been established with a £14 million investment over five years by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). We supported Swansea University grant application to become an MRC Rare Disease Node partner.
To read more about the UK Rare Disease Research Platform: UK Research and Innovation Article
Please see press release below from Swansea University:
Swansea University is set to play a key role in a new platform aimed at bringing together UK strengths in the research of rare diseases to develop better and faster understanding, diagnosis and treatment.
The UK Rare Disease Research Platform has been established with a £14 million investment over five years by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).
Professor William Griffiths and Professor Yuqin Wang, from Swansea University Medical School worked with clinicians and scientists from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, University College London and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust on a successful bid for funding.
Swansea has now been chosen as one of the platform’s 11 specialist nodes based at universities across the UK offering different specialties. The Swansea node’s goal is to bring mass spectrometry-based lipidomic science into the arena of rare disease research to enable earlier diagnosis, intervention and improved clinical outcomes.
Professor Griffiths, Director of the Swansea-led node, said: “One of the real academic strengths we have in South Wales is lipidomic research where we look at fats in the body and how they are involved in the heathy functions of the body but when not properly regulated can cause disease.”
Co-investigator Professor Wang said: “The grant from MRC is real boost to research in rare diseases and we will work closely with Cardiff University and the University Hospital of Wales along with our partners at UCL and University of Manchester to deliver the project.”
Professor Griffiths added “An important part of our project is to work with charities like Alex, The Leukodystrophy Charity as involving patient communities in our work is a top priority.”
The UK Rare Disease Research Platform’s aim is to bring together teams with the right people, patients, stakeholders and technologies to deliver research with greater impact.
A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 people. However, there are thousands of these conditions, and around one in 17 people in the UK is affected by a rare disease. More than 30 per cent of children with a rare disease die before they are five.
MRC Executive Chair Professor John Iredale said: “The UK has great strengths in rare disease research. The platform will bring people together, link participants to resources and activities in the UK and internationally, and support projects that deliver advances in rare disease research.”