A new UK hub for the development of new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease has opened its doors at the University of Brighton.
The Centre for Precision Health and Translational Medicine brings together experts from a range of fields including biomedicine, engineering, mathematics, computer science and social science to develop new approaches to healthcare. Using the latest technology and techniques such as genome editing and stem cell modification, the centre aims to advance the delivery of personalised, proactive and predictive healthcare, tailored to the needs of individual patients.
The centre is led by Professor Rameen Shakur, a leading figure in the field who has held teaching and research positions at the University of Cambridge and MIT in the United States and has also worked on several successful med-tech startups. Under his direction, the centre will work closely with partners from industry, healthcare providers, patient groups and regulatory bodies to accelerate the translation of new discoveries into clinical practice.
Professor Rameen Shakur said: “We are very excited to launch the Centre for Precision Health and Translational Medicine. Our research brings together scientific and clinical talent from across the University and our partners to focus on every stage of the process – from drug discovery through to clinical delivery, from bench to bedside.
“Precision health is an approach to healthcare that focuses on individual differences in people’s genes, environment, and lifestyle. By understanding these differences, we can develop more effective and targeted treatments for a wide range of diseases.”
The new centre aims to challenge the dominance of the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge in health and medical research, and encourage a more diverse and inclusive approach to healthcare research and development.
Professor Shakur continued: “There are significant health inequalities in Brighton and Hove and across the South East, particularly in coastal communities. By taking a different approach and working closely with local partners at all stages, the University of Brighton is contributing towards the creation of healthier and fairer communities for everyone.
“Our aim is to move away from the traditional ‘one-drug-fits-all’ and ‘one-dose-fits-all’ approach that we know is ineffective for many patients. Our collective expertise in genomic medicine, human biology and stem cell modelling, together with our experience in collaborating with industry and health providers, means that we have the tools we need to make a tangible difference to patients through individually tailored treatments and techniques.”
Richard Hebdon, Director for Health and Life Sciences, Innovate UK, said: “We recognise the great role that UK universities play in carrying out fundamental research and translational activities and helping to take forward those great ideas into the healthcare products and services of tomorrow.”
Professor Bola Owolabi, Director – National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme, NHS England, said: “Healthcare inequalities are one of the major barriers facing underserved communities including ethnic minority populations, inclusion health groups and people living in areas of deprivation.
“Precision medicine is a powerful tool in meeting the healthcare needs of under-represented population groups, and it has the potential to make a real difference to patient outcomes. Research facilities in areas known to experience inequalities in access, experience and outcomes, such as coastal towns, is a great step towards achieving our vision of exceptional quality healthcare for all.”
Professor Rusi Jaspal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange) of the University of Brighton, said: “The research we do at the University of Brighton is focused on making positive changes to the world around us and tackling global challenges. By bringing together world-leading researchers and medical practitioners, we are playing a key role in driving forward public health research and developing new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.”
What is precision health?
Precision health is a new approach to healthcare that takes into account the individual’s unique genetic makeup, environment, and lifestyle. By understanding these factors, doctors can develop more personalised treatments and prevention strategies for each patient.
Precision health is based on the idea that everyone is different and that what works for one person may not work for another. This is because our genes, environment, and lifestyle all play a role in our health. For example, some people may be more susceptible to certain diseases because of their genes. Others may be more likely to develop health problems if they live in a polluted environment or have a stressful lifestyle.
Precision health uses a variety of tools to assess these factors, including genetic testing, environmental monitoring, and lifestyle assessments. This information is then used to develop personalised treatment plans and prevention strategies. By taking into account the individual’s unique needs, precision health can help to prevent disease, diagnose conditions earlier, and develop more effective treatments.
What is translational medicine?
Translational medicine is a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research and aims to speed up the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, “bench-to-bedside” approach. Within public health, translational medicine is focused on ensuring that proven strategies for disease treatment and prevention are actually implemented within the community.
Translational medicine is a relatively new field, but it has already made significant progress in developing new treatments for diseases. For example, translational medicine has been used to develop new drugs for cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Translational medicine is a complex and challenging field, but it is essential to improving human health. By bringing together researchers from different disciplines and working together to translate basic science discoveries into clinical applications, translational medicine is helping to develop new treatments that will save lives.