The new NIHR Biomedical Research Centre – a partnership between the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS FT – was officially opened on 31 March in spring sunshine at the Department of Psychiatry.
Nicola Blackwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation, marked the occasion by unveiling a plaque on 31st March, ahead of first official day of operation for the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre on 1 April.
The new Oxford-based centre will be one of only two across England dedicated to mental health and dementia.
Nicola Canning, a mental health service user and research advocate who spoke at the launch event, said: “I think that research is very rewarding for the patients: participating in research has been life changing for me, and it is a privilege to be part of the effort to find new treatments to improve mental well-being.
“This is the hope that we patients always have.”
Professor John Geddes, who is the Director of the new NIHR Oxford Health BRC, as well as the Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of Oxford Health’s Research and Development department, said: “Oxford University is already a world leader in basic research, but this new biomedical research centre will enable us to drive insights from our discovery science into innovative treatments.”
Stuart Bell CBE, Oxford Health’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to host this new NIHR Biomedical Research Centre dedicated to mental health. This award recognises Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the close partnership with the University of Oxford. Together we will be developing close partnerships with others to bring better treatments to the NHS.”