Students Staff

29 September 2008

Advancing medical research

Colchester Campus

University and Trust representatives at the collaborative research event

Researchers from the University of Essex met medical counterparts from Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust last week to celebrate and develop successful partnerships in advancing medical research.

Research projects in areas such as early identification of cancer, new therapies for diabetes, and hearing aid development have all been undertaken through collaboration between University academics and local clinicians.

Since the development of the University-based Essex Biomedical Research Institute six years ago, more than £1 million of research funding has been attracted from the NHS, charities and research councils to support this pioneering work.

Now academic researchers and hospital practitioners are looking to develop further collaborations in areas including microbiology (viruses and bacteria), cardiovascular physiology (healthy hearts), and preventative medicine (avoiding health risks).

The event at the Postgraduate Medical Centre in Turner Road on Thursday 25 September brought together more than 60 University and NHS staff to discuss successful partnerships and new areas for development, as well as issues such as obtaining research funding and research ethics approval.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Peter Murphy opened the event, which was attended by representatives of all the University’s science departments.

Organiser Professor Chris Cooper, from the Department of Biological Sciences, said: ‘We want to celebrate what we’ve achieved so far and plan ahead for developing further collaborations. These locally-based research collaborations are producing internationally-important research findings which can lead to significant improvements in future clinical practice.’

Dr Tony Elston, Assistant Medical Director of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust and the Trust's research lead, said: ‘Research is a significant part of our portfolio and partnerships with institutions such as the University of Essex are very important to us.’ Dr Elston, who is a consultant microbiologist, has recently completed a six-year term of office on the University’s governing body.


For further information please contact the University of Essex communications office on 01206 874377 or e-mail

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