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£10m boost for research into chronic diseases

A SCOTS university has received £10million in new funding to support world-leading research into more effective forms of medication tailored to patients' own genetic makeup.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed the investment from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund during a visit to Glasgow University.

The cash injection will pay for the development of clinical research facilities and the installation of the latest imaging equipment at the new South Glasgow Hospitals Campus. This will include a 7 Tesla MRI scanner, the first of its kind to be installed in a clinical setting in the UK.

The machine provides high resolution anatomical imaging and dramatically improved image quality, which is particularly valuable for brain diseases, including stroke and brain tumours, as well as dementia and psychiatric disorders.

Researchers will also explore ways of predicting which treatments will be the most effective in treating chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory and infectious chronic diseases.

The approach, known as stratified medicine, will provide patients of the future with more targeted and efficient treatment than has been possible before.

Professor Anna Dominiczak, vice-principal and head of the university's College Of Medical, Veterinary And Life Sciences, said: "The new hospital campus provides a unique opportunity for Scotland to lead on stratified medicine.

"NHS Scotland's excellent patient records, combined with Scotland's poor national health record, make the country the ideal location for the development of stratified medicine approaches to tackle chronic disease."

Mr Cable said: "It is right that Government funding is being used to support world-leading research into more effective forms of medication and the development of a new clinical facility at Glasgow University. This demonstrates how academia and industry can work together to champion and reinforce the UK's reputation as a global leader in healthcare."

The New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus represents an investment to Glasgow and Scotland in the region of £1 billion.

The hospital will be the largest in Western Europe when it opens next year. It will include maternity, paediatric and adult services on a single site serving 2.3 million people, equivalent to 41% of Scotland's total population.

The site will provide the latest facilities for adult and paediatric clinical trials, and a training base for the new doctors, scientists and clinical academics.

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