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Translating research into saving lives

1 June 2007

The University has been awarded funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to set up a new Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology.

The aim of research done in the centre will be to apply new molecular-based methods to identifying the causes of disease. This approach requires scientists from across several disciplines to work and learn together.

George Davey Smith, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and head of the new MRC Centre, said: “Conventional study of patterns of disease has made important contributions to understanding their causes. A notable example is the work pioneered by Sir Richard Doll that identified the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, heart disease and other health problems. Those findings have already saved millions of lives. This centre aims to take this type of work into the 21st century, making full use of the wealth of data and methods we now have at our fingertips.”

The Bristol centre is one of six new MRC Centres being set up around the country with the ultimate aim of finding ways to translate research findings into practice. The MRC has provided a total of £15.5 million over the next five years to fund the six centres which will encourage collaboration between scientists working in different disciplines.

George Davey Smith / Department of Social Medicine.

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