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New state-of-the-art research facilities in Oxford will help enhance the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, strengthen the fight against bone cancer and improve arthritis care.

Research teams have moved into the £6m “phase 2” of the Botnar Research Centre, based on the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre site.

It makes the Oxford University research facility one of the largest musculoskeletal research centres in Europe, doubling its size to ensure it continues to compete with leading institutions on the world stage.

Phase 2 is the culmination of a seven year fundraising campaign by the NOC Appeal, the same independent charity that previously raised more than £5m to build the original Botnar Research Centre.

NOC Appeal director Jeanette Franklin, who was made an MBE for her work fundraising work, said: “This is a dream. It started back in the early 1990s when we set a target of raising £1m towards building the first phase of the Botnar. That became £5m and the centre opened its doors in 2002. Our vision always included a second phase and it is wonderful to see research teams moving in.”

The Botnar Research Centre now comprises 4,000sqm of custom built research facilities including state-of-the-art laboratories, flexible office accommodation and dedicated “write up” areas.

It can house up to 250 scientists, clinicians and support staff carrying out pioneering research in to conditions such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and cancer.  Research will include genetics and cell biology, orthopaedic engineering and surgery, clinical research and epidemiological studies.

It will also house research carried out by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Unit (Oxford BRU), a collaboration between Oxford University NHS Hospitals Trust and Oxford University to accelerate innovation in musculoskeletal research.

The opening of phase 2 of the Botnar Research Centre also marks the start of an exciting year for musculoskeletal research and treatment in Oxford.

This autumn, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology will open its new building at the University’s neighbouring Old Road campus. The institute, founded in 1965, transferred to Oxford University in 2011.

The Kennedy Institute, the Botnar Research Centre, and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, will bring together world class basic research, translational research and NHS treatment at one location.

Professor Andy Carr, Divisional Director at the NOC and Director of the Botnar Research Centre and the NIHR Oxford BRU said: “Since it opened in 2002, the Botnar Research Centre has established itself as a world leading centre for musculoskeletal research. This annexe will strengthen our efforts and provide our researchers and clinicians with the best possible facilities”.

“We would like to say thank you to all those who contributed to the magnificent fundraising campaign that has made this world-class facility a reality.  Their hard work will help us improve the quality of life for those people who suffer from debilitating musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.”

Links:

Botnar Research Centre


Watch: BBC News