Translational Medicine and Medical Technology
This theme covers the development and application of technology for diagnosing, monitoring and treating disease. These techniques range from conventional ones such as surgery, interventional radiology, vaccines and drugs to novel techniques such as nanomedicine, stem cells, next generation DN sequencing and gene therapy.
Oxford has a very strong tradition in translational medicine. Penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics were first developed and used here and Oxford played a key role in the introduction of arteminisin as a new treatment for malaria. Scientists now based in Oxford also pioneered the use of therapeutic antibodies to manipulate the immune response to treat inflammatory conditions and prevent transplant rejection, and the development of novel vaccines for infectious and emerging diseases. Other achievements include the development of the partial knee replacement (the Oxford Partial Knee), needle-free drug delivery (Powderject), and the first software package for medical image fusion (Fusion7D™).
A particular strength of Oxford is the interdisciplinary nature its translational research. For example, the Department of Chemistry collaborates closely with clinical Departments in several drug target discovery projects, and the Department of Engineering has recently established an Institute of Biomedical Engineering close to the clinical Departments.
The Target Discovery Institute is a major new collaborative initiative involving multiple Departments that investigates drug target discovery, as are the Jenner Institute for vaccinology and the Kennedy Institute for inflammatory diseases.
The recently established Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, a partnership between the NHS, Oxford University, and the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals is a major focus of translational research; many projects link strongly to the NIHR BRC in co-developed strategies, such as the application of next generation sequencing in clinical microbial identification and cancer personalised medicine.