2019 – a year in review

Members of BHP and ABPI with the signed agreement

As 2019 draws to a close, we’re reflecting on a an excellent year of discovery science, UK and world firsts, new treatments for patients, and new partnerships. We’ve been visited by a real-life astronaut, celebrated significant grants from generous charities, and made progress in understanding disease pathology – setting us up for a busy 2020 as we seek to use this knowledge to benefit patients. 

In our final blog post of the year, we’d like to share our top ten most popular stories of 2019, starting with…

Baroness Blackwood with members of the BHP team

#10 – Pioneering data research centres to enable cutting-edge research and innovation

Seven new data hubs will be rolled out across the UK to speed up research for new medicines, treatments, and technologies that support quicker diagnoses and save lives Two of the seven will be led by Birmingham researchers working with national partners to connect and analyse data safely and securely Patients and the public will … Continue reading

inflammation and the knee joint

#9 – Researchers find potential new target for treatment of inflammatory disease

Researchers led by BHP founder member the University of Birmingham have found a potential new target to treat inflammatory disease. The research, led by scientists at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, publishes today (November 7th) in Cell Metabolism. The team … Continue reading

Members of BHP and ABPI with the signed agreement

#8 – New collaboration will tackle Birmingham’s biggest health challenges

A new collaboration to tackle the biggest health challenges faced by the West Midlands’ six million residents will use real-time clinical trials and health data to speed up research and improve cancer care, maternity services, child health, obesity, and dementia. Birmingham Health Partners  will team up with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) … Continue reading

wireless microcomputer implant

#7 – QEHB performs UK’s first wireless microcomputer implant

The world’s first wireless in-heart microcomputer was recently implanted into a patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) in a UK first. Margaret McDermott, who is 75 and lives in Moseley, had the operation at the QEHB in July 2019, with the pioneering device likely to dramatically improve her quality of life. The device, … Continue reading

brain scan

#6 – Excess hormones could cause IIH, a condition that can leave women blind

Increased levels of hormones including testosterone could cause a brain condition that can lead to blindness in women, say researchers from BHP founder member the University of Birmingham. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension – also known as IIH – is caused by high pressure in the brain resulting in incapacitating daily long-term headaches and even blindness. Originally … Continue reading

Professor Alexandra Sinclair and researcher with team from NASA

#5 – Mission to Mars: NASA delegation visits Birmingham

NASA scientists and astronauts have visited Birmingham to discuss how drug discoveries in NHS patients could reduce brain pressure during space travel to allow them to go beyond the Moon. One of NASA’s missions is to see the first humans set foot on Mars, however microgravity – which causes astronauts to float in space – … Continue reading

brain illustration

#4 – Human brain ‘works backwards’ to retrieve memories, Birmingham study finds

When we remember a past event, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order, according to a new study at BHP founder member the University of Birmingham. Understanding more precisely how the brain retrieves information could help us better assess the reliability of eye witness accounts, for example of crime scenes, where people often … Continue reading

Cell therapy image

#3 – World first: gene therapy trial for rare disease patient

A patient at BHP’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) has become the first person in the world to take part in a pioneering gene therapy trial for his rare disease. Simon Smith, 45, was diagnosed with Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency as a teenager.   Although he defied medical expectations by living a full life in … Continue reading

5G ambulance

#2 – UK’s first remote ultrasound performed over 5G network

BHP founder member University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) recently hosted the UK’s first demonstration of a remote-controlled ultrasound scan over a public 5G network, at an event which showcased how 5G can transform healthcare and the emergency services. The demo, in partnership with BT and WM5G, was hosted by the Medical Devices Testing … Continue reading

Brain scan illustration

#1 – Neurological disorder leads to increased risk of heart conditions

Female patients who suffer from a disabling neurological disorder known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are at twice the risk of heart conditions and stroke, according to a study led by BHP founder member the University of Birmingham. IIH is a debilitating condition where pressure around the brain is severely raised, causing disabling chronic headaches.  … Continue reading

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Christmas break – here’s to 2020!