The Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) is a place where scientists, researchers, clinicians and industry partners can come together to turn medical science into innovative patient and healthcare system applications, rapidly, rigorously and seamlessly.
The ITM acts as a common hub for clinician academics and medical researchers to interact with bioinformaticians, clinical informaticians, biostatisticians, trialists, bioengineers and biochemists, laboratory experts in biomarker development and basic scientists.
By bringing together expertise that spans every bench-to-bedside component, under one roof, barriers are broken down and problem solving is encouraged, so that:
- The latest University research across a range of major health issues, such as cancer, inflammation and rare diseases, can be developed efficiently.
- New drugs, medical devices and diagnostics can be assessed rigorously, rapidly and cost-effectively.
- The resulting innovations can be brought to market and front-line clinical use as quickly as possible, to improve patient treatments and outcomes.
The ITM has already housed several nationally funded translational research groups, devices and bio-engineering groups, clinical trial design experts, bioinformatics and clinical informatics academic experts and a deep immunophenotyping and metabolomics stratification state-of-the art laboratory. The research support and governance teams from the University of Birmingham and the University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust are also co-located at the ITM.
Situated across five floors in the Heritage Building, within the heart of the Birmingham Health Partners campus, the Institute of Translational Medicine benefits from being in close proximity to a number of its key partners – including the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
“My name is Francesca Barone, I’m a clinician-scientist and a rheumatologist. My area of research is around rheumatic disease.
“My group works across two research areas – we work in clinical trials, mainly in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, but also we collaborate with companies and with other academics on early research development. This is mainly through work in humans but also some animal work.
“For the human work we are very lucky because within the Institute of Translational Medicine we have access to cohorts of patients and the possibility to access the biological material that patients very kindly donate, as well as clinical data.
“These are incredibly precious to really dissect the genetic mechanism in humans. We then have the opportunity to look back at animal work, and dissect some of the mechanisms we’ve identified in humans, in a more mechanistic way.
“I hope to develop more and more of our research into humans, to really try to understand what is the right drug for the right patient – and this is what we’re trying to do here. Our research is going towards that direction – to refine the mechanism of drugs we already have, to repurpose drugs that have already been made, and to help in the development of new compounds that will be specialised for a specific patient. That’s the core I think of precision medicine.”
The Institute’s unique location means that patients and our industrial partners can benefit from the co-location of a number of nationally important buildings – including the Advanced Therapies Facility, the Human Biomaterials Resource Centre, and the West Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network.
This co-location fosters and allows research partnerships to flourish, enabling communication and collaboration between different disciplines and expertise – to facilitate the rapid and cost-effective development of new drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.
“My name’s Liam Grover and I’m a professor of Biomaterials Science here at the University of Birmingham. I’m a materials scientist by training, but my research really focuses on using materials – both polymers and ceramics – in order to repair and regenerate parts of the damaged human body.
“Birmingham Health Partners and the Institute of Translational Medicine have both been incredibly important to my career and to my research – I’ve always spent time looking at basic scientific phenomena. Being able to have my research in the Institute of Translational Medicine, and having links with clinicians and patients groups facilitated by Birmingham Health Partners, has really helped to focus my research so it has the best possible chance of reaching patient benefit.”
The Institute is a place where scientists, researchers, clinicians and industry partners can come together to translate innovative medical science into tangible patient benefits – rapidly, rigorously, and seamlessly.
The following research centres are also located within the ITM:
ITM Stratified Medicine laboratory, offering infrastructure and support for deep immunophenotyping including CyTOF, molecular pathology, Immunochip, metabolomics including NMR spectroscopy, cell culture and other facilities to conduct high-quality stratification in the context of clinical trials and studies.
Clinical informatics, bioinformatics and systems biology; a comprehensive informatics hub offering multi-platform support for informatics requirements, including phenotypic and OMICS data. Led by Professor Georgios Gkoutos.
Centre for Patient Reported Outcomes Research, dedicated to designing, validating and delivering patient-reported outcomes tools. Led by Professor Melanie Calvert.
D3B Trial Management Team, supporting a wide range of studies into drugs and devices. Led by Dr Simon Bach.
ITM Novel Endoscopy Centre, located at the NIHR/WT Clinical Research Facility, houses the latest endoscopy equipment with magnification and optical enhancement and confocal endomicroscopy in vivo. Led by Dr Marietta Iacucci.
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) platforms, including NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West Midlands, the Biomedical Research Centre and the Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre.
West Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network, an organisation that leads, catalyses and drives co-operation, collaboration and productivity between diverse stakeholders, and accelerates the adoption of innovation to generate continuous improvement in the region’s health and wealth.
West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre, one of 13 centres across the country leading the way in delivering the 100,000 Genomes Project and located here in the ITM.
Institute of Translational Medicine
0121 371 8001