Wellcome Trust Funding – TREE

By Chrissie Walker

We recently found out that the University of Exeter has been awarded £1.5million from the next round of the Wellcome Trust’s ISSF fund (which funds our centre) to develop a new translational exchange between research and clinical practice.  This programme will be called TREE – the Translational Research Exchange @ Exeter.  We’re in the process of rolling this out.  It officially started on 1 October 2016, so we’ll be moving quickly to make things happen!

In our application to the Wellcome for this new funding, we needed to show that both the Bioinformatics Hub (from ISSF1) and the CBMA (from ISSF2) had succeeded in their objectives, and that we had good, clear ideas for this third round.

The funding will cover five years (from 2016 to 2021), and its overall aim will be to bridge the gaps between clinicians (for example, medical specialists working in the RD&E hospital) and biomedical research (researchers within the University) – its emphasis will be on delivering ‘impact’ from both biomedical and clinical research.

Its objective will be to grow and strengthen effective, two-way routes for our basic research (that we’ve been developing in ISSF1 and ISSF2) to reach front-line clinicians, and for clinicians to be able to influence and lead research themselves. And, very importantly, making sure that this research has an impact in the ‘real-world’ of clinical practice.

TREE will be led by Professor John Terry (who leads the CBMA) and Professor Willie Hamilton, a GP and Research Professor at the University’s Medical School.

For the next 18 months, we’ll be running both the CBMA and TREE alongside each other – fully utilising the overlap and learning across both programmes how best to develop and grow research and enable more impact from it.

It’s a very exciting (and busy) time for us here, but we’re looking forward to the challenge!

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