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The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford (OxBRC) is based at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and run in partnership with the University of Oxford.

The Oxford Biomedical Research Centre is part of the Government’s initiative to improve the translation of basic scientific developments into clinical benefits for patients and to reinforce the position of the UK as a global leader in healthcare related research.  The OxBRC is a partnership that brings together the research expertise of the University of Oxford and the clinical skills of staff of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with the aim of supporting translational research and innovation to improve healthcare for patients.

Prof Andrew Carr is leading the Musculoskeletal theme, with the aim of building on our established and proven strengths in identifying new treatments and accelerating their translation to the clinic, in inflammatory joint disease, degenerative joint disorders and in rare bone diseases.

Our work is centred around four themes, underpinned by their impact on society:

1. Surgery, tissue engineering/regenerative medicine and osteoarthritis

We plan to extend the use of patient reported outcome measures in orthopaedic disorders, as well as expand our orthopaedic and plastic musculoskeletal surgery activity in the Clinical Trials Unit. We will optimise surgical skills and improve patient outcomes through the use of wearable sensors, and further advance the translation of the novel minimally invasive surgical techniques, like the Bioyarn and Biopatch.

2. Biologic therapies and inflammatory joint disease

We aim to identify common therapeutic targets and unique molecular mechanisms in inflammatory joint diseases by developing experimental trials. We will also explore the re-purposing of drugs which block TNF – a protein called tumour necrosis factor which is over-produced in inflammatory conditions – for fibrotic disease and run a new Accelerated Arthritis Therapy Programme focusing on driving translation of new treatments to the clinic.

3. Rehabilitation, statistics, back pain and osteoporosis

We aim to develop and refine exercise treatments for older people with musculoskeletal conditions and people with idiopathic scoliosis. We will also enhance the clinical management of older people with multiple chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as extending our studies on the effects of maternal vitamin D supplements in neonatal bone mass.

4. Trauma, sarcoma and rare bone diseases

Our aim is to compare surgery with rehabilitation only care, improve hip fracture management, run a trial in sarcoma and further develop the rare bones study RUDY.