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Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit
NHS National Institute for Health Research
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The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Units (BRUs) undertake translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need.


BRUs are based in leading NHS organisations and Universities enabling some of our best health researchers and clinicians to work together to develop new treatments for the benefit of patients. BRUs: 


  • drive innovation in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ill-health

  • translate advances in medical research into benefits for patients

  • provide a key component of the NHS contribution to our nation’s international competitiveness by building on the best research leaders and their teams and enabling their host institutions to achieve or further develop critical mass in a priority research area:

  •  supporting the further development of NHS/University partnerships with existing critical mass in the priority research areas, 'building on the best';

  • enabling excellent, but comparatively small, research groups (comprising a relatively small number of research leaders, working in one of the priority areas, who are at the forefront of their field internationally) to achieve critical mass. 

The award of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) to Leicester in 2011 was down to the work that had already been going on within Respiratory Medicine between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.


In 2000 the University of Leicester established the Institute for Lung Health (ILH) to act as an umbrella for all those engaged in respiratory research and clinical development in Leicester. Its members are senior academics, clinicians and clinical staff involved in respiratory medicine in Leicester. It encompasses research done within the University's Respiratory Science Theme and the NIHR Leicester Respiratory BRU. Most of its members are within the university Department of Infection Immunity and Inflammation and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. 


Respiratory Research in Leicester is carried out by the adult respiratory medicine group based at Glenfield Hospital, paediatric researchers based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary site and respiratory infections scientists based on the main university campus.

The NIHR Leicester Respiratory BRU is a partnership between University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.  The multi million pound government investment by the NIHR,  helped us become one of only twenty Biomedical Research Units within England.  The Unit will focus on promoting the development of new and effective therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases including severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  The funding has allowed the development of a specially designed unit including clinical space and specialist team allowing first class investigations into lung disease.