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Research infrastructure

Using our world-class research facilities, we address the complexities of ageing syndromes through our advanced understanding of the processes involved in ageing and long-term conditions.


NIHR BioResource Centre Newcastle contributes to a national initiative of 13 BioResource centres – with more than 100,000 volunteers – across the UK, designed to fight against both common conditions and rare diseases that are affecting people throughout England.

The NIHR BioResource was established to further clinical research within the UK by assisting researchers with volunteer recruitment specifically by genotype and/or phenotype. Researchers can apply to the NIHR BioResource if they are interested in recalling volunteers from the panel.

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The NIHR also funds the Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC) within Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University – one of 11 such support services across the country that takes diagnostic medical tests through rigorous clinical and economic evaluation in order to assess their suitability for the market.

The NIHR Newcastle MIC work with technology developers in academia and industry to deliver high quality scientific evidence on their in vitro diagnostic tests and medical devices. Their work is focused on the analysis of the care pathway (the journey of a patient with a specific condition in the healthcare system), economic modelling and clinical evaluations. It increases the chances that the test is fit for purpose and, thus, adopted into the NHS. The NIHR Newcastle MIC have a particular focus on tests where there are currently unmet clinical needs, and these include: ageing and long-term chronic conditions; infectious diseases and stratified (personalised) medicine.

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The NIHR funded Clinical Research Facility is a partnership between Newcastle University and the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. The CRF’s highly-trained staff are capable of setting up, negotiating and delivering all phases of clinical trials in accordance with Good Clinical Practice Standards.

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NIHR Translational Research Collaborations

Working alongside a number of different Partner organisations, the NIHR has established ready-formed networks of the UK’s leading universities, NHS trusts and research centres in order to carry out early phase translational research and tackle experimental medicine challenges in selected therapeutic themes.
These collaborations are set-up to support and work with the life sciences industry, charities, researchers and other funders and partners.

Investigators at the NIHR Newcastle BRC benefit from close working relationships with the TRCs for:

  1. Dementia:
  2. Diet and Activity Research Translation (DART):
  3. Joint and Related Inflammatory Disease:


The Clinics for Research and Service in Themed Assessments (CRESTA), were created by theme lead for dementia research, Professor David Burn, to improve the healthcare provision of elderly people with a range of complex disorders. They provide a unique value, as they eliminate the need for older patients to attend different clinics on various days for their multiple conditions.

The CRESTA clinic at Newcastle was one of the country’s first and provides a one-stop, multi-disciplinary clinic centred on the needs of older patients, as well as being a prime source of research inspiration for clinical academics engaged in valuable research as part of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.

Patients at CRESTA might see a specialist nurse, then a consultant, and may receive a full assessment using the latest technology. Some patients may be identified as suitable for trials in the adjacent Clinical Ageing Research Unit and Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre.

For clinicians and basic scientists working on research in the Biomedical Research Building, these clinics provide an excellent platform for creative interaction and a hub for new research ideas.


Also located on the Campus for Ageing and Vitality, the primary focus of the Clinical Ageing Research Unit (CARU) is to accommodate research in conditions associated with ageing, and to facilitate the development of early assessment and interventional strategies.

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Magnetic Resonance Centre

The Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre is a clincial research facility located at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality, which operates in conjunction with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for all clinical research work.

The Centre is equipped with two, high field strength magnetic resonance scanners and full facilities throughout for clinical MR research and associated technical developments. It has been designed around the needs and comfort of research volunteers.

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Other BRC-supported units

The BRC also supports the following facilities in Newcastle:

  1. Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource:
  2. PET Imaging Centre:
  3. Human Movement Laboratory:
  4. Visual Perception Laboratory:

Other local and national NIHR infrastructure

We work closely with other parts of NIHR infrastructure, both locally and nationally.