As a Trust, which is highly active in research, Guy’s and St Thomas’ has world class research infrastructure that supports the delivery of our experimental medicine studies. Our experimental medicine infrastructure comprises an NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the NIHR Clinical Research Facility and the BRC’s Advanced Therapies Accelerator as well as a several state of the art research platforms including Advanced Therapies Manufacturing GMP Unit, Immune Monitoring and Genomics platforms. This infrastructure supports our BRC in conducting pioneering scientific and clinical research with the ultimate goal of translating advances in biomedical research into benefits for patients. Our translational research portfolio is extensive and encourages collaboration between investigators, clinicians and industry, to collectively shape the future of healthcare.
Our NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) plays a vital role in helping us to translate scientific breakthroughs into improved healthcare. Our NIHR CRF has four units across Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Evelina London Hospitals. With MHRA Phase I accreditation for our Guy’s CRF unit, we are the only MHRA accredited NHS-managed CRF in London, and one of only two such units in England.
Our NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is driven by a passion for making tangible improvements to the health of the nation. We were established in 2007 through NIHR designation as a comprehensive BRC in the first round of BRCs in England and awarded £45m. In recognition of our outstanding work we received further NIHR BRC designations and funding both in 2012 (£58m) and in 2017 (£64.4m) to support our BRC.
Embedded within our experimental medicine hub at Guy’s Hospital we bring together world class facilities, host a range of ground breaking research groups, and maintain strong links with industry. We also contribute to the St Thomas’ MedTech Hub and the London Medical Imaging and AI Centre for Value Based Healthcare through state of the art clinical research facility units encompassing cardiometabolic, paediatric and imaging infrastructure. Within our BRC we are also developing future leaders in translational medicine by creating an environment that provides excellence in training and exposure to world leading research.
Our research is focused on nine key themes selected on the grounds of scientific and clinical excellence. They include cardiovascular disease, cutaneous medicine, genomic medicine, infection and immunity, imaging science, transplantation, oral health, regenerative medicine and cellular therapy, and women and children’s health
Our NIHR BRC research is organised into clusters, which combine science, translational research expertise, world class infrastructure and organisational coherence into a delivery focused structure (a cluster) which enhances collaboration and maximises outputs. This approach adds significant value to delivery of our research, boosts efficiency and ensures effective operational management of our vital work, and is inclusive of patient and commercial inputs.
We remain at the cutting edge of research by continually investing in the very latest technologies to accelerate the development of new diagnostic procedures and medical treatments for a wide range of conditions. Our research platforms provide the state of the art equipment, technical expertise and the optimum environment needed for high quality translational research projects.
They include the NIHR Clinical Research Facility, Advanced Therapies Manufacturing (GMP), Immune Monitoring and Flow Cytometry, Genomics, Translational Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and data management and Clinical trials management platforms.
Our NIHR BRC Director Prof Matt Brown is currently leading the bid for the next BRC award, supported by R&D Directors, the BRC theme and cluster leads and the wider staff team.
Our NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) plays a vital role in helping us to translate scientific breakthroughs into improved healthcare. Our CRF consists of four units including an adult MHRA Phase I accredited CRF unit at Guy’s Hospital, an adult CRF unit at St Thomas’ Hospital Cardiometabolic unit, a paediatric CRF unit including wards at St Thomas’ Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital and an imaging unit at St Thomas’ Hospital. The management and infrastructure of the NIHR CRF is embedded within the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Being co-located with the ATA and the BRC’s Advanced Therapies Manufacturing unit allows us to efficiently take clinical studies through the entire experimental medicine pathway from the laboratory and into patients in the CRF.
The focus within the Guy’s CRF Phase I Unit is on first in human, Phase I and IIa experimental medicine studies, across a spectrum of disciplines. With fully equipped wards and consulting rooms and supporting sample processing and drug preparation labs, the Phase 1 unit is able to support early phase studies across disease areas and participation of healthy volunteers or patient visits. The unit can support studies through the full provision of staff and infrastructure, space and infrastructure only or a blended model where CRF resource work alongside the study team.
The Adult CRF unit at St Thomas’ Hospital with its fully equipped wards, consulting and examination rooms, DEXA scanning room, sample laboratories and a drug preparation area, is the space for the conduct of biomarker and phenotype studies with a particular focus on cardiometabolic studies with dedicated cardiovascular ultrasound rooms and a blood flow and exercise laboratory.
Through our CRF Imaging Unit located at St Thomas’ Hospital, we are uniquely placed to deliver world-class imaging research. This includes the Centre for the Developing Brain with its state of the art clinical research imaging facility embedded within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our imaging platforms provide access to the following state of the art equipment including the Pan-London 7 Tesla Ultra High Field MRI system, for the conduct of experimental studies across clinical disciplines and a Philips 3T MRI embedded within Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Philips 3T providing wide range of research capabilities including advanced cardiac imaging and MR guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
Our Paediatric CRF Unit with dedicated space at both St Thomas’ and Evelina London Children’s Hospitals offers unique clinical research space designed for children and young people. Seal Ward at St Thomas’ Hospital and Wolf Ward at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital are specially equipped children’s research wards and staffed by our world class paediatric research team. They allow us to conduct national and international multidisciplinary paediatric clinical studies including allergy and early phase clinical trials.
The newly opened Advanced Therapies Accelerator (ATA) brings together some of the brightest minds with access to world leading clinical research capabilities, facilities and knowledge. It is led by Professor Robin Ali and located in the heart of the Experimental medicine hub at Guy’s hospital.
The ATA is leading the revolution in advanced therapies by bringing together expertise, process development capabilities, and experimental medicine and manufacturing facilities for gene and cell therapies.
Advanced therapies offer enormous promise for severe, hard to treat diseases. However, their translation from the laboratory to manufacture and early phase clinical trials can be limited by access to process development infrastructure that is required prior to Advanced Therapies (GMP) production.
With advanced therapies offering a step change in the treatment of a range of conditions, the addition of the Accelerator now positions Guy’s and St Thomas’ and our NIHR BRC at the heart of the movement to deliver advanced therapies to patients. The accelerator consists of the BRC Immune Monitoring and Genomics platforms that provide cell sorting and phenotyping analysis in advanced therapies development and immune profiling and genomic understandings to the single cell level respectively. In addition the ATA provides process development infrastructure, currently focused on the use of embryonic stem cell as advanced therapies as well as laboratory and office space for collaborative work with commercial companies.