North East university joins health research alliance

Picture L-R: The NHSA's Helen Cole, Dr Mandy Dixon, Dr Ben Martyn, Hannah Davies, Dr Seamus O'Neill, and Teesside University's Professor Vikki Rand, Professor Stephen Cummings, Professor Safwan Akram, Professor Linda Popplewell, Professor John S. Young, Professor Amelia Lake, and Dr Nasima Akhter.

24th January 2024

Teesside University has reinforced its position as a leader in health and life sciences research by joining the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).

The NHSA has welcomed the university as an Associate Member, joining nine other universities and nine research-intensive NHS Trusts across the North of England. The Alliance works closely with its members to promote health research, innovation and life sciences in the North and to increase awareness of and drive investment into the region.

Teesside University is committed to leading health research that addresses some of the biggest challenges facing society today, from health inequalities to disease-specific research. Boasting a student body of almost 30,000 with 2,000 staff, the university opened the £22.3m National Horizons Centre (NHC) in 2019 which has quickly established itself as a vital linchpin helping to drive forward advances in life sciences in the Tees Valley and beyond. A centre of excellence for the global biosciences and healthcare sector, NHC brings together industry, academia, talent and world-class facilities to create real-world impact through research, partnerships and training.

Teesside University is also one of five North East universities leading Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, which is a collaboration to deliver world-class research to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities. Their membership with the NHSA will support the wider Tees Valley’s ambitions in Life Sciences by helping to build the Northern supercluster.

As a member of the NHSA, Teesside University now has access to a range of opportunities through the NHSA’s well-established position as a front door to the North’s health and life sciences sector. The NHSA brings together the region’s leading academic and healthcare institutions. We advocate on their behalf, build critical mass, engage with industry, and increase the visibility of the North’s excellence nationally and internationally. The university will also be able to join the NHSA’s programmes and expert networks in areas including advanced therapies, diagnostics and MedTech, healthy ageing, data and AI, mental health, and health inequalities.

Professor Stephen Cummings, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at Teesside University, said: “Finding new ways to improve the health outcomes of individuals and communities forms a key pillar of our research strategy. Joining the Northern Health Science Alliance will help us deliver on this ambition through impactful research collaborations with partners in academia and the health sector.”

Professor Vikki Rand, Director of the National Horizons Centre, said: “We are delighted to formalise our partnership with the Northern Health Science Alliance. As a university which is dedicated to delivering impactful research in collaboration with people and the professions, working together with the NHSA will ensure that everything we do aligns perfectly with the needs of the health sector. We look forward to utilising our combined strengths to support our communities and help them to become healthier, happier places to live.”

Dr Séamus O’Neill, Chief Executive at the NHSA, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Teesside University to the NHSA. Their areas of strength are a great fit with the programmes we run and those we intend to develop. The university and its researchers are already doing ground-breaking work across a wide range of specialisms and there is also a focus on rapid impact of research in terms of: partnership working; value to the economy; improvements in health and care; and benefits to society. This aligns perfectly with our vision in the NHSA. We look forward to working closely with the team to explore research and investment opportunities as we continue to convene expertise across our membership to develop the vibrant health and life sciences supercluster across the North.”

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