The University of Warwick has consolidated its relationship with the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) by forming a strategic partnership with the MRC that encompasses Warwick Medical School and the university’s Department of Biological Sciences.

According to the university, this is the first strategic partnership between the MRC and a new UK medical school. The Warwick school was set up in 2000 and will receive more than £750,000 from the MRC for new initiatives under the partnership agreement. One important area of MRC support has been a Strategic Appointment to attract renowned researcher Professor Martin Feelisch from the US to the UK.

Formerly a professor of medicine, biochemistry and pharmacology at Boston University, Professor Feelisch joined the Warwick team on 2 July. His specialities are cardiovascular pharmacology and drug metabolism, free radical signalling and the chemical biology of nitric oxide.

The MRC is also funding six studentships for a new Doctoral Training Centre in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research at Warwick Medical School. A collaboration between the medical school and the Department of Biological Sciences, the centre will provide training in the multidisciplinary skills required for biomedical research.

Top 10

Warwick says it is one of the top 10 research-led universities in the UK, with strong and growing programmes of health-related research at Warwick Medical School, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Faculty of Social Studies, the Centre for the History of Medicine and the Systems Biology Centre. The university receives research funding of more than £12 million per year for health-related research, including MRC and Department of Health grants.

The MRC is expected to receive the lion’s share of the above-inflation research budget increases announced by the UK government earlier this year in the Comprehensive Spending Review. The Council, which is stepping up its commitment to pharmaceutical research, is investing £15.5 million over the next five years in six translational medicine centres launched in March at universities around the UK.