We can make great strides if we can pool expertise from different sections of the medical chain, but we need an organisation and a structure with which to do that. – Sir Norman Williams (President of Bowel Research UK)

The National Centre was the result of the vision of our founder and President, Sir Norman Williams. On February 27th 2013 the National Bowel Research Centre (NBRC) was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

The National Centre runs as a unit within the Blizard Institute, Barts & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and we have an office within it.

What happens within the National Bowel Research Centre?

The centre is home to one of the best-equipped human tissue laboratories in the UK. Experiments are run using tissue donated by patients having surgery at the Royal London Hospital. Several of the pioneering projects that we have funded, including: looking at how the bowel ages, how it senses nutrients and how pain is registered have been conducted from the human tissue laboratory. The centre also coordinates more clinical surgical trials than possibly any other unit in the country with the exception of the Royal College of Surgeons. Finally, the centre supports the design and delivery of new technologies for bowel function, collaborating with innovators, companies and other centres in the UK and beyond.

What are the National Bowel Research Centre’s key achievements to date?

The National Centre has attracted over £14M in additional funding since its opening in 2013. The Human Tissue Laboratory now has a staff of around 20, many of whom are working on projects seed-funded by us. It has major collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, including Astra Zeneca and Takeda and has run, or is running, clinical trials with a value of almost £4M, the results of which have been published widely including in The Lancet. It has delivered a number of genuine research “firsts” including into ageing, pain and nutrient sensing.