The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England have announced up to £56 million funding for research into the biggest challenges facing public health.
The Fund will support research into the potential health effects of climate change, air pollution, antimicrobial resistance and global pandemics.
Universities in England are invited to apply to be selected to partner with Public Health England (PHE) to form the next wave of Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
An open competition will be held to select the most promising research proposals from academics. They will be funded from April 2020 to March 2025.
Projects funded by earlier rounds of funding included:
o Helping to screen British nationals caught up in overseas terror attacks for mental health conditions and offering treatment when appropriate;
o Developing a way to quickly screen people who believed they had been affected by the nerve agent incident in Salisbury in March 2018. This involved using biomarker data to determine within minutes whether a person had been infected; and
o Developing a tool using genomics to diagnose tuberculosis more quickly and accurately. The device allows researchers to predict the resistance and transmissibility of the disease by analysing its genome automatically. It has been adopted by PHE and is the first example of genomic-based diagnostic service in routine use worldwide.