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Date: 28 November 2020

Time: 17:15

Mike Atherton opens research facility

Cricketer opens research centre

Story posted/last updated: 03 December 2014

Former England cricket captain Mike Atherton OBE officially opened the newly established Inflammation Research Facility (IRF) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

The centre is part of the core NIHR/Wellcome Trust Birmingham Clinical Research Facility (CRF) and has recorded more than 1000 patient visits already this year.

Mike, who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion, spoke of his own experience as a sufferer of the form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which affects about 100,000 people in the UK.

He told guests: “I have a very personal interest in seeing research get funding and hopefully deliver better outcomes.

“Opening a facility like this is not the kind of thing a retired cricket would normally do but I have great respect for the work that goes on here.”

Mike’s visit maintained the tradition of a sporting theme for official openings, as Gary Lineker opened the main Clinical Research Facility in 2002.

On this occasion, guests were given an overview of the new facility by CRF Director Prof Chris Buckley.

He explained that the IRF, as part of the CRF, now comes under the governance of Birmingham Health Partners, a collaboration between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust which runs the QEHB, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  and the University of Birmingham, to provide strategic and scientific oversight of research. The facility will also play a complementary role to the Institute for Translational Medicine, which is due to open on the QEHB campus in 2015.

Following the opening remarks, Mike and the other guests were given tours of the IRF which included demonstrations of work being carried out into early diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Lung Disease and a walk through the patient pathway.

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