Duchess of Cornwall to open new building at the Botnar Research Centre

8 May 2014

A new £12m building at the University of Oxford’s Botnar Research Centre is to be opened by the Duchess of Cornwall on Friday 9 May 2014.

The centre, on the site of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Headington, carries out research into improving the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis and other bone and joint diseases.
The Duchess of Cornwall is patron of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) Charity, which raised the money for the building.

Her Royal Highness will tour the new facility, see examples of the centre’s research and view an exhibition of the work of the NOC Charity. A plaque to mark the opening of the centre will be unveiled at a reception at the end of the visit.

Examples of the centre’s work on display will include the demonstration of a surgical skills simulator; research on the benefits of vitamin D supplements in pregnancy to improve bone strength in children for later life; bisphosphonate drugs for osteoporosis; the development of an entirely new class of drugs for rheumatoid arthritis; and an innovative new surgical ‘biopatch’ to promote rapid regrowth of damaged tendon tissue.

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: ‘We are delighted that the Duchess of Cornwall is opening the new building at the Botnar Research Centre and welcome her here to see how the centre’s research has the potential to improve treatment for patients here in Oxfordshire and around the world.’

Lord Tebbit, President, of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Charity said: ‘The Duchess’s interest in osteoporosis is well known and her support will be invaluable for all the clinical and research developments taking place at this time.’

The new building marks the second phase of the Botnar Research Centre, part of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, and essentially doubles the size of the facility. The two buildings together house over 200 University researchers. Her Royal Highness also opened the original building for the centre in 2003.

The Botnar Research Centre works in close partnership with the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, ensuring its research is closely tied to patient care in the hospital.
Professor Andrew Carr, director of the Botnar Research Centre, said: ‘Conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis affect the quality of life of many people, particularly in an ageing population. There is a great need for improved treatments to tackle the large burden of disease, pain and disability and make a real difference to people’s lives.

Professor Carr, who is also a consultant surgeon at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, added: ‘The Botnar Research Centre brings the University's bone, joint and arthritis research together in a purpose-built facility on the site of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. This allows truly multidisciplinary science right where patients are, offering a partnership between University research and teaching and the work that goes on in NHS clinical practice at the hospital, with many patients participating in research projects and clinical studies.’

For more information please contact the University of Oxford news & information office on +44 (0)1865 280530 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

  • The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Charity, an independent charitable trust, raised £6 million to build the second phase of the Botnar Research Centre. The Duchess of Cornwall has long maintained an interest in the work of the research centre and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. In 2002, Professor Graham Russell who was President of the National Osteoporosis Society and Director of the Botnar Research Centre invited The Duchess of Cornwall, then Mrs Parker Bowles, to visit and to see the work being done there. Mrs Parker Bowles opened the first phase of the Botnar Research Centre in 2003. In 2006, the Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre until 2011, while the hospital was undergoing a major redevelopment programme. In 2007, opened the newly rebuilt Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. The Charity had raised £6.6 million to build two adult wards, a children’s ward and a hydrotherapy pool as part of the redevelopment. HRH also laid the foundation Stone for the second phase of the Botnar Research Centre.  This second phase has recently been completed. http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/get-involved/fundraising/noc-appeal.aspx
  • The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in the UK, with a national and international reputation for the excellence of its services and its role in patient care, teaching and research. The Trust employs 11,000 staff and consists of four hospitals: the Churchill Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury. www.ouh.nhs.uk
  • Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. The University is rated the best in the world for medicine, and it is home to the UK’s top-ranked medical school.

    From the genetic and molecular basis of disease to the latest advances in neuroscience, Oxford is at the forefront of medical research. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery.

    A great strength of Oxford medicine is its long-standing network of clinical research units in Asia and Africa, enabling world-leading research on the most pressing global health challenges such as malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and flu. Oxford is also renowned for its large-scale studies which examine the role of factors such as smoking, alcohol and diet on cancer, heart disease and other conditions.