The Medical Research Fund (MRF) Coventry and Warwickshire, the Biological Sciences-based fundraising campaign to support medical research and training fellowships, was successfully launched in March 2004. Over 150 people attended, including local mayors, County councillors, health care professionals, representatives from the business community and senior University representatives.
The fund follows on from a successful former appeal at Warwick University, where £6 million was raised by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) Appeal through generous private and corporate donations. This resulted in a state-of-the-art Biomedical Research Institute at the Gibbet Hill site. The facilities at the Institute and its proximity to Warwick Medical School now offer a unique opportunity to prime and develop collaborative research between medics and academics.
The MRF Coventry and Warwickshire was created to realise this opportunity. Once established, the fund will enable innovative and groundbreaking research to be undertaken. By using the frontline knowledge of clinicians together with the expertise already established within the University we hope to identify those biological processes where treatment is limited through lack of understanding. Prime examples are cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, neurological disorders, for example Alzheimer's disease, obstetric disorders and MRSA (hospital 'super-bug') infection; our intention is to develop novel tools for the treatment or improved diagnosis of these key diseases.
The MRF Coventry and Warwickshire aims to secure funding through donations from local and regional charities, companies, as well as donations and bequests from individuals. The funds will be allocated in the form of prestigious research fellowships to be known as 'Arden Fellowships'. The number of Fellowships that will be available each year will depend on the funds. Due to the very positive interest that has been generated since the launch of the fund it is likely that the first Fellowship will be awarded later this year.
Judge Richard Cole, Chair of the MRF Coventry and Warwickshire said; ‘We hope we can really engage people with the work of the Institute and encourage donors to support these important research fellowships which are difficult to fund in any other way.’