New £6M maths centre to address healthcare challenges

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The FINANCIAL — The University of Liverpool will establish a new £6M Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare to develop novel mathematical tools that address serious healthcare challenges.

The new Centre, supported by £2.4M from the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will carry out multidisciplinary research to explore how mathematics and statistics can deliver a more refined and accurate set of predictive models and tools for personalised healthcare delivery, according to the University of Liverpool.

The EPSRC Liverpool Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare brings together collaborating mathematicians, scientists, engineers and clinicians at the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster with industrial partners and policy makers who will interact more widely with 15 other UK universities and 40 NHS trusts.

Treatment strategies

Through its associated research programmes, the Centre aims to improve understanding of the interaction of cells and tissues, which is essential to improving treatment strategies for cancer, developing better algorithms for improved medical image processing to allow earlier and more accurate diagnosis, and developing mathematical models to further our understanding of the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Professor Ke Chen, from the University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the new centre, said “Our vision is for the Liverpool Centre to act as a focal point for activity at the mathematical sciences and healthcare technologies interface in addition to the end users of research output, including clinicians and industry partners.

“It aims to deliver a more refined and accurate set of predictive models and tools for personalised healthcare delivery, actively improving the general health and wellbeing of the UK and beyond.”

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Faster diagnoses

The University is one of five new health research centres funded by the EPSRC which was announced by George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences. He commented: “Maths and statistics aren’t the first sciences that come to mind when we talk about healthcare innovation. But they have a very important part to play in developing 21st century solutions to the challenges facing clinicians every day in the NHS.

“That’s why we are investing £10 million in five new Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare Research Centres up and down the country, to help doctors gain a better understanding of diseases, make faster diagnoses and plan better, more targeted treatment for patients.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC, said: “Maths research provides the foundation for so much of science and engineering, and new technologies, but this often goes unrecognised by those who benefit from results.

“These five new Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare Centres will lead the way in developing mathematical and statistical modelling for predicting the progression of diseases both in individuals and populations, as well as planning treatment strategies. The Centres will help us deal with the clinical and economic challenges facing the UK’s healthcare system as the population ages.”

 

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