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Businesses urged to access life science research expertise

15 June 2021


Business in the life sciences sector are being encouraged to take advantage of the consultancy services being offered by one of the UK’s leading research facilities.

Director of the National Horizons Centre, Dr Jen Vanderhoven
Director of the National Horizons Centre, Dr Jen Vanderhoven

Since it opened in 2019, the National Horizons Centre, a UK centre of excellence for the bioscience industry, has quickly established itself as a premium facility for the businesses in the sector who want to access industry-focused expertise and training.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHC, based at Teesside University’s Darlington campus at Central Park, has played a key role in helping train the region’s vaccine manufacturing workforce.

Embracing Teesside University’s reputation and ethos for working with business to develop practical and innovative solutions to real-world issues, the NHC places partnerships at the heart of everything it does to ensure that it delivers real impact.

Alongside training and facilities, the NHC also works with business to offer consultancy in three key areas aligned to its research expertise.

These are:

  • Disease specific research - discovering diseases earlier and developing novel therapeutic treatments to improve patient outcomes.
  • Biomanufacturing - developing novel treatments, and optimising existing ones, delivering treatments to patients faster, safer and more affordably.
  • Digital analytics and machine learning - harnessing data analysis and modelling to support the discovery, development and delivery of life-changing medicines.

Some of the researchers and staff who work with business on consultancy services include:

  • Dr Jen Vanderhoven, Director of the National Horizons Centre, experienced in developing partnerships, policy, workforce training and talent retention.
  • Dr Safwan Akram, Associate Director, with more than 15 years of commercial, research and development experience in biotechnology, biomimetics, biologics (including monoclonal antibodies) and biosensors.
  • Professor Vikki Rand, Biosciences Research Director, with expertise in applying cutting-edge approaches to understanding the biology of paediatric and adult cancers in order to identify biomarkers and develop new, kinder treatment strategies.

Dr Vanderhoven said: “Our staff at the National Horizons Centre have a vast array of expertise and experience of working with businesses to ensure they are at the forefront of innovation.

“Our delivery model of research partnership and training is bringing together industry, academia and talent to create real-world impact.

“The NHC was established to grow the potential of the UK’s life science sector and we are keen to work alongside more regional, national and international organisations to find solutions to the challenges in the industry.”

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