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The Oxford Centre for Haematology provides a bridge between multiple structures, which are in the otherwise separate institutions of the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. OCH provides a platform that actively promotes close working relationships between scientists and clinicians to build scientifically driven clinical excellence.

Organisation

Academic excellence

The University of Oxford is a centre for Haematology research excellence, spanning many decades, including research into globin disorders (Weatherall, Clegg, Higgs and Wood), haemophilia (Macfarlane and Rizza) and immune response to infection (Beeson). Creation of the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit in 1980, housed in the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, has developed an internationally competitive, molecular and cellular scientific hub for Haematology research – augmented by the  outstanding scientific infrastructure of the MRC WIMM. Core MRC MHU strengths in globin disorders and erythropoiesis have expanded to include epigenetics, myelopoiesis and developmental haemopoiesis. Also nested within the MRC WIMM, the MRC Human Immunology Unit has expertise in a range of diseases and offers collaborative opportunities in related areas of haematology and blood cancer. Advances in single cell biology and computational biology highlight the potential for collaboration between researchers and clinicians and offer exciting opportunities to take Oxford-based science into clinical practice.

Alongside, the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, led by Prof Alison Banham, was formed in 1999 and brings together research in all clinical laboratory-based disciplines (Microbiology, Genetics, Cellular Pathology, Haematology, and Clinical Biochemistry), with a strong Haematology component including the Haemato-oncology Group (Banham), the NHS Blood and Transplant group (Murphy), and the Bloodwise Molecular Haematology Unit (Boultwood/Pellagatti). 

Other research groups with interests in Haematology are located in other departments across the University including Oncology, the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, the Nuffield Department of Orthopeadics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology.

Outstanding clinical care

Clinical Haematology in the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (led by Andy Peniket), has seen a major recent expansion. The move to the 25-bed ward at the Haematology and Cancer Centre, alongside an expanded Day Unit and colocation with Oncology Early Phase Trials Unit and Late Phase Clinical Haematology trials team, brings new scientific and clinical opportunities. The NIHR-funded Oxford BRC provides £1m per year to the Haematology and Stem Cell Theme, which  supports consultants, improved biobanking and clinical trial infrastructure. There has been an expansion in consultant numbers, with a focus on delivering the best clinical service and developing research-active national and international clinical leaders.

Laboratory Haematology works closely with Clinical Haematology, the haemophilia clincal service and the National Blood Service and provides a range of services in haematological oncology, haemostasis and thrombosis, haemoglobinopathies and transfusion medicine.

Blood Transfusion (NHSBT, Mike Murphy) is closely allied to Haematology and is part of NDCLS and the BRC Haematology and Stem Cells Theme. NHSBT has a national role in delivering stem cell transplant therapies, which provides Oxford researchers an opportunity to work with NHSBT and other national partners to develop research programs in allogeneic stem cell transplant.

Haemostasis and Thrombosis (Oxford Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre, OHTC) is a large clinical unit that provides supra-regional centrally commissioned haemophilia care for one of the largest populations of patients with inherited bleeding disorders in the UK. It also runs an award-winning service for diagnosis and management of patients with venous thrombosis. There are significant opportunities to develop research capabilities in this area.