Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre

The NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology, a partnership between the NIHR, the Ministry of Defence, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham, opened in January 2011.

The initiative brings both military and civilian trauma surgeons and scientists together to share advanced clinical practice in the battlefield and innovation in medical research to benefit all trauma patients in the NHS at an early stage of injury.

The centre is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where injured service personnel are currently treated after evacuation from the frontline in Afghanistan.

The centre forms a central point in England for trauma research where knowledge can be translated into real improvements in care for all NHS patients. It is the first and only research centre of its kind in the UK to focus on both military and civilian care and treatment.

Research themes

Research is focusing initially on the most urgent challenges in trauma with the aim of discovering new treatments. The centre is also carrying out scientifically robust and unbiased testing of product concepts and evaluating novel approaches in clinical investigations, which translate findings into measured patient benefit.

Research theme

Example innovation challenges

Acute response to traumatic injury

New techniques involving virtual reality to “re-train” the brain following injury/resuscitation 

Microbiology and wound care 

Biological agents to modify wounding response

Tissue regeneration 

Tissue repair using stem cells in relation to dental/facial reconstruction 


The NIHR is investing £5 million (over five years) and Ministry of Defence £10 million (over 10 years). The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham University are investing £5 million (over five years) bringing the total funding up to £20 million. Read the DHSC press release (archived).