The 2000s

In 2000, the first randomised controlled trial looked at #lung reduction surgery for people with #emphysema, a progressive lung disease. This surgery was found to improve lung function, exercise performance and quality of life, leading to its approval by NICE in 2005. 

Biologics - drugs made from biological products that influence the immune system - were first tested for psoriasis in 2001. NICE now recommends six biologics for psoriasis, and the NIHR-supported BADBIR study is monitoring the long-term efficacy and safety of these new drugs.

In 2003 researchers completed a 13 year, $2.3 billion project to sequence the human genome. Propelling us into an era of personalised medicine and advanced genetic testing, the legacy of this project will only continue to improve diagnosis and treatment across medicine

Research into cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) shows it improves memory and language function for people with dementia. Due to the decreased use of antipsychotic medication, CST could save the NHS an estimated £54.9m a year.

Researchers at the NIHR Imperial PSTRC, led by Prof Lord Ara Darzi, investigated how human behaviour, team skills, and the surgical environment contribute to errors in surgery. Their findings fed into the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Surgical Safety Checklist, which reduced in patient mortality following major operations from 1.5% to 0.8%.

For men with advanced prostate cancer that has stopped responding to other types of hormone therapy - but who haven't yet had chemotherapy - abiraterone has been shown to significantly extend life. The treatment, developed by the ICR and The Royal Marsden, could benefit more than 10,000 British men with prostate cancer each year.

In 2008, researchers investigated adding clinical risk factors to bone mineral density information in people with osteroporosis. Today, the FRAX tool is the standard global method to evaluate the risk of fractures in patients with osteoporosis.

The development of new antibiotics today couldn’t have been done without the help of Nobel Prize Winner, Dr Venki Ramakrishnan, whose research showed how different antibiotics bind to ribosomes, tiny protein-making factories inside our cells.

Bell’s palsy, a form of temporary facial paralysis, affects 12,400-24,800 people a year in the UK. NIHR-funded research found steroids were better for treating it than antivirals.