A multi-million pound medical project partly funded by the Medical Research Council is beginning its recruitment of half a million people across Britain in Manchester this week. UK Biobank aims to find out much more about curing many life threatening and debilitating diseases. It will recruit people aged 40-69 and track their health over the course of the next 30 years or more.
In the first phase of a four-year recruitment process, about 10,000 letters asking people to take part in UK Biobank are being sent to Manchester residents over the course of the next few days. Tens of thousands more invitations will be sent throughout the course of the year. A successful pilot study to check the feasibility of this huge undertaking took place in Altrincham (south Manchester) last year.
Hosted by the University of Manchester, UK Biobank is one of the biggest and most detailed public health research initiatives ever. Researchers, including some of the most eminent scientists from around the world, believe it will provide a valuable resource for research into a wide range of diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, mental illness, Parkinsonâ€™s disease, joint and dental disease and many other life-threatening and debilitating conditions. It will help doctors and other medical researchers to develop a better understanding of the causes of many common diseases and improve their prevention and treatment.
People in Manchester who agree to take part in UK Biobank will attend a 90 minute assessment at a special centre in Hulme, south Manchester. They will be asked to allow UK Biobank to follow them through routine health records over many years. The assessment centre will open in April.
Source – MRC website www.mrc.ac.ukÂ