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BRC for Mental Health gets cash for CRIS

16 October 2009

The specialist National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) , King’s College London (KCL) has been awarded nearly £1 million from the NIHR to support the development of the BRC’s Case Register Interactive Search (CRIS) system.

CRIS is a groundbreaking new research tool developed by the BRC’s cross-cutting Analytical Methodologies Theme which allows researchers to search and analyse electronic medical records in an anonymised format.  It is one of the core facilities offered by the specialist BRC for Mental Health and is situated in the BRC Nucleus - a unique centre housing key translational initiatives to support the development of novel therapies and treatments for mental health and related disorders.

The NIHR award will enable the CRIS system to be expanded - for example, to link in with census data.  It will also facilitate the development of enhanced computing resources to allow linkage to other large datasets including neuroimaging, genomics and SLaM's pharmacy records.

The funding comes soon after publication of the first paper on CRIS in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry in August.  The paper describes the development and accessibility of CRIS including the building of the system and setting in place the necessary security.  A full copy of the paper can be viewed here.

Dr Rob Stewart, Joint Theme Lead for the BRC’s cross-cutting Analytical Methodologies Theme, said 'CRIS represents a new generation of research design, allowing scientists to conduct research in a way not possible before.  This award is an important opportunity to develop further this world-leading data resource for mental health research.  Our aim is to facilitate the acceleration of personalised diagnosis, assessment and ultimately treatment for patients locally, nationally and worldwide.'

The NIHR BRC for Mental Health is the only specialist BRC in Mental Health combining the resources of a leading mental health research Institute (IoP) with the largest provider of secondary mental healthcare in Europe (SLaM).  KCL is the only organisation to partner all three types of BRC including the NIHR Comprehensive BRC at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the King’s Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre with King’s College Hospital NHS Trust. For further information visit

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