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Members of the new Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC PHRU) and representatives of the MRC joined Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor, and Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC, to celebrate the establishment of a new strategic alliance between the University of Oxford and the MRC on 2 November.

Professor Colin Baigent, Director of the PHRU, outlined how long term, stable support from the MRC over the past 20 years had allowed the Clinical Trial Service Unit to focus on cancer and vascular disease and would enable the new unit to continue and expand this valuable work.

The research conducted by the PHRU is focused on the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer, and is organised into four main themes: prospective studies, randomised trials, meta-analyses and methodological innovation. In order to ensure that its studies are large enough to provide definitive results, MRC PHRU's in-house IT and laboratory groups develop innovative systems that promote streamlined design and cost-efficiency.