NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Spotlight On: Inflammation Cluster

Researchers are addressing several of the most common causes of death and disability, in our region and nationally, through our Inflammation Cluster.

These conditions – which include arthritis and related conditions, chest diseases, skin disorders and heart disease – are all underpinned by chronic inflammation. Outcomes are strongly influenced by deprivation and social factors.

In this new series, we are shining a Spotlight On the range and impact of the cutting-edge research here at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Watch the film below to find out how Manchester BRC’s inclusive and proactive research is driving health improvements in Inflammation.

Inflammation: Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases, Respiratory Medicine, Dermatology: Cutaneous Inflammation and Repair, Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine


Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases affect around 18 million people across the UK and primarily involves joints, bones, muscles, and tissues. We are developing personalised healthcare strategies to improve patient outcomes.

Skin diseases and complex wounds are among the most common, chronic and quality-of-life reducing health issues in the UK. Spanning all ages, there are more than 2,000 skin conditions and we are exploring common pathways and if we can predict how skin diseases, such as psoriasis and eczema, spread.

Lung disease affects 1 in 5 people, with rates higher in areas of social deprivation. We are researching better ways to diagnose lung disease and what factors decide how well people respond to treatments.

Manchester and Blackpool have the top 2 highest rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease in England. We are aiming to develop new ways to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, a general name for conditions that affect the heart or circulation, which nationally is one of the key contributors to poor health.

Coming next

Next time, we will be continuing with our Cluster model and shining a Spotlight On the High-burden Under-researched Conditions Cluster.

Follow Manchester BRC on X/Twitter and LinkedIn to keep updated with the series.

Our themes and clusters

Our 13 research themes collaborate in 4 Clusters, to enhance partnership working and cover a wider geographical reach, so we can:

  • Focus on inflammation – a process common to conditions of the joints, chest, heart, blood vessels and skin
  • Find ways to detect cancer early – tailor treatments to the individual, improve radiotherapy and care for those living with and beyond cancer
  • Shine a light on sometimes overlooked areas – such as hearing and deafness, mental health and rare genetic conditions.
  • Understand disease complexity – using a variety of new methods to better diagnose and treat patients.

The 4 Clusters are:

A circle split into quarters. Each quarter shows a cluster and the research themes within that cluster.

Cancer (prevention and early detection, advanced radiotherapy, precision medicine, living with and beyond cancer),

Inflammation (rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, respiratory medicine, dermatology, integrative cardiovascular medicine),

High-burden Under-researched Conditions (hearing health, mental health, rare conditions)

Disease Complexity and Multi-morbidity (next generation phenotyping and diagnostics, next generation therapeutics).