STRUCTURE: Health secretary Andrew Lansley has opened a new clinical research centre based at Southampton General Hospital.

Mr Lansley visited the city on March 25, to launch the £10m pound facility. In his statement to the Southampton University Hospitals Trust board, chief executive Mark Hackett said the centre would become a “focal point for medical discoveries, including the development of new treatments for respiratory diseases”.

The Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research will study how lifestyle and diet affect health. Mr Hackett also said he hoped the centre would “revolutionise the way research and clinical trials are conducted”.

The centre will have a two-bed endoscopy suite, a designed area for clinical trials, and a chamber to measure the exhaled air of asthmatic children.

It is a joint venture between the trust and the University of Southampton, and is part funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Mr Hackett’s statement added: “The centre will draw together some of the UK’s brightest scientists and doctors, working together in one place to translate the latest innovations made in the laboratories directly into new treatments for patients.”