BIRAX (the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership) is a £multi-million initiative of the British Council and the British Embassy in Israel investing in world-leading research jointly undertaken by scientists in Britain and Israel. The BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative has so far committed almost £8 million to 19 cutting edge projects directly involving over 100 researchers in both countries. The projects pioneer techniques using stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies to tackle some of the world’s most challenging conditions and diseases including cardiovascular and liver disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s.
This year BIRAX has turned its attention to Ageing research. Ageing was chosen by the UK-Israel Science Council as the new priority for being one of the world’s greatest challenges. The statistics on ageing are staggering: according to the United Nations Population Fund, the number and proportion of older people are growing faster than any other age group.
Currently one in nine people in the world is aged 60 or over, and this figure is projected to increase to one in five by 2050. With age being the single biggest risk factor for many life-threatening diseases, including heart failure, stroke and dementia, developing strategies for successful ageing is a rapidly rising priority of societies and welfare systems the world over.
The aim of BIRAX Ageing is two fold. Firstly, it aims to advance innovative scientific research into ageing and its impact on human health and to encourage the use of cutting edge technology, big data and personalised medicine in ageing research. Secondly, it will seek to develop meaningful, sustainable and mutually enriching scientific collaboration between researchers, labs and institutions.
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