Medical Research

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st January 2017.

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Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative, Chesham and Amersham 12:00 am, 31st January 2017

What steps his Department is taking to promote medical research.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

This year the Medical Research Council will spend £655 million on world-class research. Our commitment to the future of the UK as a world leader in biomedical research is unwavering. For example, in November, Her Majesty the Queen opened the Francis Crick Institute, and we will continue to invest in this kind of excellence throughout this Parliament.

Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative, Chesham and Amersham

Autism is the most expensive medical condition in the UK, costing the economy more than £32 billion a year, according to the London School of Economics, yet we spend hardly anything on autism research compared with what we spend on research into cancer, heart disease and stroke, which cost the economy less. What can the Minister do to encourage more spending on autism research, which is so vital to people in this country?

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the MRC spent £13.3 million on autism research, and it always welcomes high-quality applications for support on any aspect of human health. Such applications are subject to peer review and are judged in open competition. The Department of Health, through the National Institute for Health Research, also funds research in this area, and the MRC’s centre for neurodevelopmental disorders at King’s College London opened recently, in November.