OXFORD scientists have been given a £2m boost for their life-saving medical work.

Summertown-based firm Brainomix, whose hi-tech medical imaging software will transform treatment for thousands of stroke victims, received £663,000.

And two teams of Oxford University researchers were awarded a total of £1.3m.

The grants are part of an £18m cash injection to rev-up the national biomedical sector and come from the Medical Research Council and the government’s Innovate UK. Brainomix chief executive and co-founder Dr Michalis Papadakis said his firm will recruit at least two staff as a result of the cash.

He said: “It’s a big honour and we are very grateful for this grant.”

Because the signs of stroke damage are often subtle, it takes top neurologists with decades of experience to diagnose. But Brainomix’s software e-ASPECTS automatically assesses brain CT scans to help frontline doctors identify stroke patients who would benefit from life-saving, but expensive treatments, such as mechanical clot removal.

Researchers at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute working to create “the ultimate” flu vaccine were awarded almost £700,000. The vaccine, which attacks the core of the virus, could eventually produce a universal vaccine that would tackle any type of flu.

The third award of £634,000 went to Dr Trevor Yeung of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and his team, which includes Dr Elizabeth Bird-Lieberman of Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

Their work, which involves a fluorescent dye being sprayed onto the lining of the bowel, could help doctors distinguish between normal and cancerous tissue.