IMAGINE balancing a hectic schedule of ward rounds and patient care with overseeing a small army of scientists engaged in £113m worth of game-changing research.

All in a day's work for Professor Keith Channon, the director of Oxford's sprawling biomedical research centre (BRC) where thousands of doctors and scientists - and occasionally doctor-scientists juggling clinical care with research - are involved in dozens of projects improving health outcomes all over the world.

Next April the Oxford BRC network will celebrate its 10th anniversary after last month being awarded £113.7m from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

Prof Channon, a cardiologist in the John Radcliffe Hospital's West Wing, said: "We were delighted. It was a highly competitive bidding process with no carry-over.

"As far back as January 2016 we had to submit an expression of interest, report an enormous number of performance metrics, list 20 thematic areas and nominate leaders.

"We are very proud of our track record. There are 20 BRCs in the country and Oxford is one of the largest, and the only one to successively increase our funding."

Since its inception the BRC has funded 2,000 projects carried out by partnerships between Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Utilising the talents of 10,000 medical personnel in Oxfordshire's hospitals and 5,000 on-site researchers, it has led to breakthroughs in whole genome sequencing for rare diseases and cancer, reducing the risk of recurring stroke, replacing bedside paper charts with 'early warning' tablet computers and developing an Ebola vaccine.

The unique set-up of Oxford's BRC, in which scientists work side by side with clinicians at the JR, the Churchill and the Horton General is a huge boon, Prof Channon said.

He said: "Now, in 2016, you will see a large number of university buildings on the hospital campus immediately adjoining NHS buildings.

"On many occasions they're physically located within our hospitals; you could walk across the corridor and not know you are in university space.

"It's integrated and embodied. The place to do research that's related to patients is in a hospital, not a facility or a business park."

The cross-over is not only physical but professional, with staff including Prof Channon carrying out the same on-call duties as NHS colleagues while undertaking research.

He said: "If you have been spending the week treating people with asthma at the JR you have a good idea of what the questions are, rather than being dragged off into some esoteric area. You keep your feet on the ground. Critically, you are highly motivated to make sure your patients benefit."

A total of 20 'themes' - key priorities including diabetes, cancer therapies and genomic medicine - have been identified for the next five years.

New additions for 2016 include musculoskeletal disorders, obesity and respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Precision medicine, the tailoring of healthcare to suit the needs of the individual patient, will be a focus as Oxford contributes to the 'pioneering' 100,000 Genomes Project.

Prof Channon said: "We have all got 3,000 variations in our genome that might be related to disease; it's about interpreting the significance of those variants.

"If you have breast cancer or melanoma or colon cancer, your treatment will be partly determined by genetic measuring."

Linking electronic patient data to primary care and being able to handle 'enormous' datasets will be a key focus for the university's Big Data Institute, set to open at the Churchill next year.

Using 'machine learning' to analyse outbreaks of MRSA in Oxfordshire has, Prof Channon said, already proved to be a 'game changer'.

He added that the Oxford BRC was also 'truly world-leading' in immunity: "It was instrumental in responding to the Ebola outbreak and has already had a role in the response to the Zika virus, and avian flu outbreaks. Vaccines are manufactured in the lab on the Churchill Hospital site, then undertake trials in human volunteers."

Prof Channon has been in the role of director, overseeing the hive of activity in Oxford and beyond, since 2010 and led the renewals in both 2011 and 2016.

He said: "It's a great privilege to be involved with so many outstanding researchers and clinicians who are working so hard to advance research across the breadth of medicine. For me, it is a fantastic privilege."