Research in Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering
Our unique blend of research in biomedicine incorporates both biomolecular studies on disease mechanisms, as well as the invention of novel mechanical/electrical engineering solutions to counter the disease state.
The aim of our research in Biomedical Sciences is to extend life, to ease pain, to combat disease and to enhance the healthy state. To achieve this aim, our studies are directed at understanding how both the healthy human body functions and how it fails as a consequence of the many ailments which can assail it. At Reading, we have already contributed significant knowledge to this field, and are continuing to extend understanding on multiple aspects of human health. By exploiting a range of scientific approaches, encompassing a variety of disciplines, we are tackling modern-day health problems from numerous directions.
Research within the division is central to the University's interdisciplinary research strengths in Health and Food, and is thus key in driving these major themes.
What we are researching
We are engaged in exploring many common health problems of relevance to the modern world. Such health issues include ageing, cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, with emphasis on areas such as heart physiology, haemostasis and thrombosis. We are also investigating innovative therapies for muscular dystrophy, factors controlling fertility, and current and emerging transmissible diseases including foot and mouth disease, haemorrhagic fever, intestinal infections and MRSA. Our aim is to learn all that we can about the mechanisms governing such diseases and to apply the knowledge that we generate to enable prevention, alleviation and/or cure.
Our researchers are organised into three distinct research groupings. This enables shared use of common research facilities, easy exchange of knowledge and ideas, and collaborative research projects providing added value.
Microbiology Research Group
This group of researchers is expanding understanding of the processes involved in microbial infectious disease. Research encompasses studies on the structure and function of viruses, as well as the development of new and innovative vaccines for e.g. foot-and-mouth-disease and haemorrhagic fever. We also consider various aspects of bacterial pathogen function including host-pathogen interactions, resistance to host innate immunity and the mechanisms of bacterial virulence factors. Part of our current research is directed at identifying microbial agents that can control insect pests and plant diseases.
Molecular and Cellular Medicine Research Group
The Molecular and Cellular Medicine Group are working towards understanding the causes of disease at the cellular level, in order to develop new therapeutic approaches. Our wide-ranging research has a strong focus on cardiovascular disease (blood clotting, atherosclerosis, cardiomyocyte function) which is performed through the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR), an interdisciplinary research centre associated with the School. Other prominent areas of research include ageing, brain function, cancer, endocrinology, muscular dystrophies, obesity, ovarian function and fertility, and skeletal muscle development.
Biomedical Engineering Research Group
The brain is the most complex known structure in the Universe. The research we are carrying out is focused on understanding the brain and using our knowledge to improve longevity and health. We are working to devise strategies suitable for managing diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The core of biomedical engineering is to create practical solutions. Our research allows us to invent and improve innovative medical technology - both for the management of conditions and to counteract the effects of illness, injury and age. By doing this, we aim to increase quality of life and ensure that healthcare systems of the future are not put under undue strain.
Contact the School
If you are interested in contributing to our research, please get in touch with us.