Research

Research Excellence

Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge

The World faces a wide range of health and wellbeing challenges. Our multi-disciplinary research brings complex real world solutions to promote health and wellbeing across the life course.

Our research priorities

Planetary health

“Access to water is a challenge” Maasai women from Kajiado west, Kajiado County, Kenya took this photo as part of a Photovoice project to highlight maternal and child health challenges in their community – the project is in partnership with Loughborough University and the African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi. “Access to water is a challenge” Maasai women from Kajiado west, Kajiado County, Kenya took this photo as part of a Photovoice project to highlight maternal and child health challenges in their community – the project is in partnership with Loughborough University and the African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi.

We aspire to improve the health of everyone on the planet, by targeting research into water, sanitation and hygiene service provision in the context of climate change.

Natural systems are being degraded to an extent unprecedented in human history. This poses a huge problem to our planetary health.

Our societies face clear and potent dangers that require urgent and transformative actions to protect present and future generations but the present systems of governance and organisation of human knowledge are inadequate to address these threats.

Our research is developing vital solutions for enhancing quality of life and delivering improved health for all, together with respect for the integrity of natural systems. By improving governance, helping societies address the drivers of environmental change and promoting sustainable consumption and harnessing the power of technology for change, we can strengthen planetary health.

Healthcare

Monitoring activity of care home residents Monitoring activity of care home residents

Our health and social care research tackles challenges in the provision of treatment and care to deliver safer, more productive and inclusive services for physical and mental wellbeing. Our research brings expertise and knowledge from health sciences, psychology, engineering, design, organisational management and other disciplines to understand individual and system challenges.

We have a long track record of health technology research with support from EPSRC across a range of design, ergonomics (Human Factors) and engineering projects. We are interested in the potential of informatics to support a harmonised health and social care service that meet the extended needs of the individual and benefits the wider society.

Our impact has reduced NHS costs and improved patient care with evidence-based design to support standardization and procurement.

Defence medicine

The University signed a new covenant as part of its pledge to support the armed forces community. The University signed a new covenant as part of its pledge to support the armed forces community.

We are the key stakeholder and research lead in Defence Medicine and for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre. Since being awarded The Defence Medicine Institutional Sponsorship Award (ISA) we have refined and developed our research strategy for Defence Medicine, grown regional, national and international networks and deepened relationships with Defence Medical Services.

The ISA identified key research requirements in military traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and civilian and military rehabilitation. Particular research opportunities within the scope of the work of EPSRC have been identified in biomarkers and rehabilitation technologies for the treatment of MTBI, and in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. This has also identified the overarching research challenge for the field of understanding the pathophysiology of the individual impaired human system in its entirety and consequently developing rehabilitation strategies to maximise its potential.

Work on a Midlands based incubator for defence medical technologies builds upon the concentration of defence medicine assets in the Midlands. We are working to progress this and to better understand the bottlenecks in the innovation process. This is of significance to the national innovation system because of the importance of defence medicine as a first mover in the generation and adoption of leading edge medical technologies.

Antimicrobial resistance

The majority of the world’s pathogenic bacteria have now developed some level of resistance to antibiotics. The majority of the world’s pathogenic bacteria have now developed some level of resistance to antibiotics.

With £545,000 funding from EPSRC, our cross-disciplinary Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) network brings together experts from chemical engineering, sport and health sciences, chemistry, maths, and mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes (harmful bacteria) develop a defence against the drugs (antibiotics) which are designed to kill them.

The majority of the world’s pathogenic bacteria have now developed some level of resistance to antibiotics used to treat them and medical professionals are at the stage of using last resort drugs. Integrated intervention approaches including developing new treatments, targeted drug delivery; rapid diagnostics, environmental decontamination strategies combined with better understanding of the human and social dimensions of the AMR problem are desperately needed.

The focus of our network is to improve the understanding of AMR across the University and beyond, and to identify opportunities and facilitate interdisciplinary research projects to help tackle this global health threat. Our network is trying to understand and explore mitigation strategies that relate to how the environment and human behaviour in community and healthcare settings enables the spread of resistance genes and the acquisition and transmission of antimicrobial resistant infectious agents.

Dementia

We have developed computerised instruments to aid early diagnostics. We have developed computerised instruments to aid early diagnostics.

We are investigating early diagnostics, modifiable risk and protective factors for dementia worldwide using automated tests of cognition, gait, activity and physiology.

Our research is concerned with three key areas – design, diagnostics and intervention. Our design research, sponsored by the Department of Health, reviews evidence based dementia design and AHRC (design star) research to develop guidance for dementia care environments working with UK and USA architects.

In our diagnostics research we have used computerised instruments developed for screening and memory clinic assessment to aid early diagnostics and assessment of lifestyle and other treatments.

Our intervention research includes analyses of lifestyle interventions to reduce dementia risk and symptoms, such as diet, exercise and reduction of sedentary behaviours as well as regenerative medicine approaches including stem cell therapies.

Find out more about our dementia research 

Further information