Life sciences and healthcare

World-leading research

The North East’s four universities (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland) offer a diverse range of specialisms in life sciences and healthcare – enabling them to partner with businesses ranging from local small and medium enterprises to multinational companies. We are extremely proud that the North East host world-leading research groups within the field.

Tackling rare diseases

The Newcastle University and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) is one of the leading centres in the world in rare and debilitating genetic diseases (particularly neuromuscular diseases).

Newcastle University proactively engages in clinical studies and is the only site in the UK to hold a Pfizer-preferred INSPIRE site for clinical trials. It undertakes translational research in rare diseases, stratified medicine and muscular dystrophy and has a world-leading reputation in technologies underpinning the synthetic biology of bacterial systems.

The University’s extensive facilities include: dedicated clinical research facilities, including cellular therapies facility; bio-banking & imaging modalities; paediatric oncology; Mitochondrial research; and Hepatology.

A multi-disclipinary approach

Durham University’s expertise in biological sciences and health research places a strong emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach via research institutes including the Biophysical Sciences Institute, the Wolfson Research Institute for Health & Wellbeing and the Institute for Advanced Research Computing.  Durham’s School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences’ core theme of multidisciplinary bio-based research engages them in developing practical solutions and insights for the bio-economy.

Northumbria University’s approach to health and life sciences includes expertise in health service innovation, health economics, applications of ‘Omic’ technologies to health and disease, neurological and cognitive function, sleep, nutrition, exercise, social justice and vulnerable populations. These strengths are focused in three major multidisciplinary themes: the Bioeconomy, Integrated Health and Social Care, and Digital Living.

Computational design for health

Newcastle University’s specialist researchers apply their expertise in the computational design of synthetic biological systems.  At Northumbria the Biomathematics research group develops models of human health and wellbeing, including for mobility, care, prevention and rehabilitation, models of cancer and the relation of chronic illness to ageing.  Durham University has extensive experience in securely handling large datasets of public data and Northumbria University undertakes longitudinal data analysis, which links medical studies to making better predictions about the future health needs of patients on the basis of existing data.

Applying pharmacology

Sunderland University’s integrated approach delivers high quality research into contemporary health issues, from laboratory investigation of pathobiology, drug design and formulation, to applied clinical practice and public health. The expertise held in the Department of Pharmacy, Health and Wellbeing includes:

  • Infection and Immunology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Understanding health behaviours
  • Patient and professional experiences of health and healthcare

Sunderland’s work on drug discovery and development includes a focus on personalised medicine and links to innovative SMEs creating novel approaches to stratification of medicine.

Durham University’s School for Medicine, Pharmacy and Health (SMPH) encompasses clinical medicine, social care, mental health, health policy, public health and pharmacy and the training of clinical professionals.

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