Biomedical Sciences at Brunel University London engage in a wide range of world-leading research. We have four main research areas:
Health and Disease
The Division of Biosciences research focuses on understanding, treating and developing cures for a wide range of human diseases. These diseases range from pathogenic infections such as influenza, TB, candida (yeast) and bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) to degenerative syndromes such as Friedrich’s ataxia and the premature ageing syndrome Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS). We also have a strong focus on cancer with specific attention to female, rare and childhood cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancers, neuroblastoma and childhood leukaemia. Finally, our academics also research the complex pathways that lead to obesity and to normal ageing.
Treatments and Cures
Researchers in the Division of Biosciences are using novel and repurposed drugs to combat antibiotic resistance, to treat premature ageing, to delay the effects of normal ageing and in the treatment of cancers and degenerative diseases such as Friedrich’s Ataxia. The huge advantage of repurposing drugs developed for one treatment but found to be effective in treating an often unrelated disease is that most if not all the regulatory requirements for use of the drugs in human has already been completed, providing a massive saving in both time and costs. We have a strong team using state-of- the-art viral gene therapy vectors to replace missing or damaged genes in utero, whereas others are finding new ways to engineer the genome to alter damaged genes. We are also working on developing novel vaccines for autoimmune disease and cancer, and investigating the use of nanoparticles for delivery of treatments.
Genomic and Epigenomic Level
Many of Bioscience’s academics are performing research that investigates how the genome behaves with respect to its functional regulation and stability in cells through the cell division cycle and life-span, working on important proteins such as repo-man, frataxin, the nuclear envelope proteins, proteins involved in DNA replication and repair, nuclear motors, the cancer gene c-myc and the proliferation associated protein Ki67. Other related research focuses on important pathways such as Wnt, and Jak/Stat, that signal to the genome. Biosciences also investigates the effects of assault on the genome from irradiation, the environment or pathogens.
Our genome research is clustered in the cross-theme grouping – the Genome Engineering and Maintenance Network, hosted by the Institute for Environment, Health and Societies.
Technology and Methodolgy
Biosciences boasts a large state-of-the-art imaging facility with 10 different microscope systems for automated fluorescence imaging at high resolution, live cells imaging, 3- and 4-dimensional imaging, imaging-in-flow and 24-colour imaging. Biosciences academics have expertise in CRISPR/cas9 genome engineering, viral gene therapy, nanoparticle use, various types of fluorescence in situ hybridisation, cell culture, and bioimaging and analysis.
Located in the Heinz Wolff building, Biosciences has 10 labs all fully equipped to carry out molecular, biochemical and cell biological research. The research is supported by 5 technicians and 1 research associate and is currently funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
The College of Health and Life Sciences hosts three research centres:
These centres promote interdisciplinary and high impact research by acting as key points of contact between academics, practitioners and the wider community.
Many College academics are also members of Brunel’s Institute of Environment, Health and Societies.
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