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Biomedical Sciences research and PhD programmes

Our academics are internationally renowned scientists in their fields of expertise and are involved in making major advances and breakthroughs in human diseases and syndromes, including breast, prostate and skin cancer, leukaemia, progeria (premature ageing), tuberculosis, malaria, aspergillus infection, trinucleotide repeat diseases and normal ageing. Our academics are also involved in the development of 21st century treatments for disease, such as: novel vaccines; stem cell, gene and antibody therapies; novel drug development; artificial biomaterials and, with advancing mechanistic understanding of cell and molecular biological processes. Brunel research is internationally regarded and offers talented researchers the opportunity to work in a range of specialist areas including Nuclear & Genome Organisation, Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis & Therapeutics, Genetic Disease, Ageing, Immunology & Infection, Radiobiology and Endocrinology.

Research opportunities for students

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. Browse PhD opportunities below and find out about the funding available.

Research in Biomedical Science

Find people, projects, groups and publications in Biomedical Science. 

Biomedical sciences at Brunel has four main research areas

Health and disease

Our 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

Our researchers 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.

Our strong team are using state-of- the-art viral gene therapy vectors to replace missing or damaged genes in utero, and 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.  

Technology and methodology

Biosciences boasts a large state-of-the-art imaging facility with ten 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, we have ten labs all fully equipped to carry out molecular, biochemical and cell biological research. The research is supported by five technicians and one research associate, and is currently funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Independent assessment of our research quality (REF 2021)

Browse research groups in Biosciences


 Work with our experts

Our funded studentships become available at different times of the year. Please keep checking our page regularly to see the latest funded opportunities. We also advertise all our funded studentships as soon as they become available on the @BrunelResearch twitter account.

View all studentships
I would not be working at this level of seniority so soon without my Biomedical Sciences PhD.
Susan, Research, Alumni
From UK more...
Since I first approached the PDC for placement advice as an undergraduate, I've been supported in every aspect of building my dream career as a scientist.
Denise, Research
Biomedical sciences
From Italy more...