Quality of Research
School of Biosciences
Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
|Unit of Assessment||Staff submitted (FTE)||By percentage, research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard|
|Biological Sciences (D14)||53.90||4||3||2||1||UC|
(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)
The School of Biosciences is one of the largest bioscience departments in the UK. It is known world-wide for work across a wide range of research fields, from ecology and diversity to the molecular biology of disease and includes two Nobel Prize winners among its researchers.
Professor Sir Martin Evans FRS winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007
Research in the School is organised into six areas: biodiversity and sustainability; connective tissue; genetics; microbiology; molecular cell biology; and neuroscience. Each field has its own research group, led by an internationally-renowned scientist.
One of the key strengths in genetics is the development of embryonic stem cell technology. Professor Sir Martin Evans won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work in discovering embryonic stem cells. Now he and other School researchers, working with colleagues elsewhere, are putting this pioneering science to work in enhancing our understanding of a wide range of diseases, including breast cancer and cystic fibrosis.
The School’s other Nobel Laureate, Professor Dr Robert Huber, winner of the 1988 Prize for Chemistry, is working with the Molecular Cell Biology research group and colleagues in the School of Chemistry, in the development of Structural Biology at the University. Structural Biology aims to determine the structure of proteins and their interactions with each other and with other molecules in cells. It has major implications for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of many diseases.
Members of the Biodiversity and Ecological Processes group undertake innovative and important research among many threatened animal species. Their findings have helped to estimate population sizes in protection work for species such as the orang-utan and the giant panda. Much of this work has attracted substantial world-wide media interest, in addition to the research publication in professional journals.
|Institution||Research Fortnight Research Power|
|University of Cambridge||1.00|
|University of Edinburgh||0.55|
|University of Manchester||0.55|
|University of Leeds||0.52|
|Imperial College London||0.45|
|University of Sheffield||0.36|
|University of Glasgow||0.34|
|University College London||0.34|
|University of Dundee||0.33|
|University of Leicester||0.30|
|University of York||0.28|
|University of Liverpool||0.24|
|University of East Anglia||0.24|
|University of Birmingham||0.23|
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Neuroscience research is one of the major strengths of the School with extensive expertise across the entire range of neuroscience disciplines. Research in the Connective Tissue Biology Group centres around musculoskeletal tissues particularly in relation to cell and matrix biology in development, ageing and pathology. The Microbiology Research Group investigates prokaryotic (Bacteria and Archaea) and eukaryotic (protozoa and fungi) microbial life on Earth. The School of Biosciences is well-recognised for the quality of research within its six research groups and for the diversity of research undertaken resulting in a wide range of funders.
The School has benefited from substantial investments in recent years, including a £14M new Life Sciences Building. Research income consistently includes substantial grants won from medical charities, including the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK. The School is also home to a large population of postgraduate researchers on its MPhil and PhD programmes, and offers an attractive one-year MRes programme compatible with career paths in academia and scientific industry. A significant number of studentships are made available each year for a range of projects across the School’s research areas.