Medicine

Academic Unit: Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Units

The creation of better treatments and diagnostics for our patients - from the very young to the very old - is what drives our researchers in Medicine. The resulting new treatments and diagnostic tools that emerge from our research, combined with our influence over policy and practice are helping to improve the health outcomes for many.

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Group Overview

Our research spans numerous clinical areas, including major human infectious diseases and diseases that affect the central nervous system, eyes, GI tract, joints, liver, lungs, skin and urogenital tract.  These include many common chronic inflammatory conditions like age related macular degeneration (AMD),  allergy, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Crohn's disease,  psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric illness including affective disorders, alcohol dependence, psychosis, and neurodegenerative ageing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma.

Key strengths lie in our ability to exploit cross-cutting themes and to study disease mechanisms at the molecular level all the way though to studies in man. We conduct clinical trials, with both commercial and non-commercial partners, where insights from basic science in the laboratory are now underpinning novel treatments, gene therapies and stem cell research.

We value cross-disciplinary and industrial collaborations that promote ‘joined-up thinking' to support and accelerate our research progress, through access to novel expertise and technologies.

For example, collaboration with  Electronics and Computer Sciences within the University is enabling development of point-of-care-devices for blood cell analysis and silicon nanowires for detection of markers of viral infection,  while links with Chemistry are facilitating development of new ultra rapid ‘point of care' diagnostics for Chlamydia and generation of polymer scaffolds for ocular cell transplantation - work recently awarded a gold medal at the Science Engineering Technology for Britain awards at the Houses of Parliament. 

Our researchers work in partnership with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (eg. through our NIHR-funded Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit and play leading roles in national and international consortia such as the MRC/ABPI COPD initiative and the joint EU/EFPIA Innovative Medicines Initiative (UBIOPRED) to maximize our research opportunities.

Our diverse group of researchers works with government to help shape Health Policy. Examples of this range from providing expert opinion to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence on AMD to advice on alcohol related harm to the Health Select Committee. These activities facilitated new treatments becoming available on the NHS for AMD and shaped UK alcohol health policy via the development of web and app-based behaviour change strategies.

We have also responded to emergency national policy needs through our involvement in the HTA-funded trial of the two pandemic influenza vaccines purchased by the Department of Health for UK use which informed national vaccine policy in 2009.

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