There is a range of research in Oxford in this area, ranging from clinical to basic science. A particular strength is research into age-related and degenerative diseases of the nervous system.
Oxford has particular strengths in statistical genetics in the Department of Statistics and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics , which is part of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine .
Oxford has made major contributions to our understanding of cancer. The link between smoking and cancer was demonstrated here by Sir Richard Doll and the existence of tumour suppressor genes was demonstrated in cell fusion experiments by Sir Henry Harris. Following substantial investment in the past decade, and the relocation of the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research from London in 2007, Oxford now has one of the highest concentrations of world-class cancer research in the world. Much of the expansion has occurred at the Old Road Campus, conveniently located near the new NHS Oxford Cancer Centre .
Oxford was the top-rated UK institution in cardiovascular science in the most recent research assessment exercise and is one of four B ritish Heart Foundation (BHF) Centres of Research Excellence in the UK. Particularly notable is the integration of molecular science, physiology, and epidemiology, bringing together researchers with interests in the understanding of cardiac and vascular biology at both the molecular level, the level of the whole organism, and in populations.
Oxford University has a long tradition in the study of developmental biology and stem cells. Current research areas include understanding the basic molecular and cell biological principles that guide early embryonic development including formation of the primary embryonic body axes, studying the movement of cells and molecules by sophisticated real time imaging technology, and the identification of growth factor signalling pathways controlling cell commitment and differentiation.
Diabetes or metabolic disease will constitute one of the most important health care issues worldwide. The establishment of the Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) built on existing strength in this area. OCDEM is committed to training the next generation of basic and clinical scientists in the fields of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism.
This is a broad theme incorporating primary health care, population health, and delivery of health care. Oxford's Department of Primary Care Health Sciences was rated top in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
Oxford has an outstanding record in academic gastroenterology from the early clinical studies of Sidney Truelove to pioneering genetic analyses by Derek Jewell. Today gastroenterology brings together scientists working in basic and clinical research with the objective of translating mechanistic insight into novel diagnostics and treatments for digestive diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), liver disease and cancer.
Oxford has been at the forefront of the new information age in biology, playing a leading role in the public analysis of both the human and mouse genomes and in the HapMap and Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium ’s investigations into genetic variation in health and disease.
Scientist working in Oxford have made major contributions to this field. Robert Gwynne Macfarlane was instrumental in identifying the clotting cascade. George Brownlee first cloned the Factor IX gene, leading to the production of recombinant Factor IX now used to treat patients with haemophilia B. Sir David Weatherall pioneered research into the inherited basis of blood disorders, particularly thalassaemia, culminated in a prestigious Lasker Award in 2010.
Oxford scientists have contributed to major advances in immunology such as implicating lymphocytes in the immune response (James Gowans), determining the structure of antibodies (Rodney Porter, Nobel Prize 1972), and characterizing leucocyte cell surface molecules (Alan Williams). Oxford has one of the highest concentrations of active immunology researchers in the world, and is rated the top University in the UK in the area of infection and immunity.
Oxford's contribution to infectious disease has been enormous. Penicillin and the related cephalosporin antibiotics were discovered here. More recently Oxford has played a key role in the introduction of artemisinin-related drugs for malaria and in the development of new vaccines for bacterial meningitis and tuberculosis.
This theme encompasses all researchers using the latest molecular, cell and systems biology techniques to study basic biological processes. A particular strength in Oxford is that much of this work is interdisciplinary, involving collaboration between biologists working at molecular, cellular and systems levels and mathematicians, statisticians, chemists and physicists. This is becoming increasingly important as scientists appreciate that all available tools are needed to fully understand normal and abnormal biological processes. The close links between disciplines in Oxford provides an ideal training environment for graduate students interested in interdisciplinary research.
There is a wide range of basic and clinical research in the fields of epidemiology, engineering, cell biology, genetics, cell biology and clinical trials, based at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences on the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centr e and John Radcliffe Hospital sites. Oxford hosts an NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Musculoskeletal Disease .
The University of Oxford has a long and illustrious history of neuroscience research dating back to the 17 th Century. Today, Oxford is particularly strong in basic neuroscience, linking the function of genes and cells to systems and behavior. Clinical research focuses on experimental medicine, imaging and functional neuroscience in the areas of ophthalmology, mental health, neuropsychology and neurology.
Oxford has been at the forefront of cutting edge research investigating the basis of disease involving children and interventions to improve child health for many decades.
Programmes in Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry offer opportunities to research cognitive and emotional psychological processes in both health and in mental disorders.
Reproductive research in Oxford encompasses multi-disciplinary studies across a wide range of important issues in human reproduction and applied basic science.
Those interested in research in Respiratory Sciences will find diverse activities in several pre-clinical and clinical departments. John Scott Haldane and Charles Douglas were founders of modern respiratory research in Oxford in the first thirty years of the twentieth century, based heavily upon addressing taxing public health issues of the day in mines and sewers, in warfare, during diving, and at high altitude. Their work laid the basis of our molecular understanding of gas exchange in the body and the neurological regulation of breathing.
This theme covers the development and application of technology for diagnosing, monitoring and treating disease. These techniques range from conventional ones such as surgery, interventional radiology, vaccines and drugs to novel techniques such as nanomedicine, stem cells, and gene therapy.