The Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science

The Institute's research delivers direct benefit to patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry. The Institute's aim is to understand the underlying molecular and genetic basis of disease and to apply this knowledge in innovative ways that lead to improved treatment and a better quality of life for patients.

The Medical School's researchers and clinicians work closely together to ensure that our research is directly targeted to clinical need. Find out more about our precision medicine approach.

The Director of the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science is Noel Morgan, Professor of Endocrine Pharmacology.

Our research themes

Our research broadly spans the following research themes:

Diabetes and associated metabolic conditions are among the most important medical challenges facing the world today. We have a particular strength in this area with researchers focusing on the causes of diabetes and improved treatments for patients. The mechanisms of disease and the links between diabetes, accelerated aging and increased cardiovascular risk are also explored.

Research is wide ranging: from genetic analysis of different forms of diabetes, the molecular biology or islet cells in the pancreas, and endothelial cells; to investigating the mechanisms of complications such as blood vessel damage causing diabetic eye and kidney problems; to developing practical, simple, and cost effective ways of identifying patients with undetected diabetes in primary care and clinical trials.

Principal investigators

The research carried out by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health focuses on several key strands, all of which closely interweave to form a truly interdisciplinary research agenda.
Our academics specialise in a number of disciplines from Epidemiology and GIS to Health Economics and Horizon Scanning, and these methods are used across each of our core research themes:

  • Active ageing
  • Climate and health
  • Emerging pollution risk
  • Healthy workplaces
  • Oceans and human health
  • Wellbeing and the environment

As well as a team of over 30 researchers, the European Centre also hosts 15 PhD students and a new cohort of Masters students, all focusing on the field of environment and human health.

The Centre is working with businesses to help drive and deliver its portfolio of projects, ensuring that all findings are relevant to enterprise and enhance the knowledge economy of Cornwall.

For more information on this research group please visit the European Centre for Environment and Human Health website.

Principal investigators

The Neuroscience and Mental Health theme encompasses neurological disease and other mental health research across a wide spectrum, from basic biomedical science, through to development and delivery of interventions at the individual and population levels. Our research is funded by the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR, NIH and a variety of medical charities.

We use a number of approaches to understand the underlying causes of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, schizophrenia and chronic stress. These approaches include genetic, cell biology, neurophysiological and systems level analyses in human tissue and disease-model organisms.

For more detail about specific research projects within the neuroscience and mental Health theme, visit the individual researcher pages listed below.

Principal investigators

Explore our research impact

Explore some of the many highlights of our research impact through our videos below.

Professor Noel Morgan's research is in type 1 diabetes which mainly affects children, to stop people getting the illness in the future.

Professor Lorna Harries' research is in the regulation and expression of genes, with a focus on diabetes.

Professor Andrew Randall researches into circuits in the brain and how brain cells talk to each other, and how these go wrong in disease.

Dr Kate Ellacott researches into the molecular mechanisms which control food intake and body weight by the brain, of which regulation is a characteristic feature of obesity.

Dr Craig Beall's research is into type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and how to prevent hypoglycaemia or restore hypoglycaemia awareness.

Professor Sian Ellard researches rare diseases that are caused by a single genetic change in one gene, including neonatal diabetes and hyperinsulinism.