Health Sciences, Life Sciences and Digital Health at the University of Bristol




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The University of Bristol (UoB) is a research-intensive University with a global reputation ranked in the world’s top 60 and the UK’s top 10 in the QS World University Rankings 2021. Health, Life Sciences and Digital Health are areas of strength with world class teaching, research and enterprise development. UoB is passionate about economic and societal impact, successfully cultivating close relationships with many business and civil society organisations, regionally, nationally and internationally. Our partners include world leading pharma and digital technologies companies, the NHS and other healthcare providers and suppliers, leveraging over £80 million of R&D funding per year.


Digital Health and Health Data Science: Fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown so clearly, the future of health is digital, with new and improved technologies required every day for understanding, preventing, diagnosing and managing illnesses that challenge the sustainability of health systems. All these technologies will be built on the analysis of extremely heterogeneous data, some of it collected routinely in the process of delivering healthcare, but increasing amounts being provided by the patient – self-report from their smartphone, interactions with an online resource such as a virtual GP, data from their wearable or even retail data.

UoB has been one of the first to embrace this transformation as an interdisciplinary area where successful innovation requires a collaborative development of new digital technologies which puts patients and health professionals at the centre of the stage.

In order to nurture talented people in this emerging space, the University has created the UK’s only PhD programme in Digital Health, which takes students from Engineering, Psychology, Computer Science, Maths and Medicine backgrounds and fosters multidisciplinary teamwork, responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. This runs alongside a 1 year taught Masters in Digital Health and over the next 5 years we will have a community of over 200 staff and students in Digital Health.

Biotech, Infotech and Advanced Therapies: Ground-breaking research and innovation
UoB houses the largest concentration of bioscience researchers within the South West of the UK. The breadth and depth of our research enables strong interdisciplinary links from physical sciences and engineering all the way through to medical and clinical research.

Researchers at Bristol are breaking new ground with development of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, including cell and gene therapies, which are currently making significant clinical and commercial impact. Highlights include spin-out companies, CytoSeek and Purespring Therapeutics. Cytoseek is developing the next generation of cell therapies to treat cancer using its pioneering cell-membrane augmentation technology. Purespring Therapeutics, has recently secured one of the largest single investments made to a new UK university biotech company receiving £45M to advance gene therapy treatment of chronic kidney diseases.

Our community continues to growth with the recent launches of the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) and the Wellcome Trust PhD programmes in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology; and in Dynamic Molecular Cell Biology. These programmes will exploit revolutionary technologies in imaging, information and data analysis to transform our understanding of health and disease from molecular level to large scale populations. Over the next 5 years we will have a community of over 150 staff and students working in biotech, infotech and advanced therapies.

Health, Life Sciences and Digital Health: a rapidly growing emerging sector in Bristol and the West of England.
Our shared goal is to create a thriving health & life sciences eco-system in the region for which the University of Bristol provide an excellent and supportive environment for both discovery and applied research; as well as a pipeline of talent in the next generation of leaders and scientists is various disciplines, from medicine and dentistry, to bioscience, psychology, bioinformatics, and digital health. An overall community of over 7000 students, 650 post-doctoral researchers and 1500 staff.

UoB has played a key role in Bristol’s rapidly developing innovation ecosystem with 25 spinouts in Health, Life Sciences and Digital Health and a pipeline of more than 100 assets with a broad scope of opportunities, from cardiovascular to renal, cell engineering, synthetic biology, digital health and bioinformatics. We are extremely excited about the future of the sector in the region with all of our stablished and new partners.

” The University of Bristol and its partners are extremely excited about the future of health and life sciences in the region catalysed by the growing community of multidisciplinary researchers and innovators who are taking their work from discovery to application.”

Prof. John Iredale, Pro-Vice Chancellor Health and Life Sciences, University of Bristol

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