Basic and Clinical Science

Our research areas include pharmacology, psychology and clinical medicine, and aim to foster a strong collaborative environment between the basic, applied and clinical sciences. This approach seeks to provide novel insights into conditions such as Parkinson’s, heart disease, obsessive compulsive disorder and end-stage kidney disease.

In REF2014 members of the Unit were rated 72% world-leading/ Internationally Excellent in UoA 3.

Research in the unit is grouped under three main themes:

Disease mechanisms

The Disease Mechanisms group is housed in a £50 million research building where we are engaged in research using isolated cells, stem cells and animal models of human disease to study the physiology and pharmacology of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gastrointestinal sensory and motility dysfunction.

Our academic staff have research backgrounds in academia and the pharmaceutical sector and are experts in their field. As a group we utilise a wide range of experimental techniques to investigate neuronal (peripheral and central nervous system) and smooth muscle function including, electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, ELISA, receptor binding, in-vivo behaviour, myography, and gastrointestinal peristaltic models.

Clinical management of disease and illness

The clinical group encompasses speciality areas across the healthcare spectrum. Collaboration with NHS partners is key to our aim of enhancing the evidence-base of clinical practice. We work closely with local partners especially East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. We also collaborate with many other NHS and academic institutions nationally and internationally.

Research in this group is led by academic staff and consultant clinicians affiliated with the department. The areas include:

  • Cardiology
  • Nephrology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry
  • Respiratory
  • Rheumatology
  • Urology

The group consists of academic and clinical staff, MDs, PhDs and Visiting Fellows and Professors, which facilitates an innovative and impactful research culture.

Psychology of long-term conditions

The Psychology in Long-Term-Conditions team specialises in Health Services Research, and works closely with the Health Research Methods Unit, NHS trusts and a range of academic partners on national and international healthcare projects.

The research conducted in this work-group aims to understand and improve the health and well-being of people with long-term conditions

Members of this unit have particular expertise in:

  • Longitudinal studies in illness patterns and trajectories.
  • Exploring people’s experiences of living with long-term conditions.
  • Developing and assessing the effectiveness of psychological interventions for people with long-term conditions.
  • Developing effective ways of supporting people in managing their health care needs.