Showcasing the breadth of health research at Leeds

Health news

Senior leaders from the Medical Research Council (MRC) visited the University today to find out more about the interdisciplinary health research taking place here.

The University delivers research excellence that impacts on human health though the School of Medicine, as well as through other areas of academic strength, such as physical-mathematical sciences, digital expertise, computation, bioengineering and biosciences, plus a focus on engineering to develop medical technologies.

During the visit, Steve Oakeshott, Head of Innovative Technologies, and Steve Meader, Programme Manager for Neurological Disorders, from the MRC, met researchers who are working across disciplines to tackle major health burdens. These include:

  • The surgical technologies research group which uses mechatronics and robotics to address challenges including minimally invasive surgery, cardiac assistance and orthotics.
  • Researchers working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to apply digital pathology (the digitisation of tissue samples) and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise the practice of diagnostic pathology. Together with seven other universities, ten industry partners and nine NHS hospitals, collectively known as the Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC), the University is applying AI to cancer diagnosis.
  • Experts in fluid dynamics who are using advanced facilities to couple 4D MRI imaging of cardiovascular flows with computer modelling to analyse disease mechanisms, predict and improve the outcomes of interventions.
  • Scientists in the University’s Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, who are looking at the molecular detail of how cells and organisms function, and malfunction in the case of disease. One of their current projects is developing a cheaper and safer way of making the polio vaccine.

Steve Oakeshott, Head of Innovative Technologies at the MRC, said: “It is impressive to see the breadth of medical research that is happening here at Leeds and to see real examples of how interdisciplinary research can lead towards novel healthcare solutions.”

“The MRC has a long-standing partnership with the University of Leeds and we look forward to continuing to work together to identify new approaches to help tackle major health issues.”

Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Research and Innovation Development at the University of Leeds, said: “Medical research at Leeds is one of our most established areas of strength and we have an outstanding track record of translating technological discovery into transformational patient benefit.

Our portfolio of new discoveries includes surgical technologies, imaging modalities, digital solutions and diagnostics to address unmet clinical needs.

“We create an environment that allows interdisciplinary research to flourish, with fresh ideas and approaches to problem solving which ultimately benefit patients and improve health outcomes.”

Further information

For additional information please contact the University of Leeds media relations and communications team on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email