Derriford Research Facility: support our research

Research themes at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

80 per cent of the research undertaken at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is classed as "significant" or "world-leading" by the Research Excellence Framework, 2014.

There are three themes of research conducted at the Derriford Research Facility:

  • clinical neuroscience
  • infection, immunity and inflammation
  • cancer.

<p>Derriford Research Facility. Key research themes.</p>

Research theme 1: clinical neuroscience

Within this theme we are looking to support a range of diseases and conditions including Huntington's, Parkinson's, and dementia.

  • 850,000 people with dementia in the UK - Alzheimer's Society
  • 127,000 people living with Parkinson's - Parkinson's UK
  • a child of a parent with Huntington's disease has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the fatal brain disorder - NHS UK

Our research focuses on finding answers to the most pressing medical questions and the Derriford Research Facility provides the space, technology, and draws valuable partnerships to accelerate our research forward.

Dr Camille Carroll talks about her unique Parkinson's research in this video

Supporting Huntington's research

Professor Shouqing Luo leads our research into Huntington's disease. A condition which gradually affects the ability to walk, talk, think, and reason until eventually full-time care is needed.

"There is real potential for the development of an effective therapy for this devastating neurological disease, for which there is currently no cure." Professor Luo.

Professor Luo discusses his 'world-leading' research into Huntington's disease.

Professor Luo and his team receive support from a local fundraising group

You can donate directly to our Huntington's fundraising Just Giving page

Dr Shouqing Luo receiving a cheque from local fundraisers

Key research theme 2: infection, immunity and inflammation

Within our research theme of infection, immunity and inflammation is the research into antibiotic resistance, vaccines, and sepsis.

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing concern that affects everybody and is stated as being as big a threat to global health as climate change. So much so, that World Antibiotic Awareness Week was set up to raise awareness of the issue.

Antibiotic resistance

In this video, Professor Mathew Upton, Associate Professor (Reader) in Medical Microbiology, talks about his work with antibiotics.

A major area of Professor Upton’s research is in the discovery and development of a new class of antibiotics; antimicrobial peptides, for use in treating and preventing drug-resistant infections such a MRSA, potentially with one dose.

New and innovative vaccines

Also within the theme of infection, immunity and inflammation is the work of Dr Michael Jarvis.

The threat of emerging zoonotic diseases that originate in animals and affect humans was brought to the world's attention with the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

Dr Jarvis and his team are investigating the development of self-disseminating vaccine as a new means to prevent and treat many infectious diseases.

Dr Jarvis discusses his work in this film.

Research theme 3: cancer

Within this research theme we focus on:

  • oral cancer
  • brain tumours
  • non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Our research expertise and accolades give us great confidence in these areas of research. Professor Simon Rule, featured in the film below, leads our research in non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and his team are pioneering a front line study comparing cutting edge non-chemotherapy treatments with the traditional chemotherapy treatment.

In partnership with the charity Brain Tumour Research

The University is a Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence, one of only four in the UK.

Professor Oliver Hanemann leads his team of researchers to discover potential new treatments and a cure for low-grade brain tumours; which are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

In this video, Professor Hanemann talks about his world-leading research into low-grade brain tumours.

Find out more about the Centre of Excellence at the University

Oral Cancer

Professor Bing Hu leads a team of researchers looking into potential treatments for oral cancer. 

Professor Hu is confident that the new facility will attract more global talent into his lab to further research and understanding of the genetic mutation that causes this type of cancer.

Professor Hu discusses his work in this film.

Collaborating with University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Ann James, CEO of Derriford Hospital, talks about the importance of the partnership between the University and the hospital, as an opportunity to drive innovation through research.