Researchers working in a laboratory - part of the Peninsula Medical Foundation 
The pandemic, an ageing population and a rise in chronic conditions mean that our health and care systems in the UK and worldwide are facing the biggest challenge of our lifetime. At the University of Plymouth, our teams take advantage of our co-location and partnership with the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. 
Our Derriford Research Facility, located adjacent to the hospital, is home to medical and biomedical experts conducting research into areas such as infection and immunity, neurodegenerative diseases, brain tumours and antimicrobial resistance. 
We are also leading the development of potentially the first new antibiotic in 30 years and the first COVID-19 vaccines for the animal population. Adding to our first-class facilities, a new Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) will include the most advanced MRI scanner in the region.

Our priorities for philanthropic support include:

Stopping young lives being lost to brain tumours

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other form of cancer, yet as an area of research it receives just a fraction of the funding of other cancers. 
Plymouth is one of only three specialist centres of brain tumour excellence in the UK, established with the charity Brain Tumour Research (BTR). 
Your gift can support the team here to find new ways to diagnose and successfully treat slow-growing brain tumours, building on decades of progress for other cancers and working within a recently designed, custom-built facility. You can fund the brightest minds who are starting on their research careers to test more drugs and therapies, and make progress faster. And you can ensure they have the latest equipment they need to help save lives, including a new MRI scanner which will enable faster and expanded clinical trials for brain tumour patients. 
Official charity partnership
In 2014, the University was officially recognised by the leading charity Brain Tumour Research as one of only three centres of excellence nationally for brain tumour research. Our long-running partnership aims to help establish, retain and grow world-class research teams. 
Discover more about our internationally renowned Centre of Excellence for research into low-grade brain tumours that your donations help to fund.
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Historically, brain tumour research has received just one per cent of all cancer research funding in the UK. As a result, survival rates have barely changed for decades and progress is urgently required. At present, the only treatment options for brain tumours are chemotherapy or invasive surgery. Developing new treatments can take as long as 20 years, but if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that research can deliver progress fast. It just needs funding, and for people to work together towards a common goal.

Professor Oliver Hanemann, Chair in Clinical Neurobiology


Helping people with Parkinson’s live full lives

The number of people in the UK living with Parkinson’s is set to increase by a fifth by 2025. 
Dr Camille Carroll, Associate Professor in Neurology at Plymouth, has led the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust to become one of the UK’s foremost Parkinson’s research centres, including through a Parkinson’s diseases DNA bank and an award-winning patient service that helps people manage their condition through wearable technology. 
You can support further research to help people live as well as possible with the condition, and continue the search for new treatments and therapies. Donations will fund life-saving research, PhD studentships and clinical trials in three areas: early detection; therapies to slow disease progression; and the use of technology to improve care. 
Learn how your donations support our Parkinson’s Disease Research, improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s and accelerating the search for a cure.
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Being in the South West, where there’s a stable patient population and a small number of secondary care providers, you can a build good relationship with the patient base and make sure that the work is having an impact where it’s needed the most

Dr Camille Carroll, Associate Professor in Neurology


Helping understand the impact of MS on patients

Multiple sclerosis is a condition which causes damage to the nerves in your brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). It’s estimated that 130,000 people in the UK have Multiple Sclerosis, and every week around 100 more people are diagnosed.  
At the University of Plymouth, The South West Impact of Multiple Sclerosis project is a study following 1,600 people with multiple sclerosis in Devon and Cornwall, providing new information about how MS changes over time. This work helps the research team to understand the impact of MS from the perspective of people affected by MS and look at better ways of helping patients. 
Discover more about The South West Impact of Multiple Sclerosis project which is enabling us to provide new information about how MS changes over time.
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Our research group gets involved in a range of projects, from initiatives to improve clinical services to those designed to increase adoption of existing treatments and clinical research trialling new treatments – all ultimately seeking to improve outcomes for people living with MS

Professor Jeremy Hobart, Professor of Clinical Neurology


Seeking new treatments for Huntington's

Huntington's is a fatal disease which damages the brain. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 and 50 and it worsens over time, affecting the person's ability to think, reason, walk and talk, leading to them needing full-time care.
Every child of a parent with Huntington's has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene, and currently there is no cure.
Dr Shouqing Luo and his team at the University are working with international researchers, clinicians and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to investigate the potential of manipulating activity at cellular level to find potential effective therapies for this condition.  
With your support we can move faster and closer to a cure – and bring new treatments and eventually a cure, to the estimated 5,700 people in the UK alone with this progressive brain disorder.
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There is real potential for the development of an effective therapy for this devastating neurological disease, for which there is currently no cure.

Professor Shouqing Luo, Professor of Neurobiology


Helping improve quality of care for people with dementia 

University of Plymouth's regional, national and global response to dementia
Over 55 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia, and each year sees an additional 10 million new cases. In the UK, the most recent data indicates that 900,000 individuals are living with dementia, and new research suggests that this number could climb to 1.7 million in England and Wales by 2040. Looking specifically at young onset dementia, the NHS estimates that around 53,606 individuals could be diagnosed in the UK by 2024. 
Ian Sherriff B.E.M, Academic Lead for Dementia at the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Rural Dementia Group, has been instrumental in reshaping support structures, both nationally and globally, since 2012 when the then Prime Minster characterised dementia as a “quiet crisis that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families.” The team has been challenging stigma and the need for support and understanding of dementia and has produced a National Rural Dementia Guide for the 10,000 parish and town councils in England, which has paved the way for major changes in support for people living with dementia and their families in rural England. As chair of the Prime Minister's Dementia Air Transport Group, Ian’s visionary contributions extend from influencing parliamentary debates on dementia-friendly airports to co-inventing the Sunflower Lanyard which is supporting air travellers with hidden disabilities including dementia across the globe in 230 airports in over 30 countries by 15 airlines who recognise the symbol internationally. The sunflower has been adopted as Brazil's national symbol of disability. Sherriff's commitment to transforming the landscape of dementia support aligns seamlessly with the University's mission, illustrating a proactive and visionary approach to addressing the challenges posed by dementia on both a national and global scale. 
Ian Sherriff's dedication is further evident in the University's proactive response to the expressed needs of individuals living with dementia. Collaborations with dental experts including the Chief Dental Officer for England, have resulted in the production of a comprehensive Dementia Dental Guide, subsequently circulated to all NHS dentists in England. Ian Sherriff's influence extends through the regular lectures and dementia awareness sessions he leads, providing essential insights and dispelling prevailing myths. Ian Sherriff and the committed team at the University embody the words of Margate Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Their united mission revolves around championing dementia awareness, support, and understanding on a global scale.