The School has developed a research-led culture within the field of pharmacy and biomedical sciences based on a multidisciplinary approach, with thematic research focused on areas of importance in biomedicine, pharmaceutical sciences and practice.
In the 2014 Research Exercise Framework assessment results, almost 60% of our Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy research was rated of world-leading or internationally-excellent standard. All of our academics are research active and our research guides our teaching content.
Research is conducted in excellent dedicated facilities comprising of a suite of laboratories for pharmaceutical research housed in Maudland building and the Biomedical Research Facility in Darwin building. Both areas have received substantial financial support over recent years to ensure they are fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
The School has adopted a thematic approach with work focussed in niche areas consistent with staff expertise and interests allowing the development of multidisciplinary collaborative programmes essential to modern biomedical research.
The Neuro-oncology Group includes academics, clinicians and other healthcare professionals and undertakes multidisciplinary research within Brain Tumour North West, this is an alliance of several; institutions across the North West and as such comprises the largest co-ordinated research group working on brain tumours in the UK. Working closely with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuropathology at the Royal Preston Hospital current programmes include
The Drug Design and Delivery Group engages in research in pharmaceutics that aims to develop new nano-carriers for the delivery and targeting of therapeutic agents, and research dealing with drug design that focusses on the construction of novel compounds, both of which are motivated by developing better treatments for inflammatory diseases, cancers, infections, asthma and diabetes. A key development has been the funding of the Institute of Nanotechnology and Biotechnology, through which research programmes are being conducted in collaboration with a number of internationally-recognised laboratories in Chinese universities.
The Neuronal and Tissue Dysfunction Group aims to investigate a variety of crucial brain functions such as neurotransmitter release, neuronal-glial communication, learning and memory, in both health and disease. Specifically, the group aims to dissect the neuronal and glial mechanisms underlying various pathological states such as neuropathic pain, psychiatric illnesses and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Working in collaboration with leading UK and international academics, the group utilises a variety of experimental models, from cell lines and primary cultures, to acutely isolated synaptosomes and in vivo mouse studies. On-going work includes the investigation of the mechanisms governing kiss-and-run versus full fusion modes of synaptic vesicle release, the effects of mutant presenilins in astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease, the distribution of GABA transporters in the spinal cord in response to neuropathic pain and the plasticity of glutamatergic synapses.
The Membranes, Proteins and Peptides Group has programmes of research ranging from fundamental investigations of how molecules (including more complex molecules such as antimicrobial peptides) interact with biological membranes; the structures and functions of membrane proteins including ligand and inhibitor binding studies; to membrane studies in relation to nanoparticle design for drug delivery, including the use of polymeric and lipidic systems The group is focused on fundamental studies of and therapies for a range of diseases including cancer, dermatological conditions and infectious diseases. Examples include the cellular causes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease ,the preparation of benzamidobenzoic acid derivatives and analogs for use as retinoic acid receptor α agonists, the differentiation of embryonical carcinoma cells ,yeast lipid composition, mast cell structure, function and interactions and the development of novel therapies for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus, with a specific emphasis on the potential use of glucagon receptor antagonists
“I thoroughly enjoyed the research internship experience, it allowed me to gain valuable insight into the practices of an active researcher. During the internship, I practiced and improved some existing skills (such as scientific writing) as well as learning a host of new skills. The internship allowed me access to techniques which were not demonstrated on my course (BSc Biomedical Sciences) and I was shown some of the essential skills necessary in research (or any scientific environment) for example: data analysis, sterile technique, health and safety practices and countless more. In addition, I became familiar with practices and challenges faced regularly by researchers; grant applications, lecture writing, balancing teaching and research, as well as poster making and public speaking. The internship is also a valuable addition to any science CV as most graduates suffer from a lack of laboratory experience. Overall, I would say that the summer internships are a unique opportunity given by UCLan, an opportunity which anyone who takes their degree seriously should consider and to top it all off - it is paid!”