Innovation and Impact
The Department of Biomedical Science (BMS) combines the traditional disciplines of Anatomy and Physiology alongside innovative research programmes in Animal Models of Human Disease, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.
Our aim is to foster first class research within a culture of innovation and application supported by an effective translational infrastructure enables successful knowledge transfer. This thereby ensures, for example, scientific advancement, the education and training of students, and promotes inward investment benefiting of the University and the wider community.
A reflection of the impact of the department's research is the publicity it has recently received. Notable examples have been the identification of a stem cell population, by Dr Marcelo Rivolta's lab, that could be used to potentially derive a cell-based treatment for the treatment of patients affected by deafness, and in the field of neurodegeneration, Dr Alex Whitworth's lab have made advances in our understanding of the causes of Parkinson's disease and thereby the identification of a target for the development of new potential therapies.
To support the translation of such excellent basic research for clinical benefit, such as the screening for potential new therapeutics, the department has also built up infrastructure in addition to enabling basic research.
These include the Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility (SRSF) funded by the Wellcome Trust and the department, and the small molecule Zebrafish screening unit within the MRC Centre for Biomedical and Developmental Genetics. Dedicated staff enable screens and support knowledge transfer.
Such facilities together with ongoing research activities have facilitated interactions with industry and additionally highlighted commercial opportunities as well as the education of staff and students. This also benefits the wider community through outreach activities, such as the MRC CDBG presenting at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, Science Week presentations and interactions with local schools.
Within the department of Biomedical Science, academics are experts in their fields and have provided consultancy advice to industry, research councils and charities. Their research agendas are relevant to many human diseases and in areas of interest to the pharma and biotech industries.
Several academics have ongoing collaborations with companies. Interactions with industry are welcomed and encouraged and they have both allowed the pursuit of new research directions and/or progressed translational research.
In addition, knowledge transfer support within the department is provided by a research translator (Dr. Susan Smith). She can help to identify suitable partners either within BMS or liaise with colleagues in the Biologies or Faculties of Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield Health Innovation Centre), or the University Research and Innovation Services.
Through participation in the BBSRC Excellence with Impact Award, the Department is constantly reviewing its activities to ensure that it continues to promote cutting edge research through which excellence in education, training and outreach activities can be achieved.