Human health related research conducted in the School of Life Sciences is expanding, and concerned with evaluating;
- the ability of a wide range of substances, such as nanomaterials, to cause adverse health effects following human exposure,
- the mechanisms underlying the development of human disease and
- the role of nutrition as a means of prevention against human disease.
Research activities in these areas are multidisciplinary and fall into three main themes:
- Nanomaterial Safety Assessment (Professor Vicki Stone)
- Human Nutrition and Molecular Toxicology (Professor Mihalis Panagiotidis)
- Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health (Dr Derek Ball)
Research interests revolve around human physiology, nutrition and metabolism and endeavour to understand the physiological and metabolic responses to exercise in health and in disease. An example of this would be diabetes. In Scotland, 210,000 people are known to have diabetes and it is estimated that a further 87,000 have diabetes but are not aware. Exercise and diet both play a key role in the management of diabetes. Type 2 diabetics (those with the less serious but most prevalent form) have a two- to four-fold greater, risk of cardiovascular disease than non-diabetics. A sedentary lifestyle is a large, if not greater, risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease than diabetes, and exercise medicine research therefore has a pivotal role in these diseases of affluence, which are reaching substantial proportions in the developed world.
We also have interests in hyperbaric physiology and we aim to investigate aspects of exercise and training in the prevention of decompression stress, a condition that can lead to severe CNS injury and permanent disability in divers.
The plasticity of muscular and respiratory systems (eg as a result of exercise training, detraining, immobilisation) is of great interest to us. As the field of molecular physiology matures, our aim for the future is to utilise such techniques to further our knowledge of molecular exercise physiology. The School of Life Sciences has well established expertise in cellular and molecular biochemistry and we can now explore cellular signalling, transcriptomic and proteomic techniques in human tissues, and functional analysis due to exercise, training and ill-health in physiological systems.
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Fees and funding
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Scholarships and bursaries
We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.
View our full range of postgraduate research scholarships.