Biomedical and Environmental Health

Biomedical and Environmental Health Group

Research to understand the role of factors such as diet and environmental hazards on human health.

Biomedical Environmental Health

Biomedical and Environmental Health

The Biomedical and Environmental Health Group is engaged in interdisciplinary research to understand the role of factors such as diet and environmental hazards on human health and how this can be mitigated through diverse approaches.  Recent research, for example, has highlighted health risks associated with consumption of food and non-food items, such as rice, betel quid and baked clay, consumed within certain ethnic groups.  Application of advanced bioanalytical techniques and molecular biological tools for investigation of biomedical and environmental problems is a further theme of research.

Research carried out includes non-invasive diagnosis of kidney damage and the development of methodologies for early diagnosis of disease, particularly diabetic nephropathy and drug-induced nephrotoxicity. 

There are several group members with interest in understanding the relationship between diet and health.  This includes investigating the role of folate, free radicals and trace elements in disease and the use of dietary supplementation, food supplementation and other methods to prevent, delay or alleviate the associated pathological problems. Health problems under investigation include cardiovascular diseases, different types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disease.  Examples of such studies includes the role of the Epstein–Barr virus in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma; the structure, function and detection of prions and amyloids; drug interactions with ion-channels, cells, tissues and whole organisms etc. Developing strategies for treatment and diagnosis of these diseases are also focus of the groups’ research interest.  

Development of novel antimicrobial agents to counter the problem of antibiotic resistance along with methods for rapid identification of microbes is another area of research activity within the group.  In collaboration with UK hospitals, MALDI-MS and PCR techniques are being applied to discrimination of antibiotic resistant bacteria; and the mechanism of antimicrobial action of nano-metals in biofilms is being actively studied.


Developing novel strategies

Improving the environment through removal of harmful chemicals from water and the food-chain is another area of research.  This includes development of novel, environmental friendly, strategies for removal of toxic contaminants from water.  This ranges from the use of a novel catalyst, supported on a mesh, for the oxidative decomposition of a wide range of organic pollutants in wastewater to using a powder produced from the root of the water hyacinth to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Facilities and funding

The Biomedical & Environmental Health group has a wide network of academic collaborators, both nationally and internationally, that facilitates an interdisciplinary research approach.  The group receives funding from a wide range of sources including the UK research councils, the EU Framework programme, UK governmental bodies, and UK industry.

The group has access to well equipped research laboratories with access to some of the most advanced analytical techniques including high resolution NMR spectroscopy,  LC-MS/MS, ICP-MS, MALDI-TOF, FTIR, SEM etc.  Group members are actively engaged in the supervision of MPhil/PhD students through funds secured from national and international sources. 

Contact us

Biomedical and Environmental Health

Group Lead: Dr Parvez Haris                      +44 (0)116 250 6306

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