Innovation and excellence in science and health

School of Clinical Medicine – University of Cambridge

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School of Clinical Medicine
Brief descriptionThe remit of the School of Clinical Medicine spans both education and research. In terms of research, the aim of the School is to conduct internationally excellent peer reviewed basic, clinical and translational research relating to a diverse range of medical conditions and treatments. The School comprises 4 main institutes (Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Institute of Metabolic Science, Institute of Public Health and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute) as well as 14 departments. The main research themes are:

- Cancer Research
- CardioVascular Medicine
- Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
- Epidemiology and Public Health
-Genetics and Genetic Medicine
-Haematological and Transplantation Medicine
-Infection and Immunity
-Neurosciences and Mental Health
-Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
- Women’s Health
FundersMRC, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and other major medical charities
Director
Professor Patrick Maxwell - Regius Professor of Physic
StaffThe Clinical School comprises over 2000 staff. This includes 600 academic and contract research staff including 81 Professors and Readers, 33 Senior/University Lecturers and 73 Senior Research Fellows. More than 500 NHS staff, both clinical consultants and those in professions allied to medicine, make a major contribution to the teaching and research base of the Clinical School.

Institutes in the School of Clinical Medicine
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is a cross-departmental institute within the University of Cambridge Clinical School that is housed in the Wellcome Trust/MRC Building. It provides a unique interface between basic and clinical science that underpins its high level objective of determining and understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease.

40% of the Institute's researchers are clinically active and the Institute has a demonstrated record of translating its basic research into successful clinical application. Researchers use cell biology to understand mechanisms of disease and conversely use genetic disease to reveal crucial mechanisms of cell biology. Although the research has particular strength in key cell processes (membrane trafficking and protein folding) as well as biological areas (immune system and neuronal function), an important asset at CIMR is the breadth of disease areas that its research impinges on, and it is this that will allow its researchers to reveal fundamental principles of disease and infection.
Institute of Metabolic Science - Metabolic Research Laboratories (IMS-MRL)The Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS) is dedicated to research, education, prevention and clinical care in the areas of diabetes, obesity and related metabolic and endocrine diseases. The IMS is a joint venture between the University of Cambridge, The Medical Research Council (MRC), Cambridge University NHS Hospitals Trust and the Wellcome Trust. The IMS is housed in a purpose-built facility on the Biomedical Campus.

The IMS houses the Metabolic Research Laboratories (MRL) of the University of Cambridge on two of its floors. MRL researchers undertake laboratory and clinical research into a range of metabolic and endocrine diseases. The MRL also hosts the MRC Centre for Translational Research in Obesity and related Metabolic Diseases. A further floor houses the MRC Epidemiology Unit, directed by Professor Nick Wareham, whose scientists use epidemiological methods to study the aetiology and prevention of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.The ground floor houses the IMS Clinical Care Centre incorporating the Weston Centre for Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes and Endocrinology which provides state of the art facilities for the treatment of people of all ages with diabetes obesity and related metabolic and endocrine disorders. A major function of the institute is to encourage daily interaction between basic and clinical scientists, epidemiologists and clinicians to maximise the impact of research into the prevention and treatment of these diseases and to improve the quality of care delivered to the individual patient.
Institute of Public HealthCambridge Institute of Public Health generates knowledge and evidence to improve the public’s health, using its research, teaching and analysis to promote well-being, prevent disease and reduce health inequalities. The Institute is a vibrant and multidisciplinary partnership of academics and public health professionals. Membership includes units from the University, Public Health England and the Medical Research Council. Members carry out research in public health and population sciences, educate scientists and public health leaders, and analyse and interpret population health evidence and data for policy makers and those working in public health. Public health is cross disciplinary by nature and from its base at the Clinical School, the Institute reaches across Cambridge and all six schools of the University of Cambridge through the specialist public health network, Publichealth@Cambridge, which connects 700 researchers interested in public health.
Cancer Research UK Cambridge InstituteThe Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI), housed in the Li Ka Shing Centre, focuses on tackling questions relating to cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention, supported by world-class core scientific facilities.
Main Departments & Units in the School of Clinical Medicine
Clinical BiochemistryThe research carried out in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry can be divided into two main areas: 1) diabetes, obesity and other related endocrine and metabolic disorders- groups working in this area are based in the Metabolic Research Labs of the Institute of Metabolic Science; and 2) molecular cell biology of membrane traffic pathways - groups working in this area are based in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research.
Clinical NeurosciencesThe Department of Clinical Neurosciences was established in January 2004 and consists of four units:
1) John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair
The ultimate aim of work in the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair is to understand, and eventually to alleviate and repair damage to the brain and spinal cord which results from injury or neurodegenerative disease.
2) Neurology Unit
The academic department of the Neurology Unit has the following principal areas of research interest:
- Cognition, Memory and Language Group
- Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis
- Glial Cell Biology Unit
- MRC Cognitive Brain Sciences Unit
- Movement Disorders
- Stroke Research Group
3) Neurosurgery
Integration of the Neurosurgery Unit and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (facilities for Positron Emission Tomography and 3T MR) within the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit facilitates the study of acutely ill patients, as well as functional studies of the brain and strategies for repair. The Unit explores the pathophisiology of acute brain injury and its therapy, assesses novel therapies including radiological studies, validates the Centre's advanced bedside monitoring (transcranial Doppler, microdialysis, near-infrared spectroscopy, brain tissue oxygen) and explores mechanisms of coma and recovery. There are extensive programmes of research into hydrocephalus, haemorrhagic stroke and mathematical modelling of intracranial dynamic, and rigorous audit of the Centre's NGS services.
4) Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre
The Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (WBIC) is a research facility attached directly to the Addenbrooke's Hospital Neuro Critical Care Unit and is dedicated to imaging function in the injured human brain using Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance. The name reflects the generous funding from the Wolfson Foundation that enabled the University of Cambridge via the School of Clinical Medicine to build and equip the Centre.
HaematologyResearch in the department falls into three main areas with major relevance for human disease - 1) the Haematopoiesis and Leukaemia Group are based in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (Professor Green, Professor Göttgens, Dr Huntly, Dr Ottersbach) and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Professor Warren); 2) the Structural Medicine and Thrombosis Group (Professor Read, Professor Huntington) and 3) the Transfusion Medicine Group (Professor Allain, Dr Lee, Professor Ouwehand, Dr Ghevaert) are based in the NHS Blood and Transplant Building.

Transfusion Medicine
The Division of Transfusion Medicine was created in 1991 as an academic unit within the Department of Haematology. The unit is embedded in the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Centre. It was the first research and development unit dedicated to transfusion medicine within the NHS and is funded both from the NHSBT and external funding bodies. The Head of the Division is Professor Jean-Pierre Allain. The focus of Transfusion Medicine research is in blood borne viruses, diagnostics and transfusion in resource poor areas, biology and genomics of megakaryocytes and platelets.

Diagnostics Development Unit
The Diagnostics Development Unit (DDU) was established almost a decade ago by a group of industry scientists who worked at a multinational diagnostic company. The goal of the unit is to develop innovative tests that are rapid, simple, cost-effective and more sensitive than currently available rapid tests. This new generation of point-of-care tests are intended for the detection of infectious agents that cause serious health problems in resource-limited settings, particularly in developing countries, while remaining useful and desirable in point of care settings in the developed world. The DDU team has extensive experience in multiple disciplines such as nucleic acid chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, monoclonal antibody production, material sciences, and the regulatory affairs necessary for product development. Technologies under development include sample extraction and rapid and sensitive detection of infectious disease targets (DNA, RNA, antigen or antibodies). The team has developed two technology platforms, SAS (Signal Amplified System) for protein targets and SAMBA (simple amplification based assay) for nucleic acids.

Medical GeneticsThe Department of Medical Genetics was established in 1975 reflecting the increased academic activity within the NHS clinical service previously developed at Addenbrooke's Hospital within the Department of Pathology. Since then, the academic and clinical components of the Department have increased substantially, but the close interaction between University and NHS departments remains. The medically qualified members of the Department also have clinical duties and there is close interaction between the University and clinical departments. There are five NHS consultant posts. The Department adopts a broad approach to 'Medical Genetics', encouraging interests in the functional biology of genetic disease, as well as applying genetics to diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to disease. Many of the research programmes and clinical activities are run jointly with other departments at Addenbrooke's and elsewhere.
Department of MedicineThe Department of Medicine provides high quality research, teaching and patient care. It is the largest department in the School of Clinical Medicine and is comprised of 11 Divisions, each aligned to a clinical specialty within the NHS. It houses 22 professors, and over 400 directly employed and affiliated members of staff. The Department’s base is over 4 floors in the main building of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and in other sites on campus, including the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, CRUK Cancer Research Institute, West Forvie site, GSK building, Institute of Metabolic Science and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology University Research Unit. The Department currently holds research grants totalling in excess of £56m with an annual expenditure of over £8m.

Anaesthesia
The University Division of Anaesthesia was formally established in 1991 on the Addenbrooke’s site with Professor J Gareth Jones as the first Head of Department. Departmental facilities are housed adjacent to the NHS Anaesthetic Department, Main Operating theatres, and the John Farman Intensive Care Unit. In addition to office space, the Department contains an Image Processing Lab (funded by the Royal Society and supported by a high speed departmental network), and laboratory facilities for automated ELISA assays, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, digital confocal microscopy and molecular biology. Research themes of the Division focus on Acute Brain Injury, Physiology in Critical Illness, Consciousness and Cognition, Pain, and Patient Safety.

Clinical Pharmacology
The Clinical Pharmacology Unit was established in 1985. The Unit was the first example in the University of NHS funding for academic developments. In 1998 it moved into purpose-built clinical and basic science laboratories in the Addenbrooke's Centre for Clinical Investigation, funded by the BHF and an MRC Technology Foresite grant (joint with Cardiovascular Medicine and Neurosurgery). Although mainly academic, the Unit has been a strong protagonist of translational research long before this became a common buzzword. Many of its research outputs have been translated rapidly into improving practices, mainly in hypertension, where both diagnosis and treatment has been transformed by its AB/CD rule, and use of plasma renin as a routine test in most patients. Members of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit hold senior positions in the British Hypertension Society and British Pharmacological Society. The Unit gives equal weight to the clinical and non-clinical members of the Unit, encouraging the clinicians to learn basic science skills, and the scientists to take part in patient-orientated research.Most of the research, described by individual PIs, is cardiovascular, including hypertension, arterial stiffness, genetics of sodium handling, ischemia/reperfusion and action on the circulation of G-protein coupled receptors.
MRC Epidemiology UnitThe goal of the MRC Epidemiology Unit is to study the genetic, developmental and environmental determinants of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders and to contribute to the prevention of these disorders
MRC Cancer UnitThe MRC Cancer Unit undertakes world-leading research into understanding how cancers develop, and seeks to translate this knowledge into new approaches for diagnosis and treatment that can be applied in the clinic, using innovative enabling technologies.
Obstetrics & GynaecologyThe Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has two broad areas of research activity. The first covers the use of large population data bases to identify key predictive features associated with human pregnancy. Research is also focused on perinatal control of maternal and fetal smooth muscle contractility; clinical research interest in predicting pregnancy complications such as intra-uterine growth restriction, preterm labour and perinatal death. The second group uses genomics to identify key regulatory genes involved in the development of blood vessels in all tissues but focusing on those in the endometrium and placenta, in healthy tissue and in ectopic endometrium and cancer. This interdisciplinary work involves complex teams of molecular and cellular biologists, anatomists, mathematicians, bioinformaticians, statisticians and clinician-scientists.
OncologyThe University Department of Oncology is based within 7 locations on or close to the Addenbrooke’s Hospital site. Oncology is a large department with both University and NHS components, where clinical and basic science converges to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer related research. The main focus of research is the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of cancer. The Department aims to deliver the best possible care to patients, build a world renowned environment for laboratory and clinical research and provide an education programme that generates world class oncology clinicians and research scientists.
PaediatricsThe University Department of Paediatrics comprises 68 staff made up of clinicians, scientists, research nurses, postgraduate students and visiting fellows. The Professors of Paediatrics are Ieuan Hughes, the Head of Department, and David Dunger. the department is active and expanding in all areas of academic paediatrics: research, teaching and clinical practice.
PsychiatryThe Department of Psychiatry is an internationally leading centre for research, teaching and clinical practice in most areas of psychiatry. Altogether, there are about 100 people in the Department, which is based at Addenbrooke's Hospital and locations elsewhere in Cambridge.

Brain Mapping Unit
The core interest is using advanced brain scanning techniques, principally magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map the structure and function of the human brain. There is particular interest in mapping normal memory and learning, ageing, drug effects on brain function, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and depression. The Department also has a strong technical focus on statistical methods for analysis and visualization of the large and complex datasets involved in brain mapping. The major current interest in this area is developing methods based on wavelets, which are advantageous in dealing with the fractal or scale-invariant properties of brain images.

Developmental Psychiatry
The Developmental Psychiatry Section is a federation of clinical and research scientists in learning disabilities, child and adolescent psychiatry and developmental psychology. The aim of the Section is to focus teaching and research in developmental psychiatry across the lifespan. This web site provides details of personnel, specific research projects and interests.
Public Health & Primary CareThe Department of Public Health and Primary Care (DPHPC) is one of Europe’s leading academic departments of population health sciences, top-ranked in Epidemiology and Public Health in the UK Research Assessment Exercise 2001-2008. It has been headed by Professor John Danesh since 2001 and comprises over 300 staff and graduate students. Groups in the Department are underpinned by major programme grants, exemplifed by those from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, the UK National Institute of Health Research, the European Union, the US National Institutes of Health, industrial partnerships, and several other sources.

General Practice & Primary Care Research
The General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit (GPPCRU) is based within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care which is one of Europe’s premier university departments of population health sciences. The Unit was established in 1997 under the leadership of the Foundation Professor of General Practice, Ann Louise Kinmonth. It has developed to become one of the UK's strongest research groupings in primary care and behavioural science. In the 2008 research assessment exercise, 65% of the Unit’s research activity was rated as internationally excellent, placing it among the leading primary care departments in the UK. The Unit was one of the five founder members of the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research.

Clinical Gerontology
Clinical Gerontology is a unit within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care. The aim to understand how best to maintain health in older populations. The overall research aim is to quantify the combined role of lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors in the aetiology of the major disabling diseases of later life, focusing in particular on cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis and to identify effective prevention strategies. Kay-Tee Khaw is Professor of Clinical Gerontology and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College , Cambridge.
RadiologyThe University Department of Radiology is closely integrated with the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Radiology Department and combines a wide range of research and educational activity along with clinical imaging services within the NHS. The Department has access to some of the best imaging equipment available and attract some of the best Radiology trainees in the UK into the well established training programme.
SurgeryThe Department of Surgery has a strong clinical research emphasis and its overall strategy is to improve the surgical management of disease through developments in both basic and translational research. There is a major focus on applied clinical research and a key feature of the department is the close integration of University and NHS surgeons. Research at the Department of Surgery encompasses Transplantation, Stem Cell Medicine, Orthopaedics and Surgical Oncology .



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