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Medical research: precision medicine

Tackling both treatment and prevention

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) priority is two closely linked areas: The Alliance for Chronic Diseases and The Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Under the title of Precision Medicine the College will focus on tackling the rising tide of chronic diseases through basic and clinical research and, at the same time, improve prevention of medical conditions through public health interventions.

Exciting developments in biomedical or clinical science – such as the link between smoking and cancer, the role of HPV in cervical cancer, and mapping the human genome – can only improve population health when translated into changes in individual, professional and organisational behaviour. How these behavioural changes can be brought about, and reducing global health inequalities is the major focus of the social and population health sciences. These developments, combined with a drive to carry out world class multidisciplinary biomedical research, has created a need to develop advanced set of laboratories at the heart of the University of Glasgow campus at Gilmorehill.

Combining these spectrum is not only a priority for the University of Glasgow, but to the health and wellbeing of the Scottish population and to the Scottish economy, given the crippling effect chronic disease and inequality in health is having. A recent study found that patients with chronic diseases use 60% of hospital bed days and 80% of primary care consultations so it is a major health issue, which needs tackling now. In addition, through the quality and relevance of our research in Glasgow, it is our ambition that the impact of this work will have repercussions and impact globally.

Research will focus on the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases; moving knowledge and discoveries gained from the basic sciences to its application in clinical and community settings. This dual approach allows us to tackle both treatment and prevention, with the work of one area informing the other, thus allowing us to approach this major health issue from both sides of the scale or continuum.