An interdisciplinary approach to translational medicine: Everything from basic science to healthcare delivery linked by world class supercomputing
The Institute of Life Science (ILS) is home to the College of Medicine’s interdisciplinary research enterprise where research activity covers the spectrum of medicine from laboratory-based biomedical research to public health, population sciences and health services research at CHIRAL, the Centre for Health Information Research and evALuation. Thanks to the interdisciplinary ethos as the ILS, researchers dedicated to both of these areas can work together seamlessly on complex medical problems that have both biological and social impacts, such as diabetes and mental health disorders.
As well as being interdisciplinary, the ILS is also focused on being multidisciplinary. Together, these approaches maximise collaboration with other colleges, schools and departments at Swansea University, as well as with other academic institutions the world over. But collaboration at the ILS is not just academic. Key strategic relationships are also being forged with private sector companies, such as Boots and IBM.
The partnership between the ILS, Alliance Boots plc and venture capital firm Longbow LLP created the Boots Centre for Innovation (BCI) in 2007. Recognised as the flagship client organisation within the Business Incubation Suite at the ILS, the BCI has been designed to attract the very best of new ideas in healthcare, facilitating the translation of therapeutic innovations to everyday clinical practice. Backed by a £40 million venture capital fund the BCI is a proven ‘honeypot’ for inventors and investors alike.
The ever-strengthening relationship with IBM has also brought a something unique to the ILS. Blue C, one of the most powerful supercomputers dedicated to life science research in Europe, has a permanent home at Swansea University, providing the ILS with unique opportunities that greatly enhance the work of the College of Medicine, such as the more effective use of health informatics. Thanks to its immense power, Blue C can drive clinical trials, inform modern patient-focused healthcare delivery and enable complex disease modelling and bioinformatics at population level.
As part of IBM's strategy of forging partnership with some of the world's leading research organisations, a formal research and development collaboration has been established between the multinational and the College of Medicine, providing on-going support for informatics and computational research. As a result, high powered computing now links all research activities in the College, from basic science to healthcare delivery.
For more information, visit the biomedical research or public health, population sciences and health services research pages. Alternatively, click here for a full list of all College of Medicine research activity.