Impact Awards in focus

Health and wellbeing

World-leading health and wellbeing research has been recognised after the shortlist was announced for the Exeter Impact Awards.

Six projects were shortlisted for the awards which celebrate impact of research in any discipline which results in life-changing benefits for people across the world.

Shortlisted projects include research that has seen the quality of life and survival rates of cancer patients has improve after the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence implemented guidance on the appropriate use of surrogate end points from a paper produced by PhD researcher Oriana Ciani. 

Novel causes of genetic diseases have been identified and tests to improve the diagnosis and treatment of them were, developed after Medical School staff, led by Prof Sian Ellard, worked with colleagues from the Exeter DNA Sequencing Service.

Research from Prof Tim Frayling has increased our understanding of the biological processes behind diseases such as diabetes.

Plus athletes and recreational exercisers have benefited from research highlight the benefits of beetroot juice from Profs Andrew Jones and Paul Winyard.

Patients at risk from care-acquired infections could be identified more rapidly after a test was devised by a collaborative research project. Up to one thousand lives a year could be saved after the University’s Drs Stepehen Michell and Edward Keedwell, working with Dr Ray Sheridan of the NHS, developed the test using the findings of PhD researcher Emma Butt’s analysis of patient data sets.

The effectiveness of community level interventions to increase physical activity could be improved by incorporating guidance provided by postgraduate researcher Emma Solomon.

The University of Exeter received more than £12million in funding during 2012/13 from major medical research funders. The year also saw the launch of our new Medical School.

The University has a strong relationship with the NHS, which allows both organisations to access complementary skills and enhance the quality of their research.

We are also building on the success of our Mood Disorders Centre with new initiatives including work on the £52.5million Living Systems building, and a new Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) Centre, underway.

Prof Stephen Tomlinson, one of the judges and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Cardiff University, said: "I am very pleased to have been part of the process this year, particularly as I have just taken up a role on University Council as a lay member. As a former Dean and Professor of Medicine, being able to review so many exciting entries from across the University’s research into health and wellbeing has been truly inspirational, and I look forward to meeting and working with many of our outstanding academics in future years.”