+ Facts and figures
Our research moves health discoveries from the lab into clinical practice.
Translational Medicine builds on existing strengths in clinical and translational research in diabetes and chronic disease, public health, clinical psychology and mood disorders, and exercise and health science.
The 'fat' gene
It is now easier to identify people susceptible to obesity thanks to our collaborative research with the University of Oxford, which shows that obesity is linked to the FTO gene. The study suggested that although improving lifestyle is key to reducing obesity, some people may find it harder to lose weight because of their genes.
A range of avenues for treating diseases have been opened thanks to Tim Frayling's discovery of genes that influence height. This study gave scientists an insight into how the body grows and develops normally and may shed light on diseases such as osteoarthritis and cancer.
Research carried out by members of the Peninsula Technology Assessment Group (PenTAG) demonstrated the cost-effectiveness ratio of Alzheimer's drugs per quality adjusted life year gained. As a result, 2011 NICE guidance on Alzheimer's treatments were adjusted to provide the treatments to a wider range of patients. It was estimated that 110,000 people in England and Wales with untreated Alzheimer's are now prescribed treatments, leading to an expected average increase in cognition of four per cent.
We have found new ways of reducing nicotine cravings, though our findings that physical exercise can help people quit smoking. The study revealed for the first time that changes in brain activity, triggered by physical exercise, may help reduce cigarette cravings.
Recurring depression can be treated through mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), as opposed to prescription drugs, found staff in the Mood Disorders Centre. MBCT proved as effective as drugs in preventing a relapse and more effective in enhancing peoples’ quality of life. The study also showed MBCT to be as cost-effective as prescription drugs in helping people with a history of depression stay well in the long-term.
Identifying new treatments for diabetes
Many neonatal diabetes sufferers can now take sulphonylurea tablets instead of insulin injections thanks to the Wellcome Trust funded work of Prof Andrew Hattersley. The work was carried out by the Peninsula College for Medicine and Dentistry before it part of the University of Exeter Medical School. Watch the video below for more information.