Find out more about our research themes below, including contact details for the theme leads and future theme networking and development opportunities.

For those interested in the Inflammation & Repair theme, here is a link to a public-facing short film describing an overview of the work in the Inflammation cluster in Manchester’s BRC:



Theme leads:

Stuart Allan

Adam Greenstein

Linkage within and across the Greater Manchester Dementia Research Centre (, the NIHR Manchester CRF and the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre at Salford Royal Hospital ( and the UoM enables bespoke training posts within bench to bedside multidisciplinary research teams, spanning cellular biophysics, in-vivo blood flow assessment, MR imaging and trials focused on improving dementia care across the translational pathway.

The group has allocated funds specifically for CL start-up grants.  Our 292 dementia publications (2017-21) have been cited on average 39 times, with 55% published in the top 10% of the world's journals, including ( and ( with recent ACF output including (  We have a track record of leveraging funding through grants in Dementia research (12 current grants; >£12 million).  As an NIHR priority, key recent ACF/CL successes in building a multidisciplinary dementia researcher workforce include: Tomkow Geriatrics CL (NIHR 3 Schools funding (; Morris ( (GP ACF to NIHR IPF- to SPCR/ Wellcome PhD (WT 6473650-QM01-Morris 2023) focused on inequalities in dementia care.

Innovative/Interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area

Enabling transatlantic collaboration, we lead a $6 million Leducq Foundation Transatlantic Network of Excellence Award, with further NIH support ($3.19m).  Key examples of working with patient and carer partners are our DART collaboration with Manchester Camerata ( and their Music in Mind programme; and co-designed with PLWD we have developed innovative approaches (; diagnostics, and pioneering technology for the prevention and treatment of hearing problems, which have informed the development of international guidelines.

Prevention and Public Health

Theme leads:

Will Dixon

Jenny Humphreys

The University of Manchester has a wide range of expertise in the fields of Prevention and Public Health across the medical specialties.  Within the Faculty the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research & Primary Care (http://Division of Population Health, Health Services Research & Primary Care) runs internationally renowned programmes of research investigating social determinants of health and public health approaches to prevention.  In the theme we can also support you to join specific specialty areas such as the Centre for Epidemiology versus Arthritis ( in Rheumatology or the Centre for Primary Care (, a founder member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

Mental health

Theme leads:

Nav Kapur

Karina Lovell

The Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (, provides opportunities for interdisciplinary working, particularly between psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience; and, with Mental Health being a Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) ( domain, there is a facilitated pathway for implementing evidence-based interventions to improve the health of the local population. Mental health research in the UK has been historically underfunded but Manchester is one of the main centres for this work nationally.  Manchester is in the top tier of sites for NIHR funded mental health research and recruitment.  There have been major grant successes with intervention work, NIHR programme grants, and dementia research.  The MAHSC has a significant mental health component and is intended to improve the health of the local population by facilitating implementation of evidence-based interventions.  There is significant additional mental health research expertise in Primary Care, Health Services Research, Nursing and Pharmacy.  Large NIHR infrastructure grants, such as the BRC, the ARC and the Patient Safety Research Collaboration all have an important mental health component.

Multiple Long-Term Conditions

Theme leads:

Peter Bower

Evan Kontopantelis

Multiple Long-Term Conditions is defined as the existence of two or more long-term conditions in a single individual of any age (see NIHR website ( for further information on this research area)).  This theme incorporates the previous two themes of Health Needs of Older People and Multimorbidity at Any Age.  Manchester has a vibrant programme of MLTC research which covers the entire pathway, from early phase work on disease mechanisms to the evaluation of complex interventions in health and care.  All our NIHR infrastructure contributes to MLTC research, and we have strengths in a number of areas including the use of data-intensive methods to explore patterns of MLTC, the links between mental and physical health in people with MLTC, and MLTC in a global health context.

Much of the work conducted is focused on large databases of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and through your involvement you should be able to develop skills in conducting or supporting high quality observational studies.  Recent completed or active projects include:

  • Evaluating the "Diabetes my Way" intervention in lowering HbA1c levels in people with type-2 diabetes in Greater Manchester (GM)
  • Mapping the MLTC in GM in people with high BMI to explore feasibility for a large RCT of a weight-loss drug
  • Evaluating the role of an Oximetry intervention in reducing mortality from COVID-19 in GM
  • Identifying the role of MLTC clusters in frequent/persistent attendance in primary care
  • Exploring cardiovascular disease outcomes in people with cancer
  • Exploring trends in incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer
  • Exploring discontinuation or reduction of long-term opioid therapy in patients with chronic non-cancer pain

These projects are directly relevant to MLTC or can be expanded to investigate MLTC in the cohort of interest (note that some of these may be completed, but can serve as examples).


Theme leads:

Sid Banka

Georgina Moulton

This theme is looking to encourage training and research around the development and delivery of digital health and care interventions, digital research methodology and 'big data' analysis.  Research could include the use of Artifical Intelligence and machine learning approaches and emerging digital technologies such as non-contact sensors, smartphones, and computer tablets.  The theme could also include research in data analytics and predictive analytics, precision medicine (genomics), and virtual & augmented reality.  This theme is focused on delivering equitable, cost-effective digital health interventions to deliver patient benefits as well as the wider use of large  data sets, and how this is used in research, including digital analysis methods.

Clinical Therapeutics & Pharmacology & Industry

Theme leads:

Zenas Yiu

Meghna Jani

Manchester has multiple pioneering research programmes from early phase research to phase IV pharmacovigilance of therapies for inflammation, mental health, rare conditions and cancer.

Therapeutic opportunity exists beyond clinical pharmacology in GMC specialties, where application of therapeutics is key.  This theme also represents a key area of interest for industry and was again highlighted as a shortage area in the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's report 'Bridging the Skills Gap in the Biopharmaceutical Industry':  Partnerships working with industry during academic placements are strongly encouraged.


Theme Leads:

Dr Natalie Cook


Professor Ananya Choudhury

Email: or

Manchester has a comprehensive multidisciplinary research strategy, created jointly with the Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UoM, including Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and federated as Manchester Cancer Research Centre.  We have highly collaborative cancer research initiatives incorporating ACFs/ACLs across the following research areas:

  • Biomarker development
  • Prevention and detection
  • Health inequalities
  • Digital technologies
  • Translational radiobiology; and
  • Phase I, II and III clinical trial programmes

Innovative/Interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area: We digitally link comprehensive patient data and outcomes with fully integrated biospecimens, multi-omics and decision-making biomarkers.  To enhance the relevance of translational cancer sciences we place ACFs/CLs in multidisciplinary teams with mandated twinning of clinical/non-clinical supervisors; embed PPIE ( to co-create research projects; and build capacity through joint supervision regionally (UCLAN-UoM, GP ACF to NIHR IPF [NIHR302821] to address inequalities in lung cancer screening.

Health Inequalities

Theme Lead:

Dr Luke Munford


The UoM has brought together interdisciplinary research ( from across our three Faculties (Biology, Medicine & Health, Science & Engineering, Humanities) to ensure health equity is widely considered.  This is exemplified by our recent UoM event ( highlighting the range of research interdisciplinary cross-Faculty opportunities for ACFs/CLs.

  • Public Health and economic modelling of poverty, deprivation and health;
  • Environmental and cardiovascular research focussed on pollution and health;
  • Organisational pyschology and economics to examine employment, productivity and health;
  • Inequalities in education and mental health;
  • Economic analysis of healthcare access and delivery; and
  • Inequalities in ageing

Innovative/interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area: to widen access to experimental medicine across our urban, rural and coastal communities in the NW, two new CRF sites in North Manchester and Salford, as well as new BRC partner Trusts in Blackpool and Preston, will allow research closer to populations with highest need.

Inflammation and Repair

Theme Lead:

Dr Adam Reid


Inflammation and Repair ( is a key domain of MAHSC and forms one of our four BRC research clusters, addressing common causes of death and disability in our region and nationally.  Opportunities for ACFs/CLs span basic, clinical and translational innovation at the interfaces of:

Innovative/interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area: In tissue repair there are several novel therapeutics and advanced biomaterial devices in early phase studies involving spin-outs including Link_TSG6 in osteoarthritis (, antifibrotics in systemic sclerosis and to address surgical innovation in peripheral nerve ( and tendon repair ( alongside materials experts through the Pankhurst Institute (

Patient Safety

Theme Lead: 

Dr Tom Blakeman


Integrated across our NIHR infrastructure including our GM Patient Safety Research Collaboration PSRC (, ACFs/CLs will have opportunities to become embedded in a range of mixed methods studies addressing the seven Strategic Patient Safety Challenges  as outlined by NHS England:

  • Develop effective patient safety practices; e.g. identify and optimise cost-effective medication safety interventions, MDT working to improve trachestomy care (;
  • Improve organisational patient safety culture: e.g. enabling staff from minority ethnic groups to feel safe voicing concerns; and
  • Evaluate the impacts of alternative service delivery models for vulnerable patient groups: virtual wards for older people; post-discharge care following acute kidney injury (AKI); and care adjustments for people with learning disabilities and/or autism

Innovative/interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area: Our GMPSRC is aligned with international systems thinking methodological expertise ( and with access to large databases (CPRD, GM Care Record), and grounded in VCSE and PPIE networks locally (e.g. Caribbean and African Health Network ( and nationally (e.g. Kidney Patient Involvement Network (, provides an inclusive research environment to strengthen integrated care systems through the NHS Patient Safety Strategy of insight, involvement and improvement.

Rare Conditions

Theme Lead:

Dr Tracy Briggs


Rare Conditions is a core theme in our Manchester BRC and will continue to grow due to recent Research Council funding inititatives  and UK Rare Disease Research Platform.  ACFs/CLs will be exposed to a diverse range of methodologies, including:

  • Analysis of whole genome sequencing: to discover and diagnose disorders caused by cryptic/structural/non-coding/mosaic/oligogenic variants;
  • Improvements in diagnosis, understanding and prevention: interrogating whole-genome sequencing data with deeply phenotyped clinical data;
  • Delineation of disease mechanisms: using fundamental and experimental medicine approaches;
  • Qualitative methods: to define effects of rare conditions; and
  • Development of novel treatments: examples include Lysosomal disorders (; neurofibromatosis

Innovative/interdisciplinary/new research approaches in this area: for two decades, working in close collaboration with patient support groups or individual families, we have run programmes and projects to identify the genetic basis of rare conditions (  Almost all our rare-condition gene discoveries are now tested routinely in the NHS and across the world.  Examples include the power of genomic testing in the newborn period (