Advancing medical knowledge of serious and chronic disease

Chronic diseases account for over 60% of deaths in the world

House of Lords paper on chronic disease

The Institute for Health Research (IHR) based at the University of Bedfordshire carries out research into prevention and treatment for a variety of chronic diseases. 

The research aims to improve the lives of patients, inform clinicians and aid governments with policies relating to chronic disease.

Our research into molecular biology and biomedical sciences aim to improve our understanding of human physiology and improve the diagnosis and outcome of patients suffering with chronic disease.

Our research is called upon when developing new technologies and therapeutic strategies that improve preventative medicine and patient care throughout the world.

Here’s how we helping to tackle the challenges of chronic disease


Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. There are more than 200 types of cancer, each with different causes, symptoms and treatments.

Cancer Research UK

Our research into cancer strives to enhance knowledge into cause and symptoms, aid with diagnosis and deliver innovative treatments.

Dr Paige is working to develop improved treatments for cancer patients. His research focuses on understanding the biology and functions of various genes. Understanding how different cancers behave and their interaction with drugs and medication has helped devise bespoke treatments given to cancer patients.Dong Pang

Dr Dong Pang’s research into parental smoking and childhood cancers has highlighted the influence of parental behaviour on chronic diseases in children and young adults. And P Uysal-Onganer’s research into prostate is exploring inhibitors that can reduce tumours.

Professor Zhu has led research into understanding how hormones such as estrogens affect human breast cancer. Looking at the compounds of cells and tissues in a human breast – Professor Zhu was able to use protein profiles to assess hormone concentration.

Parkinson's disease

One person in every 500 has Parkinson’s. That’s about 127,000 people in the UK.

Parkinson's UK

Our research into Parkinson's disease helps make sure society is better informed about this disease for which there is currently no known cure.Bushra Ahmed

Visual hallucinations may affect about 20% - 40% of patients with Parkinson's disease and can often be frightening.

Professor Jim Barnes has examined whether patients suffering from visual hallucinations were able to control the phenomenon and reduce disturbances to sleep through learnt behaviour and coping skills.

Dr Bushra Ahmed has researched the potential for exercise to help with reducing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease is the most common single gene condition in England affecting 1 in 2,300 of all births.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a complex condition with major symptoms including strokes, silent strokes, chronic pain and acute painful crises generally regarded as at, or beyond, the pain of terminal cancer.

Dr Evans, working in collaboration and with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, reported on the experiences of young people with sickle cell disorders in the education system.

Her research created education policy surrounding SCD and ensured that children affected by the disease received personal care plans. This has improved the lives of children living with the condition as well as better informing parents and teachers.


Enquire about research degrees

By telephone
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1582 489056

By email

International applicants should be aware of our English language requirements


For all the information you need on how to apply for a research degree and to make sure you fulfil the entry requirements go to How to apply

You should have a good honours degree (2:1 or above) or masters degree or equivalent in the relevant subject area.

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