Advancing intellectual opportunities

The University’s commitment to develop the next generation of experts attracts high-calibre researchers who relish their opportunity to advance knowledge. Wolverhampton’s research community is breaking new ground with research that quickly translates into reallife solutions. Whilst our Research Centres encompass a diverse range of disciplines, they are united in a common goal; to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

Research commitment

The University of Wolverhampton has received recognition for the support it provides to the career development of researchers. The institution has been announced as one of the next seven UK universities to achieve the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award.

To receive this distinction, employers and funders of researchers have to demonstrate clear progress in how they attract, manage and develop research staff, in line with a national Research Concordat. Only 34 organisations across Europe have gained the Award since 2010, and the total in the UK is now 58.

Open to the public

Visitors were given a rare glimpse of pioneering research into brain tumours at a University of Wolverhampton Open Day. The Brain Tumour UK Neuro-Oncology Research Centre opened its doors to the public, who were able to take a tour of the laboratories to see first-hand the latest developments in fighting this devastating condition.

Visitors were given an opportunity to meet the scientists and learn about the important research carried out at the Centre in the past year. The Centre’s work continues to make vital in-roads into finding the genes that trigger childhood and adult brain tumours, and has the potential to make a real difference in the fight against cancer.

Driving up donation

An internationally-renowned University of Wolverhampton expert has informed debate and policy at the highest level. Professor Magi Sque, an expert in the psychological and social aspects of organ donation, advised Parliament about ways of increasing consent rates for organ donation.

As a result of her ground-breaking research, Professor Sque was invited to the House of Lords to discuss increasing consent rates in front of an audience of MPs, Peers and members of the transplant community including patients and clinicians. The aim was to develop a set of recommendations on how an increase in organ donation can best be achieved.

Protective polymers

A discovery made by a team of Wolverhampton researchers could provide a major boost for the probiotics industry. Scientists from the University of Wolverhampton developed a special type of biopolymer coating that can withstand the heavy acidic conditions of the stomach and deliver probiotic bacteria safely to the intestine.

The team is exploring further applications for the new technology which could also be used for the delivery of certain drugs and even increase calcium absorption in the intestine.

Drug development

Researchers at the University have developed drugs similar to aspirin to help in the fight against bowel cancer. Small doses of aspirin taken regularly over long periods have been found to reduce the incidence of bowel cancer, but can cause side effects including ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeds.

Research undertaken at the University has found other compounds similar to aspirin, or ‘aspirin analogues’ which deliver the same benefits whilst reducing risk of side effects. Work on ‘di-aspirin’ was presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Conference in Liverpool in 2011 and a patent for the drugs has been filed.

In plain language

The University’s involvement in developing a language conversion tool for people with autism is likely to have a positive impact on the quality of life of autistic people, improving their access to educational, vocational, cultural, and social opportunities. The University is co-ordinating the three-year FIRST project, which is addressing the difficulty many people with autism spectrum disorders have when comprehending speech and writing.

The €2 million project with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, and universities and organisations in Europe has developed new technology to convert written language into phrases that are easier for people with autism to understand.