Environment, health and wellbeing

When it comes to health, we look at the big picture.

Our world-leading research covers the entire lifespan; tackling global societal challenges by addressing both environmental and genetic factors that impact on public health.

Find out more about our Applied Health research

Environmental Health Sciences

We have established a significant research effort to protect both human and environmental health by tackling the global problems of pollution, climate change, predictive toxicology, chemical safety and advanced materials.

Our Environmental Health Sciences research

Exercise as Medicine

From the laboratory through to clinical trials and community-based interventions, we focus on understanding the mechanisms by which exercise behaviours may affect health. We are working on strategies to increase the quantity and quality of lifelong engagement in physical activity to enhance health and wellbeing.

Exercise as Medicine research

Human Brain Health

Through our pioneering research in state-of-the-art imaging facilities, we are helping to understand what keeps the human brain healthy, and how this knowledge can be used to maintain brain function in ageing and disease. We are tackling the problems of mental ill health; from psychosis and schizophrenia to drug addiction, depression and sleep disorders.

Real life impact 

Helping to develop more effective treatments for dementia Our researchers are using advanced neuroimaging tools to look for early, brain-based biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases across the spectrum of dementias, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Finding these biomarkers before debilitating diseases are even manifest in behaviour will enable pharmaceutical companies to develop more effective drug therapies.

Our vision of Life Sciences

Real life impact

The crucial role of the natural world to health and wellbeing The natural world, its biodiversity, and its constituent ecosystems are critically important to our wellbeing and economic prosperity. The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research aims to provide fundamental science, social science and cultural research of direct relevance to forested landscapes anywhere in the world. Forests, woodlands, and urban trees alter the cycling of water, heat energy, carbon, and air pollutants through our environment, with tangible benefits for human health and wellbeing. There are also indications of significant neurological and biomechanical benefits conferred on individuals who regularly experience wooded landscapes.