Global Health

Modern health challenges do not discriminate. Non-communicable diseases and mental health conditions continue to increase alongside growing health inequalities. We are committed to addressing the ever-evolving landscape of global healthcare.

Health and wellbeing are essential for individuals to lead a fulfilling life. Yet the healthcare landscape is always evolving. In a world where people are living longer, often with complex chronic conditions, there is significant burden on healthcare systems. We are seeing a rise in non-communicable diseases and the prevalence of mental health conditions is increasing. Climate and environmental factors are impacting health and the Covid-19 pandemic has widened health inequalities worldwide. Healthcare providers must continually adapt to face-paced technological change and equitable access to quality healthcare remains a major challenge around the world.

University of Birmingham researchers are dedicated to improving quality of life, preventing premature deaths and reducing healthcare burden, both in the UK and globally. Our interdisciplinary approach to research, our focus on translational research that aims to bring findings to clinical practice, and our strong partnerships with healthcare providers, industry, policy bodies and patient contributors, all set our institution apart. As does our expertise in designing and delivering large-scale clinical trials. We work in partnership with our diverse population in the Birmingham area, co-creating research of importance both regionally and internationally.

Women’s Health

Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high. We are determined to end preventable death and illness in mothers affected by postpartum haemorrhage, miscarriage, and other pregnancy-related conditions around the globe. The University of Birmingham jointly leads Europe’s largest miscarriage research centre – the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research – and we also have the honour of holding the designation for the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health.

We are leading the way in women's health research by championing the need to test safe and effective medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Our findings are making a difference, with a major international trial addressing bleeding after birth radically improving women’s chances of surviving childbirth around the globe. The breadth of our research expertise extends to other women’s health priorities, including ovarian cancer, where our research has been instrumental in changing National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines regarding surgical approach.

Mental Health

We know that the majority of lifelong mental health disorders begin before the age of 24, and early intervention makes a huge difference to the outcomes for young people. Our researchers in the Institute for Mental Health are working to understand the causes of poor mental health, prevent problems from developing, and develop new treatments and services for people who need it.

We are leading a major part of the Government’s £42m Mental Health Mission, established in 2023 to make the UK a leading location to develop and trial radical new treatments and technologies. This five-year funding programme will see us working closely with regional NHS partners and people with lived experience, to understand the best way to test new treatments for depression and psychosis and for mental health problems in children and young people.

Chronic inflammation

Inflammation contributes to a wide range of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Through partnerships with the National Institute of Health and Social Care Research and the NHS, as well as our award-winning Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, we are gaining a better understanding of the short- and long-term effects that inflammation have on the body. Our researchers are developing recommendations for preventative measures as well as treatments for inflammation-related diseases.

We are proud to be leading the Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), focused on inflammatory disease research. Collaborative research from the Birmingham BRC has already seen nearly 1,000 clinical trials initiated and has informed UK clinical guidelines.

Cancer biology and therapeutics

In 2020 there were an estimated 18.1 million new cases of cancer worldwide. This figure is expected to grow to 28 million new cases of cancer each year by 2040. It is vital that we understand the biology behind how cancer develops and progresses in order to prevent, diagnose and treat it.

Our leading expertise in understanding DNA repair mechanisms provide a very early step in building the knowledge that can help to prevent the onset of cancer. We are furthering understanding in how best to stratify cancer patients based on their genetics, allowing individuals to receive the treatments most likely to be effective for them. Our outstanding Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for high-quality, practice-changing cancer clinical trials and leads the way in paediatric clinical trials.

“Our researchers work as core partners in our local healthcare system, which treats and cares for a highly diverse population of over five million people. However, our findings influence lives on a global scale.

With unrivalled co-located, integrated health and life sciences expertise, we foster productive relationships between clinicians, academics, industry and patients to help develop innovations at pace and scale.

Our researchers focus on translating cutting-edge medical science into new treatments, drugs and medical devices as quickly as possible, using clinical trials and patient studies to improve the lives of patients around the world.”



Professor Philip Newsome

Professor Philip Newsome

Director of Research

Discover more

  • Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre

    A first-in-class, process-driven, pathway-focused approach to the study and management of inflammatory disease.

  • Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit

    We are translating cutting- edge science into improved patient care, both rapidly and safely, through the design and conduct of large multi-centre/international randomised trials as well as smaller more data intensive phase I trials of novel therapies.

  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health

    Undertaking cutting-edge translational scientific research to address the health needs of pregnant women and newborns globally.

  • Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research

    Our expert researchers are at the forefront of research into miscarriage, searching for the causes and pioneering tests and treatments to find solutions.

  • Institute of Mental Health

    Working to improve the outcomes and care for young people with mental health problems by testing prevention approaches, developing new treatments and services.

  • Leading the Way in Women's Health

    Our women’s health research is changing clinical practice. The impact of our findings is being felt worldwide, with guidelines changed, quality of lives improved, and women’s lives saved.

  • Global Health Impact Hub

    Our global health research improves health and wellbeing of people in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Birmingham Health Innovation Campus

    Discover more about our world-leading life sciences campus, due to open in 2024, part of an integrated, physically connected critical cluster of patient-centred health excellence.

Our researchers

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas. This guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.