Bioscience for health
Through bioscience for health (BfH), BBSRC provides sustained research investment to improve health and wellbeing through the life course.
This recognises the importance of both fundamental bioscience and studies of human, animal and microbial biology, and collaborative multidisciplinary approaches that will lead to improvements in the health and wellbeing of humans and animals in the context of the 'One Biology, One Health' concept. This is a collaborative and coordinated approach to combat infectious diseases of zoonotic origin by drawing on a common pool of scientific knowledge from multiple disciplines to improve the health and wellbeing of animals and people in their environment.
- Multidisciplinary research in areas including diet and gut health, physical activity, brain, immune systems, stem cell biology and tissue engineering
- Investments including the Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition at Newcastle University, international collaborations, and BBSRC research and technology clubs
- Supporting the skills base by maintaining in vivo skills for academia and industry e.g. through the Integrative Mammalian Biology Centres; increasing capacity in the ageing research community through PhDs tied to international collaborations
- The majority of BBSRC's research requirements in this area are delivered through the responsive mode research priority 'Ageing Research: lifelong health and wellbeing'
The ageing population is a key policy challenge for the UK Government for which sustained investment is required. Increasing the 'healthspan' of an individual through understanding the biological mechanisms of ageing and maintenance of health through the life course is the key driver for BfH, and BBSRC supports research addressing the UK ageing strategy.
- The pharmaceuticals industry makes a significant contribution to the maintenance of an individual's health over their life course. Supporting underpinning research in academia and in collaboration with the industry will address key challenges and bottlenecks experienced by the industry, and help maintain its competitiveness internationally
- Over the last three decades, approximately 75% of emerging human infectious diseases have been of zoonotic origin. 'One Biology, One Health' is a concept to work with other funders to provide an integrated approach to this challenge
The BfH priority is delivered through responsive mode grants, cross-Research Council programmes, industrial and international collaborations, and topic-specific workshops.
- The responsive mode priority is ageing research: lifelong health and wellbeing
- Cross-Council programmes include New Dynamics of Ageing and Lifelong Health and Wellbeing
- Industry collaborations are promoted through research and technology clubs, including the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), the Animal Health Research Club (ANIHWA), Chemical Biology Networks UK and the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform
- International activities include collaborative awards with the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the ERA-Net ERA-AGE 2
- 'One Biology, One Health' overlaps with the agriculture and food security strategic priority. It is promoted through responsive mode grants under the animal health research priority, and through the cross-Council Environmental and Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases initiative. European collaborations include the Emerging and Major infectious Diseases of Livestock (EMIDA); international calls include the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
Future delivery of this priority will be through completion of a final phase of the cross-Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme, and further support through RM and international activities.
- One Biology One health is being taken forward through several international activities at European and wider scales, for example ANIHWA, ERA-Net, and STAR-IDAZ Global Net that will deliver research co-ordination
- DRINC has now entered its second phase. A DRINC2 Steering Group was established in April 2013. The call for outline applications opened in May 2013
- The overall direction of this priority is being refreshed following a portfolio analysis of BBSRC support for health-related research