Faculty of Biological Sciences

Research Bulletin

Medical engineering pioneers' Royal prize

28th November 2011

Longer-lasting hip joints, replacement heart valves and knee reconstructions - technologies all developed at the University of Leeds - have won the Royal seal of approval.

Two decades of world-leading medical engineering research and impact have been rewarded with the Queen's Anniversary Prize, which is the country's highest accolade for an academic institution.

The Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (IMBE) at Leeds was named today as a winner in the prizes, which will be presented by the Queen in February.

The Institute, led by Professor John Fisher and the Faculty of Biological Science's Professor Eileen Ingham, is the UK's leading bioengineering research institution and has pioneered research into joint replacements, spinal interventions and tissue engineering and has created new products and therapies which are in use by surgeons in clinics and hospitals around the world:

  • Tens of thousands of people have received improved joint replacements based on this research;
  • Its unique valve replacement technology has given a new lease of life to patients who were suffering chronic heart conditions;
  • It has pioneered regenerative biological scaffolds for vascular repair.

Building on this platform of excellence, the Institute is determined to push back the boundaries of this research, create new therapies to replace damaged tissues in further areas of the body and enable surgeons to perform longer-lasting orthopaedic reconstruction.

Professor Fisher, also Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, expressed his pride at the award: "We are absolutely delighted. This is recognition for the hard work of a lot of people - and of the fact that we are taking this work forward into the future.

"Our objective is to improve the quality of life of people as they age by focussing upon the research, development and translation of practical medical engineering interventions. We are driven by the conviction that, with the right medical and biological interventions, the goal of fifty active years after the age of fifty is within reach."

A major focus for IMBE in the years ahead will be on early interventions to address the global burden of osteoarthritis which is predicted to be the fourth leading cause of disability in the world by 2020.

"We can't live forever of course. Our work is about enabling people to enjoy their old age more actively, but of course by staying active, people are also reducing their risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity - all of them potential killers."

The Institute is committed to continuing its work into the future. It is a key partner in a £10m Doctoral Training Centre, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This will support the training of 50 PhD studentships by 2015, attracting the best postgraduates from around the world and developing the next generation of researchers in medical and biological engineering who will ensure that this vital work remains on an upward trajectory.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, awarded every two years, are part of the UK honours system, and promote world class excellence in UK universities and colleges. This is the second such award to the University of Leeds, whose Institute for Transport Studies was a winner in 2010.


Recent Grants

Mike McPherson (and colleagues in the School of Chemistry), EPSRC (Jul 2014), £819,880

Sheena Radford, Univesity of Michigan (Jul 2014), £138,452

Chris West, Leverhulme Trust (Jun 2014), £181,241

Jon Lippiat, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (May 2014), £125,174

David Brockwell, Sheena Radford, Medimmune Ltd (Apr 2014), £337,661

Peter Stockley, Wellcome Trust (Apr 2014), £251,019

Mike McPherson, Wellcome Trust (Apr 2014), £146,596

Andrew Macdonald, Kidney Research Fund UK (Apr 2014), £127,237

Mike McPherson (and colleagues in School of Design), Technology Strategy Board (Apr 2014), £114,350

Paul Millner, Peter Stockley, Darren Tomlinson, YCR (Apr 2014), £95,874

Carrie Ferguson, Karen Birch, Shaunna Burke, Heart Research UK (Apr 2014), £60,140

Dave Westhead, MRC (Apr 2014), £18,304

Brendan Davies, BBSRC (Mar 2014), £451,829

Jim Deuchars, MRC (Mar 2014), £300,000

Adam Kupinski, Children with Cancer (Mar 2014), £50,000

Alison Baker, Steve Baldwin, BBSRC (Feb 2014), £403,439

Sarah Zylinski, BBSRC (Feb 2014), £355,869

Dave Lewis, Nigel Hooper, Tony Turner, Hugh Pearson, James Duce, Alzheimer's Society (Feb 2014), £29,871

Ronaldo Ichyama, Samit Chakrabarty, International Spinal Research Trust (Jan 2014), £304,600

Brendan Davies, BBSRC/Bayer Crop Science SA-NV (Jan 2014), £470,053

Adrian Goldman, Steve Baldwin, Stephen Muench, Thomas Edwards, Arwen Pearson , BBSRC (Jan 2014), £467,103

Stefan Kepinski, BBSRC (Jan 2014), £359,269

Elwyn Isaac, EU (Jan 2014), £179,445

Dave Westhead, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Jan 2014), £105,937

John Barr, Thomas Edwards, MRC (Dec 2013), £469,505

Alex O'Neill, MRC (Dec 2013), £349,017

Darren Tomlinson, Yorkshire Cancer Research (Nov 2013), £142,334

Nikita Gamper, MRC (Nov 2013), £336,563

Keith Hamer, Alison Dunn, NERC (Nov 2013), £47,233

Alan Berry, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2013), £749,365

Urwin, Howard Atkinson, BBSRC (Oct 2013), £360,508

Eileen Ingham, Stacey-Paul Wilshaw, NHS R&D (Oct 2013), £356,623

Sheena Radford, BBSRC (Oct 2013), £329,906

Nigel Hooper, Alzheimer's Research (Oct 2013), £327,075

Eileen Ingham, EPSRC (Oct 2013), £276,751

David Beech, BHF (Oct 2013), £109,974

Mark Harris, Medical Research Foundation (Oct 2013), £34,455

James Dachtler, Royal Society (Oct 2013), £15,000

Ade Whitehouse, Teresa Rosenbaum Golden Charitable Trust (Oct 2013), £10,000

Jurgen Denecke, BBSRC (Sep 2013), £382,093

Andy Cuming, EU (Sep 2013), £257,714

Paul Knox, BBSRC (Sep 2013), £411,948

Vas Ponnambalam, Leverhulme Trust (Sep 2013), £245,031

Peter Meyer, EU (Sep 2013), £242,166

Dave Rowlands, Nic Stonehouse, EU (Sep 2013), £202,556

Derek Steele, BHF (Sep 2013), £103,629

Joan Boyes, NC3Rs (Sep 2013), £90,000

Peter Stockley, Royal Society (Sep 2013), £11,400

Darren Tomlinson, Leverhulme Trust (Sep 2013), £5,645

Nic Stonehouse, Dave Rowlands, BBSRC (Aug 2013), £574,906

Eileen Ingham, Wellcome Trust (Aug 2013), £191,470

Adrian Goldman, Royal Society (Aug 2013), £75,000

Mike McPherson, Wellcome Trust (Aug 2013), £40,000

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