The MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health was launched in June 2009 and is held jointly between Imperial College (lead institution) and King’s College London. Prof Paul Elliott is the Centre’ Director and Prof Frank Kelly is the Deputy Director. The primary aim of the Centre is to create an international centre of excellence for research and training on the health effects of environmental pollutants and to facilitate the translation of this knowledge to inform national and international policies to improve health.
The main conceptual thrust for the Centre is to integrate individual-level and small-area analyses of environmental exposures and health – using advanced geographical information systems (GIS) and statistical modelling techniques, combined with experimental data, biomarker and mechanistic studies, and analyses of large population cohorts – to tackle environmental health problems of public health and scientific importance.
Research and its applications include
a) methods development;
b) investigation of priority questions in environment and health, through two integrated research themes:
(i) health effects of sources and emissions of environmental contaminants, and (ii) air pollution and health; c) improving the science base underlying translation into policy. The Centre is also establishing an extensive training programme with 3- and 4-year PhD studentships, Masters courses, short courses, and mentoring of junior and senior researchers, to foster the next generation of researchers and research leaders in environmental health.
Imperial College London is a science-based university with an international reputation for world class education and for excellence in research. Our particular interest is in the application of science, engineering and medical knowledge in industrial, commercial and healthcare settings. We encourage interdisciplinary working at the College and collaborate widely with other organisations, so that our students can experience real research that is changing the world.
Consistently rated among the world's top university institutions, Imperial College London today is a globally positioned science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts 11,500 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.
Research at the frontiers of scientific, engineering, business and medical knowledge is a major feature of the academic activity at Imperial. Our aim is to tackle some of the most difficult problems in science, engineering, health, the environment and the economy, such that we can translate our research into positive benefits for those who need it most. We bring together outstanding international researchers, working with leading international companies and organisations to develop innovative solutions to critical world problems and to set the agenda for future research and education in science, engineering and medicine.
Our overarching research objective is to provide the intellectual, physical, organisational and social infrastructure in which world-class researchers, including academics, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate research students, can flourish and compete internationally. We have an outstanding international research reputation—with the highest proportion (73%) of research judged world-leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*) of all UK multi-faculty universities in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
Fundamental research is undertaken in all of the major disciplines taught at the College, and we work not only within traditional disciplines but at the interfaces between them. Our research is generally structured around strategic research themes which enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and present a coherent view of our research direction. At a departmental level, discipline-based fundamental and theoretical research continues as a core and valued elemental activity. This strategic research framework guides the recruitment of academic staff, priorities for capital investment, and the formulation of major bids.
The College has, from its foundation and as a core part of its mission, attached great importance to translational research—that is, understanding how to apply fundamental knowledge to practical benefit. For example, the Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) was founded in 2007 to bring together teaching and research with the delivery of patient care, to help move medical breakthroughs speedily from laboratory to bedside, and create a healthcare centre of international standing.
We have extensive infrastructure to enable ideas to move in a seamless fashion from the theoretical or experimental through proof of concept to commercial application, and our track record in this area is impressive.
An increasing proportion of the College's research income is won from abroad. At an institutional level, formal links have been developed with a number of like-minded overseas institutions where complementary strengths bring synergy to respective research strategies.
Our exceptional researchers use science, technology and medicine to find practical solutions to real life problems around the globe, changing the face of society.
Such exceptional researchers require world class facilities in which to apply their analytical and enquiring minds to the world's great problems. We are committed to renewing our physical infrastructure, both through investment of College funding and by committing a sizeable portion of the Centenary campaign to campus renewal.
We're laying the foundation for the next generation of breakthrough research laboratories, cutting-edge library spaces, and an innovative student union that specialises in the "social" sciences. Today's campus renewal projects equip us to meet and master tomorrow's challenges and opportunities.