Research that changes lives
Coventry University is well known for delivering research focused on ‘excellence with impact’ where we can truly make a difference. Combining a portfolio of different disciplines and working effectively across the Group we are committed to improving lives through the research we carry out.
Professor Helen Maddock and her team have made a breakthrough in how drugs are reliably tested, which could not only save thousands of lives but billions of pounds as well.
Currently, whether a drug is safe for the heart is assessed by a set of laboratory tests within the pharmaceutical industry. Professor Helen Maddock has discovered a method of using human heart muscle tissue to efficiently test drugs to analyse the risk of side effects and damage to the heart. Helen’s research uses real human heart tissue to test the effect of drugs on the heart – reducing animal testing and providing greater predictivity for adverse drug effects in humans.
With the support of the University’s Intellectual Property team, Helen has formed a spin-out company – ‘InoCardia Ltd’. InoCardia Ltd has already received more than half a million pounds of investment from Warwickshire-based technology investment firm Mercia Fund Management, and a further £1 million to support collaborative research and development from a consortium including Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, NC3Rs and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The breadth of our research is wide and varied, ranging from hard science to influencing policy, both equally relevant and important, which impacts on people’s lives in very different ways.
Researchers at Coventry University are leading the global effort to fight the practice of female genital mutilation – a deep rooted traditional practice that has an impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of girls and young women around the world. Led by Professor Hazel Barrett and Dr Katherine Brown, the team are collaborating with women’s rights charities across Europe to engage FGM-affected communities and share with them new skill sets and knowledge to help bring about social change.
The research has produced a new approach to tackling FGM and is being implemented by policy makers across the EU. The work has been presented at the Girl Summit 2014 and the EU parliament and has attracted interest from the Department of Health. Professor Hazel Barrett has also created and launched the UK’s first national web app on FGM aimed at young people and endorsed by the NSPCC.