Keeping us at the forefront of vital research
Prof Bob Burgess outlines exciting changes at the University of Leicester
I am proud to announce that the University of Leicester is establishing three new research centres from January as part of our continuing commitment to research excellence. Research centres are of enormous benefit to the region – for example, the university's Cardiovascular Research Centre has brought world-class medical talent to the area and also attracted millions of pounds in investment to advance heart research. Our Space Research Centre – part of our world-renowned Department of Physics and Astronomy – also has links with space projects around the world which not only impacts on business innovation locally but also the development of advanced new medical technologies.
Leicester's three new research centres will be led by three new research professors – Professor Steve King in history, Professor Heiko Balzter in geography and Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga in engineering.
The Medical Humanities Research Centre will focus on the ways in which people have sought to confront illness and disability and their understanding and use of the scientific and medical knowledge that underpins medical practice from the 17th to the 21st century. It will be at the forefront of local, regional and national debates about the generation, use and popular understandings of scientific and medical knowledge. This will allow us to participate in and shape wider debates and policy discussions.
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The Centre for Landscape Interactions and Change will focus on how the changing water cycle influences global species extinctions, water scarcity and flooding, and threats to food security. With global climate change we expect to see more extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and extreme temperatures. This new research centre will develop better methods to study what these events mean for the landscape.
Finally, our new Bioengineering Research Centre aims to develop a world-leading interdisciplinary research programme to gain major insights into the understanding of complex brain functioning through the study of large neural populations.
These are very exciting developments for the university. I anticipate that the new research centres will make a real difference to Leicester and its standing nationally and internationally in these specialist fields. They will enable the university to attract further high quality staff, research teams and postgraduate students alongside providing opportunities for developing links with external partners.
This is just the beginning – we intend to develop and build on our excellent research strengths to invest in new research centres which will have an enormous impact not only on the standing of the university, but that of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Professor Sir Robert Burgess is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester.