Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) provides research funding to improve health and wellbeing across the life course, to reduce the need for medical and social intervention.
Through Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health, BBSRC provides sustained research investment to improve health and wellbeing across the life course, reducing the need for medical and social intervention.
Read the Forward look for UK bioscience brochure, our roadmap setting the direction of travel for UK bioscience and is an opportunity to address some of the 21st century’s greatest challenges to provide food security, clean growth and healthy ageing.
Our vision for research and innovation in this area is set out in a Bioscience for Health: Strategic Research Framework 2015 to 2020. This adds detail to our overarching strategic plan, outlining key expected contributions to the wider health research landscape and guiding BBSRC activities within this priority area.
Key challenge areas
There are four key challenge areas. Systems and multidisciplinary approaches will be crucial to unpicking the complexity of these relationships.
Understanding the mechanistic basis of lifespan and healthy ageing using human, microbial and animal systems, with the long-term objective of promoting health in later life.
Nutrition for health
Understanding how foods, nutrients and whole diets influence cellular processes, how these influences affect overall health outcomes, and how responses vary between population groups, individuals and across the life course.
Collaborative and coordinated approaches to combat infectious diseases of zoonotic origin drawing on a common pool of scientific knowledge from multiple disciplines to improve the health and wellbeing of animals and people in their environment.
Biotechnology for health
Development of enabling biotechnology and innovative approaches to support the translation of basic bioscience.
Food, nutrition and health
BBSRC’s role in food, nutrition and health research and innovation is outlined in more detail in a topic-specific Strategic Framework 2015 to 2020.
The document sits alongside a complementary joint BBSRC, MRC and ESRC high-level vision, which recognises the importance of collaboration to support integrative research in this area.
Strategic priorities and their relevance
These standard research strategic priorities are of particular relevance to Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health.
Healthy ageing across the life course
This research priority promotes research that will increase our understanding of the biology of normal healthy ageing, leading to strategies for improving lifelong health and wellbeing.
Food, nutrition and health
This research priority promotes research which will advance understanding of how nutrients, foods and whole diets interact with biological systems to promote health. The research priority also incorporates consideration of food safety and healthy food production.
This research priority promotes research that will lead to the development of strategies to combat endemic and exotic infectious diseases that reduce the health and welfare of domesticated animals important to the UK economy. It has strong synergies with strategic priorities in agriculture and food security.
The following standard research strategic priorities span a number of areas of the Strategic Plan, but have particular relevance for Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health.
Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
This research priority promotes a wide range of research aimed at combatting AMR. It also promotes research that underpins the development of strategies to mitigate the effects, for example through novel alternatives to antimicrobials.
Replacement, refinement and reduction (3Rs)
The 3Rs in research using animals in the context of Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health encourage opportunities to develop and use new models and research approaches that could reduce the use of animals in research and provide more effective and representative research tools for studying human and animal biology. Examples include human cohort, in vitro and in silico approaches.