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Fiona fox's blog

The future of food and health research

Lifespan is increasing but healthspan is not.  Diet-related illness is a cause of 350 million deaths each year globally, and is now the number one cause of death and ill health in the UK.

The new Quadram Institute is addressing this burden and aims to be a key piece of the food and healthy ageing puzzle.  The government has invested large sums in the Institute, which specialises in interdisciplinary research and aims to link up what we know about food, microbes and health, and to accelerate innovation by having academic and clinical research under one roof.

The Institute houses one of Europe’s largest endoscopy units and patient beds are right next to science labs – samples will be taken from patients and go straight to the lab bench where research is carried out.  Key strands of research include the gut and the microbiome; food innovation for health; microbes in the food chain; and antimicrobial resistance.  The Institute has also invested significantly in high performance computing to analyse big data, and plans to conduct longitudinal studies over many decades.




Prof Richard Mithen, Group Leader of the ‘Food chemistry and human health’ group, Quadram Institute

Dr Mark Webber, Group Leader of the ‘Investigating the evolution of antimicrobial resistance’ group, Quadram Institute

Dr Lindsay Hall, Group Leader of the ‘Early life microbiota-host interactions’ group, Quadram Institute

Dr Jo Brooks, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Fellow, Quadram Institute

Prof Ian Charles, Director, Quadram Institute

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