UoA 1 Clinical Medicine

From the discovery of a new bacteria resistant to antibiotics; creating new treatments for leukaemia, breast and prostate cancers; and improving dialysis treatment our world-leading research in clinical medicine has helped secure a GPA of 3.25 and a ranking of 8th in the UK. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 80% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 38.0% 51.0% 10.0% 0.0% 1.0%
Outputs 33.3% 53.4% 11.3% 0.4% 1.6%
Impact 80.0% 20.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 0.0% 87.5% 12.5% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

The School of Medicine's return for this unit comprises researchers from the Institutes of Infection and Immunity, and Cancer and Genetics, based on the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) campus, facilitating clinical interactions with the NHS and patients across Wales. 

The Unit's research ranges from molecular and cellular biology to clinical trials and the evaluation of innovations in practice, linking with pharmaceutical and diagnostic sectors in preclinical research and clinical trials. Work with commercial partners has led to development of novel biomarkers, targets and drugs. Links to business in Wales and internationally have achieved licensing and spinout revenue of £1.78M in the assessment period. 

During the REF period, the Unit won £83.7M in grant and infrastructure funding. The Unit published more than 2100 articles in peer reviewed journals including Cell, Nature, Science and the New England Journal of Medicine, and supervised 105 PhD and 46 MD students to completion. 

The Unit strives to exploit existing strengths in basic research to underpin translational research, improve patient outcomes and create economic value for Wales and the UK. 

Key aims include developing a wide clinical research portfolio, and raising international profile. Unit researchers have led multicentre clinical trials and associated pharmacogenetic studies that have informed cancer treatments, and led some of the earliest clinical trials of targeted therapy for inherited cancers.

Case studies

Treating locally advanced prostate cancer

Our researchers reveal the best technique for treating locally advanced prostate cancer.

Fighting the rise of the superbug

Discovery of a new antibiotic resistant gene by Cardiff University researchers changes global attitude and policy to monitoring and prevention.

Research themes

ThemeDetails
Innate immunityInvestigates pathways to and clinical impact of dysregulated innate immunity in disease, and develops novel diagnostics and adjunctive therapies that target the pathways identified.
Adaptive immunityEvolves novel strategies to target adaptive immunity in infection, autoimmunity and cancer. Research focuses on disease-relevant aspects of antigen presentation, regulation of T-cell effector function and vaccine design.
InfectionExplores mechanisms governing host-pathogen interactions and applies knowledge gained to inform strategies for therapy.
InflammationInterrogates the molecular and cellular mechanisms determining inflammatory disease transition to chronicity and applies the findings to discover new ways to prevent progression.
Haematological malignanciesUtilises molecular cell biology approaches to identify abnormalities associated with leukaemia and pre-leukaemia and inform the selection of candidate drugs that are then fast-tracked into clinical trials.
Solid tumoursUndertakes research on the genetics and basic biology underlying colorectal, breast, urological and head and neck cancers and uses data to identify mechanisms and treatment strategies that are tested in trials.
Tumour pathologyDelivers the basic biology, technologies and resources necessary to underpin clinical studies of tumorigenesis, metastasis and the control of tumour progression.
Medical geneticsCollects and collates large patient cohorts, including clinical trial cohorts, to identify and characterise cancer-associated inherited and somatic genetic variation and undertake functional studies and clinical trials based on outcomes.

 Research centres and groups

NameDetails
Cancer Genetics Biomedical Research UnitEstablished to facilitate translation of new genetic knowledge to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Awarded a  National Institute of Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) grant of £1.65M in 2012.
Cardiff Cancer Research UK CentreReceiving £2.1M from Cancer Research UK, 2009, the Centre aimed to focus on the biology and treatment of bowel, breast and urological cancers and leukaemia, and will work on how to make sure cancer is detected earlier.
Experimental Cancer Medicine CentreCardiff ECMC aims to develop biomarkers, novel therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment and expand tissue banking. It received more than £5M funding from the Welsh Government and Cancer Research UK in 2011. 
Centre of Excellence for Leukaemia and Lymphoma ResearchCardiff is a Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Centre of Excellence. We have been recognised for our world-class research into the two most common forms of leukaemia in adults - chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), which together affect more than 5,000 people in the UK every year.
European Cancer Stem Cell Research InstituteInitiated in 2010 with £3M core funding from Cardiff University comprising cancer researchers from the unit and from the School of Biosciences. This interdisciplinary centre focuses on the roles of stem cells in cancer development and metastasis.
Wales Gene ParkTheir mission is to promote and facilitate medical genetic research and to educate and inform the public, health professionals, and young people alike about the the issues and opportunities raised by genetics. Funding from the National Institute of Social Care and Health Research, £6M in the period.
Cardiff Cancer CollaborativeProvides an umbrella organisation for cancer research and ensures a seamless strategy across the University and NHS.
Centre for Immunodiagnostics and ImmunotherapeuticsUnit staff led a successful bid to the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and NISCHR/Welsh Government (total £4.5M, 2011) to develop the Centre for Immunodiagnostics and Immunotherapeutics supporting projects, junior fellowships, equipment and mobility. This award has been used to lay foundations for a Wellcome Strategic Award bid in 2014.
Cardiff Regional Experimental Arthritis Treatment and Evaluation Centre(CREATE, AR-UK £0.4M), was established in 2011, and supports clinical trial activity and research with the pharmaceutical sector (Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Roche, NovImmune SA).

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1University of Oxford3.45
2University of Cambridge3.43
3King's College London3.40
4Institute of Cancer Research: Royal Cancer Hospital3.33
4 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine3.33
6University of Edinburgh3.30
7Queen Mary University of London3.28
8Cardiff University 3.25
9University of Glasgow3.20
9Newcastle University 3.20
9University College London3.20

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