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Research that matters: From bench to bedside research recognised by REF21

12 May 2022

chemotherapy patient in bed

The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF21) – an independent assessment of research quality across UK higher education institutions – today confirmed that 90% of research at Cardiff University is officially world-leading or internationally excellent.

This research includes projects undertaken at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences where more than 100 researchers support the discovery, development and optimised use of medicines and therapeutics to tackle some of the world’s most debilitating and life-threatening diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and many more health conditions.

Today, REF21 – a process of expert review undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies – announced its results. The School’s research was assessed as part of REF21 Unit of Assessment 3 (which encompasses allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy). This Unit of Assessment comprises a critical mass of researchers from five schools across the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University and examples of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ research submitted for review include:

chemotherapy patient in bed

Cardiff University's ProTide technology enters clinical trials to target drug resistant cancers

Cardiff's innovative ProTide technology has been used to develop drug compounds that could make cancer treatments more effective.

Capsules and dry powder inhaler

Improved performance of dry powder inhaler capsules used to treat chronic lung disease

Our research has improved the product performance of dry powder inhalers produced by a world leading inhalation capsule manufacturer.

In this Unit of Assessment, 91% of Cardiff University’s outputs were assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent and our research environment was awarded the highest possible score (4.0). With an overall Grade Point Average score of 3.39, our interdisciplinary research secured an overall quality ranking of 16th (out of 90) which, alongside the volume of the Unit’s research, delivers a ranking of 4th (out of 90) for Research Power (an indicator of the scale and quality of Cardiff University’s submission).

'This is a result that endorses the very excellent staff and research environment of Cardiff’s  UoA3 (ranked equal 1st), an essential foundation for the breadth of investigations we explore and for the sustaining of our very substantial volume of high quality, original and significant research (4th Research Power).'
Professor Mark Gumbleton Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Head of School, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cardiff University is proud to foster an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community. Reflective of this, the university submitted 100% of eligible staff to this Unit of Assessment.

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences secures external research awards amounting to approximately £3m annually through partnerships with a diverse range of funding bodies. The applied and multidisciplinary nature of the School’s research also benefits from worldwide scientific collaborations and strategic relationships with global businesses and public sector bodies that enable the School’s researchers to see the impact of their work for patients.

To date, as well as improved understanding and progress in drug discovery, drug development and drug delivery, the School’s research has led to changes in practice guidelines and improvements in clinical training. It has stimulated policy debate and implementation by government and public-sector bodies. It has also impacted on NHS and professional workforce planning and led to new service models.

All of this impact is helping to change patients’ lives for the better.

Read more about the innovative research at Cardiff University's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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