The creation of a Life Sciences Department within the Faculty of Science is a significant development for Bath and responds directly to our strategic research priorities of sustainability, health and wellbeing, and digital. Our Life Sciences Department becomes operational from 1 August 2022.

This new Department will put the University in the very strongest position to shape and respond to evolving UK and international research priorities and global challenges, including the UK government’s Life Sciences Vision.

Developing an ambitious portfolio of integrated programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, which is at the forefront of modern life sciences, healthcare research, practice and innovation will ensure our students are fully prepared to enjoy careers or future study in the life sciences sector and beyond. We will continue to advance and support our successful, nationally leading placement programme to ensure our degrees remain attractive to students and increase their employability.

We have set an equally ambitious research vision that builds on existing strengths: to be recognised as a Top 10 UK Life Sciences department with world-class research and teaching infrastructure and partnerships for conducting cutting-edge transformative research and education; and to grow research funding.

These ambitions can only be achieved by bringing Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacy & Pharmacology together to form a single, cross-disciplinary, integrated and collaborative department, which creates the critical mass and environment to be more competitive on the evolving national and international research stages. This will also afford greater opportunities to engage with and create stronger partnerships with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industrial sectors, as well as the NHS.

Five cross-disciplinary research themes are prioritised: biodiversity and evolution; biotechnology; cells, development and disease; microbiology, infection & inflammation; and diagnostics, therapeutics and patient care. These themes bridge across the Department, enabling new opportunities for wider collaboration and to define a new vision of Life Sciences incorporating excellent pharmacy research.

We are about to start a search for the Head of Department role, looking nationally and internationally, within the University and externally. In the meantime, the Department will be led by an interim Head, Professor Adele Murrell, and a Department Executive who will take up their roles on 1 August.

Professor Nick Brook, Dean of the Faculty of Science says: “Bringing together our Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacy & Pharmacology departments into a cross-disciplinary, single entity provides a focal point for life sciences within the Faculty of Science and the University and marks the start of a step-change in our approach and ambitions. We have much to be proud of already in our research and teaching in biosciences, pharmacy and pharmacology, so this development builds on existing strengths and excellence, such as the Milner Centre for Evolution and the Centre for Therapeutic Innovation, and takes us to the next level.”

“A great deal of thought, planning and preparation has gone on in the background for many months bringing us to this point. I would like to thank all my colleagues, in B&B and P&P, especially Heads of Department David Tosh and Neil McHugh, for their support, hard work and contribution towards making this a reality. I am particularly appreciative of the effort made by everyone involved over the last 12 months, when the pandemic has continued to have such impact.”

To find out more please contact Professor Nick Brook, Professor Adele Murrell, Professor David Tosh or Professor Neil McHugh.