Queen Mary has a long and distinguished history of conducting ground-breaking research that makes a genuine impact on society – improving health, social and living conditions, advancing knowledge and understanding in specialist fields, and influencing public policy, culture and debate.
Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences enriches our understanding and experience of society and culture, and helps to challenge inequalities and inform public policy. For example, our research has exposed the under-representation of women in trade union leadership and international politics; enabled museums, galleries, libraries, and film festivals to share academic research with the public; advanced public understanding of the Crusades, poetry, and early-modern maps; informed the Bank of England’s monetary policy; influenced the design of a scheme to reduce poverty in Uruguay; and helped to preserve the endangered language and culture of the Kiowa native tribe of Oklahoma.
Professor Paul Heritage in our Drama department has explored how the arts can influence social development alongside building cultural bridges between the UK and Brazil. One contemporary production of Shakespeare produced on a border contested by two rival drug factions in Rio de Janeiro, resulted in an 18-day ceasefire after 22 years of war.
Research within the School of Geography has been pivotal in promoting the living wage as a solution to in-work poverty, informing campaigns across the UK and further afield. In 2006, Queen Mary became the first UK university to commit to paying all domestic staff on campus a living wage.
Dr Liam Campling’s research on the global tuna industry has significantly increased local economic trading benefits and led to improved working conditions in tuna processing facilities in Papua New Guinea, and informed a Greenpeace campaign that resulted in a complete overhaul of tuna sourcing policies for UK canned tuna brands and supermarkets.
From the development of nano-materials for delivering drugs, searching for a cure for Ash dieback disease, researching how to lessen the internet’s impact on the environment, developing software to allow brands to understand their customers’ behaviour on social media, and research in to the performance of rubber tyres which has been used by Formula 1 racing teams and civil aviation companies, our academics undertake a range of pioneering scientific research that has an impact on society. Our research has also led to high-profile technology spin-out companies such as Actual Experience, whose clients include Ofcom, ITV and Accenture; and Monoidics, a company which specialises in program verification systems, and was recently bought by Facebook.
Seminal materials research at Queen Mary has led to the development of a range of cost-effective and reliable synthetic bone graft products by spin-out company ApaTech™. These products have been used to treat over 370,000 patients in 30 countries, have attained a ten per cent share of the global market with an estimated worth of $510 million.
Researchers from the School of Physics and Astronomy were instrumental in the discovery of Proxima-b, an Earth-like planet orbiting our nearest star. Queen Mary’s Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who led the team that made the discovery, was named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.
Research led by Professor Lars Chittka demonstrated a severe risk to the UK’s native bumblebees by the extensive importation of non-native species for crop pollination. The research resulted in mandatory licensing for the use of non-native bumblebees and as a result, all major commercial providers of pollinators now sell a UK native subspecies.
Research impact is central to the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s strategy and mission, and we are one of the leading medical schools in this area. Our academics have established the beneficial effects of adult growth hormone replacement; produced research that has led to changes to clinical practice in relation to smoking therapies, and the establishment of the NHS smoking cessation service which treats over 800,000 smokers per year; and produced research into two-view mammography which has ensured that an estimated 2,500-3,000 additional women per year in the UK have a breast cancer detected early.
Research by Professor Karim Brohi and his team into early Acute Traumatic Coagulopathy (ATC), a syndrome of abnormal blood clotting after trauma, led to a new understanding of why patients bleed to death after severe injury and a fundamental change to resuscitation strategies for acute bleeding patients, which has seen a 250-300 per cent improved survival rate.
Our research has contributed to the development of a medical statistical model (QRisk), which has enabled doctors to identify an extra 2.8 million people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. QRisk is used in the NHS Health Checks programme covering 20 million people in England and has significantly reduced the numbers of deaths and heart attacks through targeted intervention treatments.
Dr Michael Cattell and his team at Queen Mary developed Lumineers®: a novel low-wear, high-strength glass ceramic product for dental restorations. Along with winning industry awards for clinical and cosmetic excellence, Lumineers® are very popular with patients, with over three million restorations in 46 countries, making them the most patient-requested thin veneers in dentistry.