Five new U.K. researcher centers will use math and statistics to tackle health challenges

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | December 17, 2015
Business Affairs Cardiology Rad Oncology Population Health
George Freeman, the Minister for Life Sciences in the U.K., invested £10 million in five new research centers today that will investigate the use of mathematics and statistics in helping clinicians solve health challenges. The investment will be geared particularly toward cancer, heart disease, and antibiotic resistance.

"Maths and statistics aren't the first sciences that come to mind when we talk about health care innovation," Freeman said in a statement. "But they have a very important part to play in developing 21st century solutions to the challenges facing clinicians every day in the NHS."

The centers will be located at universities in Liverpool, Glasgow, London, Cambridge and Exeter. The researchers will use predictive mathematical models to develop tools that will help clinicians diagnose chronic conditions earlier and come up with more targeted treatments.

The centers will be funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is the U.K.'s main agency for funding research in the engineering and physical sciences fields.

The EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modeling in Healthcare in the University of Exeter will focus on developing new methods for managing and treating chronic health conditions with predictive mathematical models.

The EPSRC Centre for New Mathematical Sciences Capabilities for Healthcare Technologies in the University of Liverpool will work to get a better understanding of the interaction between cells and tissues and the emergence of antibiotic resistance, and develop algorithms that improve medical image processing.

The EPSRC Centre for Multiscale Soft Tissue Mechanics in the University of Glasgow will develop advanced mathematical models to understand the development of cancer and cardiac disease. The researchers will gain more insight into the specific properties of breast cancer and more detailed information on heart injury and function.

The EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare in the Imperial College London will focus on precision health care to create tools that ensure that patient receives the care that they need. The EPSRC Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Analysis of Multimodal Clinical Imaging at the University of Cambridge will work to automate image analysis.

"These five new Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare Centres will lead the way in developing mathematical and statistical modelling for predicting the progression of diseases both in individuals and populations, as well as planning treatment strategies," Philip Nelson, chief executive of the EPSRC, said in a statement. "The Centres will help us deal with the clinical and economic challenges facing the UK's health care system as the population ages."

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