Scientists inspire the next generation

School pupils have been inspired by world-renowned scientists as they learned about the latest innovations in molecular biology at The Astbury Conversation 2024.

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Professor xiaowei zhuang middle and students smile at the camera
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A promising new approach in tackling Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at the University of Leeds and Lancaster University have identified a potential new drug target for Alzheimer’s disease.

Computerised image of brain

Plant scientists recognised for their dedication to driving cultural change

Two co-founders of a growing support network for UK Black plant scientists have been recognised for their commitment to building a positive research culture.

Professor yoselin benitez alfonso Dr john baison

Research impact

Faculty celebrates success at REF 2021

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Electron Microscopy facility
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Research and innovation

At least 88%

'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'

Submitted research in our two main UoAs – REF 2021


research laboratories redesign

to enhance collaboration


Astbury BioStructure Laboratory

For world-leading biological research

Our Schools

We take a collaborative approach to delivering impactful research at the Faculty of Biological Sciences. Each of our schools also has its own research expertise and focus:

Our research

Our faculty has over 130 academic staff, 14 independently funded research fellows and 200+ PhD students working at all levels of biological sciences, from molecules to landscapes. The links below allow you to explore our current research areas across our three schools.

Biotechnology is a broad discipline in which biological processes, organisms, cells or cellular components are exploited to develop new technologies.

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Cancer research studies the molecular and cellular basis of cancer and the development of target-specific therapeutics.

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Our Cardiovascular research is delivered under 6 themes and focuses on the function of the heart in health and disease, with additional activity in the area of skeletal muscle.

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Our Cell and Organismal Biology research aims at determining the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying both normal cell functions and how they become dysfunctional in diseased cells and organisms.

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Our Ecological and Evolutionary research ranges from fundamental theory through to directly applied work, at scales ranging from molecular to global and across all the Earth’s biomes.

More on Ecology and Evolution

Our Heredity, Development and Disease research studies a variety of organisms to investigate fundamental processes in animal and human development and disease.

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Within Integrative Membrane Biology research, our multidisciplinary and highly collaborative environment facilitates the study of membrane protein systems from the atomic to the cellular and organismal levels.

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Our Microbiology research delivers ground-breaking insights into the fundamental biology of bacteria, viruses and fungi, and has a particular emphasis on understanding in molecular detail the mechanisms by which these agents cause disease and evade treatment.

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Our Neuroscience research seeks to understand how the nervous system, the most complex and highly organised part of the body, is able to generate perception, thoughts and behaviour.

More on Neuroscience

Plant Science research address fundamental biological mechanisms as related to plants and also addresses the global challenge of maintaining food supplies in the context of sustainable agriculture.

More on Plant Sciences

Sport and Exercise Science research has a world-class focus for research excellence in exercise science, building on its distinctive identity in understanding the basic mechanisms, and translational applications of physical activity in health and disease.

More on Sport and Exercise Sciences

Our Structural Biology research aims to understand the structures of biomolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids, and the complexes they form.

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Our Tissue Engineering research focuses on the development of scaffolds and medical devices to regenerate damaged and diseased parts of the body.

More on Tissue Engineering

Research Centres

Below are some of the cross-faculty research centres within the University that draw together expertise, maximising potential for application of novel approaches to solve scientific problems.

Our mission is to engage and unify the critical mass of ‘omics’ researchers at the University of Leeds into one central virtual institute. We have a significant number of active researchers that fit under this “Omics” umbrella.

More on Leeds Omics

Bringing together researchers from across the University - largely from physics, the biological sciences and chemistry - to allow interdisciplinary approaches to be harnessed to understand the molecular basis of life.

More on The Astbury Centre

A centre for excellence in plant cell and molecular biology. The Centre has involvement in many European consortia and an extensive range of international collaborations including with the USA, India, Japan and China.

More on Centre for Plant Sciences

Focusing on longer lasting joint replacements, tissue sparing interventions and biological scaffolds for tissue regeneration supported by computational and experimental simulation systems for design and pre-clinical testing.

More on Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering