Successful setup of a Lancaster University/UHMBT Human physiology project
I moved to Lancaster University in 2018 and immediately began to setup my research programme in Human Physiology. My research centres around muscle metabolism (the chemistry of how muscles work), and some of this work involves work in patients with type II diabetes. Within the first year of my Lectureship, I worked with Margaret Cooper and her team at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) to establish a Human Physiology Research Unit at the RLI. This was established to support two externally funded studies to determine how much exercise is required to improve metabolic health in people with obesity and people with diabetes. Working within the clinical environment has allowed me to use local clinical expertise to assist in some of the clinical procedures involved in the research and develop a space used exclusively for research. I believe local clinical staff have benefitted from increased participation in research activities and the exposure to advanced research methodologies, which are not seen in day-to-day clinical practice. The Research and Development Team were incredibly supportive in guiding me through approvals processes, participant recruitment, and undertaking the research project.
The study has now started to recruit and is an excellent example of cross-site collaboration between Research and Development at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Lancaster Medical School. The establishment of this project and the Human Physiology Research Unit presents an excellent foundation to develop future cross-site research activities.