Health and life

Keeping in good health is important for our quality of life, community resilience and our productivity. We are: exploring ways of managing our own health better; using technologies to help people live independent lives for longer; finding ways to understand more about how the brain works; and designing and constructing new biological devices. Our research will contribute to enhanced well-being and lead to the generation of new products.

The Faculty's activities which underpin the development of technologies addressing Health and Life span across many research groups, including Digital Health, Computational Neuroscience, and Synthetic Biology.

Key achievements include the famous "SPHERE house”, a fully-furnished home set up to monitor behaviour and movement of residents; this technology will aid early diagnosis, lifestyle change and enable patients to live at home. We are also developing the ‘right trousers’, new soft robotic technologies that will help older people and people with disabilities to live more independently and with greater quality of life. We are exploring the design and assembly of minimal cells, the programming of cell functions, and the characterisation and scalable production of natural product-based therapeutics. 

  • Computational Neuroscience
    In the Bristol Computational Neuroscience Unit we collaborate with experimentalists working on learning, memory, movement and mood in animals from tadpoles to humans.
  • Synthetic Biology
    Synthetic Biology has the potential to generate wide-ranging applications in healthcare, energy, computing, agriculture, environment and advanced chemicals and materials.
  • Bristol Robotics Laboratory
    We are the largest robotics research facility in the UK, working in partnership with the University of the West of England.
  • Bristol Vision Institute
    Our primary focus is on developing a better understanding of the visual mechanisms and processes evolved in humans and other animals, and on translating these to innovations in technology, medicine and the creative arts.
  • Digital Health
    Working as a multidisciplinary team across the entire University, with the NHS, charities, industry and the public, our mission is to focus technological development on the UK's most pressing health issues.
  • Collective dynamics
    We investigate how system-level function and phenomena arise from the interplay of parts in a wide range of natural and engineered systems.
  • Softlab
    The SoftLab focuses on the research and development of novel compliant systems and soft robotic technologies.
  • Intelligent Systems Lab
    Our research covers machine learning, data mining, pattern recognition, web technologies, bioinformatics, semantic image analysis and natural intelligent systems.

A-Z of Engineering research groups

View all of our research groups across the two schools and faculty.

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Explore Bristol Research

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