Health Protection Research Unit for Chemical & Radiation Threats & Hazards

Research

Research

Health Protection Research Unit consists of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, epidemiologists and scientists who conduct research across four themes.

The major purpose of HPRU is to focus on situations where exposure to chemicals or to radiation may cause major health problems to patients and public.

We conduct research under the following four themes:

Health effects of medical radiation exposure

We will investigate if newer uses of x-ray machines such as computed tomography (CT) scanners might cause health problems in the long term. We look at whether such effects are balanced against the benefits which such new technologies can bring.

Find out more about the health effects of medical radiation exposure research theme.

The skin and barrier function in radiation and chemical exposures

We aim to determine how UV light and IR radiation (from sunlight) could cause changes in the skin and increase a person’s sensitivity to chemicals, causing allergic type reactions and skin damage.

Find out more about the skin and barrier function in radiation and chemical exposures research theme.

Chemical exposures and the development of primary biliary cirrhosis

We will look at why some people develop the chronic liver disease primary biliary cirrhosis. This disease clusters in certain geographical regions and affects up to 20,000 people in the UK. By determining if chemical exposures cause this disorder, we will develop methods to investigate how chemicals might cause other chronic diseases.

Find out more about the chemical exposures and the development of primary biliary cirrhosis research theme.

Chemical exposure and neurological and psychiatric disorders

In response to an emerging problem, we will develop methods to identify novel recreational drugs (legal highs). These are being used by increasing numbers of people. We will identify those associated with serious toxicity and which are likely to cause hospitalisation if used.

Find out more about the chemical exposure and neurological and psychiatric disorders research theme.