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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Research areas

Research areas

Health and Infection are cross-cutting themes at BSMS that permeate through our undergraduate and postgraduate research and learning activities. Our multidisciplinary research programme has academic links around the world and is organised into four main themes: tackling NTDs, Infectious Diseases, HIV and Sexual Health, and Culture, Society and Health.

The department is home to the Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research (evolving out of our Wellcome Trust Centre for Global Health Research) which hosts two large NIHR-funded programmes of research into neglected tropical diseases (NTDS): The NIHR Global Health Research Unit on NTDs at BSMS, and the Social Sciences for Severe Stigmatising Skin Conditions (5S) Foundation. 

Our researchers are also investigating tuberculosis, HIV, healthcare associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and non-communicable diseases in low income settings. 

Global health and infection research activities are integrated with work in other BSMS and University departments, as well as the Institute for Development Studies, through collaboration with colleagues from wide-ranging disciplines including biomedical ethics, mental health and public health, social sciences and international relations.  

Our research underpins a vibrant Masters programme offering courses in Global Health and Global Pharmacy and also supports a range of opportunities at PhD level.

Where we work

We work in partnership with community and non-governmental organisations many of which are based locally and internationally.  


Map of the world showing where BSMS has global health links. These include: Argentina Bangladesh Bolivia Cambodia Cameroon Canada Egypt Ethiopia Eritrea Guatemala  India Jordon Lebanon Nepal Netherlands Oman Pakistan Rwanda Senegal South Africa Sri Lanka

Woman in a colourful headscarf sitting next to a sleeping child being hugged by their mother

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

It is estimated that over one billion people from the world’s most disadvantaged and poorest communities suffer from at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD), which can significantly impact upon their physical and emotional wellbeing. The Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research acts as an international, multidisciplinary, research hub for three Neglected Tropical Diseases: podoconiosis, mycetoma and scabies.

more about Neglected Tropical Diseases > 

Illustrated map of the world made up from red and white pills

Infectious Diseases

A diverse group of researchers at BSMS are working on infection, trying to understand the roles that immunological, genetic, pathogenic or environmental factors play in disease both locally and globally. Linking in with our global health strengths, we are able to undertake this research from a world wide perspective with many projects married between UK groups and groups in Egypt, Sudan, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Zambia.

more about Infectious Diseases > 

Three students from BSMS standing together in a classroom

HIV and sexual health

The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton hosts the largest cohort of people living with HIV outside of London and supports a long-standing programme of clinical research on HIV and Sexual Health.

This work has been expanded by the development of HIV research at BSMS where research is undertaken on clinical aspects of HIV such as ageing and comorbidity and the impact of HIV on the brain. HIV prevention and stigma are also key areas of interest. 

more about HIV and Sexual Health > 

Staff from BSMS standing together in a group

Culture, society and health

Many complex social, cultural and historical factors, dynamics and processes simultaneously operating from the local to the global spheres affect the health and ill-health of individuals, populations and nations. As these factors change, so do the challenges and opportunities for improving people’s health and wellbeing.

The Society, Culture and Health research group at the BSMS Centre for Global Health Research brings a critical social science perspective (predominantly medical, socio-cultural, economic and anthropological together with development studies) to the understanding of disease causation and management.  

more about Culture Society and Health >

Sustainable healthcare

The BSMS Sustainable Healthcare Group is a leading group in research and education relating to environmental, social and financial elements of sustainability in health and healthcare.

We use a triple bottom line definition of sustainability, taking into account environmental, social and financial elements. Healthcare systems and processes can only be considered sustainable where all three elements (also termed ‘People, Planet and Profits’) intersect and are upheld. 

More about sustainable healthcare >

A group of researchers outside at the university of sussex