Spotlight on York: scientific research that matters

10 Mar 2017 - Francis Pearson

The University of York is one of the UK’s major research powerhouses, ranked in the top 15 in the UK for the overall impact of its research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

The quality of York’s scientific research is particularly highly ranked:


of Chemistry research...


of Biology research...

and 77%

of Physics research is rated 'internationally excellent' or better

This means that in many important scientific areas, York is changing the world. Its scientific research, innovations and discoveries are transforming societies, and producing remarkable breakthroughs to improve the human experience.

It can also provide huge benefits for students too. As our recent article on university research explains, impactful research contributes to a learning environment in which students can succeed, whether they are studying at bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral level.

Students benefit from the experience of teaching staff who are at the cutting-edge of their fields, and from a university that invests in state-of-the-art facilities. They also get the chance to actively participate in potentially world-changing studies.

Ultimately, everyone gains from important scientific research. We’ve compiled just a few of the incredible recent scientific research projects at the University of York.


Combatting cancer

Biologists at the University of York, working in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Huddersfield, have improved understanding of the CD40 molecule. While the name of this molecule might not be too exciting, the possibilities associated with it most definitely are, because CD40 can destroy cancerous tumours without harming healthy cells.

As a result of the improved understanding of this cell, the scientific research team has already developed a cancer treatment that can be effective, but without the serious side effects that many current treatments can cause.

Understanding ants

One particularly peculiar scientific research project at the University of York is the study of ant colonies. These hardworking insects have a highly complex social structure, and new research has uncovered more information about their collaborative behaviour.

Astonishingly, ants from some nests were found to be sending surplus food to nearby nests that were struggling. This creates a super-colony of cooperating nests, connected by roadways. Perhaps human beings could learn something from the ants?

Seeing cells

Biologists at the University have been working with scientific imaging specialists Phasefocus to produce a huge leap forward in microscope technology. These new microscopes will allow scientists to see images of cells in much greater detail.

This extra clarity should help biologists to further explore cell structure and behaviour, which could have an important impact in areas such as medical and stem cell research.

Study at York
All of these important projects have helped to cement the University of York’s reputation for excellence in scientific research. International students can also benefit hugely from the University’s exceptional facilities, and its expertise in the fields of science. Find out more about studying at the University of York, and progressing to the University via its International Pathway College.

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