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Board strategy (PSMB)

PSMB aims to develop scientific knowledge that utilises systems approaches from multiple internal and external factors to understand control pathways and mechanisms, their interactions with major organs and how this manifests in health and disease. 

This requires integration of knowledge from the fundamental studies of major organs and systems through to population and the impact of the environment on health and disease across the life course. By linking mechanistic understanding of diseases to populations and back, PSMB builds the capacity to unpick the complexities and multifaceted nature of human health and disease through: 

  • promoting integrated/systems approaches
  • harnessing “Big data”
  • making greater use of cohorts and cohort-derived data
  • developing methodology and resources
  • developing partnerships for improved impact

PSMB leads on a number of long-term UK cohorts (a full list can be found in the MRC cohort directory). PSMB also is the home for a wide portfolio of the MRC strategic investments, such as the London Institute for Medical Sciences and a number of Units and Centres.

The PSMB strategy was developed to address future health challenges including increased life expectancy, rising non-communicable diseases (NCD) globally, while capitalising on technological advances. We, therefore, aim to: 

  • support excellence in discovery science that crosses barriers and silos, including interdisciplinary integrated systems research, and data-driven approaches
  • transform health by identifying early-life determinants and trajectories of chronic diseases; establishing personalised medicine approaches to therapeutic intervention; developing population level interventions to prevent chronic diseases and multimorbidities
  • prioritise chronic disease research, examining the contribution of ageing, multimorbidities, obesity, and rare genetic disorders, both within the UK and globally
  • support translation of discovery into policy and practice both within the UK and in the global community

This direction contributes to the MRC’s overarching vision of priority challenges for medical sciences and its ambition to transform health research and innovation through delivery of ground-breaking discoveries, as outlined in its strategic plan (PDF, 2.15MB)

Strategic activities

To implement its strategy, PSMB actively engages with the scientific community and other funders to identify gaps in knowledge and to monitor emerging areas of research that have a strong potential to impact on human health. Several examples of such engagement are listed below: