The School of Biosciences is working to solve some of the most pressing global challenges, from climate change and cancer, to sustainability and healthy ageing.
Formed in September 2021, the School of Biosciences brings together more than 100 years of teaching and research expertise from the former departments of Animal and Plant Sciences, Biomedical Science and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
The school is home to around 120 academics, including Royal Society, RCUK, EU and other Independent Research Fellows, 300 postgraduates supported by Doctoral Training Programmes and Centres, and 1,500 undergraduates. Our expertise spans the breadth and depth of bioscience, including molecular and cell biology, genetics, development, human physiology and pharmacology through to evolution, ecology, biodiversity conservation and sustainability. This makes us one of the broadest and largest groupings of the discipline and allows us to train the next generation of biologists in the latest research techniques and discoveries.
We're proud to have come in the top five nationally in the Research Excellence Framework 2021 in terms of the quality of our research. We carry out world-leading research to address the most important global challenges such as food security, disease, health and medicine, ageing, energy, and mitigating the biodiversity and climate crises. We deliver societal, industrial and policy impact by bringing together academics at the forefront of the following fields:
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Development, Regeneration and Neurophysiology
- Molecular Microbiology: Biochemistry to Disease
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Plants, Photosynthesis and Soil
Researchers work closely with organisations ranging from the UK Environment Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society, to Heineken, Syngenta and the NHS. Pioneering projects have led to breakthroughs in applying ultrasound to treat wounds, using human stem cells to treat hearing loss, and the generation of animal models for neurodegenerative diseases, schizophrenia, muscular dystrophy and cancer.
A number of our scientists are following in the footsteps of Sir Hans Krebs, our first Professor of Biochemistry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953 for his discovery of the citric acid cycle, known as the Krebs Cycle. His legacy continues in the work of the Krebs Institute, a mechanistic biology research centre that works on projects aimed at the greater understanding of biomolecular processes.
98 per cent of research and impact from the School of Biosciences is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
Research Excellence Framework, 2021
We’re also training the next generation of biologists to solve global challenges. We offer a range of flexible undergraduate and masters degree programmes across the full breadth of bioscience. We also host PhD students working at the forefront of biosciences research across our specialisms.
We're based at the heart of campus across the interlinked Firth Court, Alfred Denny, Florey, Perak and Addison buildings, across the road from the Students' Union, and just 15 minutes from the city centre.
Throughout the buildings you'll find hidden surprises from large, purpose-built research and teaching labs, to the Wolfson Light Microscopy Facility hosting super-resolution imaging, and the Alfred Denny Museum of Zoology. The museum was established in 1905 and named after the university's first Professor of Biology. Many of the specimens have been in the museum since the early 1900s and the facility has been in continuous use for teaching undergraduates for more than 100 years.
We house a number of specialist research facilities in addition to these. The Julia Garnham Centre is a new genomic pre-screening facility which helps NHS geneticists to diagnose blood cancers. The Arthur Willis Environment Centre provides state-of-the-art 'GroDome' plant growth facilities comprising 16 discrete compartments with the capacity to simulate a range of current environments as well as future climate scenarios. The NERC Environmental Omics Visitor Facility here in Sheffield provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK community in the science areas that fall under the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council. Others include a Biological NMR Facility, a Biomolecular Interaction Suite, and the University of Sheffield’s Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility.
Sheffield Diagnostic Genetic Service (SDGS) has collaborated with the University of Sheffield to establish the Julia Garnham Centre (JGC). This is a unique remote placements facility located in the School of Biosciences at the University of Sheffield.
Named after long-term former SDGS staff member, this placement centre provides students with essential experience and training in genetic analysis and upskills the next generation of genomic scientists and technologists. The students are then welcomed to a placement with SDGS to prepare cases (currently focussing on karyotyping of bone marrow samples from haemato-oncology referrals), making them ready for NHS Healthcare Scientists to analyse, and thereby releasing staff time and helping to manage backlogs. For further information please contact Duncan.Baker@nhs.net.
A world top-100 university
We're a world top-100 university renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of our research-led learning and teaching.