A group of female and male student nurses standing around a patient's bed, while a tutor is explaining the treatment to them

Equity and Improvements in Health and Wellbeing

From campus facilities to pioneering research efforts, we strive to create a fairer and healthier world for everyone.

We are creating a healthier world. By carrying out research and providing education. By reducing inequalities and increasing access to healthcare. By promoting emotional, physical and social wellbeing for everyone, regardless of their age or background.

Students benefit from our active , as well as the wide range of initiatives supported by the UK Healthy Universities Network which we are members of.

How we help

Creating a healthier and fairer world is a complex problem. Finding solutions depends on developing a holistic understanding of what it means to live a healthy and fulfilling life. This means looking at issues from a variety of perspectives.

Our research centres address a wide range of physical and mental health challenges, from using nanoparticles for drug therapies to creating a safer online world for the next generation. We work closely with policy, civic and industry leaders, academic partners and people with lived experience. Together, we’re making breakthroughs that lead to change locally, nationally and globally.

We provide outstanding education across health and allied disciplines and boast brilliant industry partnerships. Students also benefit from top facilities including our £24 million high-tech training centre in the West Stand at StoneX Stadium, home of Saracens Rugby. And you’ll often find researchers and students working with academy and elite players and coaches in our sports science labs. Our centre of excellence for simulation-based learning helps future nurses and midwives link classroom theory with professional skills.

Making an impact

Making an impact

Wearable technology for early detection of respiratory issues in infants

Our Biophysics and Bioengineering Group has developed revolutionary wearable technology to provide early detection of respiratory problems in infants. This technology and related innovations were adapted and tested for diagnostic and treatment purposes as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its longer-term effects.

“Every year around 15 million babies are born prematurely with many suffering respiratory failure due to the immaturity of their lungs. This fantastic and low-cost technology that monitors infants’ breathing in real time has the potential to ensure serious respiratory problems are averted and that lives are saved."

Professor Richard Bayford,

1. MDX staff produced nearly 70,000 protective visors for NHS employees, using the university's six laser cutters. The visors were based on an open-source design, using which each visor takes just a few minutes to produce. The laser cutters ran up to nine hours a day, seven days a week. The visors were boxed up with a personal message from MDX and sent to a range of London hospitals.

Meanwhile, MDX Arts and Creative Industries staff cut out the material for hospital gowns and hundreds of sets of scrubs which were then sent to homeworkers to stitch together. The material and half-finished garments were transported between locations by Hendon Fire Brigade and the NHS.

2. Around 500 MDX nursing and midwifery students have been working on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis, in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Second and third year students could elect whether to continue their placements, and could also choose to opt in to government's emergency register ready to be activated if the health service was struggling to cope. In addition, apprentice trainee nursing associates continued their work in their Trusts as healthcare assistants and first year students could volunteer as healthcare assistants through the Capital Nurse programme.

3. Economics lecturer Dr Valerio Capraro collaborated with Helene Barcelo of Berkeley Mathematical Science Research Institute on research surveying around 2,500 people in the US about their . The research found American males less willing than females to wear a mask, but the gender difference was smaller in US counties were mask wearing had been made mandatory. However, the degree to which more men than women thought wearing a mask "uncool" and a "sign of weakness" was the same in areas with mandatory and optional mask wearing. The research was widely covered in a range of liberal and conservative-leaning media in the US, UK and around the world.

4. Senior Lecturer in Law Joelle Grogan coordinated the , which showed that emergency powers implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted nearly 80% of the world’s population. The Symposium, co-hosted by journalistic and academic forum Verfassungsblog and Democracy Reporting International, engaged more than 100 specialists and at the height of world governments’ response to the pandemic.

5. Professor of Biophysics and Engineering Richard Bayford worked to , alongside researchers from UCL, the universities of Bologna and Siena and four biomedical companies including UK start-up Vaxcine (UK) Ltd, which is providing one of the technologies. The test was based on work Professor Bayford and colleagues have been doing on biosensors for a number of years, for example to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease. This matchbox-sized detection device could be connected to a mobile phone to display and record the results, would test for Covid-19 and seasonal flu simultaneously and would be easily adaptable for mutations of Covid-19.

6. Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies Dr Jacqueline Harding reviewed academic studies on play for a report in conjunction with toy manufacturers Fisher Price, which concluded that , and that laughing with children during playtime is as good as a gym workout for the immune system. “Sitting down and playing could not only be the best thing you do for your child, it could also be the best thing you do for yourself as a parent.”

7. Professor of Environmental Science Lian Lundy, is co-ordinating a global network to develop an . Results will feed into research on the use of sewage to provide an early warning of local outbreaks of COVID-19.

8. Two MDX Psychology academics conducted research on how confinement during the lockdown affected couples' relationship with each other. Participants kept a written or audio diary of their experiences over the course of a week. Dr Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez's were widely reported in UK and international media.

9. Jeffrey DeMarco and Elena Martellozzo from the University’s ), who have extensively researched online child abuse, have urged parents to be vigilant about Apps such as Zoom, House Party and Tik Tok, downloaded everyday by millions of young people, and offered other advice about the best way to keep children safe during lockdown

10. A study led by Professor Arie Nouwen is examining the psychological effects of social distancing on people with diabetes, amid concerns they are

Understanding drug and alcohol use

The Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (DARC) is a multi-disciplinary centre engaging staff and students with social science, health, social care and humanities backgrounds. DARC provides new insights into drug and alcohol use and explores policy and intervention responses across cultures and countries and over time.

The Centre plays an important role in local, national and European research projects. These are funded by the EU and other international sources, government departments, research councils and charities. For example, we are carrying out pioneering research on drug use in higher education and the role of harm reduction approaches in universities, as well as drug education in schools.

Read more about this research in this area and how it feeds into our teaching and wider activities:

Upskilling social care nurses

MDX nursing academics have been working to upskill adult social care nurses in care homes across North London. This innovative partnership was ‘highly commended’ at the London Higher Awards 2024 for its significant contribution to addressing the training gap, meeting complex local needs and supporting the future workforce.

Suicide prevention

We have also teamed up with the suicide prevention charity Samaritans and rail industry partners on an award-winning public awareness campaign called ‘’. Now in its seventh consecutive year, this campaign has been linked to a 20% increase in the number of ‘life-saving interventions’ made by members of the public to prevent suicides in public places.

Beyond the UK, we work with global communities to support people in crisis and those around them. For example, MDX researchers have been teaching aid workers in Syria how to spot warning signs of suicide and provide immediate help

Could we treat cancer with much less chemo? video thumbnail

Could there be a world where we wouldn't need chemotherapy or prolonged chemotherapy to treat cancer? There could very well be. As a cancer researcher I could definitely see it happening in the next 5 to 10 years because the focus of cancer treatments are shifting from your standard protocol chemotherapy to more personalized chemotherapies. 

What we're doing differently is that we are using a state-of-the-art gene editing technology called CRISPR. 

What we do is we cut out certain pathways through these gene editing techniques to block certain genes and then we expose them to chemotherapy drugs to see how they respond. What we saw was that they required far fewer doses of chemotherapy to kill the cancer. So that being translated into actual medicine could mean that people would need fewer doses of chemotherapy now that we have very accurate and precise gene editing technologies. 

We can try lots of different things. We can take this same principle and apply it to different cancers such as breast cancer, cervical cancers, ovarian cancers. Definitely there's more research that needs to be done but it is quite possible that
people would need very little chemotherapy in the future to kill cancer.

Could we treat cancer with much less chemo?

knowledge action
Group of elderly people sitting and painting together

We create new knowledge and put it into action. We benefit society, the economy, the environment, health and wellbeing, and culture and communities.

Strategy 2031

Discover the vision driving us forward into the next decade