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State-of-the-art Metabolic Research Facility Opens for Business

Warwick Medical School (WMS) and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) announce the launch of their new Whole Body Calorimeter at their new Human Metabolism Research Unit.

dsc_4908.jpgThis unique new facility has a wide range of applications for researching energy expenditure, obesity and related disorders and can test the body's metabolic reaction to everything from fitness equipment and food through to new pharmaceuticals.

The Whole Body Calorimeter (WBC) will allow researchers from WMS and UHCW to understand more about how food, physical activity and other behavioural aspects, such as sleep, affect our ability to control out weight; it will also help understanding of how biomarkers for metabolic disorders affect weight gain and allow investigation of real-time changes in metabolic function associated with diabetes, obesity and their treatments.

Andy Hardy, Chief Executive at UHCW said: "Obese patients are a significant issue for the NHS. This unit will be investigating the building blocks of how the body works which is an exciting prospect that could have far reaching ramifications for hospitals and patients across the country and potentially internationally."

The new unit, based at the hospital, is part of an extensive suite of facilties to support metabolism research including research laboratories at the hospital, the WISDEM Centre (Warwick Institute for the Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism) and the University's Clinical Trials Unit.

Professor Sudhesh Kumar, Professor of Medicine at Warwick Medical School and University Hospital, Coventry said: "The research we will undertake at this world-class facility will shape future treatment of conditions such as obesity and diabetes, which are major healthcare priorities. This will help us make a definitive step towards understanding and controlling metabolic diseases. The research potential of this new unit is vast and we are looking forward to being able to make a difference to patients around the world with the work we do here."

The WBC is a custom-designed facility with two chambers, based at University Hospital in Coventry. Subjects of research will spend between 24 and 36 hours in one of these chambers undertaking activities relevant to the research. Each chamber is callibrated to measure the precise oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expelled. The WBC enables comprehensive analysis of both biochemical data and clinical observations and is already booking time with other major institutions and companies for cutting-edge research.

Any businesses interested in undertaking a research project with the Human Metabolism Research Unit should contact Dr Debbie Girdlestone on: 07824 541 198 or by email at:

Watch a video about the Human Metabolism Research Unit:


The Human Metabolism Research Unit has been jointly funded by UHCW and WMS. With £1 million from UHCW and a £900,000 contribution from WMS of which a £740,000 funding grant for Translational Medicine was awarded through the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA). The Translational Medicine project is part of a larger investment by Advantage West Midlands in the research infrastructur of the West Midlands Region which unites the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham in a strategic research partnership SCRA, formed under the Birmingham Science City initiative.