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Researching healthy choices

Southampton Science Park is pleased to welcome the Centre for Health & Research Education (CHRE) to the Innovation Centre. Formed by medical doctors in 2019, CHRE aims to bridge the gap between policy and practice.

The company is founded on the belief that health is a result of lifestyle choices people make and are advised on by experts. Therefore, where there are research and evidence gaps regarding ‘unhealthy behaviours’, those gaps need to be plugged by all the stakeholder groups that have a vested interest in improving public health. CHRE is advocating and enabling such research and helping to shape policy accordingly.

CHRE’s current focus areas are smoking cessation and obesity prevention; both of which have significant global impacts.

The role of inflammatory processes due to excessive fat is now well characterised and correlated to at least 12 cancers, making obesity the second-most preventable cause of cancer.

At the same time, tobacco toxicants can kill more than 50% of users, yet usage persists. In the UK, the Government has an ambition for a ‘smoke-free England’ by 2030 (that is, with less than 5% of regular adult smokers) but currently, more than 6 million adults (14%) here smoke cigarettes regularly. Research suggests that this could dramatically increase as a result of covid-related anxieties and isolation, with 11 million more ex-smokers at risk of relapsing.  

Jane Holt, Science Park Business Development Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome CHRE to the Southampton Science Park community. The company’s work is a perfect example of activities conducted here: new, practical approaches that go beyond the theoretical to practical policy which aims to tackle some of the biggest challenges in society today.”

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