The Quadram Institute

Work has started on a new £multi-million food and health research centre that will become the state-of-the-art home for the new Quadram Institute (
As a first step to realising the ambition of the Quadram Institute, IFR has realigned its science strategy to deliver to the vision of the new Institute.  In preparation for the full opening of the Quadram Institute in mid-2018, IFR will become Quadram Institute Bioscience on April 28th 2017. Its company number remains the same as does the registered office until it moves to the new building mid-2018.

The Quadram Institute is at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health. It will develop solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health, and bring together the interdisciplinary teams and work with appropriate international organisations to address these major issues.

It will bring together research teams from the Institute of Food Research (IFR), with others from the University of East Anglia, as well as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals’ regional gastrointestinal endoscopy unit. The new institute is being funded by these partners and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Clinicians will work alongside scientists conducting fundamental and applied research in a new single purpose-built, state-of-the-art building. Genome scientists, microbiologists, immunologists, gut biologists, mathematicians, clinicians, food scientists and nutritionists will link with each other across the fundamental and translational research pipeline: from lab to bedside, food to plate, and diet to health to deliver scientifically-validated and clinically-tested strategies to improve human health and wellbeing throughout life.

The new Institute will build on recent understanding of how food and the gut microbes interact, which is creating a fundamental shift in the way we understand and address the impact of food on health.

The Quadram Institute
The Quadram Institute will be an international hub for food and health research working across four themes: the gut and the microbiome; healthy ageing; food innovation; and food safety.  It is perfectly positioned to harness leading-edge technologies to help tackle these problems by offering:

A cross-disciplinary approach combining fundamental and clinical research with mathematical biology and genetics, to understand the complex interactions between the human microbiome and our physiology and health, working closely with industry and all on one research park in Norwich.

World-class expertise in the physical and chemical composition of foods, digestive processes and how food components interact with our bodies to maintain and promote health.

A translational pipeline that exploits advances in plant and crop genetics to make new foods with health-promoting properties.

Food safety expertise helping to keep our food supply chain safe from contaminating microbes, from soil to plate, and reduce the risk and impact of foodborne pathogens. 

Co-located with the John Innes Centre, world leaders in plant, crop and microbial science and The Earlham Institute with its leading-edge genomics technologies and mathematical biology expertise. This facilitates research from fundamental science on crop genetics through to the development of novel foods with scientifically validated health benefits: a plant-food-health pathway that’s unique both in the UK and the rest of the world.

A 21st Century approach to the global challenge of food and health

Poor diet is one of the biggest global contributors to early death. Food-related illnesses are a worldwide problem, causing over 350 million deaths each year.

Gut microbes are becoming a significant area of medicine and health, although their full role is not yet understood.

Chronic, diet-related disease costs the UK £5.1billion per annum in direct health costs and is estimated to cost the wider economy around £16  billion every year. This figure is predicted to rise to £50 billion by 2050 if no action is taken.

The Quadram Institute will capitalise on the world-class bioscience cluster based at the Norwich Research Park.  It brings together research teams from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School and Faculty of Science with the Norfolk and Norwich University  Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s regional gastrointestinal endoscopy facility, working with forward-thinking scientific collaborators and investors.

  • The Institute of Food Research –  the UK’s only basic science Institute focused on food, health and the gut.
  • The University of East Anglia – ranked in the Top 1% of world universities, according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2015-16.
  • The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) – One of the 15 largest teaching hospital trusts in the UK, with state of the art facilities, providing a regional bowel cancer screening programme and amongst the biggest colorectal surgery and gastrointestinal endoscopy services in Europe.

The Quadram Institute will be at the heart of the Norwich Research Park, a community of over 3,000 scientists working in world class institutes, collectively offering a truly holistic, interdisciplinary approach to translating excellent fundamental science into pioneering solutions for health.

Innovation & translation

The Quadram Institute will be housed in a new building designed to foster scientific collaboration among scientists from different disciplines, working closely with industry, to accelerate translation of fundamental science to benefit consumers, patients and the bioeconomy.

The building will provide an important service to gastrointestinal endoscopy patients. Having this facility in the same building allows for close collaboration with researchers studying gut health.

The new Institute will have a clinical research unit run by the NNUH including purpose-built clinical trials and assessment rooms, participants’ lounge, kitchen and dining space alongside laboratory and supporting rooms. It will provide excellent facilities for trials with human participants, critical for understanding links between food and health, generating scientific evidence for health claims and accelerating innovation in food and therapies.


The gut and the microbiome, healthy ageing, food innovation and food safety

  •  Enhancing quality traits in cereals for improving human health.
  • Improving knowledge about how the active ingredients of plants maintain and improve human health, and can prevent the onset and progression of chronic disease.
  • Establishment of a healthy population of gut microbes in early life.
  • Understanding how gut microbes influence organs beyond the gut, including the brain. Understanding how the malfunction of gut microbes contributes to chronic disease.
  • Developing new forms of therapies that target dysfunctional gut microbes to treat gut-related diseases
  • Revealing how the interaction between food and gut microbes contributes to appetite control.
  • Preventing infectious foodborne pathogens from entering the food chain.
  • Clinical trials to validate health claims for novel products.
  • Working with the commercial sector to ensure translation of our fundamental science to benefit patients, consumers and the wider society.

The Quadram Institute will also house the UK’s national food composition datasets (the foundation of the McCance & Widdowson directory) and will be home to the UK’s National Collection of Yeast Cultures, with over 4000 yeast strains for use by academics and industry.


Delivering a step change for food and health research and the translation of benefit to the UK economy and society

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