The University of Westminster has appointed leading researcher in obesity and metabolism Professor Jimmy Bell, boosting the strength of its Department of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Technology as a centre of research excellence.

Professor Bell has joined the University of Westminster to direct the new Research Centre for Optimal Health (ReCOH), which aims to create a partnership between basic research, imaging, computing and psychology to determine the molecular and physiological events that lead to attainment and maintenance of optimal health. By taking a multidisciplinary approach the ReCOH provides further research interface between basic and applied science at the University of Westminster. The ReCOH will position itself at the forefront of international research in Optimal Health, driving innovative research towards an understanding of optimal health at all stages of adult life. In his new role, Professor Bell will be responsible for leading the research group, drawing together his professional experience and research with the considerable expertise of the academics at the Department of Life Sciences.

Professor Bell spent almost 15 years at the Imperial College London where he previously worked as Group Head of Metabolic and Molecular Imaging Research before taking his current post at the University of Westminster. He specialises in obesity and metabolism and has worked extensively on the development and application of in vivo methodologies for the study of disease development, demonstrating for the first time the importance of the interaction between genes and the environment in obesity.

Professor Geoffrey Petts, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Westminster, said: “Professor Bell’s passion and vast experience in the fields of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and molecular imaging will provide a breadth of knowledge fundamental to developing the new Research Centre for Optimal Health. I am confident that he will be a strong addition to our Faculty, further reinforcing our reputation as a centre of research excellence and interdisciplinarity.”

Professor Jimmy Bell, Director of ReCOH, says: “As a centre of research excellence with esteemed academics, the University of Westminster is the perfect location to create the Research Centre for Optimal Health. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning the development and maintenance of optimal health is vitally important and critical for tackling obesity, type II diabetes and the process of accelerated-ageing.

I look forward to working with such a thriving group of academics, postgraduates and students at the University focussing on the challenges and opportunities that such an intricate field of science can offer.”

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Westminster provides a rich portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, which focus on both mainstream and specialist subjects such as applied Biotechnology and Medical Molecular Biology. The Faculty is a centre of research excellence in Life Sciences, with expertise extending to biotechnology, human performance, public health nutrition and wellbeing. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the technical knowledge and practical skills that meet the needs of industry, research and further study.

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