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About us

Dr Margaret Saunders - Head of BIRCHBIRCH logo

I joined the Biophysics Research Unit within the Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering after completing my first degree in Applied Biology. In March 2004, I took over as Biophysics Group Head following the retirement of Professor Alan Preece.  

During this time we established the Bristol Initiative for Research of Child Health (BIRCH) which was involved in the study of environmental toxin exposure and child health, specialising in both in vitro and ex vivo placental barrier models. The research focussed on the mechanisms of placental transfer and toxicity of chemicals to which the mother may be exposed during pregnancy.


With clinically relevant research a priority for the Trust, we decided to merge the Biophysics Research Unit and the Clinical Engineering Group in April 2012 to form the Bioengineering, Innovation and Research Hub, giving BIRCH a new identity and logo to reflect the breadth of expertise and knowledge encompassed by the new team. 

Combining the strengths of the team which cover a broad range from fundamental laboratory skills to clinical applications, high level computer diagnostics and clinical trials, we are in an excellent position to act as a hub for research, innovation and development within the Division of Diagnostics and Therapies. This will help to ensure our contribution to the high quality research that takes place within this Trust for direct patient benefit.

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