Imperial College London

Visualising Imperial’s international research connections


Map of research

A few weeks ago, President Alice Gast gave her annual address on the theme of internationalism.

In the address, President Gast said: "Our international community, our collaborations, our partnerships, and our own experiences in other cultures and places have an immeasurable and profound effect on the world."

Much of Imperial’s research is dependent on international talent, collaboration with other institutions from Europe and beyond, and funding from agencies such as the European Research Council and World Health Organisation.

Over the past decade, we have collectively collaborated with peers in 192 countries and more than half (56%) of our research papers have had international co-authors.

Using interactive maps, we take a closer look at some of the research groups producing breakthroughs that are benefiting society locally, regionally and throughout the world:

Biosensors: Professor Molly Stevens

Prof Molly Stevens
Professor Molly Stevens leads a research group of academics from over 25 countries

Professor Molly Stevens is one of the world’s leading biomaterials scientists.

Professor Stevens leads a research group made up of academics from over 25 countries - from six continents.

Together they use transformative bioengineering approaches that will overcome severe limitations in current materials in two main areas: Biosensing and Regenerative Medicine.

A key focus is on understanding and engineering the biomaterial interface using innovative designs and state of the art materials characterisation methods.

The Stevens group uses highly multidisciplinary approaches and comprises bioengineers, material scientists, chemists, surgeons and biologists.

Some of the countries represented in her group include: Italy, France, China, USA, Singapore, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal, Colombia and Spain

Molly Stevens research map

Chemical technology: Professor Jason Hallett

Professor Jason Hallett
Professor Jason Hallett's group has scientists of 14 different nationalities

Professor Jason Hallett is a chemical engineer who focuses on biofuels, sustainable chemical feedstocks, vaccine manufacturing and waste recycling.

"By far the easiest way to cross-fertilise ideas is to hire people from other places, especially those with different research backgrounds." Professor Jason Hallett Chem

Professor Hallett grew up in the USA and his group has scientists of 14 different nationalities.

Professor Jason Hallett's research group benefit from the new ideas, contacts and cultural understandings of scientists from many different countries.

Their BioFlex process transforms waste wood into material for fuel and when they couldn’t find the right hard wood in Europe, a fellow PhD student helped source it from China.

Jason Hallett's research

Public health: Professor Elio Riboli

Professor Elio Riboli
Professor Elio Riboli is leading one of the largest cancer cohort studies in the world

Professor Elio Riboli from the School of Public Health is leading one of the largest cancer cohort studies in the world following more than half a million participants from 10 European countries for over 20 years.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is showing that a diet based on fruit, vegetables, whole grains and moderate consumption of poultry and fish reduces risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

EPIC has centres in 10 European countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The project is part funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Health and the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Elio Riboli's research map

Cancer surgery: Professor Zoltan Takats

Professor Zoltan Takats
Professor Zoltan Takats says that his European funding helped drive his research forward

Imperial brought together scientists from all over the world to develop an "intelligent knife", called the iKnife, that can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous or not. It has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Professor Zoltan Takats, who invented a technology to analyse surgical smoke in great detail, started initial work to see if the iKnife could tell the difference between healthy tissue samples and breast cancer in the controlled setting of the lab.

The team trained computer programs by using the iKnife on hundreds of tumour samples taken from surgery.

The team built a molecular library that means the iKnife can accurately tell the difference between a tumour sample and a healthy one. They are now carrying out trials.

Professor Takats said: "European funding and collaboration has helped drive my research forward.”

iknife research map

Artificial Intelligence: Professor Yike Guo

Professor Yike Guo
Professor Yike Guo is the Director of Imperial's Data Science Institute

The Data Science Institute is one of Imperial’s six Global Institutes, created to address some of the most important issues facing the world today. The Institute is led by Professor Yike Guo who came to Imperial from Tsinghua University, China to study a PhD.

Professor Guo is investigating the links between population behaviour and infrastructure in China.

His team of researchers are monitoring passenger flow on Shanghai’s Metro and other rail networks across the country.

By collecting second-by-second data at every single station, they can build up a picture of how the network behaves, and suggest improvements

Data Science Institute research map



Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
School of Public Health

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Europe, President, Strategy-collaboration, International
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