University of Manchester, Boots and No7 beauty company secure multi-million-pound funding for inclusive dermatology research programme
The University of Manchester (UoM), Boots and No7 Beauty Company have secured Prosperity Partnerships funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to support research advancing understanding of skin health and ensuring inclusivity for all.
The multi-million-pound research partnership, known as Project Spectrum, seeks to redress a historical imbalance in the existing body of skin research, which previously focused on lighter skin tones, with darker skin tones underrepresented or overlooked completely. The ambitious research project will explore how skin structure, function and response to sunlight is influenced by melanin, the pigment determining skin colour, with the goal of delivering effective skincare solutions that are fit for purpose and address the needs of all people, setting a new standard for inclusivity.
Project Spectrum builds on an existing, highly successful, 15-year research collaboration between No7 Beauty Company, Boots and UoM that has made significant advances in the science of skin structural remodelling linked to environmental and age-related damage. The partnership has produced over 100 scientific publications and enabled new skincare solutions for skin health and ageing to reach UK consumers. The Prosperity Partnerships funding represents an exciting evolution of this collaboration, uniting national and international experts in skin biology, photobiology, and skin gerontology.
Dr Abigail Langton, Lecturer in Ethnic Skin and Principal Investigator on Project Spectrum, is enthusiastic about the initiative: “The UoM’s Centre for Dermatology Research boasts an outstanding track record in fundamental skin research. Our longstanding partnership with Boots and No7 Beauty Company has allowed us to not only delve into the intricacies of skin science but also deliver tangible benefits to consumers through clinical translational research."
She adds, “Through Project Spectrum, we aim to break new ground in the exploration of skin, building both capacity and capability in skin research and fostering a more holistic and inclusive approach to dermatological research”.
The University’s Centre for Dermatology Research boasts an outstanding track record in fundamental skin research. Our longstanding partnership with Boots and No7 Beauty Company has allowed us to not only delve into the intricacies of skin science but also deliver tangible benefits to consumers through clinical translational research.
Dr Mike Bell, Head of Science Research at Boots and No7 Beauty Company said: “We are very grateful to UKRI and the BBSRC for supporting this exciting research programme. With our world leading scientific partners at The University of Manchester we will develop a much better understanding of the similarities and differences in skin across the pigmentary spectrum allowing for more inclusive product design, and ultimately more effective solutions for everyone.”
This collaborative effort is poised to redefine the future of skin health research, pushing boundaries, and paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable approach to skin care.
The University of Manchester was also successful in securing Prosperity Partnerships funding with Shell Research Limited and is co-leading a third with University College London.