Supporting the biomedical community with quality, integrity and expertise
Public Health England (PHE) was established by the United Kingdom’s government on 1 April 2013 to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and to reduce inequalities. As an independent component of the UK’s Department of Health PHE is now responsible for all the health protection activities that were previously undertaken by the Health Protection Agency.
Public health is about helping people to stay healthy, and protecting them from threats to their health. The UK government wants everyone to be able to make healthier choices, regardless of their circumstances, and to minimise the risk and impact of illness.
PHE will be judged by its ability to reduce the impact of common causes of ill-health and premature death such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. One of PHE’s first projects involves setting up the world's largest single database of cancer patients, thereby harnessing data to improve care. A campaign to increase the uptake of the MMR vaccine, to reduce the impact of measles, mumps and rubella, is already underway.
The Culture Collections, operated by PHE, provide cell cultures and microorganisms for use in a vast array of activities that contribute to improvements in human health. Scientists across the world use PHE Culture Collection materials to determine the effects of drugs, cosmetics, radiation, viruses, chemical and biological weapons, pesticides and household chemicals on human cells. Culture Collection cells and microorganisms are also used worldwide as controls for diagnostic and antimicrobial susceptibility tests and for developing vaccines, anti-cancer drugs and treatments for metabolic diseases.
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