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Confocal microscope image showing neuronal cell culture (S. Wonnacott)
Confocal microscope image showing neuronal cell culture (S. Wonnacott)

Internal News - 31 October 2005

New bio-imaging suite for University

The University of Bath has won a £500,000 grant from the Wellcome Trust to fund the creation of a bio-imaging suite as part of the Centre for Electron Optical Studies.

Together with additional funding from the University, the money will be invested in a new confocal microscope, a FACS machine and a technician to support the service for the next three years.

The departments of Pharmacy & Pharmacology and Biology & Biochemistry, led by Professors Steve Ward and Sue Wonnacott (and closely involving their colleagues Melanie Welham, Geoff Holman, Robert Kelsh and Ian Jones), collaborated on the grant application, but the new suite will also support research projects in other departments.

The equipment will enable researchers to build up detailed 3D pictures of cell organelles and examine ‘live’ cells through a new incubation system. This will help them to study cellular changes over time, and will be put to use in projects investigating inflammatory diseases, stem cell biology and diabetes, as well as research areas including neuroscience and developmental biology.

”We will be one of the only universities in the UK to have an imaging facility that incorporates confocal with electron microscopy,” said Professor Steve Ward from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

“Together with the range of ancillary services available through the Centre, this will be an impressive facility for researchers throughout the region to use.”

Professor Sue Wonnacott, from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, said: “The equipment will be of tremendous use to researchers examining what goes on in cells and how they respond over time - not just those working at the University but those in nearby institutions who would like access to this state of the art equipment will also benefit.

“We hope the bio-imaging suite will be the catalyst for getting further grant support for additional imaging equipment, as well as generating income for the University in due course.”

The new equipment is expected to be in place by the end of January 2006.