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Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell opening the Bioimaging Suite with Professor Steve Ward
Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell opening the Bioimaging Suite with Professor Steve Ward
Photo by Nic Delves Broughton, University Photographer

Internal News - 10 January 2007

New imaging facility opened

More than £500,000 of cutting-edge imaging equipment was unveiled by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, at the official opening of the University of Bath’s new Bioimaging Suite today.

The facility, which includes two confocal laser scanning microscopes, a bench-top flow cytometer and a calcium imaging instrument, will enable researchers to create detailed 3D pictures of cell organelles and to examine ‘live’ cells through incubation systems that facilitate the study of cellular changes over time.

The instruments will be put to use in projects investigating inflammatory diseases, stem cell biology and diabetes, as well as in research areas including neuroscience and developmental biology.

With the opening of the suite, the University of Bath becomes one of the few universities in the UK to have an imaging facility that incorporates confocal with electron microscopy.

The suite has been funded through a £500,000 award from the Wellcome Trust and additional support from the University and equipment manufacturers Zeiss.

“We hope the new suite will foster collaborations between members of the research community throughout the University,” said Professor Steve Ward, one of the successful applicants who applied for the Wellcome funding.

“The intention for the Bioimaging Suite is that it will develop further in the future, and that its opening will act as a catalyst for the continued growth and development of first class research at the University.”

Speaking at the New frontiers in cellular imaging conference which was held at the University to mark the opening of the suite today, Professor George Lunt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Thanks should go to the researchers who put the vision for the Bioimaging Suite together and were responsible for spearheading this very successful effort.

“This facility is not for imaging in a single University department; it cuts right across the traditional disciplinary boundaries and I am pleased that we have a central interdisciplinary facility around which members of the research community can interact with each other.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Breakwell said: “The Bioimaging Suite will give users across the University access to a state of the art facility with tremendous technical support.

“We can expect significant success in the coming years, and it is a delight to open the facility today.”

The researchers who spearheaded the application for funding include Professors Sue Wonnacott and Geoff Holman (both Biology & Biochemistry) and Professors Melanie Welham and Steve Ward (Pharmacy & Pharmacology).

The Bioimaging Suite is based within the University’s Centre for Electron Optical Studies. It is hoped that the conference which marks the opening of the new suite, and highlights emerging areas of imaging technology, will be repeated in the future.

Adrian Rogers, an experienced microscopist who has worked for the University for more than 26 years, has taken up the position of experimental officer in the Bioimaging Suite; a position that was funded as part of the successful Wellcome grant application.