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Steve Ward
Photo by Nic Delves Broughton, University Photographer

Internal News - 15 January 2008

Bioimaging facilities extended thanks to new grant

Researchers have been awarded new funding that will extend and develop the range of imaging facilities in the University’s Bioimaging Suite in the Centre for Electron Optical Studies.

The £95k grant from the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council will be used to purchase an MSD SI6000 mutli-array system which will allow researchers to detect up to 10 different molecular and cellular signalling ‘events’ simultaneously in single samples.

The technology will be put to use in research investigating the regulation of the immune and nervous systems as well as cell metabolism and tissue development and regeneration.

The application involved researchers from the departments of Pharmacy & Pharmacology (Professor Steve Ward, Professor Melanie Welham, Dr Andy Watts and Dr Amanda Mackenzie) and Biology & Biochemistry (Professor Sue Wonnacott, Professor Geoff Holman and Dr David Tosh).

“Analysis of molecular and cellular events is crucial in modern life sciences research,” said Professor Steve Ward who led the grant application.

“It helps us to achieve a better understanding of fundamental biological processes and the changes that characterise associated disease states. It is also important for the development of new therapeutics.”

The MSD SI16000 is a state-of-the art instrument that few academic institutions have access to at the present time. It will provide an unprecedented level of sensitivity for detecting cellular changes, coupled with high throughput capacity, as the system can ‘read’ from 96 samples simultaneously.

“This successful grant reflects the strength, depth and quality of cross-department collaborations within the University in life sciences research,” said Professor Ward.

“Moreover it would not have been awarded without the commitment of the University to contribute towards the purchase and installation of this equipment.

“Its location in the Bioimaging Suite will make it available to all researchers in the University."