That's the thinking behind a new institute set to be launched at The University of Nottingham that brings engineers, physicists, biologists and chemists together under one roof.
The Institute of Biophysics, Imaging and Optical Science (IBIOS) will develop novel imaging technologies using state-of-the-art equipment and use them to solve biological problems. The research could cover any biological system at any scale — from molecules to cells to whole tissue samples.
The institute will be home to a range of optical microscopy equipment and scanning probe systems, including a new scanning conductance ion microscope. Biological and chemical lab facilities will also be available. Software, hardware and silicon chip engineering facilities will allow researchers to build custom-made cameras, and develop systems designed to tackle specific biological problems.
One example of interdisciplinary research within IBIOS is the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Basic Technology Programme — Attogram. Under Attogram, IBIOS is developing new technologies for screening a range of diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), in collaboration with Exeter University. Screening COPD requires the testing of a large number of chemical markers simultaneously. The new system has unique chemistry, which attaches the biological markers to a sensor surface. Specially-designed optics can then interrogate large arrays of these bio-chemicals. Detection of the optical signals from the sensor surface has involved the development of novel camera technologies based on very large scale integration.
IBIOS was formed from two existing groups; the Cell Biophysics Group headed by Professor Paul O'Shea, which is part of the School of Biology; and the Applied Optics Group headed by Professor Mike Somekh in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The institute has also appointed two RCUK Academic Research Fellows in functional imaging, Dr Noah Russell and Dr Mark Pitter. These permanent positions are funded jointly by the University and the Research Councils. A masters research degree in biophotonics will be launched later this year.
“The philosophy of the institute combines state-of-the-art developments in optical imaging technology with curiosity-driven research into cellular biology,” said Prof O'Shea. “The key problems facing us in the investigation of the cell arise from the need to extract more quantitative information from biological systems. As the technology required to obtain this information is simply not available its development and application provides one of the major scientific and technological challenges for the future.”
“The institute provides an environment in which researchers from a range of disciplines can work in a close-knit community, with integrated facilities, with a shared research agenda. This is key to a successful interdisciplinary research programme.”
IBIOS has been funded by grants from EPSRC, RCUK, the European Union, the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche.
The official launch of the Institute of Biophysics Imaging and Optical Science will take place on April 11 at the School of Biology. Speakers will discuss some of the rewards and pitfalls of working across the physical-biological science boundary. These include Professor Sir Colin Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof David Delpy FRS, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Dr Jonathan Allis, Global Head of Imaging Technology at GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics.
Emma Thorne | alfa
New dental implant with built-in reservoir reduces risk of infections
18.01.2017 | KU Leuven
Many muons: Imaging the underground with help from the cosmos
19.12.2016 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences