Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The (Cell) Matrix Reloaded

12.09.2005


A world-class research facility investigating diseases such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer has been awarded a further £3 million to continue its groundbreaking work.



The University of Manchester’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research has had its core grant renewed – securing infrastructure funding for the next five years.

The Centre, one of only five such Wellcome Trust-funded facilities in the UK and the only one in its field, is home to 21 independent research groups and a total of 170 scientists.


Established in 1995, the Centre is an interdisciplinary research hub whose long-term aims are to clarify the structure and function of extracellular matrices and cellular adhesion.

“The cell matrix is the material in the body in between the cells,” explained Professor Martin Humphries, Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Centre’s Director.

“Only two per cent of our body is made up of cells, the rest is the material that endows elastic tissue, bone tissue, ligaments and tendons with their physical and functional properties – that’s what we call the matrix.

“Our research aims to define the contribution of cell interactions with matrices to human diseases, and develop approaches for preventing and treating those diseases.

“For instance, there is currently enormous interest in developing ways to modify stem cells for treating joint diseases and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but we believe it is critical to give those cells the right environment in which to live.

“Since cells are closely integrated with their surrounding matrix, when regenerating tissues it is logical to provide cells with the correct niche to help them develop in the right way. That’s where our research into the cell matrix comes in.”

“The work done here impinges on virtually all human diseases, although we have specific interests in cancer, vascular disease and osteoarthritis.

“In cancer, we are looking at the role adhesion plays in regulating tumour spread, while with osteoarthritis we are looking to replace damaged cartilage.

“The research where we’re closest to clinical trials, perhaps as soon as next year, is vascular engineering where we want to replace vessels affected by vascular disease.”

The Centre, which is based in the new, state-of-the-art Michael Smith Building, boasts one of the world’s best collection of scientists in this field; the grant, says Professor Humphries, will help facilitate their pioneering work for a further five years.

“Securing this core funding for a third time is a major accomplishment, and it will allow us to secure new equipment and to cover the salaries of key support staff,” he said.

“The core award helps provide the infrastructure necessary to carry out all of our specific project research. These projects are supported by £30 million worth of research grants, two-thirds of which are funded by the Wellcome Trust.”

Notizen für den Editor
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research was established with an initial Wellcome Trust grant of £2.2 million. This was reviewed in 2000 when a further grant of £3.8 million was awarded. This latest £3.1 million grant is a result of a successful second review carried out on 12 May, 2005.

The Centre is part of the University’s Faculty of Life Sciences, one of the largest and most successful unified research and teaching organisations of its kind in Europe with more than 1,000 researchers, 1,500 undergraduate students and an annual budget of more than £100 million.

In January 2004, the Centre moved to the new Michael Smith Building, named after a former graduate of the University and 1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. This building, which was funded in part by a £15 million JIF grant from the Wellcome Trust and the UK Government, provides outstanding laboratory accommodation for the Centre and facilitates access to a wide range of core equipment facilities, including mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography and fluorescence microscopy. The Centre occupies about 25 per cent of the total floor space of the building.

There are currently 21 independent investigators within the Centre, with expertise ranging from structure determination to whole organism genetics, from molecular biophysics to molecular imaging in living cells. Currently, the Centre houses 170 researchers, including 50 postgraduate research students.

Research into osteoarthritis at the University can be traced back to 1953 with the appointment of Britain’s first professor of rheumatology, Jonas Kellgren.

The University of Manchester, created from the merger of The Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST in October 2004, is the UK’s largest university with 9,000 staff and 28,802 full-time-equivalent students and an annual income of almost £500 million.

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Press Office
Faculty of Life Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 8383
Mob: +44 (0)7717 881 563
Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/press/title,41223,en.htm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>