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Biosciences boost at Brunel

Farm-bound sludge teems with tiny plastic fibres

Professor Sir David Weatherall, Regius Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founder of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford, opened Brunel University's new biosciences laboratories this Thursday (May 20 2010).

The new facilities include wet science laboratories and a Category III containment facility primarily designed to conduct research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, malaria and HIV-1.

The facility will be at the hub of research activities in the newly created Centre for Infection, Immunity and Disease Mechanisms, in the School of Health Sciences and Social Care.

Referring to the problems facing researchers in biomedical sciences overall at Brunel, Sir David said, “The cancer field alone has developed enormously, and there are new infections all the time, many of which we don't understand.“

Sir David also viewed the School's latest piece of technology, the Image Stream, produced by Amnis, believed to be the only such Imaging Flow Cytometer currently in the UK.

He spoke with postdoctoral researcher Dr Emma Bourton who is using the equipment in a project with Dr Nick Plowman, Head of Radiotherapy at London's Barts Hospital, to identify patients who could be at risk of having severe side-effects to radiotherapy, due to their genetic make-up.