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University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UNEW)

Location : Newcastle / UK
Leader : N/A
Website :

- Short description of the institution:

The University of Newcastle upon Tyne traces its origins to the School of Medicine and Surgery, established in 1834. Once part of the federal University of Durham, it was established in its own right in 1963. The University is one of the UK's leading research institutions. The academic structure of the University is cent red around three faculties: Humanities and Social Sciences; Medical Sciences and; Science, Agriculture and Engineering. The Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences occupies newly refurbished space within the Medical Sciences building. The formation of the Institute brought together research staff from Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Physiology. The UK Research Assessment Exercise identified Newcastle as one of only three universities to achieve the maximum (5**) rating for Biological Sciences. The Institute consists of 43 academic staff, with 9 members holding Fellowships. In addition, the Institute has 6 Senior Research Associates, 46 Research Associates, 7 Junior Research Associates, 29 Technical support staff, and over 100 postgraduate research students.

- Description of the different units involved in the project/ Competences of the team in the project:

The Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences' Molecular Microbiology Group has expertise in a variety of microbiological disciplines, including microbial physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, the analysis of transcriptomic and proteomic data, and the modelling of regulatory pathways. The Institute also includes:

The Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology , directed by Prof. Jeff Errington, which uses an array of biochemical, genetical and microscopic methods to study bacterial cell division, chromosome segregation, and the control of bacterial cell shape .

The Proteomics and Molecular Biology Unit that provides facilities for gel-based and liquid chromatography (LC)-based proteomics, whole protein MS (LTQ-FT MS) and protein identification MS (MALDI-TOF MS with protease fragmentation), LC-MS applications, protein and DNA sequencing.

The Bioinformatics Support Unit that has workstations and access to servers for analysing large data sets, associated with the analysis of transcriptomic and proteomic data.

Protein X-ray crystallography was introduced at the start of 2004 and there are state-of-the-art facilities for functional studies of membrane and epithelial cells, which include isolated membrane and whole cell patch-clamp for studying ion channels and intracellular pH, and calcium imaging using fluorescent dyes. Protein targeting and function studies are facilitated by dedicated confocal laser scanning microscopy facilities, while live cell imaging facilities include 10 epifluorescent microscopes with image analysis, low-light level wide-field fluorescent time-lapse facilities, confocal microscopy, multiphoton microscopy and evanescent wave technology. Finally, there is local access to other facilities including: DNA array technology, flow cytometry, Biacore surface plasmon resonance, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy and clean rooms for nanotechnology related research.

- Key persons involved in BaSysBio:

Pr. Colin R Harwood holds a Chair in Molecular Microbiology in the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences. He is leader of the Molecular Microbiology Group and has more than 30 years of expertise in the field of Bacillus microbial genetics, physiology and gene expression. The major research topics of the group are: (i) protein secretion from B. subtilis ; (ii) functional analysis of B. subtilis genes; (iii) regulatory networking. Pr. Harwood was involved in the joint European/Japanese B. subtilis genome sequencing and functional analysis programmes and was a founder member of the EU-funded European Bacillus Secretion Group. He has coordinated EU RTD projects in FP5 and FP6 on bacterial responses to environmental stress.

Dr Anil Wipat is Reader in Bioinformatics in the School of Computing Science. The current focus of his research is predicated on: (i) The growing importance of object-orientation; (ii) The need for object-oriented databases; (iii) The need to exploit parallelism to achieve desired performance levels for large applications. The Grid is becoming increasingly important as an infrastructure to support the E-scientist, providing the (parallel) computing and data resources necessary to enable the e-scientist to use, generate and share information. Helping to provide and support this infrastructure, and conduct research into the way it can be used, are also important parts of the research undertaken in the Newcastle group

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