New scanning electron microscope for Brookes

Friday, 20 December 2013

Trypanosoma brucei

Oxford Brookes, in partnership with the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University, has been awarded funding to buy a scanning electron microscope.

Researchers in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences (BMS) won £749,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for a new high resolution scanning electron microscope. The grant was one of only 20 successful bids nationwide.

This award reflects the commitment that the BBSRC has shown over the last few years in support of high quality cell biology research at Brookes.

Professor Chris Hawes, Research Lead in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

The facility will give BMS researchers access to state-of the-art technology for the production of extremely high resolution 3-dimensional images of cell structure. It will support cell biology research at Oxford Brookes and Oxford University, plus the UK plant cell biology research communities.

Professor Chris Hawes, Research Lead in the Department of Biological & Medical Sciences commented: “This award to Sue Vaughan [Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology] and myself reflects the commitment that the BBSRC has shown over the last few years in support of high quality cell biology research at Brookes.”

In total, the BBSRC is investing £10 million in advanced scientific research instruments to help keep the UK at the forefront of biological sciences research.

The grants from the Advanced Life Sciences Research Technology Initiative (ALERT 13) represent the first major equipment purchasing grant scheme from BBSRC since 2007.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: “This funding represents a significant investment in advanced equipment for UK scientists and underlines BBSRC’s commitment to making sure its research community has the best resources to continue to undertake world-leading research.”

Another successful application for a grant under the ALERT13 umbrella was also submitted by Brookes’ collaborators at the Lasers for Science Facility (LSF) at Harwell, part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Central Laser Facility.

This was for a high resolution fluorescence microscope system. The application was supported by researchers in BMS with John Runions, Reader in Cell and Molecular Biology, a co-investigator on the application. The plant cell biologists in BMS will have access to this microscope and to all the other microscope facilities at the LSF through a four year STFC Programme Access grant held by Chris Hawes.

The photo shows a three dimensional reconstruction of the mammalian parasite Trypanosoma brucei made by Dr Louise Hughes.