Universities join forces for multi-million-pound investment in new facility

A state-of-the-art microscopy facility has been launched following a successful bid by the Universities of Warwick, Nottingham and Birmingham, led by the University of Leicester.

The total investment exceeds £6m, with £3.7m from the Medical Research Council. The four partner universities will provide the remaining funds, with the University of Warwick contributing £460,000

As part of the investment, a new cryo transmission electron microscope will be placed in the Advanced Bioimaging Research Technology Platform, located within Warwick’s School of Life Sciences.

The microscope will deliver high quality images of cellular structures, and 3D images of biological samples including viruses, bacteria and mammalian tissue.

Dr Corinne Smith, director of the Advanced Bioimaging Research Technology Platform at Warwick’s School of life Sciences, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to develop new high resolution structural biology projects – both at Warwick and within the Midlands CryoEM partnership – and to resolve previously challenging samples at near-atomic resolution detail.”

Professor Mohan Balasubramanian from Warwick Medical School said: “This is a brilliant development with far reaching potential. Warwick has already gained international recognition in advanced light microscopy and this state-of-the-art cryo-EM facility will synergize well and greatly strengthen our leading position in molecular and cellular structural biology.”

Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Warwick, commented:

“This investment will further our outstanding of interdisciplinary scientific research that operates at the forefront of knowledge and drives both research and research-oriented teaching. The successful bid demonstrates Warwick’s ongoing commitment to investing in ways of working integral to our research and is another collab orative project with our Midlands Innovation partners.”

The Cryo-EM facility will bring cutting-edge research technologies to the Midlands and represents another successful collaboration within the Midlands Innovation group.