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Alex Baker part of team developing new diagnostic tool for rapid detection of Coronavirus

Alex Baker, an MIBTP 3rd year student, is part of a team at the University of Warwick who are developing a new diagnostic tool for rapid detection of Coronavirus. The tool, being developed by the The Gibson Lab at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with its partner Iceni Diagnostics, may allow on-the-spot detection of Coronavirus infection, without facilities using a simple disposal device using glycans (sugars) to detect the virus.

There is an urgent need for new diagnostics, especially those which give rapid results for screening of healthcare professions or for getting transportation, education and manufacturing hubs running again.

The diagnostic proof of principle has been demonstrated in initial studies, but the partnership is now searching for investment or philanthropic donors to take the concept forward.

Tue 16 Jun 2020, 11:38 | Tags: Entrepreneurship

Christian Møller-Olsen published paper

Christian Møller-Olsen, an MIBTP Warwick final year student, is the co-author of a new paper just published in Nature Scientific Reports titled “Bacteriophage K1F targets Escherichia coli K1 in cerebral endothelial cells and influences the barrier function”.

Thu 04 Jun 2020, 15:51 | Tags: publication

Rachael Grime published paper

University of Birmingham, final year MIBTP student, Rachael Grime has co-authored a paper as part of a collaboration that came from COMPARE (Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors) which is a partnership between the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham. COMPARE funded Rachael's visits to Nottingham so that she could take the technology from her home lab (solubilising GPCRs without detergents, using SMALPs) and apply it to be trained in a specialised microscopic technique (FCS) which is done in Nottingham. The resulting paper is titled: Single molecule binding of a ligand to a G-protein-coupled receptor in real time using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, rendered possible by nano-encapsulation in styrene maleic acid lipid particles. DOI:

Mon 01 Jun 2020, 10:33 | Tags: publication

Marisa Di Monaco published paper

Final year MIBTP University of Warwick student, Marisa Di Monaco, is one of the researchers who authored a paper which was published in Cell Reports on 26th May. In the paper, titled Regulation of Expression of Autophagy Genes by Atg8a-Interacting Partners Sequoia, YL-1, and Sir2 in Drosophila, the researchers have discovered proteins which are required for the transcription of autophagy genes.

Mon 01 Jun 2020, 10:22 | Tags: publication

Alex Seabright published paper

Alex Seabright, a final year MIBTP student based at the University of Birmingham, is 1st author on a recently published paper entitled: AMPK activation induces mitophagy and promotes mitochondrial fission while activating TBK1 in a PINK1‐Parkin independent manner. The paper was published in The FASEB Journal;

The press release associated with Alex's findings can be found on the University of Birmingham website.

Fri 15 May 2020, 15:04 | Tags: publication

Anna York Outstanding Student Contribution Award

Anna York, a recent MIBTP Warwick graduate, has been awarded an OSCA (Outstanding Student Contribution Award). The OSCAs recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of Warwick’s students. They not only excel academically, but also find the time to campaign for good causes, fundraise, start small business, and work with local charities.

Anna has been very active during her time at Warwick, both during her undergraduate studies and throughout her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biological Sciences.

Whilst studying for her Undergraduate degree, Anna, along with a group of fellow students, set up, a club for able-bodied and disabled young people aged 11 – 19, in Leamington Spa. Anna continued her commitment, whilst studying for her PhD, becoming President for a number of years. Central to the function of Phab, Anna undertook training, allowing her to work with the disabled and trained others in disability awareness, enhancing the capabilities of Warwick Youth Phab. The club provided and continues to provide, a fully inclusive environment in which young people are able to socialise with a wide range of activities.

Anna was on the organising committee for the Women in Science initiative as part of Athena Swann. Anna obtained funding and coordinated events, raising consciousness amongst the Warwick scientific community of the challenges faced by women in the pursuit of scientific careers.

In 2016 Anna volunteered for Warwick Marrow due to her awareness of the impact of those illnesses for which bone marrow donation is essential to treatment.

Anna’s postgraduate research relates to antibiotic resistance and as part of this drive to further awareness of antibiotic resistance she helped organise and run an antibiotic awareness day. Anna and some of her fellow postgraduates provided practical experience of microbiology and the basic science and issues surrounding antibiotic resistance to 233 Key Stage 3 pupils over two days at two schools. As a direct result of this outreach experience, Anna co-authored a published paper outlining the delivery and impact of this work.

Apart from these fantastic achievements, Anna also contributed to several other causes and activities on campus such as Staff Student Liaison Committee and worked as a resident tutor, supporting students as they make the transition from living at home to living and working as students.

Anna is continuing her research as a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale School of Public Health.

Tue 11 Feb 2020, 13:50 | Tags: award

Charlotte Cooper, first author publication

Charlotte Cooper, Birmingham MIBTP final year student, was published as a joint-first author in Molecular Microbiology on a paper entitled ‘The mycolic acid reductase Rv2509 has distinct structural motifs and is essential for growth in slow-growing mycobacteria.’ The publication details are as follows:

Javid, A., Cooper, C., Singh, A., Schindler, S., Hanisch, M., Marshall, R.L., Kalscheuer, R., Bavro, V.N. and Bhatt, A. (2019) The mycolic acid reductase Rv2509 has distinct structural motifs and is essential for growth in slow-growing mycobacteria. Molecular Microbiology

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 11:43 | Tags: publication

Dr Harun Rashid, published papers

Dr Harun Rashid, a graduate of the first cohort of MIBTP students, based at the University of Warwick, has recently published two papers as a result of his PhD research:

1.  Rashid, M.H.A., Cheng, W. and Thomas, B. 2019. Temporal and Spatial Expression of Arabidopsis Gene Homologs Control Daylength Adaptation and Bulb Formation in Onion (Allium cepa L.). Scientific Reports, 9: 14629. 

2.  Rashid, M.H.A. and Thomas, B. 2019. Diurnal Expression of Arabidopsis Gene Homologs during Daylength-Regulated Bulb Formation in Onion (Allium cepa L.). Scientia Horticulturae, 261: 108946. 

Fri 17 Jan 2020, 11:18 | Tags: publication

Jess Watts prize winner

Jess Watts, a Warwick 2017 student, is the 2019 recipient of the Brewster Scholarship, which is awarded to an SLS PhD student in their second year of research whose work relates to crop improvement. The scholarship is funded by a generous donation in memory of Dr Jim Brewster, a former member of Wellesbourne staff. The title of Jess's project is The role of secretion in phosphate uptake in Brassica; a description of the project is as follows:

Phosphate is an essential macronutrient required for crop growth, however its availability is often a limiting factor hindering crop yield, especially as the majority of phosphate within soil is inaccessible as organic phosphate. Many plants have adapted ways to improve the accessibility of phosphate, such as through the secretion of various compounds into the surrounding soil which help to mobilise the phosphate and improve uptake. I am looking at how Brassica crops which have differing phosphate efficiencies cope with low phosphate conditions compared to high phosphate conditions, with particular interest in the proteomic changes of the roots and the root secretions. If we can pin point what is different about the crops which are efficient in phosphate acquisition during low phosphate conditions, then we can use this to improve the efficiency of crop lines, improving phosphate utilisation and consequently enhance growth.

Fri 29 Nov 2019, 13:41 | Tags: award

Carys Howell travel grant and poster prize

Carys Howell, a 3rd year Birmingham MIBTP student, received a travel grant, the FEBs youth travel fund (YTF), to attend the Europhosphatase 2019 conference. The travel grant covered the conference fee, accommodation and money towards travel costs.

Carys attended the conference, which took place 11th-16th June; at which she also won a poster prize.

Fri 16 Aug 2019, 15:04 | Tags: award

Robyn Wright published paper

Final year Warwick student Robyn Wright has just published her 1st paper as a result of her PhD research. The paper is published in Microbiome and is entitled Understanding microbial community dynamics to improve optimum microbiome selection.

Tue 09 Jul 2019, 14:52 | Tags: publication

Marta Poblocka symposium winner

Marta Poblocka, a Leicester 3rd year MIBTP student, recently won 1st prize for best poster and 2nd prize for best abstract at the University of Leicester student symposium. The title of Marta's poster and abstract was: Targeting Senescent Cells with Antibody-Drug Conjugates.

Tue 09 Jul 2019, 14:48 | Tags: award

Eline Hendrix poster prize

Eline Hendrix, Birmingham 2016 MIBTP student, was awarded the best poster prize at the recent Midlands Academy of Medical Sciences Research Festival. The festival is a unique biomedical and health research event designed to bring early career researchers together to present their work, meet one another and to network with senior researchers. This year's event took place on 27th March 2019 at Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre in Birmingham and focussed on three research areas: Diabetes, Cancer and Respiratory Science. Eline was one of 55 PhD students/post-docs to present a poster.

Tue 09 Jul 2019, 14:44 | Tags: award

Rachel Clewes published paper

Rachel Clewes, Warwick 3rd year MIBTP student, has recently published a paper with her supervisor Professor Lorenzo Frigerio. The paper is entitled Aquaporins influence seed dormancy and germination in response to stress and was published on the online library, Wiley.

Fri 10 May 2019, 13:48 | Tags: publication

Marta Poblocka published paper

Leicester 3rd year MIBTP student Marta Poblocka contributed to a recent publication, Detecting and targeting senescent cells using molecularly imprinted nanoparticles. The paper was published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Thu 18 Apr 2019, 13:11 | Tags: publication

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