The School of Life Sciences (SLS) is a cohesive, enthusiastic community producing world-class, high-impact bioscience research and teaching within an open, friendly, inclusive and highly collaborative environment.
Life Sciences Research
Our research ranges in scale from molecules, through cells and organisms to synthetic populations and global ecosystems, and spanning viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, animals and plants and falls into four themes:
- Biomedical Science
- Environmental Bioscience
- Plant and Crop Science
- Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology
Our core strengths encompass the use of modern analytical technologies and engineering biology to understand how molecular and cellular mechanisms function, model complex biological systems, and develop new technologies, processes and products.
Our outputs are diverse, with significant real-world impacts in medicine, the bioeconomy, environment, and agriculture, e.g. biosensors for stroke diagnosis, epidemiological modelling, influencing policy and control measures, environmental DNA testing, new approaches to horticultural pest management and genetic crop improvement.
Our expertise, embedded within the University of Warwick’s Global Research Priorities programme and network of Research Centres are helping to solve global challenges including Antimicrobial Resistance, Food Security and the Climate Emergency.
Life Sciences Learning and Teaching
Life Sciences offers a supportive and stimulating learning and teaching environment, and we work in partnership with our students to continually improve the learning experience.
Our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are research-led, with options to take placements or carry out projects in industry. We also have a large community of innovative educators who ensure that students are challenged within a supportive learning community.
All SLS undergraduate degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and our integrated masters (MBio) degrees hold advanced accreditation, indicating both their academic rigour and fostering of key professional skills.
Our taught Masters courses are highly interdisciplinary, helping to prepare graduates for the needs of employers or academic research.
The School has a vibrant community of around 200 research students and hosts three interdisciplinary doctoral training programmes:
- Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) which Warwick leads,
- Synthetic Biology Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA),
We also have studentships funded by the MRC DTP, Waitrose BBSRC CTP, plus a rich diversity of international scholarships and charities.
Life Sciences People
Our research excellence is underpinned by our people, and we strive to create a research environment rich in innovation, scholarship and diversity.
The School obtained a silver Athena Swan award in 2018, and is working towards Gold status in 2022. The School is committed to the Technician Commitment and the continuing development of our technical and other professional services staff.
Research in SLS is underpinned by world leading facilities and infrastructure.
In February 2021, the new, £54m state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) was opened. This flagship science building facilitates strategic, collaborative working between SLS and Warwick Medical School (WMS), providing premium space for innovation in the strategic areas of neurobiology, infection biology and cell and tissue models for disease.
Specialist School facilities include our genomics centre, advanced imaging suite, the advanced technology platforms hosted by the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB), horticultural services, antimicrobial screening facility and the new Elizabeth Creak Horticulture Technology Centre.
A Phytobiology facility on central campus and the Wellesbourne campus are part of Warwick Crop Centre which links fundamental plant biology to the problems faced by farmers and horticulture.
In addition, University Research Technology Platforms (RTPs) provide an integrated network of world-class technologies and we host the Advanced Bioimaging RTP, Proteomics RTP and the Biological Resources Unit on our Gibbet Hill campus.
Life Sciences at a glance:
Academic staff: 65 teaching and research staff, 11 dedicated teaching fellows
Research staff and students (PhD students, Postdocs and Senior Research staff): 300
Professional services staff: 33 administrative and 38 technical support staff
- Elizabeth Fullam (Wellcome Trust/ Royal Society Sir Henry Dale)
- Vardis Ntoukakis (Royal Society)
- Byron Carpenter (UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship)
- Erin Connelly (UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship)
- Fabrizio Alberti (UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship)
- Angeliki Skagia (Daphne Jackson Fellowship)
- Emily Hill (Race Against Dementia – Barbara Naylor Charitable Trust Fellow)
- David Roper (Columbia University visiting Schaefer Research Scholars Fellowship)
Major Grant funding: We attract multi-million research awards every year from a variety of funding sources including UKRI, charity, EU, UK Government and UK industry. Major funding highlights include:
- BBSRC and NERC Responsive Mode funding awarded in 2020/21 totalling £4.6M
- BBSRC/EPSRC funded Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB) (£12.3M)
- UKRI Building Collaboration at the Physics of Life Interface for Daniel Hebenstreit (1.7M)
- Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Biomedical Science for James Nokes (£2.5M)
- European Research Council Advanced Grant for environmental research for David Scanlan (£1.9M)
- European Research Council Consolidator Grant for environmental research for Yin Chen (£1.5M)
- NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Genomics and Enabling Data for Xavier Didelot (£1.3M)
- NIHR Global Health Research Group on the Application of Genomics and Modelling to the Control of Virus Pathogens (GeMVi) in East Africa for James Nokes (2.3M)
- Gates Foundation for epidemiology research into human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) for Kat Rock (£2.8M)
Taught Masters students: 100
Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence (WATE): Rebecca Freeman (2019), Phil Young (2018), Keith Leppard (2017), Robert Spooner (2017), Lorenzo Frigerio (2016), Leanne Williams (2014).
Warwick Award for Personal Tutoring Excellence (WAPTE): Leanne Williams (2019).