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Physical Sciences Industry Day to welcome businesses to Warwick

Businesses from around the country are coming to the University of Warwick to learn how they collaborate with one of the world’s leading research universities. 

The Physical Sciences Industry Day on 19 March will showcase Warwick’s research capabilities and how they can be directed towards the research development and productivity challenges of industry. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with Warwick researchers to discuss their business needs and learn how industrial research is driving the work of universities.

Press Release

Tue 13 March 2018, 14:27

Drug-producing bacteria possible with synthetic biology breakthrough

Bacteria could be programmed to efficiently produce drugs, thanks to breakthrough research into synthetic biology using engineering principles, from the University of Warwick and the University of Surrey.

Led by the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, new research has discovered how to dynamically manage the allocation of essential resources inside engineered cells - advancing the potential of synthetically programming cells to combat disease and produce new drugs.

The researchers have developed a way to efficiently control the distribution of ribosomes – microscopic ‘factories’ inside cells that build proteins that keep the cell alive and functional – to both the synthetic circuit and the host cell.

Press Release

Mon 05 March 2018, 12:58 | Tags: Biomedical Science Biotechnology Press Release

Global mapping of planktonic "chameleons"

Cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus are ubiquitous in the world ocean and contribute significantly to both the marine food chain and the carbon cycle. Like chameleons of the plankton world, some of them are able to change pigmentation to match the ambient light color. Yet, their distribution or abundance has remained unknown so far. Research scientists from CNRS and CEA, together with international collaborators including Professor Dave Scanlan from the University of Warwick, have just demonstrated these color-shifters are the most abundant group of Synechococcus in the ocean —representing about 40% of the whole population at depth and high latitudes. This adaptive capacity is an important asset for such planktonic organisms that are carried around by currents in areas where the color of the water varies as it allows them to keep photosynthesizing efficiently and to supply energy to the rest of the food web. This discovery represents a major breakthrough in our understanding of these organisms, which prove to be excellent bio-indicators of climate change.

Their findings are published in PNAS (February 12, 2018) 

Press Release

Wed 14 February 2018, 11:54 | Tags: Environmental Bioscience Press Release

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building

IBRBThe University plans to invest £54.3M in a new state-of-the-art research building on the Gibbet Hill campus that will bring together up to 300 biomedical researchers from across the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School to fight human diseases.

Odd genetics of a tri-sexual worm

In a recent paper published in Current Biology, Dr Andre Pires da Silva and colleagues describe a species of nematode that has three sexes - male, female and hermaphrodite. Auanema rhodensis, the worm featured in the study, uses an unusual reproductive strategy with only one sex chromosome (X). Hermaphrodites and female worms have two X chromosomes; males have just one X chromosome. Researchers found that some hermaphroditic worms will produce sperm with two X chromosomes and eggs with no chromosomes. When the hermaphroditic worms and male worms mate, only more male worms are produced. One possible explanation is that male worms may be important for the species' genetic diversity, providing A. rhodensis with the ability to adapt to changing conditions more efficiently than other species.

Industry Partnering Day 28 Feb - Opportunities and innovation in academia-industry interactions

Come and discuss opportunities and innovation in academia-industry interactions in the School of Life Sciences on Wednesday 28 February.

Our Industry Partnering Day will provide you with a range of information on how to work with our scientists including;

  • Joint funding opportunities
  • Access to state-of-art facilities
  • Introductions and collaborations with world-leading experts

  • From student internships or highly trained personal exchanges to funded development and research programmes
  • Innovation tokens worth up to £5000 that can be used for collaborative work with SLS
  • Our research interests and technology platforms extend across the breadth of plant, crop, biomedical, drug discovery, biotechnology, environmental and analytical research. 

The day will start with short presentations about different types of successful partnerships that are possible, followed by a lunchtime networking event.

In the afternoon, most importantly, we would like to hear from you about your needs and experiences so that we can offer solutions to help improve research, development, innovation and competitiveness in your company, taking advantage of existing and future innovation and investment opportunities in the UK.

Later in the afternoon there will be the opportunity to meet with our researchers, tour our facilities and engage in extended discussions, including an evening drinks and dinner reception.

VirionHealth receives up to $4.2M from DARPA


University of Warwick spin-out company, VirionHealth - a new biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for respiratory viral infections, has announced that it has won non-dilutive funding worth up to $4.2 million from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Founded in 2017 on pioneering research of Professors Easton and Dimmock in the School of Life Sciences, VirionHealth is developing a new class of biological antivirals to create improved therapeutics for respiratory viral infections, focusing on prevention and treatment of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The company is a world leader in the development of precisely engineered, non-infectious, defective interfering particles.

Read Press Release

Fri 05 January 2018, 12:22 | Tags: Biomedical Science Biotechnology Press Release Research

Sprout science

SproutsOn Monday 18 December, Dr Guy Barker spoke on BBC Midlands Today on how Warwick Crop Centre are improving sprouts through traditional plant breeding. Watch (from 23 minutes)

Dr Barker also spoke with Phil Upton on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, describing how researchers are utilising genetic diversity from the UK Vegetable Genebank to enhance the appearance, quality and resistance of sprouts. Listen at (1:41-1:45)


Tue 19 December 2017, 13:07 | Tags: Plant and Crop Science TV/Radio Crop Centre Research Interview

New TB drugs possible with understanding of old antibiotic

AntibioticsTuberculosis, and other life-threatening microbial diseases, could be more effectively tackled with future drugs, thanks to new research into an old antibiotic led by Professor David Roper at Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and Dr Luiz Pedro Carvalho from The Francis Crick Institute.

Read Press Release

Tue 05 December 2017, 16:04 | Tags: Biomedical Science Press Release Research Faculty of Science

NERC CENTA Environmental Science PhD Studentships available

Sediment samplingA number of fully funded studentships in environmental sciences are available to UK and EU students that meet the residency and qualification eligibility criteria. These studentships are available as part of the NERC DTP CENTA consortium. Application deadline: 22 January 2018.

View available projects

Tue 28 November 2017, 15:35 | Tags: Plant and Crop Science Environmental Bioscience Study

‘Lost’ 99% of ocean microplastics to be identified with dye?

OceanThe smallest microplastics in our oceans – which go largely undetected and are potentially harmful – could be more effectively identified using an innovative and inexpensive new method, developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.

New research, led by Gabriel Erni-Cassola and Dr. Joseph A. Christie-Oleza from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, has established a pioneering way to detect the smaller fraction of microplastics – many as small as 20 micrometres (comparable to the width of a human hair or wool fibre) - using a fluorescent dye.

Press Release

Tue 28 November 2017, 13:15 | Tags: Biotechnology Environmental Bioscience Press Release

Lettuce at risk from Fusarium wilt

Fusarium wilt An outbreak of an aggressive soil-borne fungus has been reported in UK glasshouse lettuce crops for the first time and growers are being urged to look out for symptoms to get diagnosis early.

Lettuce Fusarium wilt has previously been found in mainland Europe, but the identification of this strain of the disease in Lancashire, was the first time it has been confirmed in the UK. The pathogen, which causes lettuce to wilt and die, is a particularly aggressive strain with no known treatments or resistant varieties currently available.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), an advisory body for growers, has commissioned the University of Warwick to deliver a technical review to compile detailed information on management options to help minimise the impact on the UK lettuce industry. The full report will be published in early February 2018, but information will be shared with industry as the review proceeds.

Growers who suspect lettuce Fusarium wilt in their crops should send samples for diagnosis. Dr John Clarkson from Warwick Crop Centre, at the University of Warwick, will accept lettuce samples for free testing. For further information visit

Dr John Clarkson, said: “This disease is very serious. It is very aggressive and difficult to get rid of because the fungus produces long-life spores that survive in the soil.”

Mon 27 November 2017, 14:09 | Tags: Plant and Crop Science

SLS Student wins Photo Competition

Photo by Fabio RodriguesPhD student Fabio Rodrigues has been awarded the best photographer by @uniwarwick for his autumn picture of campus.

Wed 22 November 2017, 10:22

Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) - 4 year studentships available

PipettingThe Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) is a BBSRC-funded doctoral training partnership between the University of Warwick, the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester. The MIBTP has an ambitious vision to deliver innovative, world class research across the Life Sciences to boost the growing Bioeconomy in the Midlands and across the UK. 

PhD Studentship projects will be focused in vital research areas such as food security, bio-energy and quantitative biology. Students from a wide diversity of academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Projects are available for those with creative drive in both theoretical (IT and mathematical) and experimental (biology, biomedicine, chemistry, biotechnology) research.

Funded PhD Studentships


8th UK Purine Club Meeting Christmas Symposium 2017

We are pleased to announce that the 8th UK Purine Club Symposium will be held at the University of Warwick Gibbet Hill Campus on Monday 11 December 2017.

The programme includes lectures by:

  • Martin Mahaut-Smith, Leicester
  • Tobias Engel, Dublin
  • Mark Wall, Warwick
  • Arthur Butt, Portsmouth

The symposium will be followed by a Sarissa Biomedical workshop on applications of microelectrode biosensors in physiological research.

You are invited to submit abstracts for oral or poster communications and they will be published in Purinergic Signalling.

Registration fees (includes refreshments during the day including lunch and an evening reception):
£40 Academics & Post-Docs,
£30 PhD Students.

For further details and to register visit UK Purine Club Symposium 2017

Thu 09 November 2017, 15:22

What to teach an aspiring scientist

Creative ThoughtsMost people perceive scientists as logical and determined people, their mission to find the answer through painstaking research. So what are two of the most important things you can teach an aspiring scientist to help them on the road to success? Critical thinking? Statistics? Not necessarily. It’s the ability to think creatively, and a capacity to deal with failure says Professor Kevin Moffat.

Knowledge Centre Article

A Critical Reflection on the 28th International Biology Olympiad

Branagh Crealock-AshurstThe 28th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) took place at the University of Warwick between 23 – 30 July 2017 with 264 international competitors (aged 14 – 18) competing in a series of practical and theoretical exams devised by School of Life Sciences staff and colleagues from the Royal Society of Biology.

Branagh Crealock-Ashurst, our Student Experience and Outreach Assistant, has written a critical reflection on the IBO from how the event was logistically organised to a semi-statistical analysis of the overall results of the competition and what they meant in terms of the pedagogical approach to examination. The paper entitled 'A Critical Reflection on the 28th International Biology Olympiad' was published in the October issue of Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal (available at

Mon 06 November 2017, 14:29 | Tags: Publication Faculty of Science

Colon cancer breakthrough could lead to prevention

AutophagyColon cancer, Crohn’s, and other diseases of the gut could be better treated – or even prevented – thanks to a new link between inflammation and a common cellular process, established by Dr Ioannis Nezis and colleagues.

Press Release

Thu 02 November 2017, 13:23 | Tags: Biomedical Science Press Release Faculty of Science

Crops evolving ten millennia before experts thought

Dr Robin AllabyAncient hunter-gatherers began to systemically affect the evolution of crops up to thirty thousand years ago – around ten millennia before experts previously thought – according to new research by Professor Robin Allaby.

Read Press Release

Antibiotics and farming

Liz WellingtonProfessor Elizabeth Wellington talks to Adam Rutherford on BBC Radio 4 about how the agricultural use of antibiotics is contributing to the global spread of resistance to them on this week's Inside Science: 

Fri 13 October 2017, 11:23 | Tags: Environmental Bioscience TV/Radio Faculty of Science

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