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Weldon Prize for SPI-M-O and Zeeman modellers
Professor Matt Keeling and Dr Louise Dyson were part of the Warwick Zeeman team invited to attend the Weldon Prize giving in Oxford.
This prize is awarded annually for ‘noteworthy contributions to the development of mathematical or statistical methods applied to problems in Biology’. This year it was given to the SPI-M-O group (part of SAGE) in recognition for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Warwick iGEM success
iGEM is a global synthetic biology competition aimed at University and High School students.This year, 360 teams from across the world took part in iGEM, including a team from Warwick - team PyRe. The team attended the Grand Jamboree in Paris, on 26-28 October.
After delivering their presentation and attending the judging session, the team were awarded a gold medal for their project. They were also nominated for the Best Environment Project for their excellent work on the detection and degradation of pyrethroid pesticides. Read about the project.
Team PyRe members:
- Aayush Patel (2nd Year Biochemistry)
- Mujie Chen (2nd Year Neuroscience)
- Ashmitha Srirasan (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
- Yvette Lo (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
- Jerry Yu (4th Year MBio Biochemistry)
- Prem Ravichandran (2nd Year Computer Systems Engineering)
- Zak Fulk (3rd Year Biomedical Systems Engineering)
- Ng Yi Fan (2nd Year Economics)
The team were supported by Dr Fabrizio Alberti and Dr Alexander Darlington (Engineering), and postgraduate advisors Sandie Lai, Daniel Richmond (Chemistry), Michaël Dagne Tadesse and Nathan Burton.
Excellence in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award winners
Professor Johannes Boltze and Professor Phil Young both received commendation at the inaugural Excellence in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Awards. These awards recognise the outstanding contribution to the enhancement of equality, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to building more inclusive environments and experiences through everyday behaviours at the University of Warwick.
Find out more
5 questions with Johannes Boltze - find out about the work and story behind his award.
Dr Freya Harrison wins WH Pierce Prize 2021
Dr Freya Harrison has been awarded the WH Pierce Prize 2021 by the Society for Applied Microbiology for her work in translating medieval literature and medical texts to uncover ancient antimicrobial recipes.
Press release (14 October 2021)
Warwick named University of the Year for Teaching Quality
The University of Warwick has today been named the University of the Year for Teaching Quality and as runner-up for University of the Year by the Sunday Times’ Good University Guide 2022.
Press Release (17 September 2021)
SLS academic recognised in Queen's birthday honours
Professor Matt Keeling has been recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services as an advisor to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) with an OBE.
Commenting on his being awarded an OBE, Professor Keeling said:
“I'm absolutely thrilled by this award. This is great recognition of all the hard work of the entire Warwick group and the wider Juniper team over the last 15 months."
Press Release (15 June 2021)
Microbial interactions in aquatic environments to be investigated
The microbes found in aquatic environments and their interactions will be investigated by Warwick researcher Professor Orkun Soyer, thanks to an investigator award from The Gordon and Betty Moore foundation.
School of Life Sciences retains Royal Society of Biology advanced accreditation for its 4 year MBio degrees
The School of Life Sciences is proud to announce that it has been awarded another 5 years of Royal Society of Biology (RSB) advanced accreditation for its 4 year integrated Masters (MBio) degrees. Our new Neuroscience degree has gained interim accreditation which should be awarded full advanced accreditation upon graduation of the first cohort.
Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.
Graduates from these programmes will receive one year of free membership to the RSB at Associate level. They can also apply for membership of the RSB at member (MRSB) level after two years of practice rather than the usual three years, due to the significant research experience gained.
The RSB is the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the UK. It represents over 17,000 biologists from all areas of the life sciences, as well as over 100 organisations which make up the diverse landscape of biology in the UK and overseas. It offers members unique opportunities to engage with the life sciences and share their passion for biology.
Over £20 million government award marks Midlands’ bio-economy strengths
A consortium of Midlands research-active universities has just been awarded research studentships worth over £20 million to build on the Midlands’ already significant bio-economy and success in life sciences and agricultural research.
The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership 2020 (MIBTP2020) is led by the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick and brings together a number of other Warwick research departments, in partnership with the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, Aston University and Harper Adams University. The funding comes from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council arm of the Government’s UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding organisation. This award will be matched by the universities in the partnership to fund a total of 245 doctoral students (59 per year) over the next 5 years.
Warwick Award Winners 2019
Congratulations to our University Staff Award winners:
Dr Leanne Williams won the 2019 Warwick Award for Personal Tutoring Excellence (WAPTE). This is a new award that recognises staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the support of students through the personal tutoring system. Leanne already holds a Warwick award for teaching excellence and has been doing amazing work supporting our students over the years.
Dr Rebecca Freeman won a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence (WATE). Beccy has made an enormous difference to SLS by radically changing our approach to teaching and the students’ approach to learning. She has engaged students as collaborators in the development of our curricula and helped us develop rigorous yet innovative and flexible teaching approaches, which have now become examples of best practice for the University.
Public Engagement Contribution
Professor Nick Dale won the Public Engagement Contribution award. Nick explains "the complexities of his subject, the brain, in a way that drives interest from those who know something and a fascination from others who know less".
Supporting Student Employability
David Molyneux, SLS Senior Careers Advisor, won the award for Supporting Student Employability. David is described "As a colleague, he is unstinting in his devotion. He is giving, generous of spirit and passionately cares about students and their employability".
School of Life Sciences achieves Athena SWAN silver charter award to 2022
The School of Life Sciences achieved a Silver Athena SWAN Charter Mark in the 2018 submission round. The charter mark is an important indicator of work undertaken to address gender equality in academia and professional and support roles.
In the same round the University retained its Silver award and Politics and International Studies (PAIS) received a Bronze award.
Dr Dan Smith named as honorary SLS Industry Professor
Dr Smith is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Cobra Biologics Ltd., but he started his scientific career here at Warwick, with a BSc in Biochemistry then a PhD on the mechanism of action at the cellular level of cytotoxic proteins such as ricin.
By becoming an honorary Industrial Professor in our School, Dr. Smith will bring widespread experience in both the workings of a multi-million budget R&D company in a sector at the forefront of biomedical products and also in academic research. His specific expertise in knowledge transfer and experience in developing successful collaborations between regional development agencies, industry and academics will be enormously useful.
Dr Smith will bring many links with industries that we do not yet interact with, both in the UK and internationally. He will contribute ideas and contacts to help our undergraduate students secure industrial placements, a key strategic development area for the School.
Dr Smith will also aid our technology transfer to support start-ups with commercial promise. His past work is highly interdisciplinary in both the academic and industrial sides in chemistry and biology, knowledge of which can massively impact startup success.
We welcome him to the School.
Professor R.John Ellis to be presented with 2019 Centenary Award
Professor R.John Ellis, an Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences, has been honoured in the Biochemical Society's annual Awards. The awards recognise scientists for the excellence of their work and the impact it has had within the bioscience community and wider society.
Professor Ellis will be presented with the 2019 Centenary Award for his pioneering research on molecular chaperones and their role in protein folding.
Head of Life Sciences shortlisted for BBSRC Innovation Award
Professor Laura Green, Head of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick, has been shortlisted for an Innovator of the Year award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Nominated in the ‘Social Impact’ category, Professor Green’s research has led to halving the level of lameness in sheep flocks - from ten percent to five percent - in a decade, saving a million sheep a year from becoming lame.
Dr Corinne Smith awarded Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
Dr Corinne Smith has been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship for her project entitled "defining clathrin network interactions using advanced cryo-electron microscopy". The Fellowship will enable Dr Smith to spend a year away from teaching in order to focus on her research activities.
University of Warwick honoured at Accreditation Awards Ceremony for Bioscience Degrees
Matt Teft is part of winning team at Warwick Staff Awards
Matt Teft, a second year MIBTP (Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership) student, is part of a team that has won an award for Public Engagement at the University of Warwick Staff Awards.
The MIBTP is a BBSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership between the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham and Leicester. As part of their training, the BBSRC requires students to complete a Professional Internship for Phd Students (PIPS). Matt participated in the University's activities at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June 2015 as part of his PIPS and has written a blog of his experience: blogs.warwick.ac.uk/mibtp/entry/cheltenham_science_festival
Matt is a PhD student with Dr Miriam Gifford in the School of Life Sciences working on a project entitled 'Investigating conservation of function of SCARECROW-LIKE/GRAS transcription factors and their interactions in controlling root architecture responses'.
Professor Nicholas Dale receives MRC Discovery Award
Innovative University of Warwick research will be accelerated thanks to funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to take ground-breaking ideas into industry and out to patients. A Discovery Award of £973k will support vivo microscopy researchers investigate the dynamic activity of individual neural cells during complex behaviours.
Led by Professor Nicholas Dale, researchers will investigate the activity of neural cells deep in the mammalian brain that help control complex behaviours such as feeding and breathing and the operation of the body’s circadian clock.
SBRI funding received to develop diagnostic biosensors for strokes
Sarissa Biomedical, a spin-out company established by Professor Nick Dale, Ted Pridgeon Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Life Sciences, has been awarded £150,000 from Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). Sarissa Biomedical has pioneered highly sensitive analytical devices known as microelectrode biosensors, which can be used to monitor in real-time the levels of purines - neurochemicals that influence the function of the nervous system. These biosensors have been used to demonstrate that purines are elevated in the blood of stroke patients compared to healthy controls.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the UK – in 2010 there were an estimated 150,000 strokes and 50,000 deaths attributable to stroke. Stroke currently costs the UK economy approximately £9billion per year in health and social care costs. Rapid treatment of ischaemic strokes to remove the blockage of cerebral circulation can allow perfect recovery and avoid lasting disability. On average for every 15 minutes saved in the period from stroke onset to the provision of treatment, one extra month of disability-free life is achieved. Point-of-care tests that can detect stroke from its earliest moments would help to shorten treatment delays and ensure that as many patients as possible receive treatment.
The SBRI funding will enable the project team to develop the biosensor technology into a prototype diagnostic device for strokes that can be used by paramedics. It will also support the analysis of the stroke clinical pathway to determine how the device can be used most effectively, and it will allow the design of a large-scale clinical trial involving paramedics and ambulance staff across the UK. Deployment of this test with paramedics will allow speedier identification of stoke victims at the point of injury, and facilitate rapid coordination of the clinical treatment pathway to maximise the chances of the best possible patient outcomes.
Professor John McCarthy receives MRC award to identify novel drug therapies
Professor John McCarthy, Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the University of Warwick School of Life Sciences, and Director of the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB), has received funding from the MRC to pursue research on ’Protein synthesis in trypanosomatids as a target for novel drug therapies’. The FEC award of £360k will be complemented by a simultaneous award from Fundação Araucária in the State of Paraná (Brazil) to collaborators in the Carlos Chagas Institute in Curitiba. Colleagues at the University of Leeds will also be involved in the project.
Trypanosomatids are parasites that migrate between insect vectors and mammalian hosts. They cause a number of highly debilitating and potentially fatal diseases with major impacts on human health and wellbeing on a global scale. Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease, is believed to affect at least 11 million people in Mexico, Central America and South America. Leishmania is now endemic in South America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and more than 20 countries in Europe.
Given that the current anti-parasitic treatments are unpleasant, not fully effective, and encountering resistance, there is an urgent need for a new strategy to identify safe, efficacious drugs. This collaborative project will explore whether drugs can be developed based on selective targeting of protein-protein interactions in the trypanosomatid protein synthesis machinery.
The project was funded through MRC’s UK-Brazil Neglected Infectious Diseases Partnership scheme.