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REF2021: Research Excellence
The REF results, released on Thursday 12 May 2022, show 90% of research in the School of Life Sciences has been rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. This shows the outstanding quality of our research and we are very proud of all the hard work put in by our researchers and postgraduate students.
University of Warwick recognised as international centre of research excellence by leading experts
(Press Release 12 May 2022)
About REF 2021
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).
Compounds made from ‘digested’ molecules feeds appetite for greener pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals
A method of producing vital chemical building blocks for use in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries that mimics how plants manufacture them has been developed by a team at the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre. The new method uses enzymes to produce indolic amides, carboxylic acids and auxins – vital for use in pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.
Press Release (1 February 2022)
Vacancies - Assistant or Associate Professor in Life Sciences
We have three positions available for Assistant or Associate Professor to join the School of Life Sciences (SLS). We are looking for individuals who are capable of developing innovative and original research programmes that address current and future challenges in life science, such as environmental change, sustainable intensification, biology of disease, neuroscience, understanding whole organism dynamics or engineering biology.
Closing date: Sunday 16 January 2022.
Gold medal for Warwick iGEM team
The Warwick iGEM 2021 team attended the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Paris on 11-14 November, where they were awarded a Gold Medal for their project, as well as receiving a nomination for the Best Model Special Prize.
iGEM is an international genetic engineering competition that fosters scientific research and education by creating a community of young student researchers. This year, 352 teams from over 45 countries took part in the competition.
Warwick’s 2021 team, CREscent, attempted to design a rapid detection method for a type of bacteria resistant to carbapenems, a last-resort antibiotic. These bacteria are often found in hospitals, and infections are extremely difficult to treat so isolation of infected patients is one of the only ways to contain its spread. Current detection methods for Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are very slow and can take up to 4 days to return a positive result, exposing hospitals to potential unchecked spread of CRE in the meantime.
Therefore, the team designed rapid detection method for hospitals, by targeting a carbapenem resistance gene in E. coli using CRISPR. If the RNA molecule produced by this gene is detected, a different RNA is transcribed, which causes fluorescence. This acts as a visual identifier. The idea was that a swab would be taken in a hospital and placed into a test tube. If the bacteria present are resistant to carbapenems then the tube will glow green under UV light.
Read more about the project
UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship success
Congratulations to Dr Fabrizio Alberti on being awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. Through his fellowship, Fabrizio will develop a platform to produce high-value chemicals in mushroom-forming fungi.
Find out more
Associate Professor/ Professor of Infection Microbiology position available
Applications are invited for an Associate Professor or Professor of Infection Microbiology to join the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick.
The School of Life Sciences has an international presence in microbiology, particularly within the global research priority of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We aim to appoint an outstanding new academic staff member to strengthen research in cross-disciplinary approaches, complementing existing strengths in the School and leading a laboratory based research group in one or more of the following areas: antimicrobial resistance, anti-infective discovery, host-pathogen interactions and immunology including the microbiome, microbial genetics, virology and structural and chemical biology approaches to address human and animal infection.
Closing date: 30 April 2021
Construction completed on “world-class” biomedical research building
Our impressive new IBRB biomedical research building has been completed. The new state-of-the-art lab spaces will support our interdisciplinary world-class research in neuroscience, microbiology and infection, and cell biology.
Press Release (24 March 2021)
Warwick named as one of the world's Most International universities
The University of Warwick has been named as one of the world’s top 20 Most International universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) – ranked 20th overall and 10th in the UK.
Press Release (2 Feb 2021)
Warwick scientists design model to predict cellular drug targets against Covid-19
A computational model of a human lung cell has been used to understand how SARS-CoV-2 draws on human host cell metabolism to reproduce by Dr Hadrien Delattre and Professor Orkun Soyer. This study helps understand how the virus uses the host to survive, and enable drug predictions for treating the virus to be made.
Press Release (25 November 2020)
1st International BioDesign Research Conference
Organised by Professor Alfonso Jaramillo and colleagues, the 1st International BioDesign Research Conference will be held 1-18 December 2020 via Zoom. The conference will showcase the latest achievements and research progress in the field of Biosystems Design and Synthetic Biology.
Find out more and register.
2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Warwick scientists explain Crispr-Cas9
This week, it was reported that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on the technology of genome editing - more specifically, Crispr-Cas9. Scientists in the School of Life sciences who also research Crispr-Cas9 explain what it is, and discuss its significance in our lives.
Expert comment (8 October 2020)
Congratulations to all our students who graduated on 22 July!
Visit the SLS Virtual Yearbook 2020 to see messages celebrating their success.
New technique for engineering living materials and patterns
A new method for engineering living materials called ‘MeniFluidics’, made by researchers from the departments of Life Sciences and Physics, could see a transformation in tissue engineering and bio-art, as well as new ways to research cellular interactions.
Dr Munehiro Asally comments:
“We hope MeniFluidics will be used widely by biophysics, microbiologists, engineers and also artists! As it is a simple and versatile method.”
A new understanding of everyday cellular processes
We use cells to breathe, to moderate body temperature, to grow and many other every day processes, however the cells in these processes are so complex its left scientists perplexed into how they develop in different environments. Professor Orkun Soyer and colleagues say future research needs to look into the bioelectrical composition of cells for answers.
Minimum energy requirements for microbial communities to live predicted
A microbial community is a complex, dynamic system composed of hundreds of species and their interactions, they are found in oceans, soil, animal guts and plant roots. Each system feeds the Earth’s ecosystem and their own growth, as they each have their own metabolism that underpin biogeochemical cycles.
Professor Orkun Soyer and colleagues have produced a thermodynamic model for simulating the dynamics of microbial communities.
UKRI fellowships awarded to Life Sciences Academics
Two academics from Life Sciences have been awarded a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship.
- Dr Byron Carpenter for his project titled: Developing a synthetic signalling system capable of the precise spatial and temporal control of protein function in living cells.
- Dr Erin Connelly for her project: Datamining medieval medical texts for modern medicines.
The fellowship scheme is awarded to the best researchers in the UK, keeping research and innovation in the UK world class.
SLS is hosting a FREE Royal Society of Biology sponsored HUBS learning and teaching workshop on 20 March 2020 to develop ideas and strategies to inform our understanding of what makes for the best possible undergraduate bioscience first year.