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.
Great Wall Symposium 2019
Bacterial cell biology researchers from across the world gathered at The Pasteur institute in Paris at the end of September to attend the 6th biennial Great Wall symposium organised by Professor David Roper and Professor Ivo Boneca (Pasteur). This three day meeting on all aspects of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis was attended by just under 200 interdisciplinary researchers on all aspects of bacterial cell wall microbiology.
Dr Adrian Lloyd from SLS provided an invited talk on his recently submitted research on 'Substrate and stereochemical control of cell wall crosslinking by E. coli PBP1B' as well as a posters from a number of Warwick PhD students from SLS and WMS.
The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) will be 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.
The University of Warwick has risen two places to 77th overall in the THE (Times Higher Education) 2019 World University Rankings published on the evening of Wednesday 11th September 2019. This rise is in addition to Warwick’s leap of a dozen places in the 2018 table.
SLS Graduation 2019
On Tuesday 16 July, graduands from the School of Life Sciences attended the Summer Graduation Ceremony held in Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre. The Head of School, Professor Lorenzo Frigerio, academic tutors and other staff also attended the ceremony. Staff gathered afterwards to meet the graduates, their friends and family, at a buffet lunch in the Rootes Building. Students were congratulated on their achievements and class prizes were awarded.
We wish our graduates all the best as they embark on the next stage of their careers.
Life Sciences welcomes the next generation of scientists
Taking place at the Gibbet Hill campus 7– 11 July, the Headstart course provides a university taster course for 16-17 year olds with the opportunity to explore the different biological disciplines taught within the School of Life Sciences. The Life Sciences course enables students to gain experience at a prestigious university prior to making UCAS applications, showing them the different courses and career paths available.
Across the week, students will take part in a wide range of hands-on laboratory experiments and lectures including physiology, microbiology, epidemiology and molecular biology.
Administered by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust), a charitable trust, Headstart provides hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities and taster courses to encourage young people into technology-based careers.
Discussing the summer school’s programme Dr Daniel Franklin, Senior Teaching Fellow and summer school organiser, said ‘The students are experiencing all of the successful teaching elements of our degrees, lectures, labs and importantly one of our excellent tutorials. It is very satisfying to see that they are embracing the different subjects being covered, and clear that the students are scientifically curious. I am really pleased that some of our excellent teaching is giving the students a rewarding time.’
We hope to inspire students to study life sciences at university in the future.
At Warwick we offer:
Thesis Prize Winners
Every year, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and the School of Life Sciences, jointly run a PhD Thesis Prize competition with prizes provided by each. Supervisors are invited to put forward students for consideration.
This year, the winner of the Faculty Thesis Prize is Dr Fábio Henrique dos Santos Rodrigues, who did his PhD with Prof John McCarthy. The thesis title is 'Targeting trypanosomatid translation factor interactions'. The work has been published in a joint first author paper in Nucleic Acids Research.
The winner of the School of Life Sciences Thesis Prize is Dr Jenny Goodman, who did her PhD with Dr Alex Jones. Jenny's thesis is entitled 'The role of Feronia in regulating growth and development in Arabidopsis Thaliana roots'. A methods paper and a middle author paper have already come from the PhD, and two first author papers – including one for PNAS – are in process.
Warwick Ranked in UK Top 10 and World Top 100 by QS
The University of Warwick has been named as one of the UK’s top ten, and one of the world’s top 100, universities by the QS World University Rankings.
Bacteria such as E. coli detected in minutes by new technology
Dr Munehiro Asally, Dr James Stratford and colleagues, showed that bioelectrical signals from bacteria can be used to rapidly determine if they are alive or dead.
The findings offer a new technology which detects live bacteria in minutes instead of waiting for lab-test results which can take days.
When 'zapped' with an electrical field, live bacteria absorb dye molecules, causing the cells to light up and allowing them to be counted easily.
This rapid technique can detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Pint of Science returns next week bringing scientists out of the lab and into your local pub
- Scientists from Coventry and Warwick universities to appear in city pubs and venues as the world's largest festival of public science talks arrives in Coventry and Leamington from the 20-22 May
- Talks will cover a wide range of topics including sleep, batteries, space, dyslexia, pollution, plastic and paramedics
- Coventry to join nearly 300 cities around the world taking part in this global festival
- Some evenings are already sold out. Tickets are on sale from: pintofscience.co.uk/events/coventry
See Press Release
Examples of talks from Life Sciences
It's in your genes - 20 May 7:30-9:30pm - a series of three talks, including:
Dr Robert Spooner and Professor Kevin Moffat - The DNA Double Act
Who discovered DNA? Well, the double act Watson and Crick - right? Well, not according to Kevin and Robert, who will introduce you to a host of “lesser known” pairs that helped to pioneer the discovery, sequencing and understanding of DNA. Exploring historical events, the 100,000 Human Genome project and beyond; this talk literally has “something for everyone” as genetic research paves the way to personalised medical treatments. Even DNA likes a companion – just look at its structure! So, why not bring a friend and come along to find out more about DNA, and who really did discover it!
Nurturing nature – 20 May 7:30-9:30pm - a series of three talks including:
Amy Newman (PhD Student, University of Warwick) - More than dirt: the hidden world under our feet
Many of us give little thought to the soil beneath our feet but it's vital for all life on earth. Amy's talk will unearth some fascinating examples of the microscopic life that's living all around us. Come along to find out about the microbes which helped to create the first plants to colonise the Earth's surface millions of years ago, and to hear about recent advances in scientific methods which show exciting potential for the discovery of new chemicals such as pharmaceuticals.
Self-lighting Christmas trees could be the future
Say goodbye to tangled up Christmas lights, as self-lighting Christmas trees could be the future thanks to scientists from the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB) using VR.
The evolution of Maize is more complex than thought
New evidence reveals that the evolution of Maize in South America is more complex than initially thought, and there was a further geographical area in which partial domestication occurred in the Southwest Amazon - according to an international collaboration of researchers including the University of Warwick, and published in the journal Science.
Professor Christopher Dowson has been awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) grant of £3million to run a three year China-UK AMR Partnership Hub alongside the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The award is part of a project to address antimicrobial resistance in China and support the global fight against superbugs.
Neuroscience Tech Award Winner
Dr Amol Bhandare was awarded a $250 Tech Award from Inscopix at the recent Society for Neuroscience's (SfN) 48th Annual Meeting in San Diego, USA. Inscopix is a discovery phase neurotechnology company in Silicon Valley, California which brings together expertise in neuroscience, physics, engineering, and data science and is developing radically new approaches to understanding the brain in health and disease.
The Inscopix Tech Awards are an initiative to encourage graduate students and postdocs to present their research at SfN. Dr Bhandare received the award for his abstract on Central circuits for CO2 chemosensory regulation of breathing in freely behaving mice.
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.
M4 Midlands Microbiology Conference held 13-14 September 2018
On 13-14 September, the University of Warwick hosted the 5th annual M4 Midlands Microbiology Conference organised jointly by Dr Freya Harrison, Dr Yin Chen and Profesor David Roper in SLS as well as Dr Meera Unnikrishnan, and Dr Chrystala Constantinidou, from WMS. The conference attracted over 140 participants from throughout the UK with outside speakers from the Pasteur and Karolinska Institutes, and featured a wide breath of microbiology from environmental phage biology to the influence on the bacteria cell wall in host physiology. Microbiology research at Warwick featured prominently at the conference including poster prize winner Carmina Micelli as well as the Antimicrobial Screening Facility which is a unique facility in the area supporting academic and industrial requirements. The conference was sponsored with generous support from the Microbiology Society, The Company of Biologists and Society for Applied Microbiology as well as a number of exhibiting companies.
Student satisfaction at Warwick
Survey results out recently reflect very positively on the School of Life Sciences. These surveys reveal student perception of study here in Life Sciences and also what graduates go on to achieve. We are pleased to see the satisfaction our students show with their education at Warwick. We greatly value their feedback and respect their judgement.
Our 2018 NSS (National Student Survey) results are excellent with a score of 93% for overall student satisfaction. This is a survey of all undergraduate finalists at UK universities and colleges to understand and improve students’ experience of higher education. Staff and students are working very closely on developing new ways to extend and enhance their learning and the NSS is a key element of our collaborative approach to overall enhancement at Warwick. PTES (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey) results are also excellent with a score of 89% for overall student satisfaction, which is above the Russell Group and Sector average.
DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) surveys graduates 6 months after graduation to find out whether they are in work or further study. The recent 2017 results are excellent for Life Sciences with 96% of UG graduates in work or further study (up from 94% in 2015) and 88% in graduate level work or study (up from 79% in 2015). The Government’s 2018 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) show that Warwick's Life Sciences graduates are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for high earnings five years after their graduation.
It is great to see the work that goes into planning and delivering these degrees by so many people in the School, has such a positive impact on students.
Delivering STEM experience to young people
Taking place at the Gibbet Hill campus 15-19 July, the Headstart course provides a university taster course for 16-17 year olds with the opportunity to explore the different biological disciplines taught within the School of Life Sciences. The Life Sciences course enables students to gain experience at a prestigious university prior to making UCAS applications, showing them the different courses and career paths available.
Across the week, students will take part in a wide range of hands-on laboratory experiments and lectures including physiology, microbiology, cell biology and molecular biology.
Organised by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust), Headstart has been established for more than 18 years as a charitable trust providing hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities and taster courses to encourage young people into technology-based careers.
On Tuesday 17 July graduands from the School of Life Sciences attended the Summer Graduation Ceremony held in Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre. The Head of School, Professor Lorenzo Frigerio, academic tutors and other staff also attended the ceremony.