New technology to aid medical research and discovery

Scientists at the University of Plymouth are set to take the next steps in major medical research thanks to winning prestigious funding announced today.

With capital funding from the Wolfson Foundation, teams will soon be able to benefit from a new state of the art mass spectrometer.

Used in proteomics – the in-depth study of proteins – the machine will enable researchers to analyse samples up to 10 times faster than their current technology permits; meaning accelerated results, and potentially faster rollout of treatments.

The University excels in a number of areas of biomedical research which use this technology, including antimicrobial resistance, where likely new antibiotic candidates have been identified, and in its Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence, where the team has validated new drug targets and biomarkers for tumours.

Now these teams, and many others in the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR), can look forward to accelerating the next step in developing research insights and to bringing new treatments forwards for real-world impact.

The versatility of the new model of mass spectrometer will also result in a wider range of research applications, increasing the potential for local, national and international collaboration.

Professor Sube Banerjee, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, said:

“Proteomics investigates how different proteins interact with each other and the roles they play within the organism. The advanced technology of the new mass spectrometer will substantially improve our ability to craft a global view of the processes underlying healthy and diseased cellular processes at the protein level. The work that we do in this area already has huge real-world implications and this new investment will speed translation of research into action.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for their funding, and recognising how much impact this piece of equipment will have on the work taking place here. What’s great about this project too is that £50,000 was funded by small donations – from people’s kindness to personal fundraising endeavours. It’s brilliant that they can see their funding being put to use in such an impactful way.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to be able to support the University with this funding. The equipment will help facilitate a wide range of research, including into brain tumours and anti-microbial resistance. These are crucial areas of research – and the quality of Plymouth’s scientists, alongside this cutting edge equipment, are a powerful combination.”

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