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Successful Research Funding Year for Biosciences

29 September 2010

The School of Biosciences achieved a 12% increase in new research funding in the last year (2009/2010), being awarded research grants of over £14 million.

The achievement reflects an expansion of our research activities, despite many funding bodies tightening their budgets. The research grants are almost exclusively from major UK and European funding bodies (approximately 50% from UK Research Councils) and thus represent important new resources coming into Wales benefiting the Welsh economy.

The largest single new grant this past year was £1.5 million from The Wellcome Trust to Professor Vincenzo Crunelli for 'Studies of physiological thalamocortical rhythms'. Another very significant grant was the £1.1 million EPSRC Leadership Award to Dr. Paola Borri for studies on 'Shedding new light on cells with coherent multiphoton nanoscopy'.

The School also won several other new grants of considerable strategic importance. These include a £0.7 million share of a 2 million Euro iSAM (integrated Analysis of the Shoot Apical Meristem) award as part of the European Systems Biology Initiative, co-ordinated by Professor Jim Murray and Dr. Walter DeWitte. The CRUK Cardiff Cancer Research UK Centre, directed by Professor Alan Clarke, secured another £0.7 million for the School. It was also very pleasing to see substantial new grant awards totaling £0.6 million to a younger member of staff, Dr. Helen White-Cooper. 

The School's involvement in the three University flagship Research Institutes on Cancer Stem Cells, Neuroscience and Mental Health and Sustainable Places will offer further funding opportunities in the new year, particularly in areas of inter-disciplinary research.

Director of the School of Biosciences, Professor Ole Petersen FRS, who received the first Medical Research Council Professorship award in Wales (£0.9 million), said:

"This has been a great year for the School with regard to new research grant awards from major funding bodies, who base their decisions on rigorous peer review processes. The competition for such grant awards is currently fierce and only those with outstanding publication records are successful. "

The School's excellent international research reputation was recently recognized in the 2010 World University Ranking (based on research strength and performance) compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in which Life Sciences at Cardiff University is in the top 100 worldwide and in the top 10 in the UK.

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