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Division of Molecular Biosciences Department of Life Sciences Faculty of Natural Sciences Imperial College London Prof. Paul Freemont (Head of Division)

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Presentation on theme: "Division of Molecular Biosciences Department of Life Sciences Faculty of Natural Sciences Imperial College London Prof. Paul Freemont (Head of Division)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Division of Molecular Biosciences Department of Life Sciences Faculty of Natural Sciences Imperial College London Prof. Paul Freemont (Head of Division) Prof. Mike Sternberg (Deputy Head)

2 Molecular Biosciences Strategic aims - To understand at the molecular level (including visualisation) the function of cells as an integrated system including details of individual components and biological mechanisms which constitute the system To apply this information in the development of new research themes such as Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery.

3 Molecular Bioscience Division Profile Academic Staff: 19 Independent Research Fellows: 5 Postdoctoral Fellows: 59 PhD and Master Students: 78 Grants held = £24M Grants 06/07 spend = £6M Collaborations and support from industry primarily in Biopharma and Biotech. Two Spin out companies: Equinox Pharma and NanoBioDesign

4 Integrative Systems Biology and Bioinformatics– Systems understanding of living cells and organisms at different scales Synthetic Biology – Design and manufacture of biologically based parts, devices and systems and redesigning existing, natural biological systems Atomic Biology – Imaging cells at atomic resolution using interdisciplinary structural biology techniques Biomedical Glycobiology – Using glycan analyses and functional studies of sugar receptors in cellular recognition with an emphasis on disease states Membrane Protein Structural Biology – The application of new methods to express, crystallize and solve the structures of membrane proteins focused on therapeutically important human GPCR receptors. Bio-Solar Energy - the artificial leaf and hydrogen production Academic Drug Discovery and Biopharmaceutical Processing– Utilisation of bioinformatics, protein structure and screening to facilitate drug discovery and manufacture Interdisciplinary research themes in MBS

5 Centre for Structural Biology (Prof. Steve Matthews) Centre for Bioinformatics (Prof. Mike Sternberg) Centre for Integrated Systems Biology (Prof. Jaroslav Stark) Centre for Electron Microscopy (Profs. Marin van Heel and Paul Freemont) Glycobiology Training, Research and Infrastructure Centre (Prof. Anne Dell FRS) Cross-Faculty NMR Centre (Prof. Steve Matthews) Interdisciplinary Research Centres

6 Bioreactor suite Robotic crystallisation X-ray data collection Bioanalytical suite High-field NMR Cryo-electron microscopy Mass spectrometry Structural Bioinformatics High performance computing Run MRes in Structural Biology Structural Biology: Facilities and Infrastructure

7 CISBIC Centre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College BBSRC/EPSRC funded £6M from Sept 2005 for 5 years But “What is Systems Biology” ?

8 What is Systems Biology? Very many interpretations!

9 What is Systems Biology? Explaining and predicting biological processes by integrating knowledge about both the parts and their interactions and not just the sum of the parts

10 CISBIC vision Higher level of complexity requires an iterative cycle of wet biology and modelling

11 Three integrated sub-projects Exemplar project on host-pathogen interaction

12 Systems Biology developments Research –Additional BBSRC SABR grants led by CISBIC –Funding of a research centre and project by Syngenta –New appointments - Dr Robert Endres (next speaker) Teaching –Final year UG module –MSc in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology –New MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology (Oct 08) with CISBIC and the IoSSB Exemplar Project Core Facilities and Outreach New Projects Years 1 – 5

13 Data Integration Glycoproteomics Dell Core Facilities Transcriptomics Kafatos + CSC Cell Imaging Magee Metabonomics Nicholson Sternberg Butcher

14 Proteomic and Glycomics World leading mass spectrometry

15 Bioinformatics Support Service Dr Sarah Butcher (Head) + 5 staff Bioinformatics software, databases and hardware Help via web site and help-desk Undertake small scale and large scale support including bespoke programming Several grants now fund full or part posts in BBS to deliver robust data management (now a BBSRC requirement) Runs training workshops

16 Major Collaborations Dr Gerard Bishop (Biology) –Sequencing the Tomato genome (2 grants) Dr Pietro Spanu (Biology) –Sequencing Blumeria graminis genome (1 grant) Dr David Leak (Biology) –Pichia protein secretion (1 grant) CISBIC (various) Other collaborations ongoing with Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Faculty of Medicine (various divisions), other universities in UK and outside

17 Synthetic Biology developments Research –Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology (cross-faculty) EPSRC Science and Innovation application (April 08) Bio-energy and bio-fuels (with Biology) Strategic appointments in Synthetic Biology Teaching –Final year UG module with Bioengineering –New MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology (Oct 08) with CISBIC and the IoSSB

18 Examples of collaborations within DoLS Patwardhan & Onesti - Single particle e.m. of the MCM complex Sternberg & Sinden - Functional annotation of Plasmodium Sternberg & Christophides – Plant systems biology Stumpf & Spanu – Fungal pathogens of plants Stumpf & Buck – Bacterial stress response pathways Zhang & Buck - Structural mechanisms of bacterial transcription Matthews & Frankel - Structural basis of pathogenecity Freemont & Mann - Structure of cell cycle phosphatase s Dell & Haslam with Crisanti - Mosquito proteomics Dell & Halslam with Ushkariov - Proteomics Bioinformatics Support Service…. And more….

19 And more collaborations Ernesto Cota and Pietro Spanu Anne Dell & Stuart Haslam with –Andreas Crisanti (Mosquito proteomics) –Yuri Ushkaryov,

20 Mechanisms for Collaborations Need to be proactive before grant announcement Focused workshops on themes appropriate for support by research funding bodies Are there realistic Departmentally-driven incentives? –e.g. should more of our small pool of PhD students be directed towards collaborative project?


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