Durham University receives £1.5m grant for new science institute
(5 January 2007)
Durham University has received a major £1.5m investment from the Wolfson Foundation, a charitable organisation supporting scientific research, to put towards the development of a new Biophysical Sciences Institute.
Research at the BSI will capture the current international momentum to develop inter-disciplinary approaches to complex biological problems in a number of wide ranging fields such as memory, evolution and cell transport processes. The Institute will involve several scientific departments within the university including Chemistry, Physics and Biomedical and Biological Sciences. It will harness the skills of scientists with a variety of expertise to develop unique approaches to probing questions within the biophysical field. Through this distinctive approach to research the Institute has the potential to generate new knowledge at the interface of the biological and physical sciences and become a world-leader. The discoveries made through the cutting edge research, new materials and technologies available within the BSI will be exploited for the benefit of economies and communities worldwide and could enable 21st Century advances in communication, transport, health and environmental management. Samples of some of the fundamental scientific issues which will be addressed include: • Memory – how the processes of living cells can lead to the creation of new smart memory biomaterials and data processing machines. • Evolution – harnessing the adaptive power of organisms to engineer new biomaterials with improved physical and chemical properties to enable emerging technologies in the chemical and communication industries. • Cell transport processes – examining the complexity of these nanoscale mechanisms could lead to the development of the next generation of smart drugs.