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University invests in world leading lab

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04 Jun 2015

The University of Leeds is investing £17 million in a state-of-the-art laboratory to conduct world leading structural biology research.

The new facility will provide the University's internationally renowned Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology with instruments for Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance that are competitive with the very best in the world.

The new facility is being paid from with £17m from the university’s own funds rather than any outside grant and academics believe it could help find new ways of treating patients with complex disorders linked to ageing and cancer.

Professor Sheena Radford FRS, Director of the Astbury Centre, said: 

'The biomedical challenges we face today include complex disorders associated with ageing, cancer, lifestyle and drug resistance. To develop new therapies for these diseases, we need to understand biological structures at a molecular level and this investment will keep Leeds at the forefront of this science.'

Housed in fully refurbished facilities the new equipment will include two powerful 300 kilovolt (kV) electron microscopes (EM), a new ultra-sensitive 950 megahertz (MHz) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, these will join 120kV and 200kV EMs, and 500, 600 and 750 MHz NMR machines. The existing machines have been purchased and systematically upgraded over the years through a combination of Leeds and Wellcome Trust funding.

Work to develop the new BioStructure Laboratory will start immediately.

Professor Radford added: "This latest investment in Leeds will ensure that we become one of the best resourced centres for instrumentation in structural biology in the world. We are immensely grateful to the University Council for backing the Astbury Centre in this way."