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Research infrastructure

Investing in new facilities for biomedical research

A total of around £480,000 has been spent on new capital equipment to support biomedical research at York and ‘omics’-based research on human populations, including the tools for research in stratified medicine.

  • £105,444 was spent on equipment, including a central file server with backup tape library and a cluster of computer servers, to provide the computing infrastructure to support the growing number of bioinformatics projects across the University. A senior data analyst trained in bioinformatics and multivariate statistical approaches was appointed in October 2012 to support existing and new research.
  • £30,000 was contributed towards developing a medium throughput histopathology facilty, providing data rich specialist microscopy for the automated scanning, archiving and analysis of pathological tissue sections. The equipment will be managed in Biology’s Technology Facility for access by staff across the University and by NHS collaborators.
  • £120,000 was awarded towards purchasing a BD LSRFortessa next generation flow cytometer analyser equipped with 4 lasers and 13 colours. This machine allows for very rapid sample acquisition and the collection of very large data sets permitting single cell analysis of human blood, tissues, micro-organisms, cancer cells and other rare cells found in chronic diseases and disorders. It is a multi-user instrument and is based in the Biology Technology Facility where it will be open to researchers across the University to use in a wide range of interdisciplinary applications. 
  • C2D2 is funding the appointment of two posts to support continuing developments in Chemical Biology and its medicinal applications. A part-time experimental officer will curate and maintain chemical libraries and advise on various low throughput screening methods available (NMR, TSA, SPR) and the available compounds. A full-time research officer will provide computational support in terms of molecular modelling and cheminformatics.
  • £220,627 has been invested in developing an ACDP CL2 laboratory for the York Plasma Institute, dedicated to assessing the biological impact of cold plasma jets on microbiological and clinical material under aseptic conditions. This facility will allow simultaneous quantitative correlations of plasma species concentrations with microbiological assays under controlled conditions. Such studies have potential benefits both for the treatment of cancer and biofilms.‌
  • £160,000 was provided in matched funding for a successful 1 million pound EPSRC ‘Core Capability for Chemistry Research’ bid. The money is being used to purchase NMR, mass spectrometry, x-ray diffraction and atomic scale microscopy equipment, all of which will provide additional resources for biomedical research.
  • £59,500 was contributed towards a new protein preparation facility for the Biology Technology Facility which will support the development of novel enzyme biocatalysts and protein-based biopharmaceuticals.
  • £29,568 was used to purchase a Tobii Glasses 2.0 Premium Kit lightweight head-mounted eye-trackers with analysis software to measure the patterns of visual attention and communication behaviours during classroom lessons of children with special education needs (SEN) and language and learning difficulties, including deafness, dyslexia, and autism. 
  • A Senior Administrator has been appointed to set up a new Research Tissue Bank to add to the existing joint Clinical Research Facility between the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the University.
  • A new sandfly facility in the University's Biological Services Facility is supporting translational research on leishmaniasis vaccine development.