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Funding boost for state-of-the-art equipment

Posted on 7 March 2017

The University of York’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded £1.6million to invest in state-of-the-art equipment used to investigate the three dimensional structures of biological molecules.

Cryo-EM structure of a virus

‌The award, which will be used to invest in cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) equipment, was awarded by the Wellcome Trust.

The funding will be matched with a £1million gift from alumnus Dr Tony Wild.

Dr Wild, a leading businessman and philanthropist, has been a long-time supporter of Chemistry at York.


Cryo-EM is a form of microscopy used by structural biologists in which biological samples are flash frozen to extremely low temperatures allowing them to be studied in the electron microscope in their native states –how they exist within a living cell.

Cryo-EM is transforming areas of science essential for improving health, from seeing how drugs get into cells or visualising the atomic-level structure of a virus to aid vaccine development.

The funding will allow scientists to address important biomedical questions that were simply unanswerable a few years ago.

Professor Gideon Davies, from the Department of Chemistry, said: “Cryo-electron microscopy is one of the most exciting developments of recent years. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Tony Wild and the Wellcome Trust in funding this initiative. 

“We are looking forward to analysing the complex atomic structures of viruses and of proteins involved in human disease here in York."

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