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Interdisciplinary research facilities

The Natural Sciences programme at York has been designed by teachers and researchers who are leading figures in their fields of research. Some examples of world-leading interdisciplinary research centres at York are introduced below. Depending on the options you choose, you may have access to these facilities and the academics working in them, for example, during your final year project.

The York-JEOL Nanocentre

This purpose built, £5.5 million interdisciplinary facility is home to some of the world’s most powerful and sophisticated microscopes, enabling scientists to probe deep into the very stuff of life and matter. Created in collaboration with Japan’s leading manufacturer of high-tech scientific instruments – Tokyo based JEOL – the new facility and its research teams are playing a key role in developing the Natural Sciences programme.

Professor Gai said: “Our technology is going to take us into a new and completely different world of nano and molecular technology providing access at the most fundamental level – that’s the really exciting part about it.”

Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance (CHyM)

Most people will be familiar with an MRI scanner. But the scientists at this recently built £7million facility are developing new imaging techniques that will transform the quality, precision, and speed with which doctors can assess the needs of a patient using scanning technologies developed at York.

Here chemists, biologists, psychologists, engineers, clinicians, and the private sector, are collaborating in research projects that could lead to Alzheimer's disease being diagnosed in minutes using a simple brain scan; and where the sensitivity of an average hospital scanner could be increased by 200,000 times. This project once again demonstrates how a multi-disciplinary approach is able to make breakthroughs in medical science that would otherwise have been impossible. 

Biological Physics and Biophysics

Biological Physics and Biophysics at York

Biological Physics and Biophysics at York involves biophysics research and teaching which includes experimental and theoretical biophysics and physical science tools and techniques to address biophysics questions in the life sciences, physical methods of relevance to applications in biomedicine, and approaches which use biophysics in the context of biological-derived material to explore new physics.

The Biophysics Group is an enthusiastic, growing team comprising multiple biophysics research groups spanning multiple research themes in the Physics Department at the University of York, and we interface closely with the University of York’s Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI) and through a range of cross-departmental collaborations between physical and life scientists focused on a range of biophysics questions.  

York NeuroImaging Centre‌ (YNiC)

Since it was established over a decade ago this £5.2 million centre has been home to a multidisciplinary team of scientists who have been using some of the world’s most sophisticated imaging technologies to probe the inner workings of the brain.

The Centre was formed by a consortium of some of the strongest departments within the university including Psychology, Computer Science, Electronics, Health Sciences and Chemistry. Work involves not only the development of fundamental science, but also collaborative work with clinicians and industry to produce new therapies and technologies for the support of patients.

York Plasma Institute (YPI)

Opened in 2012 by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir John Beddington, this £6 million facility is dedicated to research and training in fusion energy; low temperature plasmas for technological and biomedical applications; and laser-plasma interaction.

York Plasma Institute Director, Professor Howard Wilson, said at the opening ceremony that: “With the construction of the international fusion facility ITER, the largest international science project on Earth, fusion is entering an exciting new era.

“It takes fusion beyond a scientific study, requiring closer collaboration between scientists, engineers and industry to address the remaining scientific and technological questions and deliver energy to the grid. The philosophy of the York Plasma Institute embraces this collaborative approach: it is a really exciting time for us.”

Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI)

Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI)

Established in 2013, the Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI) at the University of York serves to stimulate and fund exciting new collaborative activities at the cutting-edge interface between the Physical and Life Sciences, encompassing multiple exceptional research teams across several different departments of the University, including Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Mathematics, Psychology and Computer Science.

Scientific areas of the BPSI are divided broadly into three inter-related strands of research excellence with several members of the BPSI interfacing multiple strands.

  • Imaging and Quantitation
  • Biomolecular Interactions
  • Biological Modelling