Posted on 17 March 2003The joint research programme will be carried out in the Noble Laboratory, newly established in the new £25 million Biosciences building at the University of York.
"I am delighted by this new agreement between our two institutes", said Professor Dianna Bowles, Director of CNAP. "We both have world-class expertise in the bioscience which underpins novel health product discovery. By combining our strengths and working together on new projects, we can move forward much more rapidly, both in research and in development of products to markets here and in the United States."
Professor Richard Dixon, Noble Foundation Plant Biology Division Director and head of the new Noble Laboratory in CNAP, agreed. "The creation of this new laboratory represents a wonderful opportunity to develop new technologies based on the incredible diversity of biologically active chemicals found in plants for the prevention and treatment of human diseases. We intend to work together to enhance in-house programmes at both institutes through new collaborations and new opportunities for commercialisation."
Plant extracts have been used in health treatments for thousands of years. The Noble team at York will use modern molecular techniques to increase yields in a range of products in order to make such health products more readily available. The work has a particular resonance for health problems in developing countries, where diseases such as malaria might be a target for the Noble/CNAP team's work.
In the initial phase of the alliance, the collaboration will provide funding for two post-doctoral researchers, a technician and equipment and consumables for a period of five years.
"We are excited both about the scientific outreach this collaboration represents, and the potential our institutions have to develop plant-based products to benefit human health," said Michael Cawley, Noble Foundation president.
"This represents an excellent research alliance that should open up commercial opportunities for the University in key target markets", said CNAP Commercial Director, Dr Graham Howe.
CNAP, a research centre in the Department of Biology at York, has core funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the UK Government. CNAP integrates expertise in biochemistry, genetics, plant biology and microbiology. Its work has important and wide-ranging applications in agriculture, manufacturing industry, and health.
Research projects at CNAP complement work in the Noble Foundation laboratories in Ardmore, Oklahoma, which is focused on enhancing the management of agricultural resources and plant productivity through research, consultation and demonstration.
Recruitment for the Noble Laboratory at York is underway, and it is anticipated that the research team will begin work this summer.