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Interdisciplinary team awarded major funding

A new innovative fibre tip developed at St Andrews that is less than the width of a human hair. Laser Light may be delivered with such a fibre for laser nanosurgery or biomedical imaging.Researchers at the University of St Andrews have secured major funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council worth over one million pounds.

The new cross-discipline grant involves scientists from the University’s School of Physics & Astronomy, the School of Biology, the Bute Medical School and the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences.

Led by St Andrews’ scientists Professor Kishan Dholakia, Dr Frank Gunn-Moore, Professor Ifor Samuel and Professor Simon Herrington, the team will perform various feasibility studies to drive forward ambitious new projects with the aim of developing new biomedical applications such as advanced diagnostic tools and novel imaging techniques.

Professor Kishan Dholakia from the School of Physics & Astronomy commented, “This grant is an outstanding endorsement of the success of Biophotonics at St Andrews that has emerged to have a major international presence in just the last five years.

“It offers exciting prospects for collaborative work both at home and with major institutes across the World to develop an array of new light based technologies.”

Dr Frank Gunn-Moore from the School of Biology explained that the money will benefit all sciences at the University of St Andrews.

Dr Gunn-Moore said, “This is a major step for the Schools of Biology, Medicine and the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences to engage in new high risk-high return projects that will engender new major grants – particularly topical given the advent of our new Interdisciplinary Medical Research Institute.

“Examples of projects include new techniques for imaging thousands of cells in whole tissues all at the same time; the ability to monitor the interaction of single molecules in living cells; and also the development of novel diagnostic tools which will require only a drop of fluid.”

David Stevenson is one of the researchers who will benefit from this £1.2M grant that will provide the opportunity for international collaboration amongst academics.

He remarked, “There has never been a more exciting and productive time for a young inter-disciplinary researcher to be working in the University of St Andrews. This grant offers me and my contemporaries an immense opportunity to advance our careers as well as to work with young people across the world.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Professor Kishan Dholakia is available for interview on Tel: 01334 463184 or Email: kd1@st-andrews.ac.uk

Dr Frank Gunn-Moore is available for interview on Tel: 01334 463525 or Email: fjg1@st-andrews.ac.uk

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS: AN IMAGE IS AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.
CAPTION:  A new innovative fibre tip developed at St Andrews that is less than the width of a human hair. Laser Light may be delivered with such a fibre for laser nanosurgery or biomedical imaging.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: fa12@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref:  11/05/09 biomedicine grant
View the latest University press releases at www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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