Thanks for visiting Imaging and Machine Vision Europe.

You're trying to access an editorial feature that is only available to logged in, registered users of Imaging and Machine Vision Europe. Registering is completely free, so why not sign up with us?

By registering, as well as being able to browse all content on the site without further interruption, you'll also have the option to receive our magazine (multiple times a year) and our email newsletters.

£15.6 million granted for biology imaging facility

Share this on social media:

A grant of £15.6 million has been given to the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire for a new imaging facility for biology. The centre will be situated next to the Diamond Light Source building when completed.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the facility will house two high-end cryo-electron microscopes, sample preparation laboratory with a super-resolution fluorescence microscope, and equipment for vitreous sectioning with an ion-milling beam.

The new equipment will provide scientists working in the Harwell campus with the ability to look deep into biological cells to help further understand molecular structure and to create new tools to visualise single bio-molecules. 

While not being joined directly to the Diamond synchrotron light source, the centre will attach to one of Diamond’s Phase III beamlines, an X-ray nanoprobe which will stand outside the main ‘silver doughnut’ building.

Dr Michael Dunn, Head of Genetic and Molecular Sciences at the Wellcome Trust, said: ‘We are pleased to be involved in this exciting venture, together with MRC and BBSRC, which will enable UK research to remain at the cutting edge of structural biology.’

This centre will offer the imaging approaches of single particle analysis of biological macromolecules and cellular tomography, as well as electron crystallography. These techniques will complement the atomic mapping possible with macromolecular crystallography beamlines, the elemental mapping in cells provided by the X-ray nanoprobe, and the larger scale cell imaging capability of the new full-field cryo-transmission X-ray microscope (cryo-TXM).

As cryo-electron microscopy is becoming increasingly specialised and expensive for university departments to build and operate, a centralised approach to such biological facilities is a way to optimise costs and usage. A facility leader will be appointed to ensure international scientific leadership. The facility will be accessed through peer review and opened to UK, EU and international scientists.

Recent News

06 December 2019

Cobey McGinnis at the University of North Carolina Charlotte has been recognised with the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award for work on a single-pixel hyperspectral camera

06 December 2019

Flir Systems has made a strategic investment in Providence Photonics, a provider of software used to quantify gas emissions

21 November 2019

Scientists at the Dresden University of Technology have developed a high-speed imaging technique able to analyse cell samples 10,000 times faster than conventional methods

19 November 2019

A project to improve vocational learning through an interactive, imaging-based workstation is underway in Germany, coordinated by Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich