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  • Credits to Ruth Clark

A core mission of the Discovery Centre is to foster new areas of interdisciplinary activity. The Discovery Centre has provided an exciting opportunity to bring multiple disciplines together, allowing scientists from different fields combine their expertise and tackle major problems in biology and translation.

The second floor of the Discovery Centre houses the Division of Computational Biology, which includes Biophysics, Data Analysis and Software Development. Our strategy has been to remove artificial barriers between the physical and biological sciences to maximise scientific discovery. Members of the division either have their own “wet-lab” or collaborate closely with “wet-lab” experimentalists or clinicians to extract maximum value from experimental data that informs the development of predictive algorithms and models that may be tested experimentally.

The third floor houses a state-of-the-art Quantitative Proteomics and proteomic data analytics facility integrating expertise in cell biology, mass spectrometry, proteomics, “big-data” analytics and computer science to exploit the potential of the human genome project for healthcare and the development of safer drugs. Through the leadership of Professor Angus Lamond FRS, we have built a strong position for quantitative proteomics in the UK. Our approach has been to combine quantitative proteomics with industrial and in- house experience in business intelligence computing and data warehousing to move beyond compiling ‘simple proteomes’ that primarily identify static lists of proteins and to pioneer the application of new, multi-dimensional proteomics strategies for the analysis of fundamental problems in human genetics and cell biology.

A particular focus of the Discovery Centre is to bring cross-disciplinary teams of researchers together to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance. This is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across from scientists from all disciplines. Networks have developed between biophysicists, chemists, microbiologists, clinicians to work together on projects including developing novel diagnostics, new drug delivery strategies for antimicrobials and surveillance technologies and data analytics.

Lastly, the Discovery Centre has led to the creation of LifeSpace, an exciting Science Art Research Gallery that will host up to four major exhibitions each year, showcasing the best in collaborations between artists and scientists.