We explore and explain the mechanisms by which plants grow and develop in response to their environment, is combined with the relevant translation of our scientific activity into crop improvement, biofuel development, and the assessment of biodiversity. A unique partnership between the world-leading molecular research resources of the School of Life Sciences and the James Hutton Institute gives us access to state-of-the-art plant growth facilities and collaboration with a wider community of plant scientists. Choose BS32008 in Block C.
Studying Biology overview
All our research is based around understanding processes including protein and ion transport across membranes; multicellular behaviour; signal transduction systems that involve intra- and inter- cellular signalling molecules; the assembly of complex metalloproteins; production, roles and modes of action of bioactive metabolites and antibiotics; metal-mineral-radionuclide transformations; biomineral formation; action of virulence factors and Biosynthesis of the microbial cell wall. Choose BS32004 in Block C.
Immunology explores the mechanisms involved in protection against infectious disease. These defences are highly coordinated and rely on a variety of immune cells and specialised organs. Together with key receptor molecules including antibodies, T cell receptors and MHC molecules, these components of the immune system distinguish infectious microorganisms from the body's own components and then eradicate the foreign invaders through an array of potent elimination mechanisms. Choose BS32009 in Block D.
Drug discovery looks for chemical solutions to biological problems through basic and applied multidisciplinary research. Discovery, characterization and validation of drug targets in neglected diseases is a major research focus. Knowledge gained from these fundamental studies forms the foundation for translation into novel drug-like leads through a combination of high throughput screening, structure based design and medicinal chemistry. Choose BS32007 in Block C plus BS32003 in Block D and Drug Discovery Project.
Cell signalling involves study of the mechanisms that cells use to sense external signals such as those detected by various receptors in the immune system on the one hand and on the other, internal signals that indicate changes in cellular metabolic activity and energy status. Remarkably, the biochemical ‘wiring’ underlying these diverse systems is often overlapping. The research is relevant to the pathologies associated with cancer, diabetes, infectious disease, autoimmunity and allergy. Choose BS32006 in Block C.
Developmental biologists look at the growth of creatures from a single cell to birth. They study the processes which build a living creature and work to identify and prevent diseases that arise during development. The domestic chicken has been a focus for embryological studies since Aristotle first followed its 3-week development. The chick embryo forms most of its organs in ways very similar to those of mammals. Choose BS32005 in Block D
Biochemistry covers all of the processes occurring in living cells with a particular focus on the structure and function of biomolecules, providing an understanding at the molecular level of complex cellular processes and to explain how they function in both health and disease. Molecular Biology is closely related and studies the complex mechanisms by which our genetic information is interpreted, focussing on the plethora of molecular machines’ that perform the many functions occurring within living cells and that integrate many cellular and subcellular activities.
Bioinformatics is the research field that seeks to find computational ways of understanding biological systems. The subject ranges from research in statistics and computer science, through software engineering and database development to applications in specific biological systems. The possible biological applications are equally broad, from the study of populations through molecular structure and interactions, to simulations of metabolic and signalling processes. BS32010 Applied Bioinformatics in Block C plus bioinformatics project.