University of Dundee

Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression

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GRE

COVID Stories: There would be no world-leading research without our Support Staff (Part 2)

During lockdown, the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee was not closed. Work continued albeit on a much smaller scale than usual, with the majority of the ongoing research focussed on coronavirus. Our support staff were absolutely critical in keeping the research complex functioning to allow this important work to happen. As we have entered phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown, we look back over the past few months and the challenges that our community in the School encountered and had to overcome.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

Public Engagement Funding Award for van Aalten lab Care to Share project

The van Aalten lab has been awarded ScotPEN Wellcome Engagement Award to run an innovative project focused on the role of science, lifestyle and one’s social circle in managing neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). The Care to Share project aims to equip participants with practical strategies and networks important in dealing with NDs.

The Care to Share project will utilise games to:

Scottish funding for Dundee Covid-19 research project

Scientists and clinicians based at the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine at the University have been awarded funding from the Chief Scientist Office that will help identify those most vulnerable to severe symptoms of coronavirus.

The team led by Professor Doreen Cantrell, a Professor of Cellular Immunology and Professor James Chalmers, a leading respiratory disease physician at Ninewells, has been awarded £294,000 to help identify patients experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 whose condition could significantly worsen.

Covid virus images shared for global science community

Scientists at the University of Dundee and the EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have published online some of the largest and highest resolution images yet recorded of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The images were collected by a consortium of researchers from the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

DNA damage and faulty repair jointly cause mutations

Whole genome sequencing gives new insights into cancer genomics

Summary

  • By analysing genomic data from worms, scientists detailed how mutations are caused by a combination of DNA damage and inaccurate repair
  • This shows that a single DNA-damaging agent can generate a multitude of mutational signatures depending on the repair mechanisms involved in fixing the original damage 
  • The research could help pinpoint the causes of mutations found in the genomes of cancer patients and healthy individuals

Van Aalten group identify new class of disease

Researchers in the School have discovered a new neurodevelopmental disease caused by genetic mutations and helped explain why patients with these mutations suffer this condition.

Around 1% of the global population are affected by intellectual disability, a condition characterised by significant limitations in both intellectual function and in adaptive behaviour. It was known that a molecule called GlcNAc was found on proteins related to intellectual disability, but its exact role in this disease remained unclear.

£1.6 million award will bring machine learning into life sciences

A University of Dundee researcher has been awarded £1.6 million in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop machine learning tools for the life sciences.

Machine learning has rapidly transformed many aspects of our daily lives in the last decade. It is also increasingly playing a vital role in analysing biomedical data. However, using these techniques to answer fundamental, mechanistic questions about biological processes remains challenging.

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