New biology lab ‘a world-beater’

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LEEDS University is investing £17m into a new laboratory to allow it to carry out world leading biology research.

Academics say the new Astbury BioStructure Laboratory could help find new ways of treating patients with complex disorders linked to ageing and cancer.

The new facility is being paid from with £17m from the university’s own funds rather than any outside grant.

Professor Sheena Radford director of the Astbury Centre, said: “The biomedical challenges we face today include complex disorders associated with ageing, cancer, lifestyle and drug resistance.

“To develop new therapies for these diseases, we need to understand biological structures at a molecular level and this investment will keep Leeds at the forefront of this science.”

The university said the new facility will provide its internationally renowned Astbury Centre with equipment that is “competitive with the very best in the world.”

The funding, approved by the Council of the University, will pay for two powerful 300 kilovolt electron microscopes.

These will give researchers new insights into the structure of healthy and diseased cells, and how pathogens like viruses and bacteria attack them.

The new microscopes will allow researchers to study the structures of individual molecules in unprecedented detail.

And the new instrumentation will provide academics with insights into how to design new drug molecules to target complex health challenges such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and antimicrobial resistance.

The new equipment will be housed in fully refurbished facilities .