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Professor Helen Saibil is part of academic team behind new biology imaging centre at Diamond

Professor Saibil has been a key figure in funding and advisory roles for a new imaging centre which will be built at Diamond Light Source.

Professor Helen Saibil is part of academic team behind new biology imaging centre at Diamond

Professor Helen Saibil, Bernal Professor of Structural Biology at Birkbeck, is one of the academic leads for a new imaging centre for biology which will be built at the Diamond Light Source in Oxford. The centre will be funded by a £15.6 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The new centre will provide scientists with state-of-the-art experimental equipment and expertise. The powerful cryo-electron microscopes will reveal more of cell structure to help further understand molecular make-up and will provide new tools to visualise single bio-molecules.

The facility will offer two high end Cryo-Electron microscopes, a sample preparation laboratory with a super-resolution fluorescence microscope, and equipment for vitreous sectioning with an ion-milling beam.

A real boost to UK research in structural biology

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 the way forward to optimise costs and usage. The facility will be accessed through peer review and opened to UK, EU and international scientists.

Professor Saibil commented: ‘When this facility becomes available it will enable more and higher quality science – we expect it to be a big stimulus to structural and cellular biology in the UK and Europe. Many crystallographers and cell biologists express an interest in these methods but don’t have access to the required facilities and expertise – the centre will provide training and technical support.

Read the full press release.

[Photo from Diamond press release shows (left to right): Prof Dave Stuart, Life Science Director at Diamond Light Source, MRC Professor of Structural Biology at the Dept of Medicine University of Oxford, and Director of the European Instruct project, Prof Kay Grüenewald, Prof of Structural Cell Biology at the Oxford Particle Imaging Centre University of Oxford, Prof Helen Saibil, Bernal Professor of Structural Biology at Birkbeck College, and Prof Gerd Materlik, Diamond Fellow.]

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