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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J004391/1
Title: Next Generation Statistics in Biosciences: Shape Analysis and Structural Bioinformatics
Principal Investigator: Mardia, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Gusnanto, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Statistics
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 15 July 2011 Ends: 14 October 2011 Value (£): 16,396
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioinformatics Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Biosciences are the hot topic of the 21st century. One of the big unsolved problems in this area is to understand the folding of proteins which determines their shape. This is one of the key properties which determines how a protein works. A successful solution to this problem will surely lead to a Nobel prize nomination.

Recent progress in this area has been based on heuristic methods. Despite these efforts, there has not been a real break-through and more sophisticated methods will be needed. Statistical modeling will be certain to play an important role in this. protein function is determined by the shape of the molecule, and often proteins with similar structure have similar function. The statistical tool which is required to make use of these relationships is the area of shape analysis,and the aim of the proposed cross-disciplinary workshop is to strengthen this area and to ensure that it has its due impact on the biosciences.

We believe that shape analysis will provide an essential building block in the future development of the area of structural bioinformatics and the University of Leeds is uniquely positioned to lead this development . For this reason, we propose to hold an International Workshop to bring together eminent researchers in these two fields . This is particularly important now, since the UK statistical research enterprise is currently in a fragile and weakened condition (International Review of Mathematics 2011, pages 20-21).

The workshop is primarily aimed at academic staff, research fellows and research students coming from a wide variety of fields: statistics, bioinformatics, and biomedicine. Where appropriate, keynote speakers have been imported from continental Europe and America to strengthen the UK science base. The resulting building of expertise and research findings will enhance the position of UK research in this exciting area.

The University of Leeds is well-placed to host such an event, with strong groups in both statistics, bioinformatics and the new centre of Statistical Bioinformatics.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk