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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015498/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Physical Sciences Innovation in Chemical Biology for Bioindustry and Healthcare
Principal Investigator: Ces, Professor O
Other Investigators:
Barter, Dr LMC Woscholski, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AstraZeneca GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) Procter & Gamble
Syngenta The Francis Crick Institute
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 4,671,360
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel H Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Chemical Biology is a strategically important area of research for the UK that looks at the development and application of novel tools and techniques for the study of molecular interactions in biological systems. Graduate training in Chemical Biology will play a crucial role in driving innovation and transforming the design process in the biotech and medical technology, agri-science and personal care sectors, as well as stimulating the creation of new start-up enterprises in the UK.

In order to meet these skills a new generation of PhD graduates in Chemical Biology must be trained who are able to connect the scientific and commercial/industrial sectors whilst still being supremely well equipped to work across the Physical and Life Sciences interface, allowing for multiple forms of translational activity. This crucial skills gap will be addressed by the new CDT in "Physical Sciences Innovation in Chemical Biology for Bioindustry and Healthcare" which will train > 90 PhD students over the next 5 years, supported by the multi-disciplinary environment of the world leading Institute of Chemical Biology (ICB) at Imperial College.

The multidisciplinary nature of Chemical Biology and the translational challenges that it poses to students working at the interface between the physical and life sciences and between the academic and commercial worlds makes a CDT structure highly appropriate for supporting student development. Such multi-disciplinary training at this interface is vital to enabling the UK to adapt to the pace of technological change in the life, personal care and agri-sciences sectors. Furthermore, the particular societal, ethical, industrial and entrepreneurial aspects associated with research that will underpin these new technologies requires a bespoke approach that is most effectively delivered in a CDT context.

The ICB and its strategic partners have together crafted a 4-year training and research programme (MRes + 3 Year PhD), which will provide first-hand experience of multi-disciplinary translational research, research leadership, science communication, entrepreneurialism and business skills. This includes technology development in Fab lab type environments, science communication training in collaboration with the BBC, industry led innovation workshops, entrepreneurship training and a "Dragons Den"-type competitions for student-led IP. In addition, we will implement the EVOLVE programme, a journey tailored to the individual designed to give experience of entrepreneurial activities, policy making, media/outreach, industrial research, or research within international academic institutions in the context of achieving a particular goal selected by the CDT student.

This closely knit cohort of students will be supported by an integrated community of over 120 research groups from all three faculties across Imperial College. These activities will be further enhanced by the new dedicated Laboratory for Translational Molecular Research (LTMR).

The tools and technologies that will emerge from the research programme of the CDT will support drug, agrichemical and personal care product discovery through the development of new functional screens, target validation assays, predictive artificial biomimetic models and by providing insights into potential novel targets. They will also assist and advance basic biology, diagnostic technologies, optical finger printing technologies for label free tracking of biomolecules, smart biodelivery systems with tailored release kinetics, small molecule-membrane protein screening assays, in-vitro screens for the non-specific binding of drug molecules, the discovery of biomarkers and offer access to a new suite of quantitative dynamic molecular information.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk