Researchers at the University of Warwick are set to receive a share of an £18 million scientific research grant as part of an inter-university bioscience research programme.
A team from the Warwick School of Life Sciences is one of four research teams to receive part of the investment, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Led by Professor David Roper, the Warwick School of Life Sciences’ Director of Research, the team will focus its research on bacterial cell walls in a project that experts say could lead to major advancements in new kinds of antibiotics. The project is being run in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and is expected to last for five years.
This is a fantastic opportunity to apply an integrated, interdisciplinary approach … that may provide us with the knowledge and tools to develop new antibiotics
Professor David Roper, School of Life Sciences’ Director of Research
The major investment is part of the BBSRC’s ‘strategic Longer Larger grants programme’ (sLoLa). Alongside the University of Warwick’s cell walls project, three other universities – Southampton, Cambridge, and Nottingham – are leading their own projects into microbiomes, the human heart, and GlycoWeb respectively.
Professor Roper hailed the “fantastic opportunity” that the grant represented. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to apply an integrated, interdisciplinary approach … that may provide us with the knowledge and tools to develop new antibiotics. The provision of this five-year funding means we can all work together in a way that is not normally possible.”
The sentiment was shared by the BBSRC themselves. On their website, it explains that the programme is hoping to take a coordinated approach that would allow for major breakthroughs not otherwise possible through individual research.
The organisation’s Interim Executive Chair, Professor Guy Poppy, said the new sLoLa grant is a “pivotal step in advancing frontier bioscience research”.
He added: “By fostering collaboration and innovation, we aim to catalyse ground-breaking discoveries with far-reaching implications for agriculture, health, biotechnology, the green economy and beyond.”