The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology has attracted more than £100 million and is widely acknowledged as a beacon of interdisciplinary bioscience with exceptionally strong foundational sciences served by pioneering Centres of Excellence, internationally recognised and unrivalled facilities and a substantial portfolio of current grants worth over £100million.We have over 80 currently funded cross-campus collaborations and ongoing national and international collaborations with over 500 different research institutions worldwide.
Funding is largely derived from the UK research councils BBSRC (45%) and EPSRC (12%) with a growing contribution (21%) from the European Commission. The past 4 years has seen an increase in live research grant income (£15.2M per year PI share to £18.4M) despite a 14% decrease in PI numbers (60 down to 52), with a change in funder profile showing a major increase in EU and industry awards (£3.4M), replacing those from charities and EPSRC/MRC.
Research applications continue to be a major focus with applications over £50M in FY2013-14 and over £35.2M to date in 2014/15 (RCUK £14.6M, EU £17.2M). FY2014-15 has seen major success with Networks and Centre funding including BBSRC/EPSRC Centre for Synthetic Biology of Fine and Speciality Chemicals SYNBIOCHEM £10.2M 2014. In addition, we lead the 5th Theme (Biocatalysis & Biotransformations) at the National Catalysis Hub at Harwell. We also host three BSRC/TSB National Networks for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBBs):
We have funded cross-campus collaborations with over 80 investigators and active national and international collaborations with over 500 different research institutions in over 65 countries worldwide.
Our reputation as an international leader in the biotechnology field is evidenced with over 1000 publications and reviews in peer-reviewed journals. The diversity and quality of our research programmes is reflected in publications as distinct as Nature, Cell, Nature Rev. Drug Discovery, Science, Chemical Reviews Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Chemistry, Nature Biotechnology, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of American Chemical Society and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA.
- Filed over 100 new invention disclosures, six provisional patents and two new licenses since inception.
- Formation of 6 commercial spin-out companies to date.
Discovery through innovation
- Peter Gardner’s group developed a correctional algorithm now used by over 60 research groups worldwide which has led to a greater understanding of the Resonant Mie Scattering (RMieS) phenomena.
- Pedro Mendes’s group and colleagues from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, the University of Heidelberg, and the University of Manchester developed modelling and simulation software ‘COPASI’, a platform-independent and user-friendly biochemical simulator widely used in many laboratories worldwide.
- Jason Micklefield’s group successfully re-engineered orthogonally selective riboswitches with potential applications in gene functional analysis, protein production and metabolic engineering.
- Nicholas Turner’s group and colleagues from the Free University of Amsterdam (Romano Orru), developed new routes to drugs to tackle Hepatitis C by efficiently synthesising TelaprevirTM, the leading medicine in the fight against global HCV. Patented and licensed to a major pharmaceutical company.
- The creation of perfect drug combinations to combat severe diseases and conditions has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, led by Douglas Kell. These findings are published in Nature Chemical Biology.
- David Leys and colleagues at the University of Manchester’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research (Ivan Ahel), succeeded in determining the structure of a protein found in bacteria and protozoans that could reveal new drug targets for inherited breast and ovarian cancers as well as other cancers linked to DNA repair faults. These findings are published in Nature and Nature Comms.
- David Leys and Nigel Scrutton discover new enzyme catalysts for the production of biofuels.
- Andrew Almond – winner of Bionow Biomedical start-up of the year award (2008) for Conformetrix and runner up in the 2009 “BBSRC Innovator of the Year” competition.
- Sabine Flitsch – recipient of Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and member of Chemistry Panel RAE2008 and REF2014.
- Douglas Kell – appointed Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) on 1 October 2008. Appointment extended for a further year until 30 September 2013.
- David Leys – recipient of European Research Council (ERC) Fellowship, EMBO Young Investigator Award and Royal Society University Research Fellowship.
- Nigel Scrutton – recipient of Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, EPSRC Established Career Fellowship and member of Lister Institute.
- Nicholas Turner – recipient of Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and Director, Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3)
- In addition to the above, selected academics sit on a number of UK research council funding and strategy panels including BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and The Wellcome Trust in addition to holding editorial positions across a range of international journals including PLoS ONE, J. Biol. Chem., EMBO etc.