Grand challenges

Grand challenges

Industrial Biotechnology

Industrial biotechnology (IB) is a set of cross-disciplinary technologies that use biological resources for producing and processing materials and chemicals for non-food applications. A multidisciplinary approach is essential to transform the traditional chemical and chemical-related sector to a sustainable and competitive one which draws on disciplines such as organic and synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, enzyme kinetics, genomics, proteomics, bio-informatics and bioprocessing. The MIB houses expertise across all these key areas and is thus strongly placed to translate this knowledge towards biotechnological application in a wide range of industrial sectors including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and energy thereby impacting positively across society, the environment and the economy.

Biomedical and Healthcare

Modern biotechnology is applied to medical processes that can find applications in such areas as pharmacogenomics and drug production. The development of modern medicines requires understanding of molecules and networks at the molecular and systems levels which involves imaging and spatial mapping of cell responses in health and disease and in response to drug challenges. Our research ranges from structural and dynamic modelling of potential drug targets and their interactions including establishment of early phase drug discovery pipelines through to the challenges of systems mapping of the “virtual human”.

Biofuels and Energy

From underpinning strategic research to the transfer of technology into the marketplace, The University of Manchester has a range of world-class activities supporting the need for solutions that can play their part in meeting the global energy challenge. Our contribution to this agenda focuses in particular on the biological aspects of energy including fuel cells, solar energy and 2nd/3rd/4th generation biofuels. Research into alternative biofuels includes utilising biomass from both agricultural and marine sources to the development of novel biocatalysts.

Design showing images from each grand challenge