University of Newcastle (UNEW), School of Biology, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

The Organisation

Newcastle University was confirmed by the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise as a strong and vibrant research leading institution. It is a founder member of the Russell Group of the 19 leading research universities in the UK. It is one of Northern England's eight research-intensive universities that have formed a powerful alliance, known as the N8, to support the Government's Northern Way initiative, which aims to boost regional economies. In December 2004, Chancellor Gordon Brown designated Newcastle a 'Science City', one of only six cities in the country earmarked for support to develop their science and technology facilities. The University has formed a partnership with Newcastle City Council and One NorthEast, the regional development agency, to create 'Science Central', an ambitious science, business and education complex in Newcastle city centre. Of the University's 800 researchers, 60 per cent were graded 5 or 5*, signifying international excellence.

The University, through its new interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research institute (Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability; IRES) is well equipped to carry out biochemical and molecular biological research; it has equipment for automated DNA sequencing, chip array systems, mass spectrometry and proteomics (MALDI-TOF_TOF, SELDI).

Principal Staff involved:

Prof. Angharad Gatehouse, (F; Director of Research for School of Biology, Newcastle; Professor of Invertebrate Molecular Biology) Dr Natalie Ferry, Dr Martin Edwards, Dr Kaveh Emani, Dr Ethan Hack, Miss Gillian Davison. The UNEW group is searching for new ways to combat crop pests through the use of molecular technologies. It is a multidisciplinary team with expertise in: protein purification and characterisation, purification and characterisation of insect digestive enzymes, plant and insect molecular biology (protein micro-sequencing, extraction and assay of plant and insect enzymes, DNA and genomic library construction and screening, gene isolation and characterisation, site-directed mutagenesis), use of heterologous expression systems, plant tissue culture, and plant transformation.