Tag: pharmaceuticals

  • Biological transformation

    Uncategorized | Celia Caulcott

    Prof Jackie Hunter is away during early January so her regular blog is hosting guest posts from other BBSRC staff during the next fortnight. This week’s guest author is Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC’s Executive Director for Innovation and Skills and executive lead for industrial biotechnology and bioenergy.

    David Hume
    Celia Caulcott.

    I spent a few days in Cumbria over the holiday period, which is remarkably relevant to many aspects of BBSRC. One of the major industries there is food and farming, not least hill farming. All highly relevant to the Oxford Farming Conference at which the Secretary of State for Defra emphasised as one of the three priorities for the Department going forward is the challenge of growing the rural economy (PDF). Another focus he pointed to is that of our national security in relation to plant and animal disease: a major area of BBSRC investment is in research in these areas and in critical infrastructure such as the new high containment labs being constructed at Pirbright. The Agritech Catalyst, announced recently, will be an important route to supporting research in this area. [...]

  • Pharma Forum, Ministerials and Bioinformatics

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Last week began with one of the regular meetings of the Chief Executives of MRC, EPSRC, BBSRC and the TSB with senior representatives of AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, along with representatives of the Bioindustry Association and the ABPI. This ‘Pharma Forum’ provides a useful vehicle for discussing cross-cutting research directions, especially given the net worth to the UK economy of the pharmaceuticals industry.

    We also had one of the regular meetings of Chief Executives with Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, which again provided a very useful forum for the exchange of thoughts on a variety of topical and strategic issues as we move towards the autumn statement. [...]

  • A visit to Taiwan

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Taiwanese National Science Council and BBSRC last November, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Taiwan last week, necessarily for a short but very intense, useful and enjoyable programme.

    The first port of call was the College of Life Sciences of the National Taiwan University in Taipei where I was able to speak with a good number of the Faculty and also gave a talk about BBSRC’s funding models, as well as an academic seminar to a full (and evidently well-informed) house on the cellular uptake of pharmaceutical drugs. [...]

  • Animal health, Eisai, institutes and infrastructure

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    A very full week last week (ok, they are all ‘full’) started with the visit of Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts to a topping out ‘milestones’ ceremony celebrating partial completion of the ‘Development Phase 1’ building at the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright. This is a major project for us, with this part alone costing rather north of £100M. It will allow a major expansion of our abilities to carry out research in this space, and will surely prove a magnet to other talented researchers. For reasons of biosecurity, the building itself includes many technical innovations, as well as high specifications even for more conventional materials like the concrete of which it is constructed. This kind of infrastructure is paralleled by e-infrastructure, another important part of scientific infrastructure for the development of which I attended another meeting. [...]

  • JBOS, e-infrastructure and pharmaceuticals

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Last week was a truncated post-Bank Holiday week, mainly with internal meetings. One of these involved a very useful visit to JBOS, the (BBSRC-hosted) Joint Building and Office Services looks after both the physical structure of Polaris House in Swindon as well as many common services such as the switchboard, the Post Room (> 7000 items per day…), catering and the like. It is often easy to forget such infrastructures (except when things don’t work), and so it was nice to meet the folk who look after us in this way.

    We had another meeting of the ‘Pharmaceutical Forum’, a group that brings the Chief Executives of BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC together with senior representatives of the Pharmaceutical Industry. [...]