The Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC) scoops Times Higher Education Award
The winners of the 2017 Times Higher Education Award (THE Awards) were announced on Thursday 30 November 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London: December 2017
The winners of the 2017 Times Higher Education Award (THE Awards) were announced on Thursday 30 November 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
The award for Research Project of the Year in STEM was presented to ESRIC, a collaborative partnership established in 2013 between the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3), Heriot-Watt University and the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM).
This consortium has brought together scientists from several countries and different academic disciplines to better understand the mechanisms of disease in areas such as cancer, dementia and diabetes.
The Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC) is a project designed to bring super-resolution microscopy techniques to the widest community of biomedical researchers, helping to accelerate scientific discovery, train the next generation to the highest level and encourage international collaboration within biomedical research.
Since 2015, ESRIC has published widely, delivering impact across precision medicine, as pioneering new methods for super-resolution microscopy and tools and reagents to push the boundaries of super resolution. Examples include determining the function of a novel gene which is altered in rare genetic diseases, indicating how genome stability is linked to cancer, as well demonstrating how chromosome structure is regulated.
ESRIC works closely with their industrial partners to develop cutting edge imaging tools and this consortium’s expertise is often requested internationally. The IGMM Advanced Imaging Resource routinely welcomes researchers from across the UK and beyond to use the cutting-edge equipment and learn super-resolution microscopy techniques.
In 2016, ESRIC launched an acclaimed summer school, with substantial industry investment, endorsed by the Royal Microscopial Society, which has hosted delegates from New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, the US, Canada, China and across Europe.
Since 2015, ESRIC holds an annual interdisciplinary symposium which shares and celebrates the ground-breaking work being undertaken across The University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt and offers researchers and beyond the opportunity to network and develop new collaborations.
With 140 different groups working with ESRIC, its outreach work has reached over 9,000 teachers, pupils and members of the public via talks and exhibitions.
Judges of the award said that the winning project “has already delivered prolific results, including a new diagnostic for cataracts – a major cause of blindness”.
Professor Wendy Bickmore, Co-Director of ESRIC and Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the IGMM, “As partners with Heriot-Watt in the Edinburgh Super Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC), we at the University of Edinburgh Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine are thrilled with the award of the STEM research project of the year to ESRIC. This project is an exemplar of how interdisciplinary working across the physical, optical and biomedical sciences can empower life science researchers to explore biology at unparalleled levels of spatial resolution” .