£35.5m to support next phase of Roslin research

New funding will help to advance understanding of animal genetics and infectious diseases.

The Roslin Institute building

The Roslin Institute is benefiting from a share of £376m to support its research into pioneering animal bioscience.

The strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will support research into genes and traits for healthy animals, and prevention and control of infectious diseases.

It will enable Roslin’s experts to develop the Institute’s overall research themes of sustainable agriculture, controlling diseases and enhancing health.

The Roslin Institute is one of eight UK scientific establishments that will benefit from the investment from BBSRC – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Roslin has been awarded £35.5m over 5 years.

Applying genetics

Roslin’s research into healthy genes and traits aims to understand how genetic variation between animals in key farmed species affects their biology and interactions with their environment.

This work is underpinned by studies on how animals’ genetic codes are organised, how these function and the ways in which they are regulated.

It will also support research into how cells, tissues and body systems develop and operate through life.

Mitigating disease

The BBSRC funding will support research to reduce the burden of infectious animal diseases and the health threat they pose to humans, by improving their detection, treatment and prevention.

Experts at Roslin aim to develop scientific understanding of how disease resistance is passed between generations. They will also seek to better understand the resilience of farmed animals to diseases, and to define the basis of natural and vaccine-mediated immunity.

Researchers are also studying how infectious agents evolve and cause disease, and how diseases and drug resistance spread in populations.

Collaborative research

The Roslin Institute is a centre of expertise for collaborative research and stakeholder engagement, in veterinary immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, and farmed animal genetics and animal biotechnology.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Director of the Roslin Institute said: “We are rightly proud of the Roslin Institute as a national capability and international exemplar of pioneering animal bioscience. We look forward to furthering our contribution to science in this next phase of our work.”

BBSRC’s Executive Chair Professor Melanie Welham said BBSRC’s strategically supported institutes are a vital component of the national and international bioscience research and innovation ecosystem.

World-class research institutes such as Roslin provide the UK with the capability and connectivity needed to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the bioscience revolution.

“The investment BBSRC is making in its strategically supported institutes over the next five years will help deliver novel bio-based solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face as a society”, said Professor Welham.

It is critical that BBSRC invests in world-class science that delivers benefits to society while driving economic growth and prosperity across the UK and beyond.

Professor Melanie WelhamExecutive Chair, BBSRC

Related links

Roslin Institute website

UKRI website