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Minister for Science visits The Roslin Institute

Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, met researchers at The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh to find more about the ground-breaking research that is being carried out.

Staff with David Willetts in lab coats

Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, met researchers at The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh to find more about the ground-breaking research that is being carried out.

It was the minister's first visit to The Roslin Institute, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Mr Willetts visited laboratories where he was shown high tech genome sequencing equipment.

The ARK Genomics facility at The Roslin Institute has been involved in international collaborations to sequence and analyse genomes for chicken, pig, sheep and cattle with a view to better understanding disease.

The Institute undertakes research focussed on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

Mr Willetts was greeted on arrival by Senior Vice Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Nigel Brown before being introduced to The Roslin Institute's director, Professor David Hume.

He heard about the Institute's work with genetic modification technologies and plans for development of poultry research. The Roslin Institute, which is based on the Easter Bush Veterinary Campus with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, is currently working on plans that will lead to expansion of research at the campus, creating Europe's largest Animal Bioscience campus.

The day before Mr Willetts' visit he announced substantial funding that will ensure the UK's bioscience research base remains globally competitive and at the forefront of meeting the grand challenges faced by society in the coming decades. The announcement included a £23 million investment from the BBSRC for the first phase of major five year research programmes that will be carried out at The Roslin Institute.

The minister met a number of scientists from The Roslin Institute during his visit and was particularly interested in the work of Dr Lucy Freem, who discussed the Institute's pioneering research involving the manipulation of genes to create chickens resistant to infectious diseases. It is hoped that this approach will lead to development of chickens resistant to avian influenza infection.

During the visit to The Roslin Institute on Friday (25th May), Mr Willetts also learned about the cutting edge proteomics facility for studying the molecular mechanisms of animals and humans.

Professor Hume said of the visit,

It has been wonderful to show Mr Willetts round The Roslin Institute and we hope to be able to invite to visit again in the future as we expand the new Easter Bush site.

Professor David HumeDirector of The Roslin Institute

 

For more information please contact:

Tara Womersley

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