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BBSRC is investing £10m in 20 advanced scientific research instruments.

BBSRC is investing £10m in 20 advanced scientific research instruments under the Advanced Life Sciences Research Technology initiative (ALERT 13) to help keep the UK at the forefront of biological sciences research. Shankar Srinivas and Paul Riley from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, together with Ilan Davis (Biochemistry and Micron Oxford Advanced Bioimaging Unit), Jordan Raff (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology) and Roger Patient (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) have been awarded one of the UK’s first two commercial Fluorescence Light Sheet Microscopes to probe cell and tissue dynamics, worth just under £500k. This instrument will allow groups from Oxford and further afield to examine dynamic process within living cells in exquisite detail, enabling exciting advances in a broad range of areas in cell, developmental and stem cell biology.

The ALERT 13 scheme preferentially funds applications where the equipment will get maximum use, and sharing between research groups is encouraged. The instrument will be housed within and managed by the Micron Oxford Advanced Bioimaging Unit and will therefore be widely accessible to researchers. Several groups across the University of Oxford as well as groups from Harwell and Bristol have already expressed an interest in using this new facility. Collaboration and extending access to the instruments to industry and public sector users is also envisaged to enhance the potential impact of research.

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REF 2021 results

DPAG researchers showcased at premier European Society of Cardiology meeting

DPAG scientists across four research groups were highlighted at the major annual European Society of Cardiology basic science conference (FCVB 2022). Congratulations are in order for Dr KC Park on receiving the Young Investigator Award and to Dr Elisabetta Gamen on winning the Moderated Poster Prize.

Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre awarded £3.8 million to reveal the role of calcium in Parkinson’s

A collaborative research team led by the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC) has been awarded a £3.8 million Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award to study the function of calcium in dopamine neurons, and how this is plays a role in Parkinson’s. Their research will help explain how and why dopamine neurons are vulnerable in the disease and look at how they may be preserved.

The effect of nuclear pH on cardiac gene expression

Research led by Dr Alzbeta Hulikova and Professor Pawel Swietach has, for the first time, described the potential regulation of nuclear acid-base chemistry in neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes, and explained its relevance in the context of heart physiology and pathology.

A role of sleep in tinnitus identified for the first time

Phantom percepts, such as subjective tinnitus, are driven by fundamental changes in spontaneous brain activity. Sleep is a natural example of major shifts in spontaneous brain activity and perceptual state, suggesting an interaction between sleep and tinnitus that has so far been little considered. In a new collaborative review article from DPAG’s auditory and sleep neuroscientists, tinnitus and sleep research is brought together for the first time, and, in conclusion, they propose a fundamental relationship between natural brain dynamics and the expression and pathogenesis of tinnitus.