10 September 2009

Funding for ground-breaking research

Colchester Campus

Scientists could help address one of biology’s greatest challenges, thanks to £53,000 of funding from The Royal Society.

This ground-breaking research, being led by Professor Christopher Reynolds from the Department of Biological Sciences, will hopefully lead to a better understanding of the finer detail of the information embedded in the genetic code.

The funding has come from The Royal Society Theo Murphy Blue Skies award, which intends to embrace and fund ground-breaking research with the potential to seed and support new and developing areas of research.

The research will focus on the timing signals in DNA and its effect on how protein is formed into its final working shape. Protein which does not form correctly has the potential to cause disease. It was one of six research projects selected out of 126 for funding.

‘A greater understanding of protein shape may help to understand and avoid problems with drug resistance,’ explained Professor Reynolds. ‘We are very grateful to the Royal Society for giving us the support to investigate how protein structure is formed and the links between protein structure and drug resistance.’

For Professor Reynolds, the research funding is a chance to get a greater understanding of a fundamental area of biology.

‘In our opinion, one of the greatest challenges in biology is understanding how protein acquires its final shape based on the information in DNA.’

Phil Reeves, a lecturer who is also helping with the research added: ‘This work will give us additional insights into the genetic basis of human disease.’

For more information
Contact the Communications Office at the University of Essex on 01206 872929.

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