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2 October 2009 | PR 09/131

Loughborough University launches Centre for Biological Engineering

Prof Lord Robert Winston opens CBE

Professor Lord Robert Winston opens the Centre for Biological Engineering at Loughborough University

Loughborough University has launched its new Centre for Biological Engineering (CBE) as it strives to expand its research in realising the potential of regenerative medicine, cell technologies and plasma medicine to improve human health.

The Centre, a product of Loughborough University’s forward thinking approach to cross-departmental collaboration in research, was opened yesterday by Lord Robert Winston, who is recognised as a pioneer in the field of biological engineering.

The CBE brings together expertise from the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in a multi-disciplinary research centre, which bridges the fields of engineering and biology.

Major and unmet needs in healthcare represent significant and growing opportunities for the engineering community, as Government and the research councils place an increasing emphasis on translating Britain's world-class biomedical research into clear benefits to the society.

Within the pharmaceutical and healthcare functions there is an immediate worldwide need for the development of replacement human tissue via the regenerative medicine approach and the application of stem cells.  Reliable production of proteins and cells in sufficient quantities also becomes critical in order to unlock the potential value of the recently sequenced human genome.  Equally, considerable opportunities are emerging to electrically manipulate the growth and death of cells and tissues as a new gateway through which to combat hospital infection and to stimulate tissue growth.  These offer a new dimension to biological engineering, and are central to the CBE's research activity.  Responding to all of these areas requires teams with breadth and good facilities.

At Loughborough the creation of the CBE enables the University to develop further its strength in engineering at a direct interface with biology and medicine and become a world-leading research centre.  The new facility includes a suite of Class 2 laboratories for cell and tissue growth, a bioelectrical facility, an analytical suite to service all the laboratories and a laboratory with the potential for GMP operation.  There is also an open-plan writing and meeting room space for postgraduate/postdoctoral study.

Professor David Williams, Director of the Research School of Health and Life Sciences, said: “The activities within the CBE are positioned in the translational space between scientific discovery and products, processes, techniques and therapies.  This is a great opportunity for our broadly-skilled multi-disciplinary teams to work in the Loughborough problem-led research tradition.”

The CBE is based at the University’s Science and Enterprise Park on Holywell Park.

The CBE website can be found at www.lboro.ac.uk/lcbe

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Jo Lumani
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T:01509 228697
E: J.P.Lumani@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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