Biomedical Sciences Research Institute

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    Grant Success for Dr Kathy Burnett

    Dr Kathy Burnett has recently been awarded a grant of £85,575 in funding from Iskus Health Ltd, Ireland to fund a PhD studentship.

    The project entitled "An evaluation of the clinical and economic impact realised through changes in the implementation strategies and technological design of procedural packs in secondary care" is in collaboration with Professor Mike Scott of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

    The main aim of the project will be to evaluate the clinical and economic impact realised through changes in the implementation strategies and technological design of procedural packs in the hospital / trust. It is hoped the work will lead to an improved procedural compliance and related outcomes when incorporated into High Impact Interventions. It is also believed a significant improvement in clinical and associated economic outcomes can be achieved if procedurally non-compliant healthcare staff are quickly identified and retrained.

    Dr Burnett commented "I am delighted to receive this award and thank Iskus Health Ltd and the NHSCT for supporting this project. I look forward to working with them both to develop new procedural pack strategies".

    Grant Success for Professor Ibrahim Banat

    Professor Ibrahim Banat has recently secured three major grants totalling £715,472, two from the EU under their 7th framework programme and one from the Technology Strategy Board, UK.

    Professor Banat is a recognised expert in the use of biosurfactants for pharmaceutical and environmental applications. This funding will be used to develop a generic platform technology for the fermentative production of biosurfactants using metabolically engineered yeasts strains equipped with new combinations of genes and pathways to synthesize tailor-made and new-to-nature biosurfactants.

    The new compounds will be screened for their direct and indirect antimicrobial effect, effect on biofilm formation, immunomodulating effects, wound healing properties and anti-cancer activity. The funding will also support a project investigating how novel biosurfactants, dispersants and sorbent materials, particularly those of biological origin can be used in the treatment of oil spills in marine and terrestrial environments.

    In addition, the downstream processing capability of microbially derived biosurfactants using supercritical CO2 will also be investigated. Professor Banat commented "I am very lucky to be involved in these funding opportunities and for international recognition in this area of research. It is mainly due to support from the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, the University and colleagues. We aim to further develop this area of research to contribute to future sustainable products and technologies."

    Research Excellence Framework (REF2014)

    Ulster University’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute which is based in Coleraine and in C-TRIC at the Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry/Londonderry, saw its international reputation as a world-leading research centre soar today, when it again achieved top ranking in the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

    Professor Tony Bjourson, Director of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, said:

    “I am extremely proud of the achievements of Biomedical Sciences research colleagues in Coleraine and Derry/Londonderry. It is a remarkable achievement for our research environment to be awarded 100% world leading. In terms of research power we are ranked among the top five universities in the UK out of 92 submissions. This is great news for Ulster University and for Northern Ireland. For this Research Excellence assessment we submitted 74 staff, representing an increase of 23%, while simutaneously increasing our external grant spend by 30% per year. This is a win for the Ulster University and also for the N. Ireland economy and the Life Sciences sector in particular. It also means that Ulster University students are being taught by the very top international quality researchers, preparing the next generation for success and acting as a magnet for inward investment.”

    This world class performance by the Ulster University’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute ensures that industry and commerce can have access to a world-leading research provider that can help them innovate and compete with the very best in the world. Access to this level of expertise in translational research in molecular stratified medicine, pharmacy and pharmaceutical science, diabetes, nutrition, and vision science is important for driving prosperity, job creation and to act as magnet for forign direct ivestment in Northern Ireland.

    Our consistently outstanding achievements over a 20 year period unabigiously consolodates us as Northern Irelands’ Biomedical Science Centre of Excellence and as a top International Institute for Biomedical research.