Researchers from the School of Biological Sciences win Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Award

Drs. Teuta Pilzota and Meriem el Karoui, memebrs of Edinburgh Infectiious DIseases in the School of Biological Sciences, have recevied a prestigious Brain Mercer Feasibility award from the Royal Society.

The Brian Mercer Feasibility and Innovations Awards are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment.

The products we use every day at home and work are made up or a myriad of compounds, many of which are produced by the $3 trillion global chemicals industry.  However, given the negative impact of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry on our environment there is a strong push toward developing more sustainable yet commercially competitive options.

The new project aims to design a microfluidic platform that will enable automated imaging of individual bacterial cells (including product accumulation) during different stages of the bioindustry production process. This will address the lack of online information available to industrial biotechnologists when assessing product quality and quantity and will transform assessment of compound production.

Automated imaging and counting of bacterial cells during their growth can also be of direct use for infectious disease research and offer new opportunities for diagnostics.

The Awards were established by the Society in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from Dr Brian Mercer OBE FRS (1927-1998). Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

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