We’ve joined forces with Northumbria University on one of four EPSRC CASE awards that RTC North helped secure in the region. The project is aiming to improve the production of biofuels and with the approach we’re taking, we want to show that the LC-MS analysis results can be reproduced across-labs. Our first data will be presented at the London Biological Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group on March 18th 2010.
The research is being led by Professor Gary Black and carried out by Northumbria PhD student Andrew Porter from Gateshead. He’s using traditional scientific laboratory culturing techniques to grow a bacteria commonly found in soil called Cellvibrio japonicas and see if the bacteria is able to use Miscanthus giganteus and sugarcane bagasse biomass as a sole carbon and energy source. Working with Professor Black the proteins involved will be isolated and analysed in labs at Northumbria University and at North East Proteome Analysis Facility (NEPAF) using our Progenesis LC-MS software. I’m the industrial supervisor, which is something new for me and I’m looking forward to getting involved and learning a lot from this 100% locally sourced research project.
In this picture (L to R): PhD student Andrew Porter with Prof. Gary Black from Northumbria University & me (Paddy Lavery) as industrial supervisor from Nonlinear Dynamics.
We’ve got a lot of experience supporting projects with the goal of curing diseases, so biofuel research is a new, exciting field for us and the EPSRC CASE awards can help bring bright things to us, Northumbria University and our region. Andrew’s work should keep talent and attention here as well as helping biofuel to become a real alternative energy source.
Nonlinear and Northumbria also have an opportunity to be pioneers here. If we’re successful, the results of this research will support a good message. That is, if you take the right approach, anyone can go from initial discovery research to validated results that can be reproduced in other labs. I’m hoping it will send ripples out beyond Newcastle and it also links up with The Fixing Proteomics Campaign that we already work with.