King's wins Industry Interchange Award
Posted on 19/05/2011
King’s College London has been awarded a prestigious Industry Interchange Award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to work in collaboration with the Nestlé Research Centre (NRC) to understand the interactions between genes and ingredients in food, and how they can affect human health.
This award – a first for the College – will enable King’s academic Dr Franca Fraternali and colleagues from the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics to access the state-of-the-art bioinformatics facilities at NRC in Lausanne, Switzerland. Senior Researcher Dr James Holzwarth from NRC will also spend time in the King’s laboratories learning new techniques in the analysis of Protein-Protein Interaction data developed at King’s.
The genes and their encoded proteins determine important functions for health, such as how efficiently we metabolise food, how we respond to the environment and how we detoxify our body from potentially harmful agents. Over time, environmental factors can cause genetic variations and may lead to modified proteins, which can display an altered function. The goal of this research is to understand the possible impact of these alterations on human health, diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors.
Dr Silva-Zolezzi, Head of the Functional Genomics group at Nestlé, said: ‘Our main research aim is to understand how certain ingredients can benefit our health. We believe that increasing our understanding of Protein-Protein Interaction networks is very relevant to our nutritional approach and will help guide our research.’
Dr Alison Campbell OBE, Director of Innovation at King’s, commented: ‘We’re delighted to have won this award to work in partnership with Nestlé. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to share particular King’s knowledge and expertise in Protein-Protein Interactions, and further explore their potential to affect our health.’
People movement is considered one of the best forms of knowledge transfer and BBSRC developed the scheme to enable researchers to move in either direction between the science base and industry. Reciprocal access to facilities and expertise can be of great strategic advantage to the UK science base. Long term beneficial relationships may be established and academic scientists are put in a good position to identify opportunities to realise the social and economic impact of fundamental research.
Notes to editors
This project between King’s and the Nestlé Research Centre (NRC) focuses on the analysis of recently published large-scale maps of pairwise Protein-Protein Interactions (PPI), transcription factor-target (TFT) interactions, three-dimensional structure of Protein complexes and other complementary datasets to enable a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the basis of protein function and its perturbation. In particular, the interplay of PPI and TF in DNA methylation (Epigenomics) will be investigated.
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2010 QS international world rankings), The Sunday Times 'University of the Year 2010/11' and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,500 students (of whom more than 9,000 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 6,000 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate. King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres. King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org
For more information about King’s College London, please visit www.kcl.ac.uk
For further information please contact Emma Reynolds, Press Officer at King’s College London, on 0207 848 4334 or email email@example.com