University awarded £5M to investigate how cells communicate

November 27, 2007

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been awarded £5 million to investigate how cells respond to stimuli such as stress and UV radiation.

Biologists at Liverpool will investigate the role of the NF-kappaB signalling system to determine how cells decide when to die. NFkB governs responses within cells to stimuli such as stress and the immune system, but when this system goes wrong it is thought that it can lead to cancer, inflammatory problems and septic shock.

Professor Mike White, from the University's School of Biological Sciences, said: "Systems Biology involves the analysis of how biological processes work at all levels. This goes from the interactions between individual biological molecules, to the physiology and behaviour of animals and plants. With this grant we can develop models to understand more clearly how cells communicate with each other."

The project - in collaboration with the Universities of Manchester and Warwick - is a multidisciplinary collaboration involving scientists in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, veterinary scientists and mathematicians.

A second team from the School of Biological Sciences, headed by Dr Anthony Hall has been awarded a further £1 million as part of a £5 million project led by scientists at the University of Edinburgh to develop a model of how plants cope with temperature changes. The research could help to develop higher-yield crops that are better able to survive in harsh conditions, thus allowing scientists to develop plants capable of withstanding the possible effects of global warming.
-end-
Notes to editors:

1. Both projects are funded as part of a £26 million UK-wide investment in Systems Biology, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

2. The University of Liverpool is one of the UK's leading research institutions. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £100 million annually.

University of Liverpool

Related Stress Articles from Brightsurf:

Stress-free gel
Researchers at The University of Tokyo studied a new mechanism of gelation using colloidal particles.

Early life stress is associated with youth-onset depression for some types of stress but not others
Examining the association between eight different types of early life stress (ELS) and youth-onset depression, a study in JAACAP, published by Elsevier, reports that individuals exposed to ELS were more likely to develop a major depressive disorder (MDD) in childhood or adolescence than individuals who had not been exposed to ELS.

Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress.

How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS

How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.

Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.

Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.

Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.

Read More: Stress News and Stress Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.