New biomedical testing centre opens in Bristol

March 15, 2013 by
Filed under: News 

An innovative new centre for biomedical testing aims to provide leading edge research and skills to firms in the region working in medicine, pharmaceuticals and genetics.

The Centre for Alternative Testing and In-Vitro Monitoring (CATIM) is a consortium, led by the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology, UWE Bristol with the other partners, the University of BristolGooch and Housego, the European Collection of Cell Cultures, the NHS and the Humane Society International, bringing their complementary strengths to the project.

CATIM is cross faculty initiative led by Professors Richard Luxton and Janice Kiely which will specialise in the creation of new technologies that will detect and monitor changes in cell systems, critical for the development and evaluation of many new products, from chemicals to medical implants.

Backed by £896,000 from from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the centre at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus aims to give access to advanced technology and expertise in the field of cell monitoring and alternative testing.  One particular area of activity is the development of technology to reduce and replace animal testing.

Dr Bret Dash has been appointed as Centre Director.  He is a bioscience professional with 16 years of experience working with multi-disciplined project teams in publicly funded global corporations and venture capital funded start-ups in the US and Europe. He has helped to develop and commercialise leading-edge technologies for the drug discovery, genomics, and clinical research markets based on high content cellular analysis, capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence, and laser capture micro dissection, respectively.

“When I started out as a Biochemistry student many of the techniques used at the time involved the use of lab animals. As a consequence I focused on learning cell biological techniques during my PhD because I was interested in alternative forms of biochemical research,” said Dash. “In-vitro testing using 2-D or 3-D cell cultures enables researchers to create experimental test systems that do not require the use of living organisms. In-vitro work is all about looking for methods that will provide viable alternatives to animal testing and it is a growing industry.”

“Over the coming years I will be working with our key partners at generating research projects and attracting world class academics to build a major centre for this growing research area. It’s very exciting to be here at the beginning and there is enormous potential for collaborations that can make a positive difference in testing methods used across a range of industries.”

Businesses from many sectors – from biomedical and agri-food to advanced engineering – may benefit from access to the Centre’s sophisticated resources and technical support; for example, with designing a test programme, developing skills in testing, or new product development.


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