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Boost for world-leading microscopy project
Date:7/23/2010

A Cardiff University researcher has secured a highly sought-after Leadership award which could propel her research onto the world stage.

Dr Paola Borri, Cardiff School of Biosciences, is a physicist working in the area of biophotonics at the interface between life and physical sciences

Now, she has won a 1.1M Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Leadership Award for the next five years. This will support her own research, along with a research associate, two PhDs and resources for a research programme. The School of Biosciences is backing up the award by introducing a lecturership post as part of the team.

EPSRC Leadership Fellowships support talented researchers with the potential to develop into international leaders who can set new research agendas. Announcing the new fellowships, Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts said: "Supporting talented scientists and engineers throughout their careers is crucial to driving the UK's science base and economy forward.

"These prestigious fellowships are an important investment for the future, and will help us develop innovative technologies and solutions for the major challenges ahead, and secure our place as global winners."

Dr Borri will use this award to develop a new "optical nanoscopy" technology to determine the intrinsic chemical composition of nanoscale regions in living cells. It will allow living cells to be studied in greater detail without the need for fluorescent staining, which is used in current techniques and can affect the cells being studied.

The new technology should open the way to studying a range of biological and medical problems which are impossible with present technology. These include questions about cell membranes which may have implications for HIV and influenza. The technique should also help with IVF and cancer research, where fluourophore labelling cannot be used.

Dr Borri said: "I
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Contact: Dr. Paola Borri
BorriP@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-087-9356
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

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