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Dundee Protein Research Lab Lands $37M in MRC Funds

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Medical Research Council has awarded £24 million ($36.8 million) to fund the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at Scotland's University of Dundee for five years.

The MRC-PPU said yesterday that this core funding will support its investigators in their efforts to study the roles that phosphorylation and ubiquitylation play in biology and disease, and it will fund the majority of the unit's principal investigators, postdocs, PhD students, and staff that run its scientific services.

The MRC-PPU also plans to use the funding to add three new research groups that will relocate their labs from Toronto, London, and Manchester to Dundee later this year. The unit also plans to use the funding to integrate the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling, which is located in Dundee, into the MRC-PPU.

MRC-PPU said it already has a staff of 162 and that the addition of the new research groups will expand that to around 180 over the next few years.

The unit already funds 16 research groups and the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy Laboratories, which provide scientific services for research conducted in-house and to major pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Merck Serono, and Pfizer.

The MRC-PPU's scientific services include DNA sequencing, protein production, proteomics and mass spectrometry, and antibody production, among others.

MRC-PPU Director Dario Alessi said in a statement that the new funding will enable the unit to expand its research into new areas.

"Our ability to expand into the ubiquitylation research areas and to recruit additional researchers will greatly boost our links with the pharmaceutical industry," he said.

"[The new funding] will also support training of clinician scientists and increase our engagement with the clinical community to enhance translational opportunities for the ultimate benefit of patients," he added