New research facility at the University of Surrey could soon unlock the secrets of diseases

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A new research facility at the University of Surrey could soon help society better understand various diseases or even help scientists detect nanoplastics through the bodies and cells of humans and animals.

Thanks to a £500,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation, Surrey will soon open the doors to its Center of Excellence for Bioanalytical Science. Top researchers will use a unique mix of high-end equipment – including ion beams. The center will develop new ways of measuring biomarkers that are unavailable elsewhere in the world.

Our new center will advance next-generation technologies and biomarker measurements that are smarter, faster and environmentally friendly.


Our novel method for measurement will enable new research aimed at combating anti-microbial resistance, exploring the impact of nanoplastics on human and animal health, non-invasive patient sampling and rapid clinical diagnostics for humans and animals.


Professor Melanie Bailey, Center Director, University of Surrey

Biomarkers are chemical signatures widely used in biology and medicine to monitor health and well-being, make earlier diagnoses, and understand and treat diseases.

As well as enabling new research in science and medicine, the center will provide a specialist measurement service, train the next generation of scientists and offer an innovation hub for academic, industry, government and NHS partners.

Professor Paul Townsend, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey said:

“Through our center, academia and industry will work together like never before. Our research will have a real impact by harnessing the power of AI-driven multi-omics and multi-modal imaging.

“We will transform how we treat and diagnose disease. We can develop non-invasive tests to check if someone has taken their medication or even help forensics – we’re asking big questions and aiming to find big answers. “

The center will use the Surrey Ion Beam Centre, an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council national research facility. The Ion Beam Center is already supported by £100 million in funding from 23 universities and industry.

It will develop new methods not available elsewhere internationally, including multi-modal ion beam analysis – which uses high and low energy beams to precisely identify individual molecules within a cell.

The center will work closely with Sar’s SEISMIC facility to use advanced technology to analyze individual cells and cell parts. The research will incorporate artificial intelligence to maximize the understanding and use of the results.

The Center will be led by Professors Anthony Wetton, Melanie Bailey and Paul Townsend.



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