It has been Scottish Funding Council policy for the past five years to invest selectively, in partnership with the Scottish Universities, in key research areas to ensure that Scotland consolidates and strengthens its competitive position as a leading scientific nation. …
These “Research Pooling Initiative” investments have already had a considerable impact in areas such as physics and chemistry. This edition of Science Scotland reports on the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the largest of the research pooling investments, which is aimed at ensuring that Scotland remains in the vanguard of life science research.
There is no doubt that that the advances in life sciences will be crucial for providing us with the tools to overcome the great challenges that we face in the 21st Century to secure a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future. Scotland has great strengths in the life sciences but we cannot be complacent, and the aim of the £27 million investment in SULSA, which has been more than matched by parallel investments from the six University Partners (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde), is to bring to Scotland some new international research stars to complement and stimulate our existing centres of excellence in the life sciences.
The SULSA investment is focused in three very important areas of molecular and cell biology: cell biology, systems biology and translational biology. These areas reflect the need to advance fundamental research in the life sciences whilst at the same time seeking to translate some of the research into practical applications in medicine and agriculture. Here, we have asked the Director of SULSA, Professor Mike Tyers, to describe his vision
for SULSA and his thoughts on the next few years of life science research. We have also invited several of his newly appointed professorial colleagues to share their research
plans with us.