£3 million Wellcome Trust Grant for GRE Researcher

The Wellcome Trust has awarded a research grant of over £3million to Professor Angus Lamond at the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

Professor Lamond is Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression at CLS and the new grant is to support his research programme, which examines the expression and function of human genes.

The grant is for the next five years and will support eight staff in Professor Lamond’s laboratory and cover costs for new equipment.

“I am delighted that our work has been so favourably reviewed and this generous new grant from the Wellcome Trust will allow us to expand our research and make further advances in future,” said Professor Lamond. “It is a great tribute to the excellent reputation that The University of Dundee has established in Life Sciences Research that we are still able to compete successfully for such major awards in this difficult economic climate.“

The Wellcome Trust has been a long term supporter of Professor Lamond’s work, as well as funding the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression.

Professor Lamond was this year elected to the Royal Society, the highest accolade for British scientists. He was elected in recognition of his seminal work on the structure and functional organisation of the nucleus of mammalian cells.

He has also been awarded the 2011 Novartis Medal from the Biochemical Society.

Prof. Lamond’s ambitious and innovative research programme uses novel combinations of advanced microscopy and proteomics technologies to analyse human cells and proteins. He and his team are also developing new ‘PepTracker’ software to enable the management and quantitative analysis of large-scale proteomics and gene expression data.

Professor Lamond’s research is aimed at understanding how the cell nucleus works and how the different components within the nucleus are organised to help it to function efficiently.

All living organisms are made of cells and store their genetic information in the same way, as long molecules of DNA that are organised into structures within the cells called chromosomes. The chromosomes contain many different genes that carry the instructions to allow the cells to make proteins and to control their growth and division. In the more complex forms of cells found in plants and animals, chromosomes are kept within a specialised compartment called the cell nucleus and it is within the nucleus that genes are activated.

“We study the nucleus using both advanced light microscopes and mass spectrometers to see where protein molecules are located and to record how they move under different conditions,” said Professor Lamond. “We know that many forms of human disease, including viral infections, malignancies and inherited genetic disorders, can all cause profound changes inside the cell nucleus.

“We therefore study the changes that occur in the nuclei of cells taken from human patients to try to understand better the relation between theses specific changes and the mechanism of disease. In this way our research studies the biology of human cells in such a way that it is highly relevant to understanding human disease and to the future development of new therapies and improved diagnosis and screening procedures.”

Prof Mike Ferguson, Dean of the School of Research at the College of Life Sciences, said, “This is a very large grant from the Wellcome Trust that speaks volumes for the talent, drive and innovation of Angus Lamond and his excellent research group. As well as performing internationally acclaimed science, Angus and his colleagues in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression contribute hugely to the infrastructure and collective success of the College.“