Tackling the challenges of 21st Century bioscience requires the development and application of new methods and technologies, including new instruments, protocols, software and data analysis approaches. We aim to embed innovation and scientific entrepreneurship into the culture of the DTP, and to inspire and enable students to develop and engage with advanced methodologies.
- Bioimaging: A distinctive strength of our DTP is the expertise and training that we can provide in microscopy, imaging and image analysis across all scales and modalities. The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University have outstanding facilities for microscopy and technology development for microscopy, including Micron Oxford, which is funded by a major strategic award from Wellcome and includes scientists from the life sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering and DLS. Bioimaging is a primary focus of our Harwell partner organisations, which provide facilities for imaging with electrons, X-rays, mass spectrometry, sound and light. Students will benefit from developments in correlative light, electron, and X-ray microscopy, and 3-dimensional super-resolution microscopy, The Biological Cryo-Imaging Group (DLS) brings together dedicated facilities for X-ray, light and electron microscopy, including the national centre for cryo-electron microscopy, eBIC (Electron Bio-Imaging Centre), which is complemented by cryo-EM facilities available at Oxford.
- Systems Biology, Data Science and AI: Integrally linked to the development and application of new technologies is the use of bioanalytical, statistical and modelling approaches to design experiments, interrogate and interpret data and develop predictive, dynamic models of biological systems. DTP researchers have extensive expertise in modelling, systems biology, data science, development of biological software tools, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), including biologically relevant areas such as deep learning, reinforcement learning, automated reasoning, automated and intelligent sensors and multi-agent systems. Our expertise in mathematical and computational biology spans the entire range of modelling frameworks and is being applied to address questions in fields such as microbiology, developmental biology, bioreactor design and regenerative medicine.
- Technology Development: The development of innovative methods and technology underpins fundamental and applied research across the partnership. The University of Oxford is one of the leading creators of University spin-out companies in Europe. Successful OUI spin-outs include NightStar Technology (gene therapy), Vaccitech (vaccines), Oxford Immunotec (diagnosis), OMASS (mass spectrometry), Orbit Discovery (drug discovery), OxStem (regenerative medicine), Animal Dynamics (biomechanics inspired design), DiffBlue (AI) and Natural Motion (gaming). Technology development is also a major part of the core mission of partners at Harwell, which work closely with instrument manufacturers to develop new technologies for life science research. Particular areas of expertise in the partnership include innovation in microscopy, imaging and single cell techniques and the development of software tools. We also have substantial expertise in synthetic biology and the development of genetic tools and protein production systems, along with expertise in technology development for vaccine development and production. Additional areas of strength include the development of small molecule probes and inhibitors; nucleic acid-based technologies; computational neuroscience and neuroimaging; diagnostic technologies, biosensors, microfluidics and biodelivery.