Staff Services Student Enterprise
20 Feb 2024

The University’s groundbreaking work in emerging engineering biology and AI-led approaches to future health was showcased recently in Boston, USA.

Global healthcare companies, innovation partners and translational institutes hosted Edinburgh Innovations’ Strategic Partnerships Team to further discussions on existing and future collaborations.

Three multidisciplinary academics, each a leader in their field, joined the discussions and also presented at a University-hosted showcase event at life sciences not-for-profit Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).

Principal Investigator of the University’s newly announced £14.25m Engineered Genetic Control Systems for Advanced Therapeutics Hub, Professor Susan Rosser, discussed the innovative work she does with industry that pushes the frontiers of personalised medicine, and the opportunities for industrial partnerships.

She currently co-leads a strategic partnership with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) to address challenges in bioprocessing and the manufacture of biological drugs (biologics) through a programme of innovative research and training.

L-R Filippo Menolascina, Themis Prodromakis, Lorraine Kerr of EI, Andrea Taylor, Susan Rosser, Jie Chen of EI

Professor Filippo Menolascina, an entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of cybergenetics, presented novel approaches to high-resolution intercellular dynamics in biomanufacturing-relevant organisms and cell lines.

And Professor Themis Prodromakis, Regius Chair of Engineering, discussed next-generation semiconductor technologies for AI, part of another new £12m innovation centre at the University: the AI Hub for Productive Research and Innovation in Electronics (APRIL).

Professors Prodromakis and Menolascina also presented exciting new ventures for which major new international partnerships are being developed.

Dr Andrea Taylor, director of EI’s Strategic Partnerships Team, said:

We had a fantastic trip out to Boston, building on the networks and relationships we have developed so far. These allow us to forge the kind of innovative academic/industry collaborations, of significant vision and shared objective, that are so needed address the complex AI, digital, data and future healthcare challenges the world faces.
Global partnerships like NEURii, to tackle dementia, for example, will ensure that we harness the power of data and emerging technologies to improve patient outcomes at scale. ”

Professor Menolascina said:

Engaging in technology transfer and knowledge exchange is how we, as academics, ensure that the benefits of our discoveries are felt, as soon as possible, by society. I firmly believe that opportunities like the ones that the Strategic Partnerships Team is creating are central to our ability, as Edinburgh academics, to maximise the impact of our research. ”

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