BBSRC Business Winter 2017

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Business

Winter 2017

Connecting our science with industry, policymakers and society

FRONTIERS SPECIAL | NEWS | FEATURES | IMAGES

Frontier bioscience Pages 12-20

The epigenetics of heart disease Virtual reality games and sensory neuroscience Policy Brief: New section on BBSRC activities

About BBSRC BBSRC invests in worldclass bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public.

Our aim is to further scientific knowledge to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation, and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond. Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £473M in world-class bioscience in 2015-2016. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society

to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Further details about BBSRC, our science and our impact can be found at www.bbsrc.ac.uk

Strategically funded institutes

BBSRC is part of the Research Councils UK partnership

Babraham Institute www.babraham.ac.uk

The Pirbright Institute www.pirbright.ac.uk

Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies (Aberystwyth University) www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers

Institute of Food Research www.ifr.ac.uk

John Innes Centre www.jic.ac.uk

Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh) www.roslin.ac.uk

Rothamsted Research www.rothamsted.ac.uk

Earlham Institute www.earlham.ac.uk

Contacts Plant health and agriculture [email protected] Animal health [email protected] Bioenergy [email protected] Food [email protected] Human health [email protected] Industrial biotechnology [email protected] International [email protected] Research technologies [email protected] Skills and training [email protected] Innovation and business [email protected]

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BBSRC Business Winter 2017

About BBSRC Business BBSRC Business is a controlled circulation magazine which is distributed free of charge to end users of research and to individuals with an interest in BBSRC. For enquiries about Business contact the News Team: BBSRC Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1UH. Tel: 01793 442810 Email: [email protected] For regular news about BBSRC and the outcomes and impacts of BBSRCfunded research visit www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news

In this issue Chief Executive Professor Melanie Welham elaborates on her passion for frontier bioscience, and introduces new policy pages to the magazine.

I am really excited about this Frontiersthemed issue of BBSRC Business magazine. My Q&A interview, which featured in the last issue, revealed a few of my thoughts about how, under my leadership, I want BBSRC to restate its commitment to world-leading fundamental bioscience research. And I’ve been busy doing just that. At the fifth annual Biology Week reception in October, held at the Houses of Parliament, I gave a speech that explained my vision of frontier bioscience as pushing the boundaries of knowledge to make amazing, surprising and potentially life-changing discoveries. This annual celebration brings together key figures and organisations in the research realm, including Ministers, MPs and members, as well as other supporters who recognise the importance and value of biosciences in the UK – and my speech seemed to go down well with the attendees. And I’m not just guessing – we polled listeners about what the concept of Frontier bioscience meant to them and received many positive responses. To me it’s that “I never would have thought” feeling of excitement when discoveries are made – it’s pushing the boundaries of scientific endea