News: More ARC funding success

November 5, 2014

Filed under: News — Emma Drew @ 4:52 pm

Professor Staffan Persson, at the Centre’s UM node,  has been awarded two ARC grants today – a Discovery Project Award (DP) and a Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Award (LIEF) with colleagues including Professor Tony Bacic (UM), Professor Geoff Fincher and Associate Professor Rachel Burton (UA).

The DP award is for $453,600 over three years commencing in 2015 and the project aims to delineate how two components, that are part of a protein-complex, synthesise cellulose and protect the complex against environmental stress function. Also, it aims to identify co-factors that assist in cellulose synthesis and microfibril assembly. Sustainable resources for fuel, food and feed are needed and plant biomass, largely consisting of cellulose, offers a great raw material for this purpose. However, the understanding of how cellulose is synthesised is rudimentary. The results of this project could contribute towards tailoring cellulose production for industrial applications and for sustained biomass production.

The $346,439.00 for the LIEF award will be used to purchase a spinning disk confocal microscope with dual stages. This custom-built spinning disk confocal microscope with rotational stages will constitute an internationally unique platform. The system has the capability of rapidly monitoring cells in growing biological specimens under changing environments. It offers an integrated platform for multiple imaging strategies, including confocal and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. The system will reside in core facilities with open access to a broad research community. The system may be used to monitor a wide variety of cells and molecules, and will offer capabilities that are of importance to understand cell trafficking, disease and signalling, plant biomass production, and climate change.

The Centre would like to congratulate Staffan and all involved on this great achievement.