MSZ Business Forum introduced to core facilities on Easter Bush Campus

Published: 24 January 2022

Midlothian Science Zone Business Forum delegates were introduced to Easter Bush Campus core facilities and some unique equipment, including imaging, that are accessible to researchers in the animal health, avian and aquaculture sectors, located in the zone or beyond.

Midlothian businesses joined a hybrid format of the Business Forum on Tuesday 7th December 2021, hosted in the  Roslin Institute Auditorium. This Business Forum event took place a year after launch so it was a perfect occasion to be hosted in the world-renowned research institute and expertly led by Easter Bush Campus Facilities Manager, Val Hughes-White.

Presentations were given by facilities managers and experts, who each guided us through the wealth of facilities and equipment available within the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and in particular those on Campus. 

Mszforum Ebc Showcase

With access to their own farms, the University of Edinburgh's Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility (LARIF) is located on the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies' Easter Bush Campus; also home to the Roslin Institute. The LARIF offers users the opportunity to capitalise on a wide range of expertise in farm animal production, health and welfare including infectious diseases and zoonoses, vaccines, genetics and genome editing, imaging, radiology, medicine, surgery and critical care and includes imaging suites (MRI, CT & fluoroscopy equipment), two surgical suites and a four-bed ICU.

Research within the LARIF supports the One Health framework, recognising the link between human, animal and environmental health. It offers exceptional specialist facilities for in-depth studies of all major farmed livestock, including containment areas for work involving infectious pathogens, facilities to produce genetically altered animals, environmentally controlled units suitable for behaviour and welfare studies, imaging, surgical and critical care facilities for large animal models of disease and development of medical technology that will benefit both humans and animals.

Roslin's state-of-the-art aquarium, the Aquaculture Genetics Research Facility (AGRF), is equipped with hatchery and disease challenge facilities, and is integral to  groundbreaking research. It boasts a newly built freshwater aquarium system for research on early life stages of farmed fish and assist in research on disease resistance.

The National Avian Research Facility (NARF) has substantial resources for all poultry life stages and can supply fertile eggs and chicks from a range of poultry lines. The NARF comprises of two units: one standard poultry facility and a second that has specified pathogen free (SPF) status. Resources include expertise in genome engineering in the chicken, including gene-editing under SPF conditions.

Also featured, the UK Immunological Toolbox project focusing on health and disease of farmed animals, the Bio-Imaging & Flow Cytometry Facility which includes highly sensitive microscopy apparatus. Roslin Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility provides access to state-of the-art proteomic and metabolomic technologies to both academic and commercial researchers.

The range of analytical services the facility provides include, unbiased quantitative proteomics, analysis of post-translational modifications, and characterisations of metabolites using high-resolution mass spectrometers. Recent capital investment with ion-mobility instruments enables mass spectrometry imaging of metabolites and lipids on tissue samples, and high throughput LC-MS technology for biomarker discoveries, including direct analysis of samples with no or minimal sample preparations for some applications. 

The Genomics Platform team demonstrated the flexibility of the Nadia Platform, a high-throughput microfluidic system for single-cell research.

The presentations showcased how much Easter Bush Campus has to offer, by the experts who manage these facilities, and those delegates who participated in person were fortunate to have a guided tour of the areas which they were interested in.

This event was the first in a series of discussions about the facilities in Midlothian Science Zone. In subsequent events we will be introducing some of the specialist equipment at Pentlands Science Park, Edinburgh Technopole and the wider Bush Estate that is available to tenant companies and other businesses for research and collaboration opportunities.

The MSZ Business Forum was launched in December 2020 to create an opportunity for discussion, collaboration and awareness of other businesses within the zone and it was a great to welcome some in person attendees as well as online.

Our next MSZ Business Forum will be held on Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 1pm - 2pm. We will be joined by guest speakers David Smith and Jacqueline Watson, from Business Leader Groups.
The venue and format will be announced soon. 

To be kept informed of forthcoming events or opportunities for collaboration, please contact Emma McCallum, Project Coordinator. 

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