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New School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading – University of Reading

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New School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading

Release Date 26 July 2005

a scientist at workThe University of Reading has announced the formation of a new School of Biological Sciences from Monday 1 August, 2005. The University has appointed Professor Nick Battey as the first Head of the new School, which will be one of the largest Schools of Biological Sciences in the UK. The new School has been formed by integrating the three former Schools of Animal and Microbial Sciences, Applied Statistics, and Plant Sciences. It will comprise 51 academic staff, including 15 professors and 106 support staff including technicians and administrative and clerical staff. In 2003-4, the School held research grants and contracts worth over £5 million per annum. It employs 90 postdoctoral researchers and independent research fellows, and 14 other related staff. The School has 146 PhD students, 353 undergraduates and 81 taught masters students. Professor Rob Robson, Dean of Life Sciences, said: "The School of Biological Sciences will undertake internationally competitive research, offer a range of attractive degree programmes in the biological and related sciences, and address the needs of consumers in the knowledge economy and society more generally. "The School will provide the umbrella for a rich diversity of activities in the biological sciences at Reading, which range from the molecular to the global ecological level and include research on viruses and bacteria, plants, humans and other animals, biodiversity and ecosystems biology, and statistics for the life sciences as applied to fundamental and commercial problems. "The opportunities opened up by the formation of the new School for interdisciplinary work and for sharing resources and practice will lead to the development of new research, teaching and enterprise activities in the future." Investment in life sciences at the University of Reading The formation of the School of Biological Sciences is one of a number of exciting developments in the life sciences at Reading. The new School will occupy an important place in the cluster of other Schools in the Faculty of Life Sciences which include the Schools of Food Biosciences; Agriculture, Policy and Development; and Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences. The University also opened a School of Pharmacy in 2004 as part of the University's expanding interest in the health sciences. All these Schools conduct cutting edge research and offer degree programmes in the broad area of the life sciences. The environment for the life sciences at Reading has been greatly enhanced in the last five years through a programme of investment, which, by 2008, will amount to a total spend of more than £35 million. Later this year, the University will officially open the BioCentre, a state-of-the-art facility for research in the post-genomic era. In 2006, the University will also complete the refurbishment of a building which will bring together biologists and computer scientists from the School of Systems Engineering to address some of the most complex questions which remain to be answered in biology and the life sciences. The University also plans to spend up to £17 million on a new building to support the development of its new Schools of Biological Sciences and Pharmacy, to be completed by March 2008. This will provide the very best facilities for research and teaching in the life sciences and also help foster links with the Schools of Food Biosciences and Chemistry. By 2008, the University of Reading will have an outstanding modern environment for research and teaching in the life sciences. End Notes for editors 1. More details about the new School of Biological Sciences are available at the following website: http://www.biosci.reading.ac.uk 2. The University has recently also announced the appointment of 10 new academic staff in the School of Pharmacy. Please see the press release: http://www.extra.rdg.ac.uk/news/details.asp?ID=538 3. For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer. T: 0118 378 7388 E: c.hillsley@rdg.ac.uk

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