Industrial Doctorate Centre: Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Mathematical & Physical Sciences Div


The goal of the proposed Oxford Industrial Doctorate in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science is to ensure that the UK has a strong pipeline of future innovators and research leaders in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, biotechnology, and biomedically-related IT sectors. It will build on the track record and model of inter-disciplinary scientific training of the two existing DTCs in Oxford (at the Life Sciences Interface and in Systems Biology), and of our existing Industrial Doctorate pilot scheme, to provide a comprehensive industrial research training programme, tailored to the needs of each individual student, and will engage with internationally leading industrial partners and academic groups drawn from across the spectrum of EPSRC's healthcare-related programmes. Graduates from the IDC programme will receive extensive exposure to the industrial context of their research in both the taught programme and in their industry-based research projects. This will allow them to develop the skills in project management, strategic planning, leadership, team working, commercial awareness, and problem solving that will be required to translate innovations in basic and medical science into commercial product development.The proposal has very strong support from across the relevant industry sectors (pharmaceutical, biomedical and imaging, health-related IT and biotechnology). The 13 companies supporting this proposal are: GE Healthcare (Dr Jonathan Allis, Vice President for Technology); GSK (Professor Paul Matthews, Vice President, Imaging and Head, GSK Clinical Imaging Centre); AstraZeneca (Dr Andy Hargreaves, Director, Advanced Science and Technology Lab); Roche (Dr Bryn Roberts, Global Head of Group Research); Novartis (Dr Ulrich Hummel, Unit Head, Structural Sciences); Pfizer (Ian Machin, Director Pain Discovery Biology); Siemens Molecular Imaging (Dr. Jrme Declerck, Head of Science and Technology), Microsoft Research (Prof Stephen Emmott , Director of External Research), Philips (Dr Lothar Spies, Head of Digital Imaging); Fujitsu European Laboratory (Dr Ross Nobes, Head of Computational Biology), UCB Celltech (Dr Jiye Shi); Inhibox (Dr Paul Finn); and Summit (Richard Vickers, Drug Discovery). Full details of the levels of support to be provided to the IDC by each of these companies are given in the attached letters of support from each of the representatives listed above. Several of these companies will be directly involved in the teaching programme of the proposed IDC.Producing these industrial scientists is of paramount importance if the UK is to remain at the forefront of the biotechnology, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors. Current economic conditions are resulting in financial pressures across these sectors, but future innovation and product development requires that the training of these future generations of scientists commences now. EPSRC support is therefore vital. Similarly, the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed training and research programmes necessitate a critical mass of students within the training programme who can support and learn from one another, and the overall goals of the IDC simply could not be met by the standard PhD training route.


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