UCD-led Pan European Biomedical Imaging Research Project Secures €2.5 million in Funding

UCD-led Pan European Biomedical Imaging Research Project Secures €2.5 million in Funding

A new University College Dublin (UCD) led pan-European research project using correlative multimodal imaging (CMI) to improve the understanding of biomedical processes of disease and drug therapy has secured €2.5 million in funding.

CLEXM (Correlative Light, Electron and X-ray Microscopy), a 4-year project involving 7 partner organisations in 4 countries, has been funded by Horizon Europe under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network (MSCA-DN) programme. The project which officially commences this September will fund nine (9) PhD candidate projects across the partner organisations.

SiriusXT, a UCD spin-out company based in Dublin, which has developed the first commercial, laboratory-based, soft x-ray microscope, is among the partner organisations.

CMI is used by researchers to obtain a composite view of a biological sample with the multidimensional information about its structure, dynamics, function and chemical composition required to understand biomedical processes and diseases.

There is a growing need for disease and drug therapy researchers to better understand the linkages between structural and functional changes that occur in a cell and to be able to observe these from the cellular (micrometre) to the molecular (nanometre) scale. Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) is the current state-of-the-art for achieving this, but the technique is extremely complex and slow.

The overall focus of the 9 CLEXM research projects is to demonstrate that the integration of a third imaging technique, Soft X-ray Tomography (SXT), into CLEM will make it easier and faster for researchers to correlate cellular structure with cellular function.

This will lead to a more complete view of the processes of disease and drug therapy by creating a composite view of a biological sample with multidimensional information about its macro-, meso- and microscopic structure, dynamics, function and chemical composition to develop more effective drug therapies.

Three of the nine research projects will take place in UCD, two of these projects will be supervised by Professor Jeremy Simpson, College Principal, UCD College of Science and Professor Oliver Blacque, UCD  School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the third project will be supervised by Dr Sergey Kapishnikov, SiriusXT.

Professor Jeremy Simpson, said, "UCD is very pleased to be the Project Coordinator of project CLEXM. It provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate and build relationships with leading European research organisations as well as funding three PhD projects in UCD and building expertise in correlative multimodal cell imaging."

Tony McEnroe, CEO, SiriusXT, said, "As an SME, developing a highly innovative cell imaging microscope for the disease research and drug discovery markets, project CLEXM provides us with access to leading research talent, funding to achieve our development goals and an opportunity to collaborate with leading research organisations, many of whom are target customers for our microscope."

Professor Simpson added, “The overarching objective of CLEMX project is to provide high-level training in the field of correlative multimode imaging to a new generation of doctoral candidates to provide them with the transferrable skills necessary for thriving careers in a high-growth area that will aid researchers in their quest to understand disease and to develop effective therapies.” 

The other project partners in addition to UCD and SiriusXT are; Institut Pasteur (France), Aalen University (Germany), Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg (Germany), Synchrotron Soleil (France) and ALBA Synchrotron (Spain).


4 July 2023

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie.