National Physical Laboratory

The Challenge

Fibroblast CalceinThere is a rising demand for molecular medicine to address global health issues such as recurring epidemics, anti-microbial resistance and metastatic cancers. However the metrological foundations underlying biomolecular structure and function are currently sparse and insufficient to the task.

Recent advances in neuroprotection, gene and tissue repair allow broader expansion into anti-neurodegenerative, gene and regenerative therapies. Validated measurements and standardisation techniques would enable major advances in these areas. 

A comprehensive qualitative and quantitative understanding of structure-function links at the molecular and supramolecular levels is also essential to rational drug design - where reliable targeting and display of molecules in cells and tissues is vital to both diagnosis and therapy.

To address these issues, a comprehensive metrology infrastructure is being built to provide definitive structural measurements on critical classes of biomolecules, with a sufficiently extensive international effort feeding into a leading centre and generating major downstream economic and healthcare impacts.

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