This research area focuses on the development of novel chemical tools and technologies for the understanding of biology and the synthesis of biological and biologically active molecules.
This research area focuses on the development of novel chemical tools and technologies for the understanding of biology and the synthesis of biological and biologically active molecules. It also covers biomimetic chemistry, synthetic methods that mimic biochemical processes, including producing simplified chemical models of complex biological systems.
This area covers applications of EPSRC chemical biology and biological chemistry, in all biological contexts, ranging from agriculture to animal and human biology. However, proposals predominantly focused on a biological or medical or disease question do not fall within this research area and are covered by other research councils.
The UK has a strong research base in chemical biology and biological chemistry. However, the focus has shifted increasingly into the biological and medical space.
Research outputs from EPSRC’s previous Life Sciences Interface programme and other initiatives have been taken forward, leaving a gap that has not been filled by new chemical biology and biological chemistry research.
We will work with the community to ensure that vital enabling research capability is grown by encouraging new physical sciences innovation in this area to safeguard its long term health in the UK. Without this, we risk losing our world leading position and generating a bottleneck in important tools and fundamental understanding.
The health of this area also has long term implications for application-led research fields for which it is critically relevant – for example, healthcare technologies, synthetic biology, life and medical sciences as recognised by the Technology Touching Life consultation. Research in this area is central to addressing current and future national challenges related to sustainability and resource efficiency.
Novel and adventurous engineering and physical sciences research is actively encouraged, and will be supported at a level appropriate to the growing community.
We aim to:
- support the community to pursue highly adventurous and interdisciplinary research in this research area
- clarify EPSRC’s role in a complex funding landscape, working even more collaboratively with other research councils and funders to ensure strategies are distinct and complementary to support this area
- work with the community to encourage the development of the next generation of platform technologies to enable the pursuit of new academic challenges and exploration of previously inaccessible chemical and biological space
- invest in interdisciplinary training, particularly at the early career stage, to enable researchers to develop their track record and raise their profiles, and so develop the next generation of research leaders in this cross-disciplinary and collaborative area.