Wolfson Foundation CEO Visits P3 Facility

Posted on April 4, 2017 in News by . Share this article

Scientists from the Plant Production and Protection (P3) Centre at the University of Sheffield were delighted to be able to welcome Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation to visit their labs at the beginning of April.

L-R: Jurriaan Ton (P3 Co-Director), Paul Ramsbottom (CEO Wolfson Foundation), Dave Petley (Vice President Research & Innovation) and Nigel Clarke (Vice President Science).

The Wolfson Foundation awarded £1 million to P3 in 2016 and this was Mr Ramsbottom’s first opportunity to visit the facilities that the award has funded. 

Professor Jurriaan Ton, co-director of the P3 Centre, said, “We are very grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for its support of our research at the University of Sheffield. The funding has enabled us to buy new state-of-the-art equipment for the P3 Centre including a remote scanning platform that can detect disease in crops at an early stage.”

Mr Ramsbottom was shown the scanning equipment by Dr Steve Rolfe, of the P3 Centre, who explained how this phenotyping platform offers technology that could accelerate genetic selection schemes for disease-resistant crop varieties and develop new treatments that can prime the immune system in existing crop varieties.

A number of P3 scientists, including PhD students from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, were on hand to provide a tour of the full Wolfson Plant Phenotyping Facility, which also includes microscopy equipment, state-of-the art DNA sequencing equipment and mass spectrometers for high-throughput analysis of plant metabolites.

Paul Ramsbottom being shown the plant phenotyping scanner by Steve Rolfe.

The P3 Centre aims to stimulate development of sustainable agriculture by taking world-class fundamental research to the farm field and solving many of the challenges currently faced in the agri-food sector, for example the necessity to increase agricultural output while simultaneously increasing its sustainability and resilience of crops against climate change.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said “The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that funds the highest quality research. This is certainly the case in terms of Sheffield’s P3 Centre, and I very much enjoyed my tour of the facilities. Our investment helps to provide a platform for the expansion of this research – across the latest technologies in microscopy, DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry – and the potential is exciting. I was very impressed by the excellence and enthusiasm of all that I met.”



Notes to Editors

University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk

The Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts. Established in 1955, over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 10,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review.

See more at www.wolfson.org.uk and connect via Twitter @wolfsonfdn and facebook.com/wolfsonfoundation

For further information please contact: Patricia Hart, Communications and Marketing Manager, University of Sheffield, 0114 222 9381, p.hart@sheffield.ac.uk

To read other news releases about the University of Sheffield, visit http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news