Dr Claudia Barros draws back the curtain of one of the cubicles to reveal a postgraduate and an undergraduate student examining a tissue sample through an advanced confocal microscope. On the screen next to them, magnified several hundred times, is a brilliant red image, as stunning as it is vivid.
“Our research group is highly dependent on imaging,” says Dr Barros, Lecturer in Neuroscience, and an expert in neural stem cells. “So one of the key advantages of the Derriford Research Facility is that it has enabled the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry to create a much larger imaging suite. And not only that, it has upgraded the equipment, such as this new confocal microscope. It means that we, as researchers and teachers, can conduct new experiments and make the facilities accessible to more students, often simultaneously.”
These are sentiments that you hear echoed across the University’s medical, biomedical and dentistry community when you ask about the Derriford Research Facility (DRF) and the difference it makes. With a footprint of 2,300 square metres, and a location adjacent to the John Bull Building and the neighbouring University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, the DRF has transformed the landscape, both architecturally and for those research networks both within the faculty and with clinical colleagues at Derriford.