First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh Campus to see some of the University’s key research projects.
Ms Sturgeon, accompanied by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and the Chief Economic Adviser Dr Gary Gillespie, was welcomed to the Campus by the Principal, Professor Steve Chapman, and Professor Gill Hogg, Deputy Principal (External Relations).
Sees cutting edge University research
The visiting group first attended a press and media briefing on the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (2013-14) publication, in the Earl Mountbatten building, and were then taken by Professor Chapman to the Life Sciences Interface Laboratory in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3). There they were introduced to Professor Rory Duncan, Head of IB3, and Dr Will Shu, Reader in Microengineering at IB3.
Accompanied by media crews and a press photographer, they were briefed on the Edinburgh Super Resolution Imaging Consortium, a research centre set up to help Scottish and international scientists to investigate the causes of disease at molecular level, and on the use of a synthetic DNA gel in 3D printing, where a two-part water-based gel made of synthetic DNA could bring Dr Shu and his team, inventors of a 3D bio printer, closer to being able to print organs for transplant or to replace animal testing.
The First Minister said, “Today I have been hugely impressed by some of the innovative and pioneering work that researchers here at Heriot-Watt are doing.
“The prospect of sometime in the future being able to print organs digitally, if it happens, will revolutionise medicine in a way which is almost unthinkable right now.”