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University of Leeds

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The University of Leeds, in the Yorkshire region of the UK, was founded in 1904 and is an international centre of excellence for research and teaching with over 30,000 students attached to 700 different first-degree programmes and 330 postgraduate degree programmes. It ranks among the top research universities in the UK.

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The Plant Cell Wall Laboratory is a research group of the Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS) (staff 60) which is a leading centre of excellence in plant molecular and cellular biology. The CPS is part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences that is rated 'internationally excellent' in research.

Key competences and facilities

The Paul Knox Cell Wall Lab, housed in the Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS), is focused on the development of tools for cell wall imaging aimed at understanding cell wall diversity and the structure-function relations of cell wall polysaccharides in growth and development.

The University of Leeds recruited Valérie Cornuault and Mercedes Hernandez; hosted Jeff Zhang, Praveen Krishnamoorthy,Xiaoyuan Guo and Jean-Luc Runavot for secondment; organized the network-training event 3; and provided courses in the network-training event 2. ESRs/ER benefit from the CPS facilities for cell wall imaging, plant growth, cell culture, light & electron microscopy and all aspects of molecular/cell biological analyses.

Key persons

Professor P. Knox (scientist in charge) has an international reputation in cell wall immunochemistry, cell wall polysaccharides and innovative approaches to cell wall biology. He has participated in 4 EU programmes and has been involved in the publication of over 30 papers in international journals/book chapters since 2006.

Dr Richard Blackburn in the Centre for Technical Textiles is interested in the properties of plant fibres in relation to dyeing and textile use. He also has expertise in the chemistry of natural products and green chemistry approaches to industrial processes.