Newcastle University Urban Sciences Building

1 Science Square
Science Central
Newcastle upon Tyne

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Team Leaders

Prof. Dr. Anil Wipat

Principal Investigator

Phone: +44 191 208 821 3
Fax: +44 191 208 823 2

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Dr. Simon Cockell

Co-Principal Investigator

Phone: +44 191 208 725 3

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Team Staff

Dr. Elisa Anastasi


Phone: +44 191 208 785 6

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Dr. Keith Flanagan


Phone: +44 191 208 785 7

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Institute presentation

Newcastle University is one of the top research-intensive universities in the UK. In the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation, Newcastle University was ranked 16th (out of 154) in the UK for research power. The REF 2014 showed that the vast majority of Newcastle University’s research was placed in the top two categories of “world leading” and “internationally excellent”. The Research Excellence Framework – a unique exercise in the world – is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions driven by independent external peer review.

The research contributing to REPO-TRIAL is being carried out by Prof. Dr. Wipat and Dr. Cockell in the School of Computing Science, which has over 40 academic members and attracts funding of over £4 million per year from research councils. The school was rated 5 in the last REF exercise for its research achievements and was first in the country for the impact of its research. The project benefits extensively from being embedded in the interdisciplinary environment of the Centre for Health and Bioinformatics and in the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex Biosystems Group (ICOS). ICOS ( consists of 50 individuals including ten academics, one administrator, 20 postdocs, 2 teaching fellows, and 21 PhD students. We are one of the largest academia-based computational biology groups in the world. The ICOS mission is to conduct ground-breaking research at the interface of computing science and complex biosystems. Our projects range from the computational foundations of complex systems, CAD/CAM algorithms for synthetic biology, very large biological datasets analysis methods (e.g. protein-protein interactions, RNA seq, etc.), the development of algorithms for bioinformatics and systems biology, including state-of-the-art neuroinformatics methods for cloud-based workflows for very large data integration, as well as unconventional computing and programmable DNA/RNA origami research.

Our group keeps a state-of-the-art synthetic biology wet lab at the (CBCB) Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology ( and is in charge of driving Newcastle’s strategic direction for Synthetic Biology by leading the (CSBB) Centre for Synthetic Biology and the BioEconomy ( ICOS currently leads a grant portfolio of £15M with an approximate equal split between in silico and in vivo work. ICOS is one of the six major groups in the School of Computing Science, and forms a major component of the Centre for Health and Bioinformatics (CHaBi: