The BioUpdate Foundation

Lecture Room

BioUpdate: A Change of Direction

The BioUpdate Foundation is changing!

The world is changing and we too must change. Since 1992 we have been organising courses and occasional conferences in a range of Bioscience disciplines. In recent years, we have found it increasingly difficult to attract enough participants to make our courses viable. Those of you who work in industry will appreciate how much training budgets have been affected by the economic climate. We are a not for profit organisation, but that means we are also not for loss, as there is little in the way of reserves to buffer against financial loss. For the last few years we have had to cancel both tried and tested old favourites as well as new courses in emerging technologies. It is time to change.

We shall no longer be offering our traditional BioUpdate courses, nor shall we be updating this website, which will lapse in the coming months. We would, however, like to acknowledge the foresight of André Schram and Felix Franks in recognising the need to provide high quality training at affordable prices, and creating the BioUpdate Foundation to meet that need. We would like to thank our tutors for preparing and delivering our courses; they shared our ideals by taking on a lot of work for a very modest honorarium. In particular we would like to thank those, who have in recent years taken on the task of preparing new courses only to see them cancelled before they could be presented.

It has always been our aim to provide affordable education and training for those who would benefit most, particularly younger people. This will not change. One project we have recently become interested in is the Netherlands-Japan-Indonesia Dialogue Foundation. See for example http://www.dialoognji.org/en/projects/ for André Schram's contribution to the Fukuoka 2 Memorial. This memorial remembers prisoners of war (British, Australian, American and Dutch) who were interned at Nagasaki, Japan during World War II.  As part of this programme to encourage recognition, mutual respect and reconciliation André has produced a booklet aimed at young people.  A copy may be downloaded by clicking here.

Finally we would like to thank all of those who have supported us by attending our courses and conferences, and for giving us the opportunity to try to make a difference to people's education and careers for more than a quarter of a century.

 

Felix Franks (1926 - 2016)

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Felix Franks, one of the founders of the BioUpdate Foundation.  Trained as physical chemist, Felix developed an unsurpassed knowledge of the properties of water and frozen solutions. A knowledge he applied to the fundamentals of protein biochemistry as well as to industrial applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

One of the first to teach the importance of the glass transition in freeze-drying, he created a revolution which changed the way the entire industry thought and developed products.  In doing so he opened the door to the rational use of amorphous materials in biopreservation and protein stabilisation.  Many of us have known him as a colleague, mentor or friend.

Those who were fortunate to know him well learned from his many tales that his life had been truly extraordinary, being a kindertransport refugee in the 1930s was just the beginning of a remarkable journey.  His mission in creating the BioUpdate Foundation, as a not for profit organisation, was to ensure that those who were in most need, especially younger and less qualified scientists, could have access to high quality training courses at affordable prices  He will be greatly missed.

Latest Blog. Can you build an "inside-out" protein? This is as much a challenge as a blog. The familiar structure of a protein with a hydrophilic surface and a more hydrophobic core is a consequence of the properties of water.  But the properties of water change with temperature and pressure. Can we change them sufficiently to allow us to build an inside-out protein?  Click here to read more.

 

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