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Sheffield Hallam University's newly refurbished cell culture laboratory, which gives bioscience students hands-on experience of cell culture, has been nominated for a national award.

The lab has been shortlisted in the Safe, Successful, Sustainable Laboratories (S-Lab) Awards, which celebrate best practice in laboratory design, management and use.

It has been nominated in the refurbished category, following its £200,000 overhaul last year. The state-of-the-art lab gives bioscience students practical experience of cell culture - one of the few university teaching labs in the country to do so.

It is equipped with industry and hospital standard equipment, and unlike many other universities, students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels will be taught practical skills in cell culture.

Cell culture is the complex process by which cells are grown under controlled conditions in order to, amongst other things, test and develop drugs and study the mechanism of disease.

The facility contains six state-of-the-art laminar flow hoods, designed to prevent contamination of cells, and specialist incubators, centrifuges and microscopes that enable the manipulation and growth of cells.

Dr Susan Laird, head of the department of biosciences at Sheffield Hallam, said: "These awards celebrate best practice in laboratory design, management and use and we're delighted to be shortlisted.

"The new laboratory expands the space and equipment currently available to teach students, particularly at undergraduate level, important cell culture techniques.

"It enhances the student learning experience and provides them with the knowledge and skills they need for employment in the pharmacology and biotechnology industries."

Sheffield Hallam offers a range of biosciences courses in biomedical sciences, biology, forensics, pharmacology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical science, biochemistry and chemistry.

For press information: contact Tess Humphrys on 0114 225 4025 or email