A consortium has netted more than £13 million for the next step in bioscience.
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee universities have won £11 million from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for work that brings together physics, biology, medicine and chemistry.
Walter Kolch , professor of molecular cell biology at Glasgow and the project's scientific director, said the bid's success hinged on the breadth of the consortium's approach.
"We are looking for radical breakthroughs, not just incremental improvements," he said.
The challenge in the wake of the human genome project is proteomics - the study of proteins. A greater understanding of these could help combat diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Professor Kolch said that while there were 35,000 genes, there could be more than 1 million different proteins.
He added that the institutions were geographically close and that there was already good collaboration between the research leaders, who include Pat Langridge-Smith at Edinburgh and Nick Morrice at Dundee.
The consortium has won £1.5 million from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council for equipment and £2 million from the BBSRC, the EPSRC and the Medical Research Council for a doctoral training centre.