Strategic Awards made
Strategic Awards provide flexible forms of support to facilitate research and/or training that is not possible under existing schemes. The aim is to add value to excellent research groups.
Grants awarded in 2015
Professor Philip Bejon, University of Oxford
Accelerating the development of next-generation malaria vaccines through development of innovative trial designs in malaria-endemic areas
This award will fund two studies aiming to develop candidate multi-stage vaccines. In the first study adults are deliberately infected with a laboratory strain of malaria under close supervision and the growth of malaria parasites is measured, followed by a quantitative test for malaria parasite DNA. Adults who have grown up being exposed to malaria become immune and they will identify different immune responses in their blood, which might mediate this immunity. By comparing the variation in immune responses with the variation in parasite growth rates, researchers can determine which responses are responsible for clinical immunity.
In addition, they will adapt the deliberate malaria infection studies to produce the stages of the parasite life cycle that transmit back to mosquitoes and feed laboratory mosquitoes with participants’ blood samples to study this. This will allow them to study whether new candidate vaccines are in fact able to prevent mosquito infection.
Professor Ilan Davis, University of Oxford
Micron Oxford: development and application of advanced microscopy enabling discoveries in cellular and developmental dynamics
The Micron Oxford Advanced Bioimaging Unit was established with a five-year Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust, to provide biomedical scientists with access to the latest super-resolution microscopes and the technical support required to exploit them properly. It has greatly encouraged interactions between microscope technology developers and biologists across Oxford. This award will help Micron to purchase and develop the next generation of advanced microscopes and make them readily available to a large community of world-leading biomedical researchers.
Professor Karl Hoffmann, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Flatworm Functional Genomics Initiative
Parasitic flatworms cause some of the most chronic infectious diseases on our planet. This award will allow the creation of the Flatworm Functional Genomics Initiative, which will develop transformative functional genomics reagents and make them readily available to the academic research community through well-curated North American and European repositories. Specifically, they will use expertise in molecular biology, cell biology and parasitology to create transgenic lines of parasitic flatworms, as well as primary and immortal cell lines derived from these pathogens. These reagents will enable helminthologists to keep pace with other more tractable areas of infectious disease biology and more effectively contribute to the control of parasites responsible for chronic human and animal diseases.
Malawi Epidemiology and Interventions Research Unit
This award will build on a pilot study undertaken by the Malawi Epidemiology and Interventions Research Unit to progress studies in non-communicable diseases, enabling them to fully develop the studies into a sustainable research programme and maintain momentum in a new urban site. The programme also aims to strengthen links between London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Malawi Ministry of Health and the Malawi College of Medicine through the formation of a new trust, known as the Malawi Epidemiology and Interventions Research Unit incorporating Karonga Prevention Study.
Professor John Todd, University of Cambridge
Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory
The Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory was initially set up with a joint Wellcome Trust/JDRF grant in 2000. This Strategic Award will enable the laboratory to establish new approaches to understanding disease, and thereby develop new therapies for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). In order to do this, it will need to:
- understand the molecular causes
- understand the mechanism of action of therapies targeted to genetically and molecularly validated pathways in humans
- rationally test bespoke T1D treatments that may induce remission or prevent the development of autoimmunity.
Ultimately the aim is to generate sufficient knowledge about the events that cause the disease process in the first years of life to help set the stage for primary prevention in newborn children.
Professor Mark Williams, University of Oxford
Promoting mental health and building resilience in adolescence: investigating mindfulness and attentional control
Adolescence is a dangerous time for the onset of mental illness: 75 per cent of mental disorders begin before the age of 24, and half begin by the age of 15. By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does. This award will build on a pilot funded in 2014, examining the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of using mindfulness training to improve psychological resilience in young adolescents, and discover the best way to train teachers to deliver a mindfulness training curriculum and how to implement it in schools. For more information read our press release.
Grants awarded in 2014
Professor Chas Bountra, University of Oxford
A UK hub to catalyse open target discovery
Ageing societies and diseases of modern living require novel drugs to treat them. Drug targets are usually proteins, of which there are more than 20,000 in humans. Establishing the link between a novel protein target and its therapeutic effectiveness in patients remains a major scientific challenge. In recent years, genetic studies have identified many new genes (each coding for a novel protein), many of which are likely to be important drug targets. In order to identify the most important of these, scientists require 'target discovery tools' to assess the function of the protein, its 3D shape and small molecules, which are starting points for developing new drugs. This award will work closely with leading geneticists, clinicians and disease experts to rapidly generate these tools for important genes, make them freely available to all scientists, and accelerate the discovery of new medicines for patients.
Professor Edward Thomas Bullmore, University of Cambridge
Wellcome Trust Consortium for Neuroimmunology of Mood Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease and depression are common and potentially severe. We do not currently have good enough treatments and this high level of unmet clinical need is associated with enormous personal, social and economic costs. Development of new medicines for brain and mind disorders has proved to be risky and too often unsuccessful in the last decade or so. The recipients of this award will form a consortium of private companies and UK academic experts, to pioneer a radically innovative path forward to therapeutic impact in both Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders. They will focus on targeting immunological or inflammatory pathways which could have therapeutic benefits for brain disorders. They aim to identify which peripheral blood tests can be used to predict which patients are most likely to respond to anti-inflammatory drugs. Experimental medicine studies will also be conducted, designed to directly demonstrate that a particular drug can indeed have therapeutic benefits for some patients with Alzheimer's disease or mood disorders.
Professor Matthew Cooper, University of Queensland
Community for Open Antimicrobial Discovery (COAD)
Bacteria and fungi are becoming resistant to antibiotics, leading to multi-drug-resistant superbugs that kill millions of people each year. Unfortunately, current global research efforts are not delivering new types of antibiotics. Pharmaceutical companies are specifically focused on ‘drug-like’ compounds with properties suitable for oral dosing against chronic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. In contrast, research chemists around the world make very diverse compounds, potentially with properties more aligned to antibiotics. This pilot award will enable The Community for Open Antimicrobial Discovery (COAD) to trial a free screening initiative to test compounds from chemists around the world against strains of bacteria, yeast and fungi that cause life-threatening infections. COAD aims to help the research community to uncover potential new antibiotics and antifungals. It will also create a public database to help researchers understand how antibiotics work and what types of compounds we should be looking for in the future.
Professor Ian Gilbert, University of Dundee
Chemical biology: leveraging phenotypic hits against kinetoplastids
Leishmaniasis, Chagas’ disease and human African trypanosomiasis are responsible for high levels of mortality, morbidity and economic hardship, mainly in the developing world. As current treatments are unsatisfactory, there is an urgent need for the development of new drugs to treat these diseases. One of the barriers to developing new medicines is that the biology of the parasites that cause these diseases is not well understood. This award will use a variety of established and novel techniques to discover how several hundred previously discovered compounds that act as parasiticidal agents work. Whilst many are not suitable for further development, understanding how they kill the parasites will enable scientists to use them as tools to better investigate parasite biology and, in some cases, identify good drug targets for drug discovery programmes. Information will also be disseminated to other researchers to provide a strategic resource for scientists working in this area.
Professor Mel Greaves, Institute of Cancer Research
Evolutionary biology of cancer
Around one in three individuals currently die of cancer and this number is anticipated to increase with extended lifespan. Despite the advances in cancer biology and genetics and the benefit of earlier diagnosis, we are poor at predicting which (of ~10%) early or benign tumours will progress to malignancy. Advanced disease remains stubbornly hard to treat, with emergent drug resistance highly prevalent. This award proposes new tactics based on evolutionary or Darwinian principles to measure, predict and ultimately overcome the evolutionary resilience and robustness of cancer cells. This initiative should lead to a clearer understanding of the biological basis of our vulnerability to cancer and of treatment failure, enabling the development of a different suite of tactics and therapeutics for intervention and control.
Professors Douglas Higgs and Peter Donnelly, University of Oxford
A systematic approach to understanding the biology underpinning genome-wide association studies hits
Over the past decade, it has become possible to study the 3,000,000,000 letters of the genetic code (DNA) that each person inherits, and to catalogue how this varies from one person to another. It has been shown that there are differences in such DNA sequences which influence individual predisposition to many common diseases. However, despite the acquisition of large amounts of relevant data, our understanding of the specific mechanisms by which these changes lead to their associated diseases remains poor, thwarting efforts to turn these genetic discoveries into biological insights that might drive new approaches for treatment and prevention. Recent work indicates that most such variants alter how genes are switched on and off. In the work proposed here, we bring together world-leading experts in computational science and genetics, and clinicians studying patients with anaemia, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, to develop and implement a systematic approach that will link these disease-associated differences in DNA sequence to the genes they control. Understanding how to make these links will unlock the huge amount of existing genetic data and provide important clues to the causes of many common diseases.
Professor Derek Jones, Cardiff University
Multi-scale and multi-modal assessment of coupling in the healthy and diseased brain
The human brain is a complex organ that relies on exchange of information between its different parts and constant maintenance of electrical, chemical and metabolic processes. This award aims to substantially deepen our understanding of how different brain systems (electrical, chemical, structural, metabolic) interact with each other and how differences in these interactions impact on brain function and behaviour. A range of neuroimaging techniques will be assembled at Cardiff University to provide one of the most comprehensive imaging centres in Europe. These techniques will be analysed to improve specificity, sensitivity and how signals from different techniques link with each other. They will also look at people where we already know there are differences in these exchanges, including people with epilepsy and psychosis before and after perturbing the brain, through brain training, magnetic stimulation or drugs.
Dr Lauren Kassell, University of Cambridge
The Casebooks Project
The Casebooks Project is producing a publicly accessible, online edition of one of the most extensive surviving sets of historical medical records. Simon Forman and Richard Napier documented 80,000 consultations between 1596 and 1634. The first phase of the project - also funded by the Wellcome Trust (2010-14) - produced an edition of a third of the records. The latest award will allow the digital edition to be completed. Once completed, it will be the equivalent of a printed edition of thirty-five volumes, with the advantage of dynamic search and visualisation facilities, an image archive of a quarter of the manuscripts, and introductory materials for academic, student and public users. The award holders also aim to initiate a programme of activities linked to this project to inspire a broad range of users to engage with this archive.
Professor Dimitri Kullmann, University College London
Synaptopathies: genetics, biophysics and circuit mechanisms of paroxysmal neurological disorders
Many common neurological diseases such as migraine and epilepsy are characterised by intermittent symptoms that interrupt long periods of normal function. Genetics plays a big role in these diseases, yet single genes only rarely cause them. Limited understanding of how mutations in different genes interact, and why the symptoms are only intermittent, is limiting progress in diagnosis and treatment. In the rare cases where single genes are the cause of these diseases, they generally encode proteins that transmit signals from one neuron to another via proteins at synapses. This award will look for changes in the genes that encode synaptic proteins, and examine how these gene changes affect the transmission of signals across synapses. They will also attempt to understand the interactions among multiple genetic variants that can occur together in affected individuals. The research will be used to shed light on the mechanisms of common diseases and identify new treatments.
Professor Angus Iain Lamond, University of Dundee
Multidimensional proteomic analysis of metabolic stress and cellular phenotypes
Almost all drug targets are proteins, and many forms of human disease and inherited genetic disorders result from alterations in protein expression and/or activity. To better understand these proteins, this award will create new, high-throughput protein analysis (proteomics) methods and develop new computational tools for analysing and sharing the resulting large data sets. Through these it aims to focus on creating efficient new methods for detecting and characterising protein complexes and their dynamic behaviour, using advanced separation (chromatography), mass spectrometry and computational techniques.
Professor Andrew M McIntosh, University of Edinburgh
Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL)
Medical progress in understanding the causes of depression has been very slow. Largely this is due to the fact that depression varies between individuals and has several component causes and mechanisms. Our failure to identify these disease subtypes means that individuals with markedly different disease mechanisms are all treated equally, and with limited success. Stratifying depression into its subtypes, however, could ultimately lead to personalised and more effective treatment. The goal of this award is to build upon an existing study of 21,516 individuals, extensively examined for depression and related traits, called ‘Generation Scotland’, which includes both affected and non-affected individuals. They will then recruit individuals with detailed measures of depression in order to identify and characterise these subtypes of depression, test whether resilience in individuals who remain depression-free can be accurately and validly measured, and identify the mechanisms underlying resilience to depression using genetics and brain imaging.
Dr John P Overington, EMBL at Hinxton, Cambridge
The ChEMBL database - an open resource for drug discovery
Knowledge of the human genome sequence promised new therapeutics, yet progress has been slower than expected. One of the challenges for academic researchers keen to work in drug discovery has been limited access to pharmacological data describing the interactions between proteins (targets) and small molecules (ligands). To date, such data have only been available piecemeal in the literature or commercially, inhibiting the engagement of academic laboratories in effective drug discovery. This award will purchase these data from the company Galapagos in a well-curated and structured format, thus establishing a world-class data resource at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and providing, for the first time, open access to target-ligand data to facilitate translational research.
Professor Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford
A strategic vision to drive the control of enteric fever through vaccination
Enteric fever or typhoid causes serious bacterial infection and is most prevalent in countries with poor water and sanitation. Each year, 21 million cases of fever-based illness and over 200,000 deaths are attributed to enteric fever in South and South-east Asia. Large outbreaks of the disease are also increasing in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This award will provide the knowledge and missing information that are needed to make the best decisions for the use of new vaccines, in both Africa and Asia. Using an experimental model of typhoid, developed using human volunteers, it will investigate antibiotic resistance, human immunity and susceptibility, transmission routes, diagnostic testing and the impact of vaccines in different parts of the world.
Professor Wolf Reik, Babraham Institute
Tracing early mammalian lineage decisions by single-cell genomics
During the development of early embryos in animals and humans, specialised cell types emerge to form all organs in the body during a process called gastrulation. This process is critically important for the normal functioning of these organs and hence for a healthy adult life. However, gastrulation can go wrong, potentially leading to malformations and childhood diseases, as well as more long-term effects on many common adult diseases and healthy ageing. Some of the principles of how cells in early embryos specialise have been discovered, but the process is not well understood in its entirety. This award will examine individual cells in detail, using specially developed technologies and computational analyses to integrate the data into a meaningful map of early embryo development.
Professor Peter Rothwell, University of Oxford
Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia
This award will expand the existing Stroke Prevention Research Unit (SPRU) at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, to create a new Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia. The Centre will provide new research space, bringing all SPRU staff together and allowing a major expansion of the programmes. It will link directly to areas of patient care and to the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre, as well as incorporating other key infrastructure, including the Oxford Vascular Study. Research will continue to focus on better understanding of risk factors and more effective use of existing treatments, developing cost-effective preventive strategies that will impact quickly on clinical practice.
Professor Andy Waters, University of Glasgow
Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology Research
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology (WTCMP) aims to make a large impact on parasitic diseases by gaining understanding of basic processes in parasites and exploiting them to develop new approaches to disease control. This award renews core funding to the Centre.
Professor J Mark Williams, University of Oxford
Promoting mental health and building resilience in adolescence: investigating mindfulness and attentional control
Adolescence is a dangerous time for the onset of mental illness: 75% of mental disorders begin before the age of 24, and half by age 15. By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does. Following successful trials in adults, this initial award provides funds to pilot a trial that will examine the effects of Mindfulness Training (MT) in young adolescents. It will also explore how to train teachers to deliver a MT curriculum and how to implement it in schools.
Grants awarded in 2013
Professor Peter Brocklehurst, University College London
Infection and immunity from a life course perspective: Life Study enhancement
This award aims to understand how microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, and the immune system influence health in childhood and later life. We are constantly exposed to microbes throughout life, even before birth. Some are beneficial, helping to digest food, but others cause illness. The immune system defends us against harmful microbes and prevents us from getting unwell, but sometimes it fails and sometimes the immune system itself may cause illness, for example allergies and autoimmune disease. This study intends to discover how microbes, the immune system and the environment together all influence health in later life.
Dr Bryan Charleston, The Pirbright Institute
Improved control of endemic foot and mouth disease by VLP vaccines
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, acute viral disease of cloven-hoofed, domesticated and wild animals. The disease is much feared as the virus can spread extremely rapidly, has the potential to cause enormous economic losses and is the single most important constraint to international trade in livestock and animal products. This project will identify methods to enhance the cellular immune responses to the viral capsids and so stimulate prolonged antibody responses. Determining which parts of the viral capsid structure are the most important will enable the development of new vaccines to protect against a wide range of viruses.
Professor George Davey-Smith, University of Bristol
ALSPAC: core programme support
For over 20 yearsthe Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) has charted the health of 14 500 parents and children. Now in its third decade, it has started to study the next generation: the children of the Children of the 90s. The data allow researchers to study key periods of development, how certain conditions develop and change over time and are passed (or not) from one generation to the next, and how health is affected by the interplay between genes and other factors like smoking, where people live and the job they do. This joint award with the Medical Research Council will allow ALSPAC to continue to gather information from the original children through clinical assessments, questionnaires and record linkage, and to recruit and gather data on the children of the children, as well as merging genetic data and enhancing research in the exciting new field of epigenomics.
Dr Michael John Gorman, Science Gallery and Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute
Since opening at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, Science Gallery has welcomed more than one million visitors to 24 exhibitions bridging science and art through themes as diverse as love, happiness and human enhancement, engaging a traditionally hard-to-reach target audience of 15 to 25 year olds. This project aims to direct the learning of Science Gallery towards the development of a unique strategic partnership with the newly established Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI).
Professor Paul Harrison, University of Oxford
Collaborative Network for Bipolar Research to Improve Outcomes (ConBRIO)
Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a serious mental illness which is poorly understood and only partially treatable. Using remote mood measures and mathematical modelling, this Award will study in more detail the ups and downs of mood in everyday life and potentially link chronically unstable mood to the clinical mood swings of the disorder. This work has the potential to identify better ways to evaluate new psychological and drug therapies for bipolar disorder.
Professor Robert Heyderman, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, (MLW) – renewal
Over the next five years, MLW research will build on previous achievements to increase fundamental understanding of disease mechanisms and burden, test novel interventions and translate findings to improving health care. The 2013-18 core programme grant will underpin this research agenda by strengthening strategic, operational, laboratory and data management infrastructure, and further developing the community-based and social science within the Programme.
Professor Stephen Jackson, The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge
Professor Mike Stratton, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Mutational signatures of DNA and repair processes
Most human cells acquire somatic mutations in their DNA throughout life. Somatic mutations cause human diseases, particularly cancer. However, each cell contains complex DNA repair machinery that reduces mutation accumulation. When this machinery goes wrong, cells can acquire even more mutations, further contributing to disease development, but the causes of most somatic mutations are still unknown. This project will bring together scientists with distinct and complementary expertise to define mutational signatures caused by many chemicals and types of radiation, and by various types of defective DNA repair in model systems. This work will advance our understanding of how somatic mutations cause disease and could also suggest new avenues for diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Sanjay Kinra, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study: a three generation cohort
In recent years the number of people dying from heart disease in India has increased dramatically. This trend may be explained by changes in lifestyle seen with economic development and urbanisation in many emerging economies. But it is unclear why Indians in particular get heart disease at young ages (e.g. in their 30s), despite being relatively healthy in childhood. We also know very little about the ways in which the social and economic changes (e.g. in education, occupation, mind-set, neighbourhood environment and social structure) affect our health. For the past 12 years, researchers have been working with a rural community on the outskirts of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study). We plan to make use of these differences in peoples’ experiences to better understand the biological and social causes of heart disease, and to develop a community program to prevent heart disease in the future.
Professor Stephen McMahon, King’s College London
Defining pain circuitry in health and disease
Chronic pain is a common clinical problem and its treatment remains limited. To improve treatments we must find out more about the complex circuits and pathways for pain. This Award will look at a range of different areas to better understand pain transmission and treatment, including: different types of pain receptor and how tissue and nerve injuries (common causes of pain) transmit messages through the spinal cord to the brain; how different types of pain receptor contribute to spinal cord circuits, and how this information is transmitted to the brain; complex pain pathways in the spinal cord and brain; how the brain controls pain-suppressing and activating pathways; and natural variations in pain thresholds and which brain regions are essential for the perception of pain.
Professor James Naismith, University of St Andrews
A UK/European user consortium for a serial femtosecond crystallography beam line at the European X-ray Free Electron Laser
Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of the molecular machines of life - proteins - has transformed our understanding of all living things and revolutionised the development of new medicines. The overarching aim of structural biologists is to determine these structures from crystals using the diffraction of X-rays. The UK is acknowledged as the home of the discipline and remains world-leading. X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) are a potentially disruptive technology providing structural information faster than it takes an atomic bond to vibrate. This Award has allowed the UK to join an EU consortium to build the world's first dedicated high-throughput structural biology beam line at an XFEL.
Professor Mike Stratton, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Combinatorial therapeutics to target the cancer genome - the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) project
This Award aims to help the development of new, less toxic anticancer drugs and improve the care of cancer patients by matching patients to the most appropriate treatment. In recent years, it has become clear that mutations or other changes that occur within the DNA of cancer cells can dramatically affect how tumours respond to drugs. This knowledge can be used clinically to identify patients most likely to benefit from a specific drug and has had tremendous impact in some leukaemias and other cancers, such as melanoma. Because in many instances drugs are more effective when used in combination, especially to counter drug resistance and cancer recurrence, over 5000 drug combinations will be screened to discover novel candidate strategies.
Professor Stephen Tollman, University of the Witwatersrand
A life-course approach to preventing cardiometabolic disease and enhancing wellbeing in rapidly transitioning African settings
Until recently, cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs), such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, were regarded as diseases of lifestyle that mainly affected high-income countries. However, changing social and economic conditions are fuelling lifestyle changes in poorer communities. In southern Africa, as mortality from HIV/AIDS reduces with widespread use of antiretroviral therapy, risks for CMDs are growing: hypertension levels are high and similarly obesity, especially in women and adolescent girls. Since risk for CMD begins early in life, prevention should target stages along the life-course. Working with research centres in east, west and southern Africa, this Award will investigate pathways linking social and biological determinants to physiological risks, to identify pivotal points that can be modified. It will also test a nutrition-sensitive water-access intervention against under-nutrition in children, a pre-pregnancy/pregnancy intervention among adolescents, and management of hypertension through integrated primary care.
Professor Richard Trembath, Queen Mary, University of London
The British Autozygosity Populations BioResource
Parental relatedness (e.g. cousin marriage) is common in certain UK ethnic groups. Recent studies show that people whose parents were unrelated carry (mostly single copies of) around 100 genetic variants that partially switch off selected genes in their genome. In individuals with parental relatedness, more of these variants will be seen on both copies of the genome and thus it is more likely that certain genes will be completely inactivated. Finding such genetic variants and examining their consequences and benefits can lead both to an increased knowledge of how human genes work and an improved understanding of the health consequences of genetic variation in the relevant communities. Alongside scientific studies of gene function, this Award will also substantially engage East London communities, increasing public engagement around the human genome and wellbeing.
Professor Nick White, University of Oxford
Eliminating malaria to counter artemesinin resistance
Emerging resistance in South-east Asia to the main antimalarial drug (artemisinin) currently used across the world, poses the greatest threat to current global initiatives to control and eliminate malaria. Resistance to earlier antimalarials arose from the same area and claimed millions of lives. Urgent action to contain this threat is needed, but there is no consensus on what containment measures should be undertaken. This project proposes a radical approach to eliminate foci of artemisinin resistance. A multinational clinical and laboratory study will be conducted to evaluate targeted chemo-elimination (TCE) as a strategy to eliminate artemisinin resistant Plasmodium falciparum.
Professor Graham Williams, Imperial College London
Origins of bone and cartilage disease
Half of all adults are affected by bone and cartilage disorders, which are increasing in frequency as the population ages. Over 11 million people are affected by osteoporosis or osteoarthritis in the UK, suffering pain and disability at substantial economic cost. Available treatments for osteoporosis generally prevent bone loss, but their effectiveness is limited by side effects and patient acceptability, whilst there are no effective drugs to prevent or delay osteoarthritis. These studies will identify new genes that specify bone and joint structure and function, and will provide new disease models for skeletal disorders. Selected models will be investigated further to determine the molecular basis of specific skeletal abnormalities and identify new possibilities for drug development.
Capacity Building Awards – 2 year extensions to core funding
Professor Alison Elliot, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Makerere University-Uganda Virus Research Institute training programme in infection and immunity (MUII)
The Makerere University – Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) research training programme in Infection and Immunity (MUII) is a strategic initiative designed to establish a centre of excellence for Infection and Immunity (I&I) research in Uganda. By bringing together scientists in these institutions, supported by strong regional and international collaborations, the aim is to establish critical mass and world class capacity for I&I training and research in Uganda.
Dr Samson Kinyanjui, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
Accelerating the development of East African leadership
Health research is key to tackling the heath challenges that Africa faces and in supporting general development. Yet research capacity in Africa remains very low - in part, due to the failure of many capacity-building initiatives to address long-term sustainability. Emphasis is often laid on training alone, without regard to the full career path needed to generate research leaders. In the last five years, the focus has been on attracting the right people and training them. For this award, the Programme has developed a framework for the long-term development of local research leadership, focusing on supporting the postdoctoral career progression of the researchers that are emerging from the Programme and other training initiatives in the region, helping them to transit into independent researchers.
Professor K Srinath Reddy, Public Health Foundation of India, PHFI
Strengthening research capacity at the PHFI Indian Institutes of Public Health
This two year extension will build on an earlier Wellcome Trust capacity funding by strengthening the research competency of returning and recently recruited PhDs and helping them become fully-fledged, independent researchers. PHFI proposes to develop a cohort of exceptional researchers in cross-cutting areas of health systems, financing and policy; and women and children’s health.
Professor David Schellenberg, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The Malaria Capacity Development Consortium (MCDC)
The vision of MCDC phase 2 (MCDC-2) is to build on the experience and success of the MCDC to further strengthen malaria research groups at five African universities, so that motivated and capable African scientists can lead vibrant, multidisciplinary MCDC Malaria Research Centres capable of conceiving, funding, implementing and reporting high quality research studies. The established critical mass and structure within these malaria research groups will support research beyond the immediate research group, and provide an operational capacity building model.
Professor Robert Wilkinson, Imperial College London
Clinical Infectious Diseases Initiative at the University of Cape Town
The Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative (CIDRI) has pursued the aim of developing physical and human capacity and promoting scientific collaboration in Southern Africa. The CIDRI’s long-term vision now is to provide critical core support to researchers, and thereby continue to grow capacity within Africa to research the communicable and related non-communicable disease epidemics affecting the continent. To work towards this, they will capitalise on institutional strength in basic science to foster new ‘generations’ of infectious disease researchers.
Grants awarded in 2012
Professor Simon Duckett, University of York
Hyperpolarisation as a new tool for probing neuroinflammatory disease
Although the crucial non-invasive technique of MRI is used in over 1.5 million procedures per year in the NHS, nearly half of these require the use of an injected heavy-metal contrast agent to provide diagnostic information about inflammation. Unfortunately, the use of these agents brings with it a risk of toxic side-effects and the actual response is only an indirect measure of the disease state in a tissue. While MRI has the potential to be able to directly probe a wide range of biologically important compounds, it cannot be routinely exploited to detect the low concentrations associated with most of these chemicals because of its very low sensitivity. The key goal of this Award is to secure a new technology to bring about, ultimately, a 200 000-fold improvement in the sensitivity of clinical scanners.
Dr Charles Fernyhough, Durham University
Hearing the Voice
Some people have the experience of hearing a voice when no speaker is present. While this experience is often associated with severe mental illness (such as schizophrenia), it also occurs in healthy people. This Award is the first large-scale interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing, examining it from as wide a range of relevant perspectives as possible. In doing so, the aim is to develop new methods for researching human experience which can be applied to other important questions in the future.
Professor Russell Foster, University of Oxford
Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi)
Sleep is a highly complex state arising from an interaction between multiple brain regions, neurotransmitter pathways and hormones, none of which are exclusive to the generation of sleep. This complexity makes sleep very vulnerable to disruption. Small changes in brain function can have a big impact on sleep, and disrupted sleep leads to health problems ranging across increased stress hormones, heart disease, weight abnormalities, reduced immunity, increased risk of cancer, and emotional and cognitive problems. This Award aims to bring together neuroscientists and psychiatrists to understand these common connections, to develop new approaches to correcting abnormal sleep and, ultimately, to improve the broader health problems and quality of life for patients with mental illness.
Professor Ian Gilbert, University of Dundee
A translational engine for biomedical discoveries (Infrastructure Award)
The Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery (BCDD) aims to be a hub for early-phase drug discovery at the national and international level. Its aim is to develop chemical tools to help understand emerging and complex biology and, where possible, to develop these chemical tools to yield new drug candidates for human and animal health. Particular focuses are in neglected diseases and bacterial and fungal infections, as well as novel targets emerging from fundamental biology studies funded by the Wellcome Trust and others in the UK university sector.
Professor Gillian Griffiths, University of Cambridge
Cellular medicine and the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
The goal of the Institute is to provide a research environment with outstanding core facilities and support, in order to understand the cell biology of disease and provide a basis for rational therapeutic strategies.
Professor Shabbar Jaffar, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Malawi Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Public Health
For over 30 years, the rural Karonga Prevention Study has made major contributions to the understanding and control of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in Africa, by combining community-based studies and detailed laboratory investigations. HIV and tuberculosis continue to be important, but there has been a rapid increase in some non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This Award aims to determine the burden and the risk factors for major NCDs, in order to plan and evaluate interventions.
Professor Angus Lamond, University of Dundee
Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression
The vision of the Centre is to transform the study of gene regulation into a quantitative science by using advanced imaging, proteomics and computational tools. The research at the Centre is focused on the nucleus and involves characterisation of the composition, regulation and dynamic properties of organelles and proteins involved in RNA transcription, mRNA splicing, DNA replication, ribosome subunit production and chromatin structure.
Professor W H (Irwin) McLean, University of Dundee
A multidisciplinary research initiative aimed at translating basic science discoveries in genetic skin disease into clinical application
Dermatology is an under-resourced area of medical research. Despite this, the University of Dundee has established a critical mass of internationally renowned, award-winning researchers in genetic skin disease and dermatology therapy development. This project will strengthen this group of biologists, dermatologists, physicists and drug discovery scientists and help take this to the next level: treating patients with revolutionary new drugs rationally designed to target specific genetic skin disease. This Award will also strengthen the group's capacity for patient outreach and training of new investigators in dermatology research.
Professor John O'Keefe, University College London
Neural network analysis using a novel multichannel 'SMART' neuroprobe
The brain represents aspects of the external world, such as the form of an object or its location, by the activity of large numbers of cells acting together as an ensemble. Motor actions, which enable us to behave and act in the world, similarly rely on the cooperation of large numbers of cells. If we are to understand how the brain works, it follows that we will need to be able to record from many cells at the same time, and with current technology this is not possible. Manufacturing processes similar to those used in computers are opening up the possibility of developing new recording techniques. This Award will allow UK neuroscientists to take part in a consortium to develop a state-of-the-art probe, in concert with leading laboratories in the USA and Europe.
Professor Stephen O'Rahilly, University of Cambridge
Institute of Metabolic Science
Obesity and diabetes have a major impact on health. In Cambridge a significant contribution has been made to new discoveries that have the potential to lead to better ways to prevent and treat these conditions. The world-class researchers that have been assembled, combined with the excellent facilities that have been established, have brought within sight the goal of translating advances in scientific understanding into benefits for health.
Professor Michael J Owen, Cardiff University
DEFINE: Defining Endophenotypes From Integrated Neuroscience
Recent findings in genetics have advanced our understanding of psychiatric disorders in two important ways. First, they have indicated that disorders like schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and intellectual disability share genetic risk factors and are therefore likely to result from similar underlying brain abnormalities. Second, they point to an important role in these disorders for abnormalities in synapses, the structures through which brain cells communicate with each other. Understanding how genetic risk factors impact on brain function and behaviour will pave the way for the development of a new classification of mental disorders based on biology, and the development of novel approaches for treatment.
Professor Linda Partridge, University College London
Biological determinants of ageing and late life health, and their pharmacological manipulation: from model organisms to humans
The major burden of ill-health and disability now falls on the older section of the population. The ultimate goal of this programme of research is to improve people's health as they grow older. A striking finding from work with laboratory animals is that healthy lifespan can be extended by quite simple interventions such as diet, drugs and alterations to genes. This project will combine information about human ageing, from genetic studies of lifespan and ageing-related diseases and the effects of drugs on different diseases, to design a broad-spectrum, preventative medicine for the diseases of ageing.
Professor Nazneen Rahman, The Institute of Cancer Research
Using genetics in mainstream medicine to deliver personalised care for cancer patients
Knowledge of the genetic variants associated with cancer causation and treatment has considerable clinical impact. It is increasingly essential for the optimal management of cancer cases. Unfortunately, cancer gene testing is currently severely restricted. There is no NHS gene test available for over half of the known cancer predisposition genes and there are tight restrictions on access to gene testing. The restrictions are because current gene testing methods are laborious and expensive. Recently, new technologies have emerged that make gene testing much faster and cheaper. These new technologies will be used to develop a new test that covers all genetic variants of relevance to cancer.
Professor Helen Saibil, Diamond Light Source Ltd
A national cryo-electron microscopy facility for structural molecular and cell biology
One of the great strengths of biomedical science in the UK has been in structural biology, which uses three-dimensional structural analysis to understand the operation of the biological machines that power our cells and carry physiological functions in health and disease. Advanced electron microscopy is needed to examine the structures of cellular machines and to address the new challenges of understanding very large and complex assemblies and placing them in the cellular context. This proposal aims to build a national facility to provide access to well supported, state of the art resources for projects chosen by peer review. This facility will be modelled on the successful X-ray crystallography synchrotron beam line system, a highly complementary approach which has faced and solved many similar problems.
Professor Austin Smith, University of Cambridge
Wellcome Trust/Medical Research Council Centre in Stem Cell Biology and Medicine - renewal of core support
The joint centre, to be known as the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (SCI), draws together 30 research teams to elucidate fundamental principles of stem cell identity, regulation and function, to translate this knowledge into new tools for drug discovery and diagnosis, and to pioneer therapeutic approaches based on stem cells. A major focus of the SCI will be to establish interdisciplinary research groupings to build the interface between basic and translational sciences and with the physical sciences. This will be achieved by cross-disciplinary projects and by training of clinicians and physical scientists.
Professor Steven Smith, University of Oxford
Integrated computational models for multimodal brain imaging
Scientists and doctors can take many different types of images of the brain in order to study different aspects of the brain and its function. Structural MRI gives detailed, still images of the structures in the brain and can distinguish grey matter (the parts that process information) from white matter (the wiring that carries information between grey matter areas). Functional MRI and MEG measure which grey matter areas are active during a specific physical or mental task. Diffusion and resting-state MRI tell us how these grey matter areas are connected, as well as the location of information pathways. A major challenge is to bring all these pieces of information together. This Award aims to combine different imaging data together, to use available brain scanning methods to their full potential, and therefore help with disease diagnosis and guide the search for effective treatments.
Dr André Strydom, University College London
The London Down Syndrome Consortium (LonDownS)
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common condition involving learning disability, and arises because people have an extra copy of chromosome number 21. This Award is for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research by leading geneticists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists to understand how learning disabilities develop in people with DS and to identify the processes involved in the decline that often occurs as people with DS age. This research will reveal how genes influence brain functions throughout life in people with DS and will hopefully lead to treatments to prevent decline and improve brain function, which can be tested in clinical trials.
Professor Fiona Watt, King’s College London and Dr Richard Durbin, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Human induced pluripotent stem cell consortium: genotype to phenotype
As it becomes cheaper and faster to sequence the DNA of individuals in the population, we are faced with two challenges. One is to discover which aspects of the genetic variation between individuals are compatible with good health and which are linked to increased risk of specific diseases. The other is that it is not always obvious why a particular genetic mutation causes a particular disease; if we knew the answer we would be better placed to devise new ways to treat that disease. A technique that can help us meet these challenges is to make stem cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, from small samples of the skin or blood of healthy and diseased individuals. By comparing the DNA of iPS cells with the way the cells behave when grown in the laboratory, we can understand how variation in our DNA results in variation in cell behaviour and use this information to identify new disease mechanisms.
Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies - renewal of core support
Building on the extensive body of work completed over the past decade, the Centre aims in the next five years (2012-17) to demonstrate substantial reductions in the spread of HIV for current and future generations of adults and eliminate HIV as a major source of mortality and morbidity in this rural population. The Centre’s long-term goal is to be instrumental in the elimination of HIV transmission and acquisition and the mitigation of its impact in this rural population.
Themed call for mouse phenotyping initiatives
Professor Jim Smith, National Institute for Medical Research
Deciphering the mechanisms of developmental disorders
Around a quarter of all our genes are essential for development of babies in the womb. Mutations in these genes, either inherited or spontaneous, are a major medical and social burden, affecting 1 in 40 infants in Europe, with 360 000 new birth defects arising each year. Some of these affect organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys; some interfere with positioning or growth of bones of the limbs and face; others affect the spine and brain. Some are so severe that they result in stillbirths. Identifying the genes that cause birth defects is therefore a major scientific challenge. This Award will expand the understanding of embryo development in mammals such as mice and humans, providing important clues about the origins and nature of human birth defects.
Professor Adrian Hayday, King’s College London
Immune function and pathology dissected by high-throughput analysis of mice with targeted gene disruptions - an investigation by the Infection and Immunity Immunophenotyping (3I) consortium
The immune system is fundamental to survival in the face of innumerable microbes and viruses. Hence, understanding immunology will clarify how we interact with the biosphere, and enhance our vaccine development. However, mirroring the complexity of the microbial world, the immune system is composed of myriad cell types that use complex, highly specialised mechanisms to respond to particular challenges, and to orchestrate appropriate defences. Given this complexity, it is inevitable that our understanding of the immune system is incomplete. The knowledge gained from this Award should elucidate basic mechanisms in immunology, and also inform studies of cell and developmental biology. The findings will be useful beyond infectious disease and vaccine development, because faulty immune systems contribute to an immense spectrum of diseases, from obesity and cardiovascular disease, through neurodegeneration and allergy, to cancer.
Professor Kevin Brindle, University of Cambridge/CRUK Cambridge Research Institute
Real time clinical imaging of metabolism using hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Dr Thierry Diagana, Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases – Medicines for Malaria Venture
Drug discovery and clinical development portfolio for single dose cure of P.falciparum and curative modality of P.vivax
Professor Ian Goodyer, University of Cambridge
The Cambridge-UCL Mental Health and Neurosciences Network
Professor Keith Matthews, University of Edinburgh
Renewal of core support for the Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution
Professor Michael Parker, University of Oxford
A programme to build capacity in global health research ethics and community engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme
Professors James Rothman and Daniel St Johnston, University of Cambridge
Nanoscopy of dynamics in the living cell
Professor Jason Swedlow, University of Dundee
The open microscopy environment – image informatics for biological sciences
Professor Timothy Wells, Medicines for Malaria Venture
New medicines against malaria – demonstrating activity in man
Karonga Programme – achieving disease control through understanding microbial transmission
Since 1996, with financial support primarily from the Wellcome Trust, the programme has studied tuberculosis and HIV using the unique compilation of demographic data and biological material collected over the quarter century of the project’s existence, during a period of immense change in disease burden.
Grants awarded in 2010
Professor George Davey-Smith, University of Bristol
Renewal of core support for ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children)
Professor Raymond Dolan, University College London
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
Professor Gordon Dougan, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Controlling infectious disease with camelid derived single domain antibody fragments
Dr Aled Edwards
Renewal of core funding for the Structural Genomics Consortium
Professor Christopher Fairburn, University of Oxford
Internet-based training in psychological treatments
Professor Jeremy Farrar, University of Oxford
Wellcome Trust-Vietnam Initiative on zoonotic infections WT-VIZIONS
Tony Gilland, The Institute of Ideas
Strategic development of debating matters competition and biomedical aspects of the Battle of Ideas festival
Dr Chris Kirk, The Biochemical Society
Application for completion of Charles Darwin House to create a hub for UK Bioscience
Professor Kevin Marsh
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Kenya
Professor Kim Nasmyth, University of Oxford
Chromosome and RNA dynamics
Sir Paul Nurse, Rockefeller University/University College London
Networks for global cellular controls in fission yeast
Professor Daniel St Johnston, University of Cambridge
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute
Professor John Todd, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) / Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory (DIL)
The DIL aims to improve our understanding of the aetiology of Type 1 diabetes and related immune-mediated disease using genetics to help identify inherited phenotypes. This knowledge may provide clues to the earliest precursors of disease and to the environmental factors that influence the penetrance of susceptibility alleles and the development of the disorder.
Professor David Tollervey, University of Edinburgh
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology
Professors Trevor Robbins and Ed Bullmore, University of Cambridge
Renewal of core funding for the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI). The objective of this award is to maximise the scientific and clinical value of the BCNI, in order to maintain its status as one of the internationally leading institutes for translating behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, so as to have therapeutic impact on many common and important human brain and mental health disorders.
Nigel Townsend, Y Touring Theatre of Debate: a five year conversation
This project will create, develop and produce five new plays, each exploring a different facet of biomedical research and its implications for human health
Professors Albert Weale and Hugh Whittall
Renewal of core support for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics
Professor Paul Wyatt, University of Dundee
Discovery and development of drug candidates for neglected diseases
Grants awarded in 2009
Professor Rory Collins,
Support for enhancements to the existing UK Biobank protocol
Professors Nick Day and Jeremy Farrar
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes in Thailand (including Laos) and Viet Nam
Dr Patrice Dubois, University of Lausanne
Development and technology-transfer of a reduced-dose injectable polio vaccine containing adjuvants
Dr Richard Durbin and the late Professor Leena Peltonen, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
10 000 UK genome sequences – accessing the role of rare genetic variants in health and disease
Professor Dominic Kwiatkowski, University of Oxford
Resource centre for genomic epidemiology of malaria
Dr Laura Martin, Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health
Conjugate vaccine that protects against typhoid fever caused by the Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A ( more details)
Professor Mark McCarthy, University of Oxford
Next-Generation Disease-Association Analysis – low pass sequencing and high density SNP genotyping for Type 2 diabetes
Professor Gero Miesenböck, University of Oxford
This is a joint award with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation to provide support to develop the Oxford Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, which aims to increase understanding of the biological mechanisms by which valuations and error signals are constructed by neural circuits using a range of genetically tractable model organisms.
Professor Charles Streuli, University of Manchester
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research
Professor Ashok Venkitaraman, University of Cambridge
Enzyme regulation by allo-targeting – a strategic initiative for chemical biology and molecular therapeutics
Neurodegenerative Diseases Initiative: three Strategic Awards funded
Professor Peter St George-Hyslop, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR), University of Cambridge
Mechanisms of neurotoxicity of amyloid aggregates
Professor Christopher Shaw, King's College London (MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research)
The role of RNA-processing proteins in neurodegeneration
Professors Nicholas Wood, John Hardy and Anthony Schapira
University College London (Institute of Neurology)
Understanding Parkinson's disease: lessons from biology
Grants awarded in 2008
Professor Frances Ashcroft, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford
Professor Nicholas Rawlins, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and MRC Harwell
Support for OXION, the Wellcome Trust-funded Ion Channel Initiative, to build upon and maintain the consortium as a centre of excellence in ion channel research, to train talented young researchers in a range of multidisciplinary skills in integrative physiology and to strengthen the links between basic science and the clinic.
Professor David Barry,
Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, University of Glasgow
Renewal of core support for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology. The Wellcome Trust Centre aims to develop new approaches to the control of parasites and the diseases they cause and also to develop the field of parasitology through strong contribution to international research and training, in particular with disease-endemic countries.
Dr Ewan Birney,
European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
Support for the strategic development of a 'Trace Archive' (sequencing data repository and management system) to accommodate the sequence information being produced by next-generation sequencing technologies; plus support for the EBI to act as the Data Coordination Centre for the 1000 Genomes Project.
Dr Chas Bountra, Dr Brian Marsden, Dr Udo Oppermann, Dr Tom Heightman, Dr Robert Klose, Dr Stefan Knapp,
Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford
Professor Christopher Schofield, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
Dr Tim Willson, GlaxoSmithKline
Dr Chris Austin, NIH Chemical Genomics Center, USA
Support to create an international public-private partnership for the generation of an open-access resource of chemical probes for use in disease association and target validation studies. Specifically the consortium will generate small molecule probes for the regulatory proteins in control of the epigenome.
Professor Anthony Costello,
Institute of Child Health, University College London
Support for the development of a network of high quality scientists and population field sites to generate research evidence to improve policy and practice of maternal and child survival in high mortality settings such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Malawi.
Professor Shah Ebrahim,
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Support for the creation of a South Asia Centre for chronic diseases in India which will establish a sustainable infrastructure for building research capacity and conducting innovatory, interdisciplinary research on the prevention and control of chronic diseases. This initiative is a collaborative venture between the Public Health Foundation of India and the constituent colleges of the Wellcome Trust Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine.
Dr Alison M Elliott, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases,
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Support to establish the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) as a centre of excellence for research and training in infection and immunity for Makerere University, and to use this collaboration for high-quality capacity building of Ugandan and East African researchers in this field.
Professor Brian M Greenwood, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases,
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Support for research and training for African scientists to undertake high-quality malaria research in African universities.
Professor Robert Heyderman and Professor Peter Winstanley, University of Liverpool
Professor Robin Broadhead, University of Malawi
Renewal of core support for the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research
Professor Kevin Marsh, University of Oxford and KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research programme aims to produce a cadre of researchers from Kenya and the east African region who are internationally competitive in developing and leading sustainable research programmes throughout the region.
Professor Stephen McMahon,
School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, King's College London
Professor Anthony Dickenson, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, UCL
Dr Andrew Rice, Imperial College Medical School
Continued funding of the successful Wellcome Trust-funded London Pain Consortium, which seeks to identify the determinants of chronic pain and provide a rational basis for better pain management and relief.
Professor Srinath Reddy,
Public Health Foundation of India
Support for training of a multidisciplinary cohort of researchers, to be achieved through an academic partnership between the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and a UK Consortium, comprising university departments of public health and the UK Faculty of Public Health. These researchers will help populate the eight new Indian Institutes of Public Health to be established by PHFI in order to strengthen the public health workforce and develop public health leadership in India.
Professor Janet M Thornton , European Molecular Biology Laboratory Outstation Hinxton, European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridgeshire
Support for the purchase, maintenance and introduction into the public domain of a suite of previously privately-owned chemoinformatic databases. The data contained within the databases will provide other researchers with information on the properties and the activities of drugs and a large set of drug-like molecules.
Professor Robert J Wilkinson,
University of Cape Town
Support for the creation of a Centre for Clinical Infectious Disease based in the University of Cape Town, South Africa, which will promote interactions at the clinical/basic science interface and increase research training opportunities for both clinical and basic scientists.
Professor Peter J Donnelly,
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford
Professor Panos Deloukas, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Continued funding for the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium. A collaboration of 24 leading human geneticists, who will analyse thousands of DNA samples from patients suffering with different diseases to identify common genetic variations for each condition.
Professor Christopher Goodnow,
John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University
Support for the Immunity and Infection Genomics Consortium: The Consortium proposes to identify immunologically important genes by isolating and phenotyping mouse mutants with altered susceptibility to infection, immunisation, inflammation or autoimmune disease. The mutants will be an important resource for the international research community.
Professor Adrian V S Hill,
Jenner Institute, University of Oxford
Support for infrastructure at the Jenner Institute in order to enhance potential synergies in the co-development of veterinary and human vaccines and to accelerate the development of new vaccines.
Professor Angus Lamond,
Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, University of Dundee
Support for the establishment of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression at the University of Dundee. The Centre aims to pioneer a new approach in the field of cell biology by bringing together advanced imaging and proteomics technologies, combined with enhanced data analysis tools, to provide a quantitative understanding of gene regulation and chromosome biology at the single cell level.
Granted Wellcome Trust Centre status.
Professor Richard Maizels,
Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, University of Edinburgh
This Centre aims to take a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of pathogens and their host interactions, and to undertake vaccine and drug development in the context of evolutionary processes.
Professor Kim Nasmyth,
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
Capital support for contribution towards the building costs of the new Department of Biochemistry, with the aim of establishing an Institute of Chromosome Biology to be housed within the new building. The Institute will encompass research groups investigating the molecular mechanisms of chromosomal replication, recombination, repair and transcription.
Professor Marie-Louise Newell, University of KwaZulu Natal
Core support for the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, based in a rural area of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, which conducts population-based research on HIV and other important health questions affecting people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor Peter Openshaw, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College London
Core support for a Centre for Respiratory Infections based at Imperial College London. The aim of the Centre is to promote interactions at the clinical/basic science interface and equip researchers working on respiratory infections to respond to emerging infections.
Professor Linda Partridge, Dr David H Gems,
Department of Biology, University College London,
Professor Dominic J Withers, Division of Medicine, University College London
Professor Janet M Thornton, European Molecular Biology Laboratory Outstation Hinxton, European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridgeshire
Support for a collaborative programme of research into the genomic and biochemical mechanisms of ageing and age-related disease, with emphasis on ageing as a risk factor for disease, focussing particularly on neurodegenerative diseases.
Professor Alexander J Trees,
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Support for the development of a framework of research training opportunities, to engage veterinary undergraduates in research involving all UK veterinary schools and including the establishment of a Wellcome Trust administered fellowship scheme.
Professor Jonathan Weber,
Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London
Professor Rodney E Phillips, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford
Additional support for SPARTAC, a randomised clinical trial of a short course of combination anti-retroviral therapy, commencing as early as possible following primary HIV infection, to determine whether there is a delay in disease progression. SPARTAC was originally funded in 2003 and this additional support meets the increased cost of recruiting patients overseas, mainly in Africa.
Professor Jonathan Weber,
Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College
Support for the UK HIV Vaccine Consortium, which consists of an integrated and project-managed collaboration of UK academic groups studying potential HIV vaccine constructs and immunisation strategies.
Professor Semir M Zeki,
Faculty of Medical Biosciences, University College London
Support for the establishment of an academic unit of cognitive scientists, social scientists and researchers in the arts to look at how the brain processes information pertaining to emotion, in particular the neural bases of aesthetic appreciation and creativity.
Professor Raymond J Dolan and Professor Karl J Friston,
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London
Core support for a world-leading laboratory in the field of imaging neuroscience. The ultimate aim of the laboratory is to provide a high level understanding of human brain function that will inform understanding of the underlying mechanisms of common neurological and psychiatric diseases.
Granted Wellcome Trust Centre status.
Professor J Paul Luzio and Professor David A Lomas, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge
Core support for the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and for the establishment of two new training programmes, with the major objective of providing a better understanding of protein localisation, function and metabolism in a range of diseases in which genetic studies have identified causative genes.
Professor Austin G Smith and Professor Fiona M Watt,
Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge
Core support for an international centre of excellence in fundamental stem cell research, with focus on definition of the genetic and biochemical mechanisms that control stem cell fate, providing foundations for applications in disease modelling, drug discovery and regenerative medicine.
Granted Wellcome Trust Centre status.