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Recipients:
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VALUE IN PEOPLE AWARD. 30 Aug 2006

Not available

Amount: £300,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

VALUE IN PEOPLE AWARD. 30 Aug 2006

Not available

Amount: £300,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a tool to study the structure, function, dynamics and folding of proteins: University Award for a research technologist in biomolecular NMR. 21 Feb 2006

The key goal of this proposal is to identify ways in which state-of-the-art NMTo characterise the structure, dynamics and Ca2+-binding properties of cbEGF dTo understand the importance of the covalently bound heme in c-type cytochromeTo characterise the structure, dynamics and interactions of the redox protein To characterise the structure, dynamics and ligand-binding properties of proka

Amount: £303,200
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

Phase II studies with MVA85A in Cape Town 12 Jun 2006

Summary not available

Amount: £75,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

SONHIA - study of newly diagnosed HIV infection amongst Africans in London. 23 Jan 2006

HIV/AIDS amongst Britain's African communities is a major public health concern, yet to date, relatively little research has focused on this group. This study will increase our understanding of the factors which influence access to, and utilisation of, HIV treatment and prevention services among African communities in Britain. It will also help to inform the development of culturally appropriate HIV health promotion interventions aimed at increasing service uptake within these communities. Plan of investigation: The study population will be all African patients attending in- or outpatient services at selected London HIV treatment centres. To date 7 centres have agreed to participate. The project will consist of two inter-linked components implemented over 2 years: i) A qualitative study amongst a purposively selected sample of newly diagnosed HIV positive Africans employing in-depth interview techniques, and ii) A cross-sectional survey of newly diagnosed HIV positive Africans presenting to specialist HIV services in London. Key workers at each study site will recruit patients and distribute the questionnaires. Dr Burns will perform the interviews. 'Framework' will be used for organising and analysing the qualitative research. Quantitative data analysis will be using STATA 6.0. The questionnaire, topic guide and protocol will be submitted to all appropriate Research Ethics Committees for approval. All patients will be given written information regarding the study and written informed consent will be obtained prior to participation. An African Community Reference Group will be set up to oversee all stages of the study design. Background preparation for the study will be undertaken as part of the MSc dissertation. Study outputs: Peer reviewed publication on health care seeking behaviours among Africans and reasons for delayed presentation; contextual information on healthcare access and utilisation, stigma, onward HIV transmission risk and proportion of HIV infections acquired within the UK.

Amount: £23,380
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Antigen presentation and dendritic cell function in malnourished children. 15 Feb 2006

Malnutrition has a major impact on the health of children and is responsible for approximately 50% of all childhood deaths, mostly from infectious disease. The precise relationship between malnutrition, immune competence and infectious disease is poorly understood, yet these interrelated factors are the critical determinants of childhood morbidity and mortality. Though neglected in recent years, the association of malnutrition with defects in cell mediated immunity (CMI) is well established. Studies of CMI in malnutrition have focused on T cells, however, central to the successful generation of T cell responses is the ability of the host to present antigen to T cells. The professional antigen presenting cell in humans is the dendritic cell (DC), yet DCs have not been studied in any great detail in malnutrition, partly because the technology for their isolation and culture have only recently been established. Abnormalities of DCs have been described in early life and in association with infections such as HIV and malaria. T cell abnormalities described in severe malnutrition may be secondary to abnormalities of DCs. We propose to study DC function in a group of severely malnourished children on admission to a nutrition ward and then follow their DC function through recovery. The chosen study site in Zambia provides the ideal environment for such a study as the nutrition ward at Lusaka University Teaching Hospital admits 1,800 severely malnourished children a year and has an active research unit. During the study we will (1) characterise the patterns of DC phenotype and function in severe malnutrition, (2) describe the effects of severe malnutrition, HIV and measles on DC function, and (3) describe the impact on DC function of in vitro supplementation with micronutrients, thought to contribute to DC function. This study will provide insights into the mechanism of immune deficiency in malnutrition while also providing a rational basis for the development of novel focused micronutrient supplementation aimed at improving immune function in the severely malnourished child.

Amount: £23,105
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Slippery slopes in the history of in vitro fertilisation and therapeutic cloning: the influence of ethical argument on the development of law and policy. 26 Apr 2006

IVF and embryo research have been the subject of controversy for more than thirty years and have been attacked on the basis that allowing them is the beginning of a 'slippery slope' towards eugenics, state control of reproduction and reproductive cloning. Debates about these technologies have been characterised by fears of the 'uncontrollability' of science and the consequences of uncontrolled scientific development Robin Henig argues in her history of the reproductive revolution that many of the slipper slope ethical arguments initially raised against IVF are now being used against human cloning and genetic engineering. However, she points out that many of the predictions made in arguments have not occurred. This project will test this conclusion by examining the influence of slippery slope ethical arguments on the historical development of legislation regulating IVF - a technology that is now widely accepted - and therapeutic cloning technologies. The project will: Produce empirical findings on the influence of slippery slope arguments on policy development; Examine how slippery slope concerns in public and academic ethical discourses affect policy development; Compare the outcomes predicted in these arguments, with the actual outcomes of the development of these technologies to examine the concept of fallacy within slippery slope arguments; and Consider the ethical validity of resulting legislative measures given the actual outcomes.

Amount: £3,700
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

The Reality of Nervous Disorders in Britain, 1760-1820. 23 Jan 2006

The Reality of Nervous Disorders in Britain, 1760-1820 The purpose of my D.Phil, is to bring some much needed reality of the phenomenon of fashionable disorders. Instead of the usual theoretical, philosophical, and fictional discourse employed by previous historians, I have begun a detailed examination of newspapers, hospital registers, journals of sufferers, and the writings and case notes of various town doctors to determine the types of treatments given to nervous patients, their perceived chance of recovery from these disorders, as well as their number, class and location. My research also aims to explore the lives of the "nerve doctors", and to discover the motivations which drove so many of them to publish on the subject. It is only through this kind of a systematic review that the presence of fashionable disorders in the eighteenth century can effectively shed light on the boundaries of politeness and the extent to which fashion played a role in constructing the 'Age of Sensibility'. The plan for my research is threefold: I need to continue my study of the popular discourse surrounding nervous disorders, and to examine the lives and surviving records of the doctors treating nervous disorders, as well as the lives and experiences of their nervous patients. To date I have focused my attention on the sources available in Oxford's Bodleian library. The Bodleian's manuscript collections have also proved very helpful, providing me with unpublished letters and lecture notes by doctors like Thomas Beddoes and William Cullen. Aside from London, my research will necessarily take me to Scotland, as it was primarily the Scottish nerve doctors like William Cullen and John Gregory that taught British physicians from the 1750s to the end of the century. There is little question that the sources exist which will answer my questions regarding the reality of nervous disorders in the eighteenth century and will heighten our appreciation of the importance of this subject.

Amount: £1,500
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

Imaging neuroscience at the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FIL) 20 Sep 2006

The FIL is a prime example of a UK based laboratory that is an established world leader. This application for a Strategic Award is motivated by the need to secure the future of the FIL. The FIL supports a large portfolio of Wellcome Trust (WT) supported programme and project grant research, fellowships and studentships. A Strategic Award will enable the laboratory to retain its highly-skilled core infrastructure support staff; ensure a context of excellence to enable Wellcome Trust funded principal investigators (PIs) to continue producing science that is world class and high impact; and enable the laboratory to provide specific added value. A key example of the latter is in the field of bio-mathematics and data-analysis where our goal is to provide a common platform (extended SPM) for integrating data across distinct imaging modalities including fMRI, magneto-encephalography (MEG) and electro-encephalography (EEG). Finally, a Strategic Award will enable the FIL to provide a theoretical-neuroscience framework that informs both basic and clinically-oriented research into common neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Amount: £6,742,608
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Living with autism: development of a DIPEx (personal experiences of health and illness) website. 01 Jun 2006

Living with autism: development of a DIPEx (personal experiences of health and illness) website Autism spectrum disorders are of particular concern to parents and professionals because of difficulties recognising the problem, the spectrum of disorders involved, and the media coverage concerning their possible association with immunisations. To present a balanced picture this project proposes to establish and market test a web resource, as part of the award winning DIPEx project www.dipex.org We will collect and analyse narrative video and audio tape recorded interviews with parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and from a range of young people with ASD and Asperger's syndrome. These interviews will be with people throughout the UK from a broad range of ages, social and cultural backgrounds, and covering experiences of different levels of disability, support, educational provision and attainment. The interviews will be analysed, and supplemented with evidence based information about the conditions, their management and the available treatments. Like other DIPEx health and illness modules, the web site on ASD will include approximately 250 video and audio clips, 25-30 thematic summaries of issues, questions most important to the respondents and links to other information, resources and support groups. Some of the young adults with ASD and Asperger's will be invited to be trained and supported to make a short video diary of their everyday lives and the problems encountered. The website will provide support and information for those concerned that their children might have the condition, families who have children with the condition, and will also provide an invaluable training resource for professionals.

Amount: £135,298
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

Lighting up Computational Biochemistry. 26 Jul 2006

Lighting Up Computational Biochemistry Artist, Tim Head, will undertake a research residency in the Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biochemistry Unit of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford for the duration of the 2006/2007 academic year. The residency has two key objectives. Firstly to encourage an intellectual dialogue between artistic and scientific disciplines that both use computational programming and modelling as a central activity. Secondly to support the development of proposals for a permanently commissioned work by Tim Head within the new biochemistry building as part of an ongoing art programme for the Biochemistry Department. This project forms part of a wider art programme being developed in the Biochemistry Department which aims To create a unique and outstanding contemporary art collection within the specific context of a world class scientific research department. To facilitate inter-disciplinary discourse between artists and scientists and opportunities for individuals in both disciplines to extend their practice and experiment. To involve artists in the intellectual life of the department. To provide new approaches and resources for public engagement with both the arts and sciences. The specific aims of Tim Head's residency in the Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biochemistry Unit (SBCB) are (i) to explore the interface between research in computational biochemistry and contemporary computationally based art. (ii) to explore different modes of computer-based representation and communication in computational biosciences and in the visual arts. (iii) to use the proposed collaboration as a medium for improved public communication of research in computational biochemistry.

Amount: £15,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

Conversation Piece. 26 Jul 2006

The Listening Room The Listening Room is a collaboration between artist Alexa Wright and Alf Linney, Professor of Medical Physics at University College London. Within the Centre for Auditory Research at UCL Alexa and Alf are researching an effective means of modelling human communication. With a view to creating an interactive audio installation - an intelligent room that can converse with its occupants - they will bring the latest technologies for sound placement and for speech recognition and synthesis into a clinical environment where they will interact with scientists who are working to understand the physical and neurological aspects of binaural hearing.

Amount: £96,052
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Neurotopographics. 26 Jul 2006

Neurotopographics The project brings together a scientist, an architect and an artist to make a film exploring how dynamic patterns of brain activity provide a code for the structure of space. The film will follow the journey of a visitor to an art gallery as seen through the visitor's eyes and from a bird's eye view on an architectural plan. During the journey the activity of brain cells known as 'place cells', 'grid cells' and 'head direction cells' will then be conveyed through a confrontation with sound and colour. The film will invite the audience to consider how their brains represent the world around them.

Amount: £13,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Volunteers in biomedical research: social science perspectives. 14 Dec 2005

Volunteers in Biomedical Research: Social Science Perspectives The aim of this meeting is to bring together academics who are specifically interested in exploring what it means to be a volunteer from the volunteers' perspective. While many of the researchers in the field are London-based, there has been little opportunity for all to meet in a single forum. The workshop will develop ideas and collaborative links for future work, build capacity in the UK social science community, and explore how this area of research can engage with current debates in science policy and research governance. Although UK government policy now puts a strong emphasis on public participation in research governance, there remains little discussion on the participatory role of volunteer human subjects. There are questions too about how adequately current codes of medical ethics function in practice and how they can accommodate the idea of more actively participative volunteers. The proposed workshop and its outputs could contribute to moving forward these issues. Topics to be addressed will include: the researcher-subject relationship; volunteers' understandings of research design and the implications for informed consent; volunteer motivation to participate; historical perspectives on volunteers' self-understanding; the significance of discourse around the 'volunteer', 'participant' or 'subject'; the possibilities for volunteers to influence the design and development of research. The meeting fits specifically with the objective of the Wellcome Biomedical Ethics programme to "build and enhance national capacity in the field". Some of the invited participants are working specifically within the programme's focus, looking at volunteering in relation to genetics (especially genetic databases) and neuroscience (especially brain imaging); others are working on the role of volunteers in a diverse range of the biomedical sciences. This meeting is specifically concerned with qualitative studies of volunteers' own experiences and understandings, and to this extent we are not aware of any recent meetings on this emerging field of science.

Amount: £2,880
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

'Epidemics in South Asian History: A review of medical, political and social responses' conference to be held in Burdwan, India on 7th, 8th and 9th November 2006. 08 Feb 2006

Epidemics in South Asian History: A review of medical, political and social responses A lot of the valuable research that this meeting will showcase is being carried out by staff in the smaller South Asian universities, whose contributions are often ignored in well-known publications; similarly, many UK-based associations for the study of the history of medicine remain unaware of the range and richness of this work, generally to their own disadvantage. This situation generally exists because scholars attached to the smaller South Asian universities have relatively weak links with the major international communities of historians of medicine, particularly those in the UK and Europe, where there has been a great interest in the subject over the past two decades. Apart from seeking to redress this situation, the proposed meeting also aims to highlight the significance of the study of the history of medicine at a university where a notable level of commitment towards the subject already exists. A joint meeting with the Wellcome Trust Centre would help advertise Burdwan University's efforts to propagate the post-graduate study of the history of medicine, science and technology, which would be useful both nationally and internationally. It is hoped that Burdwan University's efforts will receive greater publicity through a major international conference, which is likely to stoke greater government support for these educational ventures (activities in Burdwan University do not go unnoticed by the Government of West Bengal, which funds educational activities through the state). Burdwan University's intellectual resources could be useful to UK-based historians of medicine, as it offers the possibility of creating new collaborations and an effective base for Wellcome Trust-funded scholars seeking to carry out research in the region (research visas need to be sponsored by recognised universities and the university's department of history could be very helpful in this regard). Burdwan's history department is in keeping with the Wellcome Trust Centre agenda of seeking to expand interest in the history of medicine internationally; a goal in sync with the Wellcome Trust's history of medicine division's own goals.

Amount: £3,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Choose a life. Choose your life. Choose Life? Bioethical issues at the beginning, middle and end of life. 22 May 2006

Choose a Life. Choose Your Life. Choose Life? Bioethical Issues at the Beginning, Middle and End of Life The symposium will have three sessions, arranged around the bioethical issues at the beginning, middle and end of life. The first session will examine reproductive ethics issues and concerns about the use of embryos. The second, issues raised by genetic testing and the use and storage of genetic information. The final session will cover end-of-life and terminal care issues. Medicine focuses on the physiology of the body, but cannot give satisfactory answers to bioethical and metaphysical questions that arise as we make decisions about how to treat and how to live. Humanities deals with these questions, but does not always the have capacity to understand the practical and scientific issues involved in these decisions. The interdisciplinary field of Medial Humanities seeks to draw together researchers from the medical sciences and the humanities in a dialogue about how these questions can be answered in a more holistic, and hence more satisfactory way. Given the inherent divisions between the disciplines that fall under the heading 'medical humanities', researchers in these diverse fields often will not be fully aware of how relevant work done in other fields and from other perspectives. In many instances, researchers may be working in parallel with one another but rarely come into contact with one another. There is hence a need for communication between these disciplines, and particular the provision of forums that facilitate conversation in shared issues between members of these different fields. This gathering will broaden the dialogue and actively bring into the conversation these other fields - medical anthropology, history of medicine and theology. While there are many conferences that cover issues raised by embryo research, genetics and end-of-life decision-making, these are usually targeted at ethicists, clinicians and lawyers. This gathering is needed, as it will invite speakers from these other disciplines, to engage in discussion on these issues about life and life choices.

Amount: £1,910
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

A combinatorial approach using steroidgenic factor-1 (SF-1, NR5A1) to elucidate novel mechanisms in adrenal and reproductive biology. 05 Jun 2006

We aim to elucidate novel molecular mechanisms involved in human adrenal and reproductive development, and to relate these findings to patients with disorders of adrenal and reproductive function and to variations within normalpopulations. Using microarray and proteomic approaches, we now have the capacity to identify many of the components involved in these systems: the challenge is to focus on those factors relevant to human disease. We will address this using a combinatorial approach (Aims 1-3). In Aim 1, key differentially expressed genes/proteins will be identified in the adrenal, testis and ovary at critical stages of human development between 6-12 weeks gestation. In Aim 2, a subset of important novel genes will be identified by manipulation of the pivotal nuclear receptor sterodiogenic factor-1 (SF-1). InAim 3, genetic loci containing potentially important genes will be mapped using "literature mining" techniques and array analysis of patients with adrenal and reproductive disorders. Taken together, these studies will provideinsight into important biological mechanisms of development and function. Analysis of candidate factors in patients/families with adrenal and reproductive disorders will define novel endocrine syndromes and should identify key factors important in milder clinical phenotypes or physiological variability within a "normal" population (Aim 4).

Amount: £1,215,824
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Vesicle dynamics and synaptic computation. 01 Jun 2006

This proposal aims to build a quantitative understanding of synaptic function by providing direct links between molecular mechanisms and synaptic computation. We will focus mainly on the cerebellar mossy fibre-granule cell synapse, a model system that is well suited for this purpose. A core aim is todevelop a high resolution optical assay of vesicular release by applying new confocal methods to acute slices from transgenic mice expressing synaptopHluorin. This and recent advances in patching presynaptic terminals will be used to characterize, systematically, vesicle supply, Ca2+-dependenceof release and vesicle recycling. A kinetic model of the vesicle cycle will bedeveloped to elucidate the key determinants of synaptic function. The molecular determinants of specific presynaptic processes will be identified bycomparing model predictions with the behaviour of synapses when protein interactions are altered in transgenic mice or with peptides. Postsynaptically, AMPA receptor function will be examined with localized glutamate uncaging. Key subsynaptic processes will be linked to function by

Amount: £1,280,783
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London