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Recipients:
University College London

Results

Development of novel therapeutic approaches for primary immunodeficiency. 13 Jul 2009

1. Development of novel therapeutic approaches for primary immunodeficiency: We will develop new gene transfer vectors for reduced mutagenicity but also for enhanced tissue-specific activity. These will be evaluated in cell culture and murine model systems. We will also develop gene correction strategies, and application of alternative cellular targets based on reprogrammed somatic cells. Ongoing clinical trials will further inform areas of development and potential for broadened application to other disease candidates. 2. Studies on the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein (WASp) and functionality of the immune system: we will determine the significance of WASp activation for functionality in murine model systems, both in terms of actin polymerising activity, but also protein stability and turnover. We will study human mutant forms of WASp that enable constitutive activation of actin polymerisation through disruption of autoinhibition, and will characterise the mechanisms of cell cycle a nd cytokinesis defects. We will study the role of WASp during formation of the immunological synapse, and during celll trafficking focussing primarily on the contribution of dendritic cells.

Amount: £1,898,608
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Regulation of dendritic cell motility within stromal niches of lymph nodes. 27 May 2009

Without stromal cell scaffolds of lymphatic endothelium (LECs) and fibroblastic reticulum (FRCs), DCs would be unable to travel from peripheral tissues to lymph nodes (LNs) and interact with T lymphocytes. Studying the interplay between DCs and stromal cells is therefore fundamental to understanding the regulation of immune responses. I plan to characterise the nature of cell-cell contacts between DCs and stromal cells in detail, and to conduct an siRNA screen to find novel regulators of DC guid ance. These stomal cell subsets express high levels of podoplanin, the physiological ligand for CLEC-2, a receptor specifically expressed by platelets and DCs. I will evaluate the role of podoplanin, and CLEC-2 in regulating DCs motility and investigate molecular mechanisms downstream of CLEC-2 controlling DC function. The study of DC homing to LNs has focused on the up regulation of chemokine receptors such as CCR7. Although chemokine signalling is required for cells to find their direction, this alone cannot explain the acquisition of motility. Down-modulation of CCR7 reduces the numbers of T cells and DCs reaching the LN paracortex, but these cells remain motile and are simply misdirected to other compartments. Therefore, additional mechanisms regulating DC and lymphocyte motility must be at play.

Amount: £250,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

A proposal for the determination of small molecule messages: the enigma of signalling in olfaction. 27 May 2009

The proposed research is to determine the signal transduction process in olfaction, and in turn hopefully to develop a generic model for other ligand-protein interactions. The physical processes will be established by creation of a RealNose where human olfactory receptors are stabilized onto a biochip and the signal response from various activating odorants will be read out. The creation of this device will not only provide the parameters for modelling data, but involves key stages of scientif ic interest, such as: i) The expression, stabilization and crystallography of G-protein coupled receptors (the olfactory receptors). ii) Determination of the stimuli required across receptor type activation, resolving the affinity/efficacy issue, troublesome in many drug-receptor systems, through assay information and Surface Plasmon Resonance. iii) Determination of the processes in this unique membrane protein, such as conformational changes and the importance there of. iv) Identifying t he processes involved in a complex combinatorial process from signal initiation to perception: a pattern recognition issue.

Amount: £250,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Object Retrieval. 18 Mar 2009

Object Retrieval is an exciting 8 month interdisciplinary project culminating in a highly innovative week-long performative event. In this event a massive team of researchers from across UCL's science, social science and arts faculties will explore the 'biography' of one object from UCL's remarkable but undervalued Pathology Collection. This real-time research will creatively demonstrate the synergistic benefits of interdisciplinary research through unravelling an object usually situated exclusively within a medical context. Open to the public, Object Retrieval, led by artist Joshua Sofaer highlights the increasingly cross-disciplinary nature of biomedical research in a 21 century university and will bring welcome attention to the pathology collection. A multi-media wiki will accompany the project and ensure an enduring legacy, along with a limited edition artwork/resource pack for teaching.

Amount: £30,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

InBodied. 01 Oct 2008

Artist and performer Catherine Long will collaborate with neuroscientists Professor Patrick Haggard and DR Beatriz Calvo-Merino, and dance/choreographer Frank Bock on research centred around embodiment and the relationship between brain and body. I will study the tension between the subjective and objective experience of the body, and the mechanics of the body, based on my unique physicality. The project will culminate in a performance (work in progress) involving movement, sound and video. This will address perceptions of and through the typical or atypical body, and the body's role in subjective experience. There will also be an exhibition of photographs and a short film will be made.

Amount: £30,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Pattern Completion 01 Oct 2008

The project brings together a neuroscientist, an artist and a sound designer to create an installation exploring how networks of brain cells recall memories. Audio-visual sequences will be projected onto a suspended spiral of glass spheres. Initially the images and sounds will be hard to decipher, but as time passes they become increasingly coherent, following a theoretical process known as pattern completion. The installation will invite the audience to consider how their brain pieces together a memory and the implications this has for how our memories are structured.

Amount: £29,929
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

The Point of Perception. 01 Oct 2008

This project explores the area of ambiguity in perception, which is inherent in the artworks of Madeleine Boyd and fundamental to the research of neuroscientists Mark Lythgoe and Beau Lotto. The practice-based research nature of this project will provide a frame work for both artistic and scientific partners to develop their own work as well as producing work together. A series of scientifically driven events based around Boyd's sculptural environments will allow the collaborators to generate a genuinely interdisciplinary methodology. The series culminates with an exhibition, catalogue and discussion day, all aimed at reaching targeted audiences effectively.

Amount: £28,960
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

History of Medicine MA dissertations. To be held at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine on 16 May 2009 21 Apr 2009

The intention of the meeting is to foster collaboration in History of Medicine MA programmes in the UK and Ireland through establishing joint training days. The meeting will enable students from such programmes to make short presentations of their MA dissertations, and to interact with and get feedback from their peers from other programmes, as well from tutors from other departments. The aim of the meeting is to establish a centralised platform for the training of History of Medicine MA students suitable for generic research skills. The most critical research component of the current programmes is the dissertation, which for a number of students, forms a point of departure for a subsequent History of Medicine Phd. The aim of the meeting is to better prepare students for their MA dissertations and for continuing research in the history of medicine.

Amount: £2,300
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

A cultural history of mental health and the role of Franco Basaglia in Italy, 1960-2008. Pilot research and recce. 21 Apr 2009

The aim of this pilot research is to establish the presence and overall of archival and other material relating to mental health reform and the activities of Franco Basaglia in Italy in various Italian locations with a view to an extensive research project application to the Wellcome Trust in December 2009. 1. Overall project Using the research grant funds, a number of cities where large-scale mental health institutions were located, and were at the centre of reform efforts by doctors and activists influence by Franco Basaglia and others in the 1960s and 1970s will be visited. The aim will be to make contact with those who took part in the period of reform and change, and to make a survey of the presence of archival and other material (photographs, newspapers, official material, the structural state and contemporary use of the buildings, film material) with a view to a large-scale research project (application to be prepared for December 2009). These recces will make an overall assessment of the material available, its accessibility and lead to an assessment of the time and resources needed to collect and analyse the relevant material.

Amount: £3,950
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

"History of Medicine in Motion" to be held at UCL on 26 May 2009. 21 Apr 2009

This workshop is intended to involve researchers in the methods for creating video clips about the History of Medicine. These clips are intended to present scholarly research either in public contexts, at academic conferences or to students in the classroom. During the workshop participants will receive feedback on video clips that they have developed, and prizes will be awarded to the best submissions. The final roundtable session, consisting of senior scholars in the History of Medicine from Harvard and UCL a major Israeli filmmaker from the National Television and Film School, and staff from the Wellcome Library will critically appraise this media as a vehicle for communicating scholarly research. The project will be web-based, all clips available to the public on the internet; furthermore, the conference proceedings will be live-streamed during the event itself.

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

"Smallpox Eradication after 30 Years: Lessons and Legacies" to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 24-27 August 2010 21 Apr 2009

A global forum on smallpox eradication and its relevance to current and future health priorities will be convened, 30 years after the 33rd World Health Assembly confirmed eradication. Presenters and discussants will be persons with major leadership roles in the SEP, and current programs that have used and have studied SEP principles and lessons. Participants: Leaders of current legacy programs Public health workers and scientists interested in the principles and practice of disease elimination and eradication Decision-makers and leaders in public health and science Medical historians Media WHO employees UNICEF employees FAO employees

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Southern Africa 2020 Vision: priorities for public policy for the next decade. 18 Feb 2009

The conference will aim to bring together academics and civil society activists with an interest in public policy, from Namibia, from other southern African nations and from Europe and North America. Under a broad theme - 'Southern Africa 2020 Vision: priorities for public policy for the next decade' - the conference will consider topics on five areas: economic development, democratic political practice, legal processes, distributive justice, and access to health care. In this last respect we will focus on the attention that has been given to HIV/Aids in Southern Africa, whether it has strengthened or weakened health systems, whether, ethically, this has been the right priority and what should be done over the next ten years. The aim of the conference will be to promote dialogue between academics, civil society activists and public policy makers. The conference will consider what lessons Namibia and other African nations can learn from similar dialogues in the Northern Hemisphere; and it will also consider what Northern Hemisphere nations can learn from such dialogues in Africa. The conference proceedings will be published by the IPPR in Namibia in both print and electronic form.

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

"Tropical Diseases Seminars 2009", to be held in Geneva during 2009 18 Feb 2009

The main objective of this lecture series is to engage those involved in formulating and implementing health policies with historians of medicine working on policy-related issues, in the expectation that these interactions will be useful to all concerned. Indeed, the format of this meeting is intended to facilitate this process ? historians and policy managers will share a platform and present 30 minute talks; there will then be a 60 minute discussion about issues raised by both speakers.

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

·Pre-clinical assessment of small diameter conduit made from nanocomposite polymer for coronary artery bypass graft application 21 Apr 2009

Current synthetic grafts largely based on poly(tetrafluoroethane) or Dacron perform adequately as large calibre grafts but are not suitable for coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG) due to the small diameter of the coronary arteries, the low blood flow rates, and high occlusion rates resulting in thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia. There is a clinical need for a small diameter coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) (<5mm) that mimics the properties of native human artery, and this is to be developed by Professor Alexander Seifalian and colleagues at University College London. The conduits are to made from a novel patented polymer based on polyhexal oligomeric silsequioxanes and poly(carbonate urea) urethane. Funding has been sought to validate the small diameter cardiac bypass graft in an animal model, experiments that are required in accordance with the regulatory authority requirements for an implantable device.

Amount: £495,800
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

A phase 1 clinical trial of DARC 21 Apr 2009

Glaucoma is the major cause (15%) of irreversible blindness worldwide. A recent UK report suggested 10% earlier detection of glaucoma would save £1 billion/year in treatment costs alone. Prof Cordeiro and colleagues from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London, have bean given Translation Award support to carry out a Phase I trial of DARC Technology (Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells). DARC is a novel technique that utilizes the unique optical properties of the eye to allow direct visualization of nerve cells dying. If successful, early diagnosis & treatment would mean that DARC will increase patient benefit and decrease burden of care costs.

Amount: £1,119,340
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Biomedical vacation scholarship. 08 Jun 2009

Not available

Amount: £6,080
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Biomedical vacation scholarship. 29 May 2009

Not available

Amount: £42,750
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Value in people award. 21 Oct 2008

Not available

Amount: £350,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London