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University of Oxford (1,569) University of Cambridge (1,282) University College London (1,143) Imperial College London (748) University of Edinburgh (718) Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (715) King's College London (519) University of Manchester (443) University of Bristol (420) London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (391) University of Glasgow (335) University of Dundee (312) University of Liverpool (307) The Royal British Legion (302) Newcastle University (299) University of Birmingham (298) Cardiff University (259) University of Leeds (235) King's College London (234) Queen Mary University of London (190) University of Warwick (182) University of York (177) Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (173) University of Nottingham (173) University of Sheffield (171) Merched Y Wawr (161) University of Exeter (153) University of Leicester (149) Barnardo's (144) The Guide Association (141) The Scout Association (135) Cruse Bereavement Care (129) University of Southampton (125) Alzheimer's Society (115) Church of England Children's Society (109) University College Dublin (108) University of Aberdeen (107) Institute of Cancer Research (100) Birkbeck University of London (96) The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty (96) Volunteering Matters (95) The National Childbirth Trust (90) Queen's University Belfast (89) University of Sussex (88) St George's University of London (87) Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (86) Education Services - Headquarters (85) University of St Andrews (78) Medical Research Council (73) National University of Ireland Galway (72) See Less

Results

Learning as Bayesian inference. 02 Dec 2015

Organisms face a hard problem: based on noisy sensory input, they must set a large number of synaptic weights. However, they do not receive enough information in their lifetime to learn the optimal weights (i.e., the weights that ensure that the circuit, system, and ultimately organism, functions as effectively as possible). In this kind of high noise regime, it is advantageous to compute a probability distribution over the weights, rather than just a point estimate (as is done under standard le arning rules). This would allow synapses to efficiently use incoming information, greatly improving learning. In addition, it would allow organisms to match learning rates to incoming information -- speeding up learning when the rate of new information is high, and slowing it down when the rate is low. Here we explore the hypothesis that synapses do compute, approximately, probability distributions over their weights. This leads to three specific questions: 1. What are the learning rules u nder the assumption that synaptic weights keep track of probability distributions? 2. What is the effect of these learning rules on large networks of spiking neurons? 3. How can we test experimentally whether these learning rules are the ones used by the brain? To address these questions, we will derive update rules for the probability distribution over synaptic weights using rules of probabilistic inference, and analyze, both theoretically and through simulations, the effect of those l earning rules on network behavior. We will then generate specific hypotheses, with the goal of collaborating closely with experimentalists to test them; those tests should result in further refinement.

Amount: £835,839
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Open access block grant 2016/17 30 Sep 2016

Not available

Amount: £490,701
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Open access publishing costs 2014/15. 30 Sep 2016

Not available

Amount: £69,772
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

IMage-guided Pancreatic Ablation for Cancer Therapy (IMPACT) 13 Jan 2016

Pancreatic cancer is a biologically aggressive cancer, which is resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has a high rate of recurrence. Surgical resection remains the only treatment with potential for long-term survival and cure. However, many patients have metastatic disease at presentation and a third have locally advanced pancreatic cancer, leaving only 10% - 20% suitable for potentially curative resection. Even after resection, recurrence is common and adjuvant chemotherapy is used but thermal ablation, which is established for palliation of other cancers, is not recommended for unresectable pancreatic cancer because of risk of injury to the pancreatic duct or nearby major blood vessels. This project will develop a patient-specific planning, simulation and intra-operative navigation system for individualised ablation and palliation of inoperable pancreatic cancer. We will investigate a new technique – irreversible electroporation ablation (IRE) – which causes cell death through a different mechanism to thermal ablation that can minimise damage to the pancreatic duct and major blood vessels. We will develop a navigation system so that accurate IRE electrode placement can be carried out percutaneously or under laparoscopic guidance. The potential impact of the project will be to prolong and increase the quality of life for a patient population with limited treatment options.

Amount: £200,330
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

A drug target for common ocular inflammatory diseases 13 Jan 2016

Epithelia form cellular barriers such as the corneal epithelium, protecting the eye’s surface, and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a barrier between the blood and the retina. Epithelial defects are major components of common diseases, such as inflammation, infections, diabetes and age-related conditions. Professors Maria Balda and Karl Matter, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, have developed inhibitors targeting a central regulator of a mechanism activated in such diseases to prevent epithelial and endothelial inflammation, malfunction, and loss of or reduced vision. These pathological conditions are integral components of chronic inflammation and ageing; hence, they become increasingly more common. There are few treatments available and they are not very effective. Therefore, their project addresses an unmet, clinically relevant healthcare need and will potentially benefit a wide range of patients suffering of inflammatory and age-related conditions that become increasingly more common. Balda and Matter research programme thus has a high future potential healthcare impact and directly supports the strategic aim of Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology to develop new therapies with High-Patient-Impact. (172 word)

Amount: £143,976
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Directed bone marrow homing as a strategy to embed T cells 13 Jan 2016

T-cell therapies are quickly emerging as highly promising candidates for the treatment of infection, cancer and autoimmune disease. Critical for the success of these therapies is the need for T cells to engraft efficiently and then persist long-term. Current clinical protocols have employed ‘conditioning’ with chemo- or radiotherapy, with or without exogenous cytokines, to aid engraftment and survival of transferred cells. But these approaches are associated with significant risks to already sick patients and only have variable success in ensuring the persistence of adoptively transferred T cells. There is an important unmet medical need to develop safer and more effective ‘one-shot’ strategies to promote both the initial engraftment and survival of therapeutic T cells in patients. Professor Ronjon Chakraverty has identified a completely novel strategy to overcome these hurdles. It involves overexpressing using the chemokine receptor CXCR4 to direct the T cells to the bone marrow, where they receive specific niche signals that promote engraftment and survival. Across multiple clinical applications, this strategy is designed to achieve a lasting therapeutic effect with a single dose of T cells.

Amount: £131,502
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

UCL - Neuroscience 30 Sep 2016

Not available

Amount: £133,252
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

University College London/Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology 30 Sep 2016

University College London/Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology

Amount: £133,252
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

University College London/Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology 30 Sep 2016

University College London/Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology

Amount: £133,252
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Combined liposomal delivery of small molecule and oligonucleotide therapeutics 01 Apr 2016

Liposomal delivery of therapeutic agents, and/or imaging agents, is an important and rapidly emerging area which will have considerable impact on many disease areas including respiratory diseases, vaccine delivery and cancer. These liposome-based formulations are increasingly important for delivery and imaging of small molecule therapeutics, and for the delivery of plasmid DNA encoding for imaging agents or toxic genes, as they offer the benefits of cell-selective delivery with minimal off-target effects. However, to date it has not been possible to formulate both small molecule therapeutics and plasmid DNA in the same nanoparticle delivery system. The aim of this research is to develop multifunctional nanoparticles for liposomal delivery of both a small molecule therapeutic and plasmid DNA. This will have the advantage of delivering two different therapies to the same diseased cell, ensuring more rapid therapeutic effect and minimising the development of resistance to each individual therapeutic intervention.

Amount: £2,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Molecular makeup of astroglia probed with super-resolution microscopy. 09 Feb 2015

In our quest to decipher the brain circuit machinery astroglia have emerged as an important third participant of the signal exchange between pre- and postsynaptic neurons. To understand principles of information processing in such tripartite circuits represents a conceptual challenge. How the multiple modalities of intracellular astrocyte signalling translate into meaningful communication with neurons remains poorly understood. Our long-term aim is therefore to understand how generation, propagation and storage of informative signals in tripartite brain circuits form memories and shape a physiological response, in health and disease. We will take full advantage of the on-going methodological revolution in sub-cellular real-time imaging, coupled with pharmaco- and optogenetic approaches ex-vivo and in-vivo and aided by biophysical and neural-network modelling. The five-year strategy will build upon our recent discoveries which have unveiled novel principles of synaptic organisation and plasticity including the regulatory role of astrocytic signalling. Firstly, we will employ our novel FLIM-based Ca2+ imaging technique to decipher the code of causalitiesarising between the synaptic identity and Ca2+ homeostasis machineries at tripartite connections. Secondly, we will establish how the diverse neural signals are integrated and possibly stored by non-excitable astroglia operating their Ca2+-wave communication medium.Thirdly, we will explore and expand the classical rules of synaptic plasticity to meta-plasticity of the tripartite synapse. Fourthly, we will establish how the operational assemblies of nerve and glial cells interact to support a physiological function. Finally, we will attempt to formulate how astroglial signalling impinges on functional modalities of theoretical neural networks.

Amount: £149,352
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Biomedical Vacation Scholarship 22 Jun 2015

Not available

Amount: £19,750
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Investigation into LRRK2 vesicular trafficking pathways to provide further insight into Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. 12 Jan 2015

How do Parkinson’s disease causing mutations in LRRK2 impact vesicular trafficking within the trans-golgi network (TGN)? In addition, what is the functional nature of LRRK2- arfaptin-2 and ARL6IP1 interactions within this pathway?

Amount: £80,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Open access publishing costs 2014/15. 15 Sep 2014

Not available

Amount: £540,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Exploring the Group Mind with Mass Participation Experiments. 08 Jul 2014

Our goal is to provoke and engage the audience with a simple, compelling question: What is more fundamental to being human: the I of an individual person, or the we of a group, family or society? Scientifically, there are two ways to understand human behaviour. On the one hand, psychological models focus on the individuals thoughts and beliefs. On the other hand, sociological and biological models often understand human collective behaviour in the same way as they model insects and herds. Which of these approaches gives a better insight into how we vote in elections, riot on the streets, experience a concert, or support a football team? In our public engagement events, audience members will explore these issues by taking part in unique mass participation experiments. By downloading a simple application to their phones, they will be able to connect to a screen at the front of the theatre, museum or festival space. Together they will play video games, make music, resolve disagreements and take difficult decisions. Will people perform better when they compete against each other as individuals, or when they cooperate together as a group? How does it change our feelings about ourselves and each other to act with or against the groups interests? At the end of each event, the audience members will have a new appreciation of the science behind collective behaviour, and understand the conditions under which we act better as individuals, and the times we are stronger as a group.

Amount: £29,600
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Defining the role of NRP1-ABL1 signalling in adult neovascular eye disease 02 Oct 2014

We wish to address if ECM-induced NRP1-ABL1 signalling promotes adult angiogenesis and is a suitable target in anti-angiogenic therapies. In both PDR and wet AMD, VEGF is upregulated and stimulates angiogenesis to counter tissue hypoxia caused by vascular damage. Whereas neovascular lesions in PDR affect intraretinal vessels and resemble those in retinopathy of prematurity, wet AMD is instead caused by abnormal choroidal vessel growth. In addition to causing vascular abnormalities, high ocular VEGF levels are associated with vascular fluid leak, which causes oedema and impairs vision in both conditions. Because anti-VEGF therapies such as Lucentis® and Avastin® efficiently target vascular hyperpermeability, they are the approved treatmentfor oedema in PDR and AMD. They stabilise sight in over 90% of AMD patients, however, only 30% show improved vision (2), demonstrating that these therapiesare not sufficient for all patients. Recent evidence also suggests that anti-VEGF therapy is not curative, because neovascular lesions persist and oedema returns as soon as treatment is discontinued (3). Our prior research predicts that one reason for the persistence of neovascular lesions may be thefailure of anti-VEGF therapy to target ECM-induced angiogenesis via NRP1-ABL1 (Fig. 1). Furthermore, a multicentre cohort clinical study showed that, after seven years of treatment with anti-VEGF therapies, only one third of patients had good visual outcome and another third had poor outcome (4), with loss of protective VEGF functions in the neural retina likely contributing to retinal atrophy (5, 6). Thus, new treatments for neovascular eye disease should not compromise neuroprotection. Our discovery of an angiogenic NRP1/ABL1 pathway that can be targeted with the FDA-approved drug Imatinib independently of VEGFmay therefore provide a timely new therapeutic opportunity for neovascular disease.

Amount: £66,200
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London