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The Wellcome Trust
£500 - £1,000
£1,000 - £5,000


De-N-acetylation of cell wall chitin/pepitdoglycan as a defence mechanism against the mammalian immune system - structures, mechanisma and inhibitor development. 19 Jul 2006

One of the primary defences of the innate mammalian immune system against microbial pathogens is secretion of cell wall-targeted lytic glycoside hydrolases. Some of these enzymes, lysozymes (degrading peptidoglycan) and chitinases (degrading chitin), heavily depend on the presence of the N-acetyl side chains on N-acetylglucosamine for substrate recognition. Recent research has suggested that bacteria, fungi and microsporidia possess carbohydrate esterases ("family 4 carbohydrate esterases", CE-4) that partially de-N-acetylate cell wall peptidoglycan and chitin, thereby conferring microbial resistance against these mammalian glycoside hydrolases. Bacterial knockout studies of CE-4 esterases have shown that deletion of these genes results in hypersensitivity to lysozyme and dramatic reduction in virulence in a mouse model. This proposal aims to study the structure and molecular mechanism of action of microbial CE-4 esterases, screen small molecule libraries for inhibitors and synthesize potential leads using a combination of the resulting hits and rational design. These leads will then be tested in bacterial, fungal and microsporidian cultures in terms of resistance against lysozymes/chitinases and ultimately evaluated (through collaborations) in appropriate mouse models. Specifically, we will study the peptidoglycan deacetylases of the Streptococcus pneumoniae and the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans, fungal chitin deacetylases from the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and the microsporidian chitin deacetylase from the pathogen Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

Amount: £500
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Bath

'Making Biosociality: Biologies and Identities in Formation'. 14 Dec 2005

Seminar: "Making Biosociality : Biologies and Identities in Formation, London School of Economics, January 6-7, 2006 The need for this gathering arises due to the fact that very little theoretical and empirical work has concentrated upon the ways in which ethics are negotiated in different national contexts. Similarly, there has been little research which has exclusively concentrated on the ethical dimensions of the shaping of identity and patient communities. As a way of trying to engage with the diverse ethical dimensions of contemporary developments in the life sciences, the Making Biosociality seminar will invite speakers to present empirical work addressing four specific themes or areas: (1) What kinds of ethical relations to the self and others are at stake when individuals and groups start to identify themselves in genetic or biological terms (2) what role do institutions ranging from disease advocacy organisations to charity/voluntary organisations, to the state, play in reshaping and renegotiating the form and content of ethics in the life sciences; (3) how, and to what extent, are ethical concerns being embedded in the production of biological knowledge, novel life-forms, and biomedical technologies; and (4), how does the generation of wealth and commercial interests in biology and 'life itself' engender a shift in the content and locales where ethics are deliberated. Through focussing on these topic areas, the seminar aims to capture the ways in which ethics are being made newly significant and productive in the contemporary era of biological control which forces the intersection of issues that are qualitatively distinct in scale and scope to produce what Paul Rabinow terms 'biosocial assemblages'. All participants at the seminar will be encouraged to develop papers in relation to the multiple themes that will be explored at the seminar with the aim of publishing them as part of an edited collection. The objective of the proposed seminar is to bring together a diverse number of scholars who are interested in theoretically and empirically charting the particular social forms through which ethics are negotiated and the ways in which they are embedded in a range of social practices that have come about or are emerging as a result of innovations in genomic knowledge and technology.

The Labour Party and Health Policy in Middlesborough, 1900-1950. 30 Aug 2006

This project will have two key elements: a qualitative exploration of the Middlesbrough Labour party's health policy as revealed in a variety of political locale; and a prosopographical (collective biography) study of the individuals involved in the various levels of hospital and health service management. It will seek to uncover the priorities of the Middlesbrough Labour party, especially their position on the provision of hospital care, and it will investigate the involvement of workers, their unions and Labour activists in the management of the voluntary and municipal hospitals. Existing data on voluntary hospital and municipal committee members will be linked to new information on occupation, political affiliation and other associational involvement to produce a network of labour activism within the local health system. The study will be based largely on the local press coverage of elections and associational culture. Hospital records will be utilised to ascertain levels of politicisation or accommodation whilst the impact of Labour and the unions on municipal health policy will be drawn from full council and committee minutes. Outputs will include a conference paper in Spring 2007 and an article in a refereed journal to be submitted at the end of the project.

Amount: £4,991
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Teesside

'Working with Dust: Health , Dust and Diseases in the History of Occupational Health' conference to be held at the University of Exeter on 10th -12th April 2006. 23 Jan 2006

Working with Dust: Health, Dust and Diseases in the History of Occupational Health The Wellcome-funded Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter is engaged on a set of research initiatives signalled by its Strategic Award. One of the themes established in the Award is the history of work-related illnesses and injuries. In completing the Wellcome project on the history of medical perceptions and treatments for silicosis in the United Kingdom, Melling and Bufton contributed to a network of scholars, including Professor Christopher Sellers of the United States. From this close collaboration emerged the proposal for an international conference which would consolidate this international network and draw together a wide range of research scholars. This year is particularly apposite since a range of research which was begun at the time of the previous Exeter conferences and seminars on the topic (held in 2000-2001) have now come to fruition and it is a valuable point at which to establish a benchmark for an assessment of this work and establish directions for future research. The conference will include the following themes: Testaments and oral history of dusty workplaces. Coal mining: colliery diseases and the struggle for compensation. Asbestos. Silicosis to pneumoconiosis. Tuberculosis and industrial disease. Gender and industrial disease. State responses to respiratory illness at work. International models of dust-induced industrial illness. International Labour Office and the regulation of dusty work. Changing frontiers in the burden of dust-induced diseases: developing countries. The frontier between work and the environment in the incidence of disease.

Amount: £2,781
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Bioethics Horizons: new tools for new challenges. 23 Jan 2006

Title of meeting: Bioethics Horizons: new tools for new challenges

Amount: £4,745
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Plymouth

The creation and early workings of the Health Service "Ombudsman", 1968-1976: historical and archival research looking into the creation, and first remit, of the Health Service Commissioner. 23 Jan 2006

The creation and early workings of the Health Service "Ombudsman", 1968-1976: historical and archival research looking into the creation, and first remit, of the Health Service Commissioner This is an application for travel expenses, further to pursue research into the creation and early history of the National Health Service 'Ombudsman'. This is the body that, since the early 1970s, has provided an avenue of complaint against 'maladministration' in the NHS. The work should clearly reflect on to contemporary practice, for the Ombudsman was to become one of the most ubiquitous new tools of government in the late twentieth century. The project asks why this was so and where the pressure came from for this reform. This being so, it should cast light on the wider mechanics of British government and politics in the post-Second World War era. The applicant has already been pursuing research into the creation of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. It is envisaged that this will lead to the submission of an article to Past in Present in 2007, covering the creation of the original Parliamentary 'Ombudsman'. It is now intended to take the research on a further stage, and build on the primary evidence assembled on the Parliamentary Commissioner. The first 'Ombudsman', Sir Edmund Compton, started work in 1967. The Health Service Commissioner was not created until 1973, when Sir Alan Marre as Compton's successor took on that role. Why was the Health Service initially insulated from the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner? Why did views change about that exclusion? Why did the process take so long? Did different departments have different views? These are the questions this research will seek to answer, utilising primary materials from government, MPs and political parties. Although there are admirable histories of the Ombudsman institution in general available, especially The Ombudsman, The Citizen and Parliament by Gregory and Giddings, this will be the first historical work systematically to utilise the archives and to find out the reasons for the creation of the NHS Ombudsman, as well as the delay in its inception following the creation of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

Amount: £901
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Oxford Brookes University

Graftings: Sex and Masculinity in early-Modern France. 08 Feb 2006

Graftings: Sex and Masculinity in Early-Modern France This book-length study focuses on grafting and transplantation in medical and botanical texts of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. I am especially interested in how grafting develops as a practice and as a metaphor, and what is tells us about shifting notions of scientific and cultural subjectivities. In an effort to explore the fluid contours of early-modern plant and human, my project focuses primarily on how discussions of grafting and transplantation serve to link the medical, botanical, and cultural realms as writers attempt to work through shifting notions of "otherness". How do writers understand intersections between the plant world and the human world? What do the descriptions of these intersections reveal about the larger cultural and political realities of the time? Given developing understandings of sexual difference in plants I am especially interested in examining what botanical knowledge and its frequent comparisons to the human body have to tell us about changing notions of gender and sexuality as we move toward the Enlightenment.

Amount: £1,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Vanderbilt University

'From the Cradle to the Grave: Future perspectives on the social history of health and healthcare' conference to be held at the Universities of Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde from 11th to 12th January 2006. 14 Dec 2005

From the Cradle to the Grave: Future perspectives on the social history of health and healthcare The event will draw together PG students working in the history of medicine subject area from across the UK for the first time. The event will provide the PGs with the opportunity to make connections with their peers, to disseminate information and to gain feedback on their research. It also seeks to stimulate wider discussion among the cohort about the origins of the subject area, its current preoccupations and possible directions. The event has the potential to generate a greater corporate identity among PGs in the subject area and to act as a model for future events for the PG community. The conference will be inclusive in terms of subject matter, disciplinary approach and geographical context. The organisers welcome proposals from, among others, those working on studies relating to the history of medicine and therapies and of specific diseases and illnesses, the history of disability, the history of health policy, the history of medical organisations and/or related bodies, occupational health history, the history of non-western medicine and cultural representations of health and healthcare.

Amount: £3,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Strathclyde

Philosophical and social dimensions of microbiology. 26 Apr 2006

Title of meeting: Philosophical and social dimensions of microbiology The last decade of microbiological research has seen new investigative approaches and a vast body of genomic data transform theoretical understandings of microbial interaction, evolution and biodiversity. This workshop will explore the philosophical implications of these extraordinary developments within a broader historical context and, in the process, make steps towards constructing a research agenda for future philosophical and social studies of microbiology. The papers and discussions will be structured so that the workshop culminates in a final session designed to initiate ongoing exploration of the ethical, legal and other social issues that arise out of philosophical understandings of microbiology and microbes. Presentations and discussions will address the following themes: - General conceptual issues in microbiology (with a focus on the prokaryote-eukaryote distinction, and symbiosis) - Microbiology, biochemistry and genetics and their merger in the early 1900s - Genomic innovations in microbiology - The microbial world and evolutionary contingency - Cognition, sociobacteriology, and natural genetic engineering in bacteria - Epistemological issues in microbiology (with a focus on alternative biospheres) - The impact of microbiology on the philosophy of biology - Ethical, legal and social issues revealed by philosophical analyses of microbiology Possible future developments (e.g.: in microbial bioremediation)

Amount: £3,011
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

To discover, collect, analyze and disseminate the "elocutionary" writings of John Thelwall, a 19th century speech scientist and therapist. 23 Jan 2006

To discover, collect, analyse and disseminate the "elocutionary" writings of John Thelwall, a 19th century speech scientist and therapist My aim is to discover, collect, analyse and disseminate the "elocutionary" writings of John Thelwall a 19th century speech scientist and therapist. Thelwall, the political radical, writer, as well as elocutionist, created a medical and scientific model for the provision of services to people with speech and language disabilities. Thelwall did for speech science and speech therapy what John Hunter did for surgery. While his political and literary contributions have been reprinted and analysed, there has been little done to uncover and analyse his writings and contributions to what today falls under the rubrics of speech science, speech pathology or speech therapy. This project is an effort to study that missing part of John Thelwall's early 19th century contributions to speech science and speech therapy.

Amount: £1,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: State University of New York

Symposium: an introduction for those medical and science graduates consideringpursuing a career in tropical medicine research. 23 Jan 2006

Training in the Tropics The meeting will allow the directors of the major UK sponsored tropical medicine research groups to give brief presentations about the work of these units and about the opportunities that exist for gaining research experience and training in tropical medicine. This is crucial to bring in "new blood" for the research community. It allows junior staff who are working out with the main UK based centres to be able to interact with frontline staff in various disciplines. The meeting also allows discussion of funding opportunities with the main funders in the UK and allows an introduction to the fellowship programmes. The final part is a representative from the Royal College of Physicians specialist advisor committee who advise on the implications for training and promotion within the UK system.

Amount: £1,650
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Oxford

Antisocial personality disorder and responsibility: scientific and ethical issues. 22 May 2006

Title of meeting: Antisocial Personality Disorder and Responsibility: Scientific and Ethical Issues

Amount: £2,114
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Hull

'Psychiatry and Criminal Responsibility: Legal, Medical and Historical Perspectives on Psychiatry in the Courtroom' workshop to be held at the University of Edinburgh on 8-9 March 2006. 08 Feb 2006

Psychiatry and Criminal Responsibility: Legal, Medical and Historical Perspectives on Psychiatry in the Courtroom Drs Crozier and Tadros are in the initial phases of a projected long term research project in the interdisciplinary area of the history of forensic psychiatry and law. This area crosses over both Dr Crozier's historical interests in the development of psychiatric knowledge in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Dr Tadros' legal expertise in criminal responsibility. The focus of this project is to build on the growing interest in Science Studies with science and the law. Dr Crozier and Dr Tadros co-supervise a PhD student working in this area and are hoping to encourage more students to study with them at the University of Edinburgh. Holding a workshop that explores historical and legal aspects of criminal responsibility in relation to psychiatric practice will allow them to bring together scholars from history of medicine, law and psychiatry in order to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue that will help develop a multi-faceted approach to the problem. Such dialogue will encourage reflection on the problem from a variety of angles, and will allow participants to meet colleagues from other scholarly fields whom they would otherwise not had the opportunity to meet. Many of the papers being presented - by historians, lawyers and psychiatrists - will have an historical focus, and so will address important problems in the history of forensic psychiatry.

Amount: £3,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Edinburgh

'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

'History of Clinical Iatrogenesis: Before and After Ivan Illich' workshop to be held at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Manchester on 19th May 2006. 22 May 2006

History of Clinical Iatrogenesis: Before and After Ivan Illich Precisely 30 years ago, the social critic Ivan Illich published his book Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, in which he presented several cases of iatrogenic diseases as a way to illuminate the intrinsic flaws of highly institutionalised, professionalised, technological modern medicine. He problematised modern medicine because, in his view, it deprived people of illness experiences and simultaneously inhibited autonomous efforts to maintain health. Since the publication of Medical Nemesis, critics from medical sociology, policy and even inside medicine engaged with Illich's ideas of 'iatrogenesis'. In contrast, there has hardly been any debate in the history of medicine. Although adverse effects of medicine had long been noted and commented on inside and outside medicine with words such as 'poisoning' and 'toxicity', the conditions that Ilich referred to as 'iatrogenic' diseases emerged in the post-war period, and they were correlated with the rise of new medical therapies, new technologies, the use of new drugs such as penicillin and cortisone, and surgical techniques such as organ transplantation. The term has resurfaced in the public domain more recently, in the context of morally- and politically-charged discussions over the (re-)emergence of infectious diseases such as MRSA and AIDS. This meeting has emerged from work on the Trust-funded grant on Fungal Diseases and Modern Medicine: Mycology, Aspergillosis and Iatrogenic Diseases.

Amount: £735
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Manchester

Supplementary funding 20 Sep 2006

A nationally representative set of EBV-transformed lymphocyte cultures has been established from 44-45-year-old participants in the biomedical examination of the British 1958 birth cohort. These have been used to create a renewable DNA collection for use as a reference series in genetic case-control studies. This has proved a popular resource. There are currently 20 active users of this DNA collection, many of them funded by the Wellcome Trust. 1500 samples are currently being genotyped as a control group for the WT-funded Genetic Case-Control Consortium. Results for 1 million SNPs, on sample sizes between 1500 and 8000 DNAs, are expected during 2006. This application requests continuity of support for the Bristol laboratory to maintain the cell line resource and to continue providing DNA arrays at no charge to users. It also proposes extension of the data management and website development activity at St George's, so that incoming genotypes can be processed in a timely and user-friendly fashion into a publicly accessible on-line reference library of genotype and allele frequencies, already piloted with over 9000 SNPs deposited to date. Our key goal is to maximise scientific value for money from this large population-based cell line collection (WT programme grant 068545/Z/02).

Amount: £3,300
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Leicester

40 years of Family Research. 28 Mar 2006

Title of meeting: 40 years of Family Research Martin Richards has been an eminent researcher in many areas of family research and it is probably not an exaggeration to describe him as one of the pioneers in the field of psychological and social aspects of 'new' human genetics. He has raised important questions, developed research and contributed greatly in areas such as genetic screening, consent and bioethics. He has given generously of his time to serve on many committees in associated areas. The occasion of his retirement seems an appropriate time to reflect on his contributions and the way his work can be taken forward.

Amount: £750
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Cambridge

The struggle between science and policy: President Ronald Reagan and the FDA in the 1980s. 26 Apr 2006

The struggle between science and policy: President Ronald Reagan and the FDA in the 1980s I have begun the task of researching President Ronald Regan's regulatory reform initiatives pertaining to the Food and Drug Administration, specifically focusing on the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), the branch of the FDA that oversees and governs prescription medications. I hope to expand the historiography pertaining to President Ronald Reagan by introducing a work of medical/regulatory history into the existent corpus of literature. My examination of the Food and Drug Administration, the principal regulator of countless prescription medications, was subject to the same widespread ideological change as numerous other U.S. governmental agencies. How is this relevant to the history of medicine? The Food and Drug Administration's mission statement holds that the agency is to protect the public health and to ensure Americans get the accurate, science-based information they need. The medications approved by the Office of Drug Safety, one part of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, prolong countless lives and in other cases cause harmful side effects. Assessing how this scientific process was impacted by Reagan's policies is of utmost importance for future American policy. Was the prescription drug approval process undermined? Did the FDA fall into disarray in the 1980s, due to budget tightening, personnel downsizing, program atrophy and scandal? Did the FDA promote sales over science, serving as a de facto subsidiary of the very industry it was supposed to oversee? Answers to these questions will serve both Reagan historians and medical historians. The significance of this task and my project is underscored by the fact that this is centennial year of the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act, which established federal authority and jurisdiction to regulate and control most aspects of the drug industry. Now is the time to create awareness of this neglected component of the Reagan historiography and to incorporate aspects of medical history into that historiography.

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

The establishment of a computerised database for the artefacts, documents, photographs and memorabilia belonging to the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre. 26 Apr 2006

We wish to set up a computerised inventory/database of the collection of medical artefacts, documents, photographs and memorabilia belonging to the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre. Currently some 3000 artefacts are recorded in a hard-back Museum Documentation Association (MDA) accession register. Descriptions, locations, images and accession numbers would be transcribed to the database using the ADLIB Museum Lite software package. Our target audiences are : a) members of the general public with an interest in either local medical history or medical history in general. b) patients and relatives. c) members of the hospital staff. d) professional groups in training within the hospital (currently all trainee nurses and postgraduate trainees from the departments of anaesthesia and surgery). e) professional medical groups from outside the hospital ( eg recent visits from The British Society for the History of Medicine and the Historical Medical Equipment Society). f) local history societies and other local societies or organisations (eg Probus). g) schoolchildren, in conjunction with Reading Museum Loan Boxes scheme (we have 2 boxes in circulation and are currently organising a third). h) anyone wishing to undertake academic research in the history of medicine. In the past we have concentrated on the educational aspects of the collection and have tried to inspire an interest in medical history. The completed database would also allow us to readily retrieve information for anyone with specific research interests. In addition it would greatly assist us in monitoring the whereabouts of items and in the planning of tutorials, displays and exhibitions.

Amount: £2,669
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Royal Berkshire Hospital

ACDIS/HIV additional funds for 2005-2007. 28 Mar 2006

Demographic surveillance systems have been set up in a number of research field sites in the developing world. They have grown out of large population-based descriptive or intervention studies that require enumeration of populations in areas, where vital registration systems are inadequate or non-existent. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a DSS has been set up 'ab initio' to integrate and support an extensive and pre-defined programme of demographic, epidemiological biomedical and social science research. In the Hlabisa district a dominant focus will be on efforts to understand and intervene in the HIV epidemic. In order to fulfil this ambitious brief the DSS has been customized, in its two years of development, to capture and model complex social realities in rural South Africa, including high levels of population mobility. In this proposal an inventory of existing studies and new research ideas is presented. A framework is provided that defines the relationship of the DSS to other studies while providing a clear basis for future management responsibilities and budgeting of all studies in the Africa Centre.

Amount: £2,118
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Kwazulu Natal