- Total grants
- Total funders
- Total recipients
- Earliest award date
- 17 Oct 2005
- Latest award date
- 30 Sep 2018
- Total GBP grants
- Total GBP awarded
- Largest GBP award
- Smallest GBP award
- Total Non-GBP grants
Sodium channels are responsible for mediating ion permeability in nerve and cardiac cells; different isoforms are responsible for either producing a voltage potential essential to neurotransmission or creating the initial upstroke of the action potential seen in electrocardiograms. A number of neurological and cardiovascular diseases involving sodium channel mutations have been identified, and these channels are good potential targets for rational drug design. In preliminary work we have isolated, purified, and structurally- and functionally- characterised sodium channels from electric eels, which have a high sequence identity with the human sodium channels, and which can be prepared in sufficient quantities for 2D crystallisations. Furthermore we have developed a circular dichroism spectroscopic assay that enables us to distinguish between the various functional states, inactivated, open, closed, etc., of the channels. This project will use 2D crystallography and electron microscopy to provide 3D structural information on this pharmacologically-important membrane protein. The use of drugs and toxins to stabilise, or 'trap', channel molecules in conformations associated with specific functional states (as monitored by Cd spectroscopy) should provide information that improves the homogeneity of the population, thereby improving the crystal order, and should aid in the understanding of the structural basis of these different states.
Kinesin motor proteins in malaria. 10 Jul 2008
Kinesins are microtubule-based, ATP-dependent molecular motors that have many essential roles in eukaryotes including in cell division, cell motility and intracellular transport. Elimination of kinesin function often proves fatal because essential cell processes are compromised. The malaria genome encodes ten putative kinesin motors, about which little is known, and the proposed research will aim to characterise them biochemically, structurally and within the parasite. Key goals: Assessment of kinesin expression in parasites by RT-PCR Clone and express Plasmodium kinesins, particularly their motor domains which contain microtubule and ATP-binding sites. Begin with four kinesins with homologues in humans. Biochemical characterisation of microtubule-stimulated ATPase activity, providing insight into likely functions Visualisation of the kinesin motor-microtubule interaction by cryo-electron microscopy and 3D reconstruction Generate pseudo-atomic models of the motor-microt ubule interaction using homology models and dock these into the EM-derived molecular envelope Expression of GFP-tagged motors in vivo to determine their location and assess their possible roles in vivo Use of electron tomography to visualise the morphology of parasite microtubules and correlate this with kinesin localisation Combine in vitro and in vivo assays to set up drug screens to look for kinesin-specific inhibitors
In Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: The Deployment and Development of Psychoanalysis in the Allied Struggle against Germany. 12 Jun 2008
'In Pursuit of the Nazi Mind' demonstrates how models of the unconscious and cognate clinical techniques contributed to and were reshaped by the Allied struggle against the Third Reich. Important studies of Nazi psychology, centred on the concept of the superego, were mobilised in military intelligence, post-war planning and policy recommendations. My goal is to contextualise and critically assess medico-psychiatric and psychoanalytical endeavours to grasp the irrational wellsprings of N azism, and to show their significance more widely for the history of psychology in western culture. A panoramic survey will cover the emergence of new Freudian approaches to politics in the 1920s, their apotheosis in the 1940s and disintegration in and beyond the 1960s. Five accompanying core cases, for which extensive documentation exists, are designed to illustrate the varied roles and influences of applied psychoanalysis around the war: 1. Testimony of Hess s doctors, in Britain 1941-45, an d at Nuremberg. 2. Studies of Hitler, commissioned by the US Office of Strategic Services in 1941. 3. Experiments conducted upon Nazi sympathisers through the Allied Control Commission, 1945-6. 4. Psychoanalytic materials furnished to the UNESCO project, Tensions Affecting International Understanding' , 1947-51. 5. Clinical evaluations of imprisoned Nazi murderers psychic lives, 1945-1970.
Seed funding is sought for the development work that will lead to a joint Investigator Award Application by Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck) and Laura Salisbury (Exeter) that investigates waiting time in relation to mental health, clinical contact time, and care. The project will bring together perspectives from medical humanities, medical history, psychosocial studies, literary studies, and new studies of temporality, to think critically about waiting times in mental healthcare provision, the time-spa ce of the GP encounter, and practices of care for the very elderly. Using an emerging scholarship that reformulates the speed and mobility commonly associated with modernity by emphasizing slowness and stilled, impeded or suspended time, the project investigates contemporary experiences of waiting in clinical and care encounters in what are felt to be increasingly frenetic times. Seed funding will enable a) a scoping study to be completed on the history of managing waiting in the NHS, from 1948- present day; b) the development of the conceptual resources on temporality that will underpin the Investigator Award Application through teaching buy-out, meetings, networking and conference attendance by the two co-investigators; c) the development of partnerships with those who will have a stake in the research outputs of project.
Following World AIDS Day 2015 we propose a public lecture and one-day symposium with two interdisciplinary panels; the first provides perspectives from experts in the arenas of policy, social psychology, anthropology and the history of medicine. The second focuses on memorialization and representation, featuring South African photojournalists and women's community art activists whose work will be shown in Birkbeck's Peltz Gallery. The event concludes in the evening, with a public keynote lec ture by Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, followed by a reception at the Peltz Gallery. The next day delegates will participate in a walkabout and discussion with participating artists and the curator Professor Annie E. Coombes in the Peltz exhibition, Positive Living: Art and AIDS in South Africa which features work from photo journalists, fine artists, youth print workshop initiatives (to promote safe sex) and community activists engaged today and during the height of AIDS denialism. Our hope is that this symposium will stimulate a more integrated approach to the challenges of HIV and act as an incentive to health professionals and policy makers to recognize the value of working collaboratively with artist-activists and historians of the pandemic.
Conference 'Homecomings: Experiences and narratives of Second World War resistance veterans and the construction of a healthy Europe'. 31 Mar 2015
This conference will be held at Birkbeck on April 24 and 25 2015. It aims to explore one of the most important and lasting legacies of the Second World War - that of anti-fascist resistance, and views the experiences and activities of resistance veterans as essential for understanding how Europe dealt with the massive medical and public health challenges in the aftermath of the Second World War. It demonstrates that the history of resistance veterans stands at the core of the postwar medical his tory of Europe, and that veterans' experiences offer unique insights into the history of psychological trauma, public health institutions and disability. The conference focuses on medical and health aspects of day-to-day lives, concerns and narratives of disabled and traumatized anti-fascist resistance soldiers in the immediate aftermath of the war. It explores the figure of the war veteran in a transnational European context, from medical, psychiatric, and social perspectives, in order to conve y the complexity of soldiers' everyday experiences and complaints on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It also interrogates veterans' relationships and growing dissatisfaction with their respective states' health policies, showing how veterans' narratives and activities shaped the transformation of post-war healthcare systems in Europe.
Hidden Persuaders? Brainwashing, Culture, Clinical Knowledge and the Cold War Human Sciences c. 1950-1990. 27 Jan 2014
This research offers original, wide-ranging analyses of practices and fears of brainwashing. Setting out from records of Korean War POWs, it investigates the storms of controversy and myth around clinical involvement in so-called mind control across and beyond the Cold War. This history deserves close scrutiny; it still resonates in contemporary culture, influencing public understanding of how captive human subjects may be pacified, re-educated and indoctrinated. I will assemble a team to ex plore the history, ethics and scope of brainwashing, and contextualise psychiatric reports, military archives, film and oral testimony. This is a panoramic, comparative investigation of theories and techniques of psychological warfare and behavioural experimentation, spanning political thought, human sciences, culture and counter-insurgency strategies. It asks how the reputation of the psychological professions was affected, long-term, by collusions (real and imagined) with military intellige nce and private corporations. Given the rich historiography of the post-war human sciences and recent declassification of key archives, this is the ideal time to study these phenomena, and a last opportunity to record surviving psychiatrists (such as Robert Jay Lifton) who shaped debates in this field. Through ambitious books, associated doctoral and post-doctoral projects, eye-catching events, film, exhibition and Internet, this path-breaking initiative brings this history (East and Wes t) into dialogue with policy questions regarding detainees' mental health, considering the safeguards required to protect POWs, prisoners of conscience and others from intrusive treatments, covert torture, and more subtle means of hidden persuasion today.
MRes in History 03 Jul 2016
My project explores the pathologisation of homosexuality during the fascist regime in Italy focussing on the ex-Psychiatric Hospital in Collegno, Northern Italy. I have been given access to the Hospital Archives and I will look at files of patients interned between 1923 and the beginning of the Second World War, as I intend to investigate if there were men and women referred for psychiatric treatment because of their sexual orientation. I will also explore the photographic archives of the former hospital to find out if there are any images of these "patients". These might have been used to complement medical studies or document "therapies". Essays and books published by psychiatrists of this well-established institution might indicate how their practices were supported by theoretical work and vice-versa. As Collegno's specialists were highly regarded at the time, their approaches were influential within Italian psychiatric sciences, but I will also concentrate on psychiatry theory of the 1920s and 1930s to correctly contextualise their work. Finally, I will explore the children's unit archives as they might contain proof that boys and girls were hospitalised if they showed "homosexual tendencies".
The reception and application of degeneration theory and the concept of atavism in Scandinavian racial sciences, literature, cultural debate, and satire, 1880-1922 10 May 2016
The objective of my doctoral thesis will be to examine how degeneration theory, as both a scientific and cultural concept, was received and disseminated into Scandinavian racial biology and anthropology, literature, cultural debate, and satire. I will contend that degeneration theory may be viewed as a prism reflecting the relationship between nineteenth- and early twentieth-century science and culture: culture popularising science through periodicals, satire, and literature, and science examining and diagnosing culture. Furthermore, this project aims to broaden the geographical and cultural scope of degeneration studies by delineating the unique character of Scandinavian degeneration theory, strongly emphasising heredity over environment as the main cause of degeneration. I will also juxtapose the notion of late nineteenth-century British, French, German, and Italian degenerationist thought as closed systems of knowledge with a wider, more inclusive network of mutual contributions between European scientists, critics and authors. I will be focusing on the time period between 1880 and 1922, as the spectre of degeneration began to emerge in Scandinavian debate in the 1880s, and the study will conclude with the founding of the Swedish National Institute for Eugenics in 1922, which positioned Scandinavia at the forefront of European research into the mechanisms of racial heredity.
UnLoCKE: Understanding Learning of Counterintuitive Concepts through Knowledge Interference Control in Science and Mathematics Education 01 Oct 2014
"The forty years' crisis: Refugees in Europe 1919-1959" to be held at Birkbeck College on 14-16 September 2010 14 Jun 2010
This conference takes stock of the 'short' twentieth century of European refugees and refugee policy which the United Nations' first World Refugee Year in 1959 supposedly brought to a close. It offers a uniquely comprehensive perspective on European refugees and responses to refugee crises within their international and global context. The conference aims to bring together the latest research on the management of refugees in twentieth-century Europe, with particular reference to the work conducted by the United Nations, its precursor organisations and other international bodies. The conference charts the formation of international solutions to tackle refugee problems, and considers resulting legislation and international conventions. In the European context these refugee crises were always conceived of as a temporary problem with various piecemeal, largely technical and ad hoc solutions. The conference re-assesses the development of national and increasingly international responses to the problem of refugees- medical, political, social and economic - and examines the parameters, consequences and implications of policies, from the First World War until 1959/1960. It is a particular concern of the conference to identify medical responses to refugee crises and to examine them within their wider historical context. The recurring threat of mass displacement and refugee crises provided major incentives to international collaboration on public health matters, but also shaped national responsibilities for public health. By appraising the impact of population upheavals and international responses it will revise and enhance our understanding of current approaches to migration and asylum.
Civil Society, Activism and the De-Criminalization of HIV Transmission and Exposure in Scandinavia. 13 Feb 2012
Visualising Illness and Pain. 27 May 2014
Drawing on the varied perspectives of artists, historians, art therapists, curators, clinicians and social scientists, the proposed workshop will explore a series of questions relating to the visual representation of illness. Focusing specifically on contemporary works made in response to first-person encounters with illness, the workshop will consider what issues are at stake in reading these artefacts as subjective expressions of pain and suffering. The event will comprise two parts. The fi rst, taking place on a Friday afternoon and evening, will be open to the public, and will include a keynote address by Joanna Bourke and a panel discussion between artist Deborah Padfield, clinician Joanna Zakrzewska and social psychologist Alan Radley. The second, taking place the following day, will take the form of a series of panel discussions involving practitioners from different disciplines, with the aim of addressing a number of clearly defined research questions. We hope that the w orkshop will ultimately function not just as a one-off event, but also as a scoping exercise for a larger collaborative project. One of its likely outcomes will be the planning of an exhibition (with accompanying catalogue) that will be displayed both online and in the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck.
This project represents a major departure in scholarship on the history of pain, providing new insights into the diverse understanding of pain from the eighteenth century to the 1960s. For the first time, we will systematically gather and analyse data from a wide range of primary sources. The result will be a substantial new body of research that will allow us to gain a deep and far reaching understanding of how pain has been experienced and expressed by people whose suffering has frequently bee n overlooked. The project will also encourage methodological innovation, employing robust qualitative data management systems alongside highly-sophisticated techniques of discourse analysis, emotionology, and aesthesiology. By making our findings available to other scholars, the reach of this project will extend far beyond the project s life span of five years. It will enable us to develop future collaborative research initiatives. Through three major monographs, two edited collections, a seri es of articles in refereed journals, one small targeted exhibition and one major one, interdisciplinary workshops and an international conference, and a website, our findings will not only generate new knowledge of pain within a long historical context but will also stimulate new scholarship in the field.
This project looks at fatigue and work in Britain from 1914 to 1945. It examines how political and economic concerns influenced the production of medical knowledge of fatigue, and how concepts of fatigue in turn penetrated ways of thinking about society. In contrast to a postwar period in which fatigue has increasingly been seen as a matter of individual responsibility or pathology, from the First World War and through the interwar period, I argue, workers' fatigue was an issue of major publi c significance. The working body became a symbolic focus for discourses over national efficiency, productivity and the welfare of the population. The fatigued working body became a point around which anxieties over the state of the nation were organised, and a key locus for the production of medical knowledge. The key goals are: to establish the contexts in which fatigue emerged as an issue of public significance and an object of medical and political inquiry; to examine the physiological and psychological models of fatigue developed in this period; to determine how the fatigue of workers was contested politically; to determine the effect of World War Two on the medical conceptualisation and social significance of fatigue.
This two-day event titled ‘Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’ brings together scholars from around the world working in the humanities, social sciences and medicine to share new research on this pressing and topical social issue that has been seriously under-researched by historians. Uniquely, we will take a multi-disciplinary approach to address different types of institution - hospitals, psychiatric facilities, asylums, care homes and children's homes - at different periods of history from the mid eighteenth century to the present day. Our ultimate aim is to forge a crucible of rigorous cutting-edge scholarship that will not only lead to a far deeper understanding of how systemic abuse is brought about and perpetuated in institutions, but which will have the potential to inform public policy and official inquiries. More specifically, we will: Explore continuities and change over time and within different cultural and institutional contexts Create an interdisciplinary network from which other events and publications can be launched Edit a special journal issue or a volume of essays based on selected conference papers (talks are already underway with interested publishers) Launch an ongoing programme of workshops and public events.