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Results

LifeLines 20 Apr 2016

This is the expansion of a project supporting volunteers aged 50 plus to run activities for vulnerable older people to improve health and well-being. These have previously included art classes, creative writing, yoga and computer club. The group will expand across the city, recruiting more volunteers, supporting more than 800 new people and establishing a Men’s Network to encourage older men to socialise regularly. It will also extend its HealthLink scheme to help older people get to medical appointments.

Kilkeel RBL - Saving Our Community Venue 22 Oct 2015

The group is a community and voluntary based organisation providing a range of services and activities to the local community. They received a grant of £10,000 to make improvements to their venue so that it can be used for more classes and activities.

Grant to Royal British Legion Tipton Branch 19 May 2016

Remembering Tipton's World War One Heroes

Grant awarded to The Royal British Legion (Forest Hall) Branch And Club (Tyne & Wear) 20 Nov 1998

Towards improving access and facilities for disabled people at the Forest Hall Ex-Servicemen's Institute.

Grant awarded to Community Service Volunteers (Training and Enterprise NE) (Tyne & Wear) 13 Jul 2004

To provide daycare services to older people living in high rise flats in Newcastle.

Core costs 18 Jan 2019

To support the work of the charity r.

Amount: £1,000
Funder: County Durham Community Foundation
Recipient: Royal British Legion

RBL Portstewart Branching Out 26 Apr 2018

The group, based in Portstewart, are using a grant of £6,500 to replace their hall’s heating system and improve its insulation, making it more usable for community events.

Grant to Royal British Legion, Greenhithe & Swanscombe 23 May 2014

The impact of WW1 on Dartford and its residents

Grant to Royal British Legion, Downs Branch 15 Jul 2014

First Day Commemoration of World War I

Grant to Royal British Legion 19 Sep 2013

Events to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War in 2014

Grant to Royal British Legion Leiston Branch 13 Feb 2014

Commemorating Leiston in the Great War

Towards a unifying mechanistic picture of glycation-induced crosslinking of protein 06 Sep 2018

Non-enzymatic glycation of protein leads to ternary crosslinks involving reducing sugars, lysine and arginine residues (e.g. glucosepane, pentosidine, and DOGDIC), which alter the physical properties of long-lived fibrous tissue and are strongly correlated with the severity of diabetes in individuals. However, it remains unclear whether there is a causal link between these crosslinks and microvascular complications of diabetes. Furthermore, the mechanism by which initial adducts between glucose and lysine (Amadori products) are transformed into highly reactive intermediates that lead to crosslinking is poorly understood. With experiments employing 2H and 13C-labelled glucose, novel synthetic reagents, HPLC/MS analysis and DFT computation, we intend to describe, in great molecular detail, the origin of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) derived from lysine, arginine and glucose. In particular, we will test the hypothesis that a hitherto unexplored through-space 1,5-hydrogen shift and the catalytic role of protein environment is pivotal in determining the fate of the Amadori product. The results will form the basis of a larger collaborative programme that will predict sites on fibrous tissue where crosslinks are likely to form, and develop well-defined protein platforms for both exploring RAGE/lectin activation and identifying antibodies and small molecules as biological probes and therapeutic agents for diabetes.

Amount: £50,193
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Identifying Interventions to Prevent and Manage Chronic Kidney Disease 18 May 2016

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects almost 500million people worldwide is increasingly prevalent, associated with morbidity and mortality, and interventions (dialysis or transplant) are expensive and unavailable in some regions. Developing programs to reduce CKD burden requires a better understanding of global CKD epidemiology and risk factors to optimally implement interventions. First, I will explore methodological issues in clinical trials and gain essential experience in large streamlined trials by working with global leaders in nephrology (Dr Walsh & Prof Baigent). This work will include the ACHIEVE trial – a 2x2 factorial trial testing if spironolactone/placebo and Theranova dialyzer/usual high flux dialyzer reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in haemodialysis patients. Second I will further expand my skillset in clinical trials by leading a funded Phase II clinical trial testing if a dietician delivered, behavioural intervention to reduce dietary sodium intake (to a target of

Amount: £202,149
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Functional characterisation of excitatory neurons 27 Apr 2017

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex, neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by deficits in social and communication skills, language delay and repetitive or stereotypical behaviour. A variety of copy number variations have been identified that play a role in ASD, including the Neurexin1 gene (NRXN1) which encodes a family of presynaptic cell adhesion transmembrane proteins, vital for neurotransmission and synapse differentiation. It is widely accepted that neurexin and mutations disturb the balance between excitatory (alpha- and beta-nrxn) and inhibitory (mainly alpha-isoform) synaptic activity that is thought to be critical in the pathology in ASD. The seminal discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) has revolutionised biological research and medicine. The ability to differentiate these IPSCs into neural cells offers a tremendous opportunity to study disease modelling associated with impaired neuronal cell biology. In this study we will characterise the functional firing properties of IPSc derived glutaminergic neurons differentiated from normal controls and patients carrying a NRXN1 mutation. Functional properties will be assessed by patch clamp examining voltage gated sodium and potassium channels and action potential firing properties under current clamp conditions. This work will be essential to aiding our understanding of ASD.

Biomaterial-enhancement of an ex vivo model of Parkinson’s disease 27 Apr 2017

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disorder of the aged and efforts at finding a cure have so far failed. In order to develop new therapies that halt or reverse the decline in brain function that occurs, researchers must find ways to better model the disorder in the lab. One approach makes use of organotypic rat brain slice cultures that retain many of the 3D features and properties of brains in vivo, but are easily manipulated in vitro. However, cultured slices often do not survive well and neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), the main brain region implicated in PD pathology, are particularly vulnerable to culture conditions. The key aim of the proposed project is therefore to test the viability-enhancing properties of medium supplements, synthetic (poly(dimethylsilane), poly(glycolic acid), poly(lactic acid) and poly(vinyl chloride), poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and natural (collagen, hyaluronic acid, laminin, fibronection, fibrin, gelatin, chitosan, other brain extracellular matrix proteins) polymers. Cultured tissue viability will be monitored using LDH, MTT, live-dead assays, as well as immunohistochemical detection of the dopamine neuron marker tyrosine hydroxylase. The project will be carried out in the FitzGerald lab, within the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway.

Effect of Cholinergic Neurotransmission Challenge on Emotion-Related Attention in Bipolar Disorder 27 Apr 2017

A low dose of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine will be used to challenge the cholinergic system while performing a functional MRI task of emotion inhibition in psychiatrically healthy participants and euthymic subjects with bipolar disorder. Prior to and immediately following the infusion of physostigmine, subjects will perform behavioural tasks of attention as well as rate their mood using the profile of mood states (POMS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) rating scales. The proposed project will assess an effect of cholinergic system challenge on mood and cognition and will compare effects between control and bipolar groups as well as across the cholinergic muscarinic type-2 receptor genotype (CHRM2 rs324650). We hypothesize that 1) the dose involved will not demonstrate measurable effects on mood, 2) will have detectable effects on performance of the task of emotion inhibition, and 3) the latter effect will be more pronounced in those of the genotype (TT) associated with reduced autoreceptor (M2) concentrations (the brakes on cholinergic neurotransmission). The findings of the project will feed into a larger analysis of the activation patterns associated with attention and performance of the task of emotion inhibition and their changes following challenge of the cholinergic system.

Family Factors and Psychosis 27 Apr 2017

My research will focus on individuals that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or schizo-affective disorder. The hypothesis which I will test in this research is that poorly functioning families, alongside families with high expressed emotion, are a prognostic factor in the course of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder and are linked with the development of psychotic episodes as a symptom of these disorders. I aim to investigate the correlation of the severity of the illness with the level of dysfunction within the family and establish what specific changes can be made in the family system to serve as protective factors and hence improve patient outcomes. I also hope to identify which family styles are protective to patients' mental health and are associated with the best patient outcomes and how the family perspective on mental health impacts on the health and recovery of patients. I will ask patients and families to fill in suitable questionnaires and I will analyse the data collected to come to evidence based conclusions.I will complete the project by undertaking a cohort study with baseline data collection of patients and family members.

Vitamin D in Irish Children with Type 1 Diabetes : A Cross-sectional Study 27 Apr 2017

Vitamin D can be found in the form of cholecalciferol1 (vitamin D3) or ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) which can be obtained from food or dietary supplements. Recent studies revealed that vitamin D plays an important role in the prevention of various chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases2, cancers such as colorectal and prostate cancers and diabetes mellitus in children3. Low vitamin D levels in children are a widespread problem across the world. The prevalence reported in healthy European children varies widely between 8% and 95%4. Vitamin D deficiencies can be a result of several factors such as inadequate exposure to the sun and disorders that hampers vitamin D absorption to name a few. Vitamin D deficiencies has also been associated with risks of cancer, increased risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women and an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents5. Hence, the aim of this study is to report the vitamin D levels of a cohort of Irish children with Type 1 Diabetes attending a clinic in the west of Ireland, to establish the frequency of low vitamin D levels in that cohort (insufficiency and deficiency) and to compare them to recent study reports from other countries worldwide.

Investigation of the Signalling Pathways Underpinning the Enhanced Immunosuppressive Phenotype of Tumour Associated Mesenchymal Stromal Cells 27 Apr 2017

The aim of this project is to understand how stromal cells underlying the colonic crypts interact with the epithelial tumour cells, protecting them from immune mediated destruction. The research objective will be to identify if activation of transcription factors, such as NF-kappa-B and STAT are necessary for the heightened immunosuppressive phenotype observed in tumour conditioned stromal cells. Research will be carried out using syngenic models of colon cancer in vitro, including Balb/c metastatic colon cancer cells, Balb/c mesenchymal stromal cells and Balb/c CD3+T cells. The research, carried out over the course of an 8 week project will aim to; 1. Confirm the potentiated immunosuppressive ability of tumour conditioned stromal cells 2. Investigate if the enhanced immunosuppressive effect is associated with activation of NFkappaB (p65 phosphorylation) and STAT (STAT3 phosphorylation) using western blotting. The desired outcome of this research project, is to understand the signalling pathways that are activated in tumour associated stromal cells that influence their heightened immunosuppressive potential. As part of Dr Ryan's larger research group, ultimately it is envisaged that this research will identify ways in which these interactions can be targeted and blocked, in order to enhance the immune system's effect on the tumour.