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Results

Shedding light on platinum chemotherapy: a new mechanistic approach 08 Nov 2017

Despite their widespread clinical use in cancer treatment, platinum(II) complexes, including cisplatin, present critical issues such as severe side effects and onset of resistance. Furthermore, their mechanism of action is not fully understood and no reliable patient stratification tool exists. Novel prodrugs based on photoactivatable platinum(IV) complexes are reduced to cytotoxic platinum(II) species upon irradiation with visible light, providing spatial control of their cytotoxicity. Photoactivated complexes are active in cisplatin-resistant cell lines suggesting a different mechanism of action. I will investigate the mechanism of action of platinum-based anticancer drugs on- and off-target, with focus on photoactivatable complexes and clinically established drugs. The cellular targets will be identified by functional genetics experiments (RNAi/CRISPR-Cas9 screening) and the fate of platinum in vivo will be evaluated by SPECT imaging with platinum-195m labelled complexes in mouse xenograft cancer models (Goal 1). The positron-emitting isotope copper-64 will also be used to evaluate copper-transporter Ctr1 as a biomarker to predict response to platinum-based chemotherapy (Goal 2). Based on these findings, I will modify photoactivatable platinum(IV) complexes (i) to reduce their off-target toxicity by attachment to antibodies targeting specific cancer-cells receptors and (ii) to enhance cytotoxic effect upon photoactivation, by attachment to light-harvesting chromophores (Goal 3).

Amount: £250,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Open Access Award 2017/18 30 Sep 2018

Not available

Amount: £42,025
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

The Cultural History of the NHS. 22 Jul 2014

This project will define and interrogate the cultural history of the British National Health Service. Far more than just the principal provider of clinical, hospital and public health services, the NHS has become a national symbol, a cultural icon and a focus of popular and political belief, enthusiasm, criticism and even anger. Yet while the NHS has been the subject of frequent political and policy histories, its place at the heart of British culture and identity remains unexamined. Weaving tog ether four major investigative strands, we will explore the NHS across its 70 year lifecycle from 1948 to 2018. Our research will reconstruct popular attitudes towards and understandings of the NHS from its early years to the present day; examine cultural representations of the NHS in all their forms; scrutinise the self-representation strategies of the NHS itself; and finally, identify the roles played by the NHS as a vehicle to implement social policies and convey cultural norms of behaviour a nd belief. A wide-ranging programme of public history and community engagement, nucleated around the 2018 seventieth anniversary of the NHS, will serve both as a principal research tool and a significant outcome of this project. This study will not only break new ground in the history of medicine, but will develop innovative strategies of community engagement, embodied in a highly interactive 'People's History of the NHS' and a methodological 'toolkit' empowering communities to explore local an d regional histories and meanings of the NHS (and its key precursor medical institutions).

Amount: £578,898
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

The Cultural History of the NHS. 22 Jul 2014

This project will define and interrogate the cultural history of the British National Health Service. Far more than just the principal provider of clinical, hospital and public health services, the NHS has become a national symbol, a cultural icon and a focus of popular and political belief, enthusiasm, criticism and even anger. Yet while the NHS has been the subject of frequent political and policy histories, its place at the heart of British culture and identity remains unexamined. Weaving tog ether four major investigative strands, we will explore the NHS across its 70 year lifecycle from 1948 to 2018. Our research will reconstruct popular attitudes towards and understandings of the NHS from its early years to the present day; examine cultural representations of the NHS in all their forms; scrutinise the self-representation strategies of the NHS itself; and finally, identify the roles played by the NHS as a vehicle to implement social policies and convey cultural norms of behaviour a nd belief. A wide-ranging programme of public history and community engagement, nucleated around the 2018 seventieth anniversary of the NHS, will serve both as a principal research tool and a significant outcome of this project. This study will not only break new ground in the history of medicine, but will develop innovative strategies of community engagement, embodied in a highly interactive 'People's History of the NHS' and a methodological 'toolkit' empowering communities to explore local an d regional histories and meanings of the NHS (and its key precursor medical institutions).

Amount: £511,180
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Understanding cellular organisation: from archaea to eukaryotes 05 Jul 2016

We know surprisingly little about the basic logic, topology or origins of eukaryotic cell architecture even though such an understanding is fundamental to most biomedical research. Until recently, the proteins responsible for shaping eukaryotic cells (including Actin/Tubulin/coatamers/ESCRTIII) were thought to be unique to eukaryotes. This changed with the discovery of close homologues in TACK/Loki-family archaea. Despite the important part played by these proteins during eukaryogenesis, we know little about their functions in the context of archaea. To determine how these cytoskeletal systems with origins in archaea contributed to the emergence of internal compartments that define eukaryotes, our team will use metagenomic sampling and phylogenomics to trace their evolutionary history, and a combination of approaches, including live super-resolution microscopy and electron tomography to carry out a comparative analysis of their ultrastructure, dynamics and function in both archaea and eukaryotes. Ultimately, we expect this evolutionary cell biological analysis to make a start towards an understanding of archaeal cell biology, to reveal the likely path of eukaryogenesis, and to reveal underlying principles of eukaryotic cell biology that so far have eluded us. In doing so, we expect this fundamental research to have a signficant impact in the future on human health and disease.

Amount: £296,745
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Investigation of an essential enzyme involved in sugar processing in Mycobacterium tuberculosis 11 Feb 2016

There is currently a lack of understanding of the role of the sugar transport systems in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The aim of the project is to elucidate the role of these sugar transporters in Mtb by undertaking an interdisciplinary state-of-the-art biochemical, chemical and genetic approach. In this project proteins involved in the uptake of sugars will be recombinantly expressed with the goal of biochemically characterizing the specific substrates that bind and determining the crystal struc ture of these proteins in complex with their physiological ligands, with a view to developing inhibitors of these systems. In parallel a series of mutants of genes involved in sugar uptake will be generated in order to assess the functional role of the transporters and the effects of these mutations determined in vitro by tracking the accumulation of sugars and their incorporation into the cell wall of mycobacteria and in vivo in mice to understand their role in virulence and infection. The mai n goals are: 1) Biochemical characterization and structural determination of the enzymes involved in sugar uptake. 2) Assign physiological functions to genes involve in sugar transport by generating null and conditional mutants in mycobacteria.

Amount: £94,809
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Open Access Block Grant 2016/17 30 Sep 2016

Not available

Amount: £32,484
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Alchemy, Medicine, and Pharmacology in Medieval Islam: Rāzī's Twelve Books 23 Jul 2018

Razi (d. ca.925) was one of the greatest physicians of the classical Islamic world and one of its greatest alchemists. His encyclopaedic introduction to alchemy, The Twelve Books, had an enduring influence on medicine and pharmacology, but the book itself fell out of favour on account of Razi’s reputation as an heretical freethinker. Thus, The Twelve Books has long been presumed lost and its impact underestimated. Through recent advances in manuscript cataloguing, however, its chapters can now be located dispersed through archives across the globe. Previous studies have explored the links that have existed between medical and alchemical traditions since the latter’s origin in Greco-Roman antiquity and have suggested ways that mediaeval Islamic alchemist-physicians may have made alchemical contributions to medicine. Nonetheless, clear proof that medicine benefitted directly from Greco-Arabic alchemy has remained elusive. It has even been doubted whether Razi's own alchemical and medical thinking were integrated. By re-assembling and editing the fragments of The Twelve Books for the first time, this project will prove that they were. An English translation and detailed commentary will demonstrate of the contribution of Greco-Arabic alchemy to the development of medicine in both the Islamic world and Europe.

Amount: £190,519
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

'The Royal Albert’: Childhood Idiocy and the Institutionalisation of Children’s Care in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. 08 May 2018

This PhD will investigate the social and medical history of children’s care in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, using the Royal Albert Institution as a case study. By the turn of the nineteenth-century, this establishment was one of the largest institutions in the UK devoted to the care and treatment of children deemed ‘idiots’ and ‘imbeciles’. The PhD intends to document the evolution of the Royal Albert from its inception in 1864 to 1913, providing a broad chronological overview of its development and contribution to wider debates about childhood and disability in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Historical studies of childhood have undergone something of a renaissance in the late twentieth-century, forging new understandings of the ways in which childhood as a social condition and temporal state were shaped in different contexts. The PhD intends to extend these exciting developments and provide an innovative contribution to contemporary advancements in disability studies which seek to 'dislocate' conventional views of the disabled and the marginalised. It will develop our understanding of how children with disabilities and mental disorders intersected with emerging healthcare systems, and refine our view of the interplay between the state, families and medical professionals in managing their care.

Amount: £93,027
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Safeguarding people with mental heath issues or learning disabilities during contact with the police 06 Nov 2017

People with mental health issues account for approximately 20-40% of police time and a substantial proportion of deaths in police custody. However, police forces are still struggling to identify interventions to better safeguard the welfare and lives of the mentally vulnerable. Using four Wellcome Library archives as a starting point, this project will develop a much needed evidence-base for understanding (i) how these health issues have come to dominate police time, (ii) what barriers exist for better police-health partnerships and, (iii) how to overcome them. The literature is patchy and highly dispersed, with even less research on safeguarding people with the closely related issue of learning disabilities. This project will take place at a time when national government, police forces and local health trusts are keen to develop more integrated services but face considerable barriers to making them successful. Therefore, this project is timely and will enhance our understanding about why progress is frustrating slow, improve decision-making, and identify conceptual black-holes for future inquiry. Recommendations will be developed and some will be tested for a subsequent, major grant application to the Wellcome Trust in collaboration with at least two police forces and their health trusts.

Amount: £18,849
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

MA in the History of Medicine 11 Jul 2018

The MA in the History of Medicine aims to introduce students to the advanced study of the history of medicine, and to equip them with the conceptual and practical skills to carry out independent historical research in this field. The students on the MA are encouraged to engage with a range of concepts, and to place developments within medical theory and practice in a broad social and cultural framework. The Term One core module ‘Themes and Methods in Medical History’ is designed to introduce students to some of the main historiographical approaches and debates within the history of medicine from the early modern period to the twenty-first century. The Term Two core module, 'Matters of Life and Death', addresses three sets of topics in the history of medicine (broadly construed) selected by its students from a menu of possible options. Possible topics range across the expertise of teaching and research staff in the Centre for the History of Medicine, and of our Associates in the wider University context. Students actively engage with a wide range of sources available to the historian of medicine (e.g. medical texts, practice records, diaries, case records, public health reports and health propaganda, and visual sources).

Amount: £83,671
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Investigating a Central Role for the newly identified adipokine- C1q/TNF-Related Protein and its proangiogenic properties involved in myocardial protection. 01 Apr 2016

Diabetes and obesity have increased over the last decade, leading to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The underlying cardiovascular pathology varies from defective contractility to inflammation and damage to blood vessels. White adipose tissue (WAT) has been identified as a metabolically active endocrine organ that affects a plethora of body functions by releasing important chemical mediators, termed adipokines. The adipokines have effects that may be beneficial and/or detrimental to cardiovascular physiology, some adipose tissue-derived molecules have been shown to be cardioprotective. However, long term cardiac remodelling remains controversial. Recently, a family of adiponectin-paralogs have been discovered known as C1q/TNF-related proteins (CTRP) their physiological and functional properties are now being investigated. This research proposal is designed to investigate the effect of CTRP on endothelial cell angiogenesis with respect to endothelial angiogenic factors, specifically, MMP-2, MMP-9 and VEGF. Since both AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK-a stress-activated protein kinase), and Akt (signal transduction pathway that promotes survival and growth) signalling has been up regulated on treatment with CTRP in the ischaemic hearts, demonstrating a myocardial protective role. Hence, this project will examine the signalling pathways of CTRP13 in endothelial biology and angiogenesis.

Amount: £2,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000. 30 Apr 2017

Our project investigates health risks, medical interventions and health care in English and Irish prisons between 1850 and 2000. The two systems were interconnected in terms of administrative development and the high number of Irish prisoners in English prisons, yet varied in terms of the size of their respective populations, the impact of religious bodies on reform and in the role of political prisoners in shaping health. The largest research strand explores the high incidence of mental illness amongst prisoners and the impact of the prison system on the mental health of inmates, adults and juveniles, key issues which have preoccupied prison medical services and reformers from the early nineteenth century to the current day. Further strands examine the management of medical care and disease; responses to HIV/AIDS in prisons; the impact of political prisoners on medical regimes and prisoners' rights; the health of women prisoners; and the campaigns of lay and religious reformers in see king to improve facilities. The project interrogates inherent tensions as medical staff grappled to maintain healthy and hygienic practices, while devising regimens to discipline and rehabilitate prisoners in the context of poor conditions, official disinterest and intermittent overcrowding. Our case studies also consider the categories of gender, sexuality, class, age, religion, race, migration and ethnicity and how these influenced medical interventions. Alongside the production of scholarly o utputs, and a wide range of public engagement activities, our project will address current policy debates on prison systems, medical ethics and the management of prisoners' health.

Amount: £88,465
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Growing Well: Dirt, Health and Domestic Horticulture in Britain, 1900-1970. 13 May 2014

My project examines tensions between cultural practices of domestic hygiene and the organic movement's view of healthy soil (i.e. dirt) as fundamental to human health. I will detect subtle changes in a broad range of representations of domestic food growth, purchase and preparation between 1900 and 1970. I will look at whether vegetables were portrayed as dirty, clean, wholesome or perishable, and at who was seen as responsible for their production, purchase or preparation. Paternalist commercia l organisations will be a major focus as these both encouraged domestic horticulture and presented particular images of products as wholesome and/or hygienic. My research will assess the impact of the take up of mains drainage on cultural attitudes to domestic soil husbandry, and to the organic movement, for whom the return of wastes to the soil was central. My thesis will argue that the construction of a notion of hygienic domesticity in part explains the marginalisation of the organic movement and the decline in domestic vegetable cultivation after 1945. My key goals, alongside my thesis, are to produce two articles, for Medical History and Social History of Medicine, and a number of public engagement activities.

Amount: £92,105
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Violence, Mental Health and the British School Child: from theory to practice in an era of war, peace and social change, 1944-1980. 12 May 2015

Focusing on primary and secondary state education in England from the Education Act of 1944 to 1980, the project will examine thought and practice on the relationship between violence and children. This will entail, in the first instance, exploring the connections between theory and practice and the ways in which psychological ideas were mediated by the range of actors who commented on, and were active in debates about, the problem of violence in schools. Secondly, beginning its time-frame with the Second World War, the research offers a valuable opportunity to assess whether the conflict affected thinking about children as well as providing scope for examining the effect of the new tripartite education system and its post-war extension of secondary education to all children. Finally, the research will consider the differences in how a range of professionals thought about this subject, particularly psychologists and teachers, but also social workers, parents, and popular commentators. It will trace differences in practice according to the age of children, gender, class and ethnicity, and explore the effect of ideas about moral decline associated with the permissive society (evident in alarm during the 1950s about the existence of a 'blackboard jungle').

Amount: £83,593
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Soaking up the rays: the reception of light therapeutics in Britain, c.1899-1938. 13 Jun 2012

The goal of this interdisciplinary project is to provide a comprehensive and critical analysis of heliotherapy and phototherapy in British medicine and culture, c.1899-1938. It aims to situate Britain's receptivity to light therapies in relation to other national contexts, including France, Switzerland and the USA, based on my current Fellowship research. The project is unique in its goal to analyse critically the visual and material cultures of British light therapies, to assess the development of light's aesthetic representation as therapeutic, through an art-historical reading of the conditions of the production, technical processes and visual grammar of these cultures. Based on rich visual and textual records in various archives throughout the UK, the goal of this project is to present new, previously unexplored material to an interdisciplinary academic community and to the public, through the publication of two major journal articles, an exhibition on Warwick campus with an accomp anying published catalogue, and a book-length monograph. As such it seeks to make a significant scholarly contribution to the history of medicine, focusing not only on the under-developed topic of the British history of light therapies, but also exploring that history through its visual and material cultures.

Amount: £153,562
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Looking Back: 'Post-Feminist' Histories, 'Post-Feminist' Stories 25 Jun 2012

The history of medicine, second-wave feminism, and women's history were tightly interwoven from the 1960s onwards, and much contemporary scholarship on women's health is shaped by these roots. In recent decades, however, a shift away from women's history to gender history has taken place, as has the emergence of queer theory and masculinity studies. In addition, the term 'post-feminism' has gained currency in the US and UK to diagnose a culture in which feminism, understood as having achieved its aim of equality between the sexes, is seen as no longer relevant. Influential commentators (e.g. Angela McRobbie, The Aftermath of Feminism, 2008, Sage) suggest that to historicise feminism is by definition an act of 'turning one's back' on it. Young women, the argument goes, are required to look back at feminism as something unnecessary, old, and worn - with the 'dismantling of feminist politics' inextricably linked to the contemporaneous 'dismantling of feminism within the academy.' And yet little sustained attention has been paid to the place of feminism within historical analysis itself, in this contested and much altered landscape. What is it to look historically at the feminisms of the postwar period, and their relationship not only to medicine and healthcare themselves, but also to scholarship about these? The objective of this conference is therefore to explore where this diagnosis of 'post-feminism' leaves the writing of history and history of medicine. Historical scholarship on the postwar period must include scrutiny of the feminisms that altered the medical, social and cultural landscape of the last sixty years. And yet if historians of this period include second-wave feminism as a category of historical analysis in itself - as an agent of historical change - then what relationship does this historical activity have to a 'post-feminist' stance that has been diagnosed as a symptom of a contemporary rejection of feminism? How should one look back, historically and critically, at the feminisms of the postwar period? What are their legacies for the methodology, politics, and narratives appropriate to contemporary scholarship in this area?

Amount: £2,050
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Jewish mothers and Jewish babies: Childbearing and childrearing amongst Jewish women in England and Israel c. 1948-1990. 13 Jun 2012

Combining archival research with oral history, this research will contrast the experience of three groups: (i) women from Jewish communities in England, (ii) Jewish women of European (Ashkenazi) heritage in Israel and (iii) Jewish women of North African and West Asian (Mizrahi) heritage in Israel, in order to examine the relationship between scientific and religious discourses in the fields of maternal and child health. The project seeks to question existing historical interpretations which hav e viewed the approbation of medical technologies that intervene in maternity and reproduction as a facet of modernity and secularization. The project will examine the national and cultural differences that led to the divergence in responses towards the medicalization of birth in the two countries and will ask whether the Israeli state imposed one model of maternity care specifically in order to deal with the diversity of its population and establish national unity. It will interrogate how diff erent traditions of collective childcare in England and Israel shaped mothers' experiences, and the flow of ideas on child development between the two nations. Finally it will explore the effects of the different patterns of migration and settlement upon the three groups' experiences of childbearing and childrearing.

Amount: £229,613
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Open access award 2011/12. 20 Sep 2011

Not available

Amount: £30,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick

Biomedical Vacation Scholarship. 20 May 2011

Not available

Amount: £1,440
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Warwick