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The Wellcome Trust

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Girl Untitled 16 Jan 2018

Not available

Amount: £100,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Girl Untitled Limited

Nanomagnetism in cancer treatment: How Iron Oxide Nanoparticles can be used to target therapies to the brain 31 May 2018

Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (IONPS) are a class of nanoparticles used in targeting therapies towards tumour sites. The emerging field of nanotechnology has garnered a lot of interest in tumour therapy especially for brain tumours. IONPS can be coupled with an anticancer drug and with the use of magnetic field (Muthana et al., 2015) can be ‘steered’ towards a desired site within the body. This technology would hope to increase the amount of drug concentration to the tumour site which also means that the amount of drug delivered systemically could be reduced. In this project, the student will learn how to use FEMM (Finite Element Mathematical Modelling) to create magnetic array (a special arrangement of magnets) to optimise the magnetic field strength. This will be tested through a range of in-vitro experiments for its efficacy. Laboratory training will include isolating human peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs), flow cytometry to examine PBMCs cell viability/cell death following the addition varying concentrations of IONPS. Data analysis will involve using a software called FlowJo (used for flow cytometry) and Prism software to carry out statistical analysis. The student will be able to learn how to operate a confocal microscope, carry out immunohistochemistry and processing tissue samples.

Amount: £0
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Sheffield

EpiChange: Quantifying longitudinal changes after epilepsy surgery 04 Dec 2017

Resective surgery for epilepsy, where the part of the brain thought to cause seizures is removed, leads to seizure freedom in around 70% of patients 1 year post-surgery. This falls to around 50% at 5 years post-surgery. It is not fully understood why surgery only works initially for some patients, and why this falls over time post-operatively. Surgery has a substantial immediate impact on brain structure, however, the long-term impact of surgery on brain dynamics is poorly understood. In order to make progress in this area we will perform a retrospective analysis of longitudinally acquired electroencephalographic (EEG) data. EEG recordings were made pre-operatively, and post-operatively in 76 patients for up to 5 years. Using univariate and multivariate data analysis, in conjunction with machine learning, we will learn how brain dynamics change after surgery, and if this change relates to outcome. Crucially, we will attempt to identify which factors in brain dynamics correlate with seizure relapse, even years after surgery. If successful, this will pave the way to a larger project where changes can be reverse engineered to give predictions of post-operative decline using pre-operative data. Long-term, this research has implications for other disorders involving longitudinal decline following structural brain damage.

Amount: £99,978
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Newcastle University

Politics, Philosophy and Economics of Health 30 Jun 2018

This project will examine benefits sharing for the provision of genetic information in the creation of medical treatments for infectious diseases. Networks to enable the international sharing of genetic material are a cornerstone of pandemic preparedness initiatives. Countries with the highest disease burdens share their isolated virus strains, that are utilised by pharmaceutical companies to create patented therapies, typically inaccessible to the citizens of the country from which they originated. The inequity of such a system is clear. In response to Indonesia’s 2006 protest, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP) was developed to facilitate benefits sharing. Uniquely, this framework set a standard of practice for governments, academics, and the private sector, and enabled it to be enforced through the use of civil contractual legislation. However, recent scientific and technological advancements, such as gene sequencing data (GSD), may serve to diminish the framework’s capacity to promote global health justice. Through an evaluation of the effectiveness and equity of current policy, this research attempts to highlight areas of tensions that arise in light of recent innovation. If left unaddressed, these new gaps could impede the goal of fairness that these policies set out to achieve, directly impacting the health of individuals globally.

Amount: £27,140
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Regional migration management: Investigating the possibilities and limitations 18 Jun 2018

In this project, I want to understand whether the ways in which responses to migration and health are limited at a regional level in Southern Africa resonates in the Asia and the Pacific context. Using an analysis of existing literature and original research with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), this research will do three things: Suggest ways in which the newly established Migration Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI) network, as part of the Migration Health Research Portal committed to the development of early career researchers, could strengthen and respond to gaps in the existing literature around the roles that are and can be played by supranational, specifically regional, organisations in around issues of migration and health; Start to develop an understanding of intraregional migration management in Asia and the Pacific, in relation to that of intraregional migration management in Southern Africa; and Reflect on lessons learnt by the IOM, as a non-state organisation, in working with regional structures and actors, to better inform understandings of the working relationships between state and non-state actors across contexts.

Amount: £6,402
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of the Witwatersrand

Improving the engagement of pregnant/early postnatal women in research 16 Jan 2018

It is challenging to engage pregnant/early postnatal women with local maternity research, as pregnancy is a normal physiological process which is relatively short-term, and after which women find regular engagement challenging. As such, two different engagement approaches will be piloted by University-based researchers and Patient and Public Involvement advisers to engage local pregnant/early postnatal women in research development, recruitment and dissemination on a continuing and regular basis. Both approaches will involve local researchers coming to speak to women about the latest maternity research and opportunities for involvement. One approach will attach this activity to an existing class at a children’s centre, whilst the other will be attached to a new yoga and midwifery advice session developed as part of this project. Information provided during these sessions may be useful to women during their pregnancy or after they have had their babies, and the insights of women will help to ensure the research is relevant and has the best chance of success. Women will help researchers translate research findings into a format suitable for a range of audiences. The groups will be evaluated and, if successful, plans will be made to make the group self-sustaining.

Amount: £16,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Birmingham

What does a body on PrEP do? Emergent figurations of Tenofovir-Emtricitabine (non)use in communities of men who have sex with men. 08 May 2018

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is heralded as a game-changer in HIV prevention. Despite clinical evidence that PrEP makes a highly effective HIV-prevention method for at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM), both health agencies and potential users appear resistant to PrEP. This project aims to address how PrEP use is made intelligible and conflicts with the habits of the everyday lives of MSM. I argue bodies on PrEP emerge in multiple counterintuitive forms through PrEP non(use). Though framed as an HIV prevention strategy, bodies on PrEP are apt to emerge in ways that are not conceivable through the lens of HIV-prevention alone. How PrEP is used, who accesses PrEP and which events it privileges speaks to how MSM organise themselves in relation to HIV-prevention. I engage with accounts of MSM PrEP users and non-users to understand how PrEP conflicts with its definition as an HIV technology, how it is (re)interpreted by MSM and how those interpretations change what PrEP can do. Using the ‘listening guide’ narrative analysis strategy, I aim to chart the way PrEP is made similar across disparate events. Findings offer insight into how PrEP changes understandings of sexuality and HIV-transmission, informing HIV and health policy.

Amount: £102,074
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Goldsmiths, University of London

Challenging Archives: Delivering research access, public engagement and the curatorial care of the Franko B Archive 16 Nov 2017

In consultation with the artist, this project will catalogue and conserve his unique, research-rich archive and make it accessible to meet established demands for research and public dissemination. The nature of the documentation, however, presents a set of particularly complex legal, ethical and practical challenges for archival and museological practice. These challenges, reflecting FB’s work, are interdisciplinary, and run parallel to those faced by other medical and LGBT+ collections containing similarly challenging material. As part of the project we will develop guidelines/methodology for curatorial care - and research access to - such material: an advisory committee of curators, academics, lawyers and regional medical humanities network representatives will support us and a case paper will be published at the end to serve as a model for other 'challenging' archives. FB is an artist whose extraordinary body-based performances have often involved blood-letting. His work, which explores the limits of the body, touching on pain, suffering and sexuality in contemporary culture, attracts considerable multi-disciplinary research interest, from art historians, artists and curators to medical humanities historians and anthropologists researching questions of the body as a site of connection between the social, bio-medical, political and affective forces that constitute contemporary life and well-being.

Amount: £136,049
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Bristol

Cinema and Medicine in Early Soviet Russia 30 Nov 2017

Provision for Public Engagement

Amount: £22,042
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Nottingham

Understanding Medical Black Boxes: A Philosophical Analysis of AI Explainability 26 Jul 2018

I plan during the next two years to develop a major, multi-year project into AI explainability in medical contexts. This project will connect existing literatures in philosophy of science, philosophy of medicine and medical ethics, where problems of understanding and explanation have been extensively studied, to the emerging literature on explainability in machine learning and the ethics of AI. The aim will be (i) to enhance our understanding of the problems AI systems raise for explainability in medical contexts and (ii) to collaborate with machine learning researchers to develop technical research apt to address these problems. The existing literatures on explainability and understanding in medicine are vast and have not previously been systematically connected to the ethics of AI. To lay the groundworks for a later grant proposal, this application proposes to conduct three pilot-studies, focusing on potential challenges from AI to: (1) mechanistic understanding, (2) clinical judgement and diagnostic reasoning and (3) informed consent. A part-time research assistant will assist in scoping the relevant literatures. Travel to groups at other universities and a workshop in Cambridge will furthermore help establish contacts with a network of researchers interested in the ethics of AI and AI explainability in medical contexts.

Amount: £86,561
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Cambridge

The Bionic Man 23 Aug 2018

We want to follow Dr Peter Scott Morgan from today for the next two years as he explores new scientific, medical and technological inventions to enable him to live with MND/ALS. He is open to everything that can be scientifically reasoned to be potentially beneficial and to sharing his journey with the public. Television is a great mechanism for driving reach and awareness, but audio and digital are even better at driving engagement and measurable impact. Recent podcast series like S-town and Serial have demonstrated the power of audio for engaging storytelling. We believe this project can successfully integrate all three platforms in a seamless way, to deliver a compelling real-time narrative that supports Wellcome's aims to empower people by helping them understand the value of participation in health research & innovation and help people value and think critically about science, health research, innovation and the role they play in society. Meanwhile the engagement and approach of his medial team, who are taking a 'why not?' approach to new ideas rather than 'why?', is allowing them to research and understand new ways of doing things like the 'triple-ostomy'. Time is of the essence, given his condition

Amount: £73,614
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Sugar Films Limited

Dealing with uncertainty in prenatal genomics: an international comparison study 07 Mar 2018

Technological advances in the field of prenatal testing mean that we can now diagnose more genetic conditions in the fetus than ever before. Whilst these new tests have created exciting opportunities for comprehensive prenatal diagnosis to inform pregnancy management, the ever increasing amount of genetic information that can be obtained raises ethical and counselling challenges associated with uncertain and unknown results. Whilst some prospective parents desire as much information as possible, potential uncertainty may raise anxiety and complicate decision-making. The aim of this research is to conduct a pilot study in preparation for a subsequent international comparative study. The objectives of this pilot study are to 1. convene a workshop of experts to identify the most pressing questions relating to uncertainty in prenatal genomics and how best each might be tackled; 2. develop and pilot the research tools selected to address those questions e.g. case studies, measure of uncertainty, discreet choice experiment; in-depth interviews; 3. Building on the findings from the pilot, formulate a comprehensive research plan and develop a team for a subsequent large-scale international study.

Crafting Qualitative Health Research for the Future 04 Dec 2017

Healthcare environments across the globe are encountering new challenges as they respond to changing populations, global austerity, rapid technological advances, personalised medicine, and demands for more patient involvement. We believe that qualitative health research (QHR) can contribute to our understanding and responses to these challenges, and we have developed a proposal which aims to expand and improve the work of this field. This proposed work will be conducted through our UCL Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) and will include the following activities: 1) a networking and brainstorming event to create a forum for the critical analysis and improvement of QHR; 2) the fourth QHRN symposium, a two-day event with 200 delegates, 20 oral presentations and 40 posters; and 3) our quarterly seminar series, which showcases presentations from leading scholars in QHR. The main outputs generated through these events and activities will include: A position paper detailing recommendations for the improvement of QHR, publication of our proceedings from the symposium in a peer-reviewed journal, workshops and other training opportunities at the QHRN Symposium, the continuation of communication channels for members of the network (website, email listserv, and Twitter account), and dissemination of findings of QHR to patient organisations, practitioners and policymakers.

Amount: £29,198
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

Ask for Evidence: an empowering public-led campaign on health claims 26 Jun 2018

Ask for Evidence is an empowering public-led campaign with online support to encourage people to engage with health and research claims in the media, advertising, social networks and public statements. The campaign has reached over 50,000 people to date – in person and online – amid much wider publicity. It’s been Mumsnet campaign of the month, caused Network Rail to set out a study protocol for reducing suicides and prompted work on an evidence-hunting Scout badge. We will build on the success of two People awards, growing the campaign with citizen ambassadors and shareable resources to reach larger and new audiences, and achieve sufficient saturation to sustain its benefits across the UK. We will also draw insights from the way that people adopt Ask for Evidence. Early feedback indicates that people introduced to the campaign look differently at the claims around them and cascade aspects of that to colleagues, friends and family and other networks. Through public workshops we will assemble and evaluate these responses, and produce a public-led account with insights and guidance - for biomedical researchers who want to engage people beyond the science-interested and for bodies who seek a cascade effect from the projects they support.

Amount: £130,731
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Sense About Science

A Quantitative Analysis of the Health Extension Program to Inform Human Resource Policy Interventions in Ethiopia 08 May 2018

In 2004, Ethiopia launched the Health Extension Program (HEP) - a primary health care delivery strategy focussing on the delivery of 16 essential health services, targeting the rural poor. Health Extension Workers (HEWs) were employed as key vehicles for delivery of HEP. Though their deployment was in large numbers, current policy initiatives towards HEP are hampered by the dearth of empirical, quantitative data on HEW behaviours; the determinants of their job choices and the implications of these dynamics on retention policies for this workforce. This project proposes to investigate the labor market response to changes in wages, working conditions, and training opportunities of HEWs, using a discrete choice experiment. Additionally, this will be the first study to undertake an economic evaluation of available health workforce policies to provide critical insight on which policies to pursue for better retention of HEWs, as well as using mathematical modelling techniques to ascertain the causal impact of HEP on the equity of health service delivery in Ethiopia. With these three research packages, the project aims to create pioneering evidence that fills critical gaps in literature to inform human resource policy interventions in the context of HEP, leading to improvements in population health in Ethiopia.

WRISK: Engaging women to improve risk communication on pregnancy 30 Apr 2018

The interface between public health guidance and maternal autonomy is highly contested in UK society and issues across the reproductive decision-making spectrum - from the appropriate age for women to conceive, to diet and lifestyle choices in pregnancy, to decisions about birth – are presented within a risk framework that often does not allow women to critically engage with the underpinning evidence. A tension between individual autonomy and health advice is exacerbated by a cultural context in which mothers are commonly held maximially responsible for the life chances of their children. Recent research has called for a more nuanced approach to risk communication, transparency about the principles underpinning guidance, better communication of the evidence base, and a better appreciation of the complex lived experience of pregnancy planning, pregnancy and birth. The WRISK project takes a solution-focused approach to this contested space, bringing together the interests of public health policy with the complex and varied interests of women themselves, to produce principles for a more respectful and acceptable approach to risk communication. The WRISK project also seeks to empower women by involving them in co-producing principles for communication and providing a platform for critical appraisal and discussion of risks.

Amount: £100,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Global Health 50/50: Towards accountability for gender equality in global health 04 Dec 2017

We propose to establish Global Health 50/50, a new initiative seeking to advance action and accountability for gender-equality in global health. Gender is a key driver of power to exercise the right to health, including exposure to risks of poor health, health seeking behaviours, and access to quality health care. Gender inequalities continue to define and drive career pathways and opportunities for people working in global health organizations. While some progress has been made, major gaps and challenges remain. We seek to raise awareness of persistent inequality and identify pathways to change. We will establish a network of experts in gender and global health, working with an advisory body drawn from the realms of politics, development, management, advocacy, human rights, social justice. Global Health 50/50 will publish an annual report on the state of gender-related policies and practices of 150 major organizations working in the field of global health.

Amount: £29,764
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University College London

A taste of hard work: assessing the utility of ancient tartar to track exposure to respiratory irritants of occupational origin in ancient skeletal remains 23 Jan 2018

My proposed cross-disciplinary research will elucidate the potential of ancient tartar to reveal exposure to a variety of respiratory irritants and their links to health in past societies by unlocking the signature of inhaled/ingested occupational debris and pollutants generated during crafting. Applying state-of-the-art microscopic methods in Archaeology and Physics, and working both with experimental archaeology and ancient skeletal material, my project aims to: analyze the full range of micro-particles (dietary and environmental) entrapped within the tartar of Roman and Medieval individuals to assess exposure to respiratory irritants, with a strong focus on those of occuational origin; characterize exposure to and inhalation of microscopic particles and pollutants produced during selected craft activities (e.g., pottery, textile production, woodwork) using experimental archaeology (i.e. microscopic occupational ‘signatures’); critically assess how micro-debris in calculus can be linked to other archaeological parameters to elucidate the involvement of ancient individuals in crafty activities and their link to health; expand our understanding of air pollutant exposures associated with traditional craft production, often carried out within developing societies as a means of poverty alleviation.

Amount: £245,659
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of York

Dear Margaret: The interconnected lives and work of queer women in in Century British social science 17 May 2018

Due to traditional histories about eminent psychologists few details remain about the unconventional and possibly queer women working in British psy-disciplines in the mid-20th Century. Yet, the Wellcome Library has an impressive collection of materials relating to precisely this area. This project will consider the queer lives of some women who were working in disciplinary fields which pathologised ‘sexual deviancy’. Similar work has been conducted about the US, but has yet to be expanded to Britain. In excavating these networks via the Wellcome archive, I will delve into the academic and personal lives of Margaret Lowenfeld, Magdalen Vernon, Margaret Mead, and Charlotte Wolff. This will correspond to the collections of Magnus Hirschfeld and David King, Donald Winnicott, Joan Fitzherbert, and draw extensively on those of Ismond Rosen, who wrote extensively on the ‘deviancy’ of ‘homosexuals’. In contrasting the lives and work of the networks of queer women against the disciplinary norms and attitudes I will analyse the juxtaposition of these queer women within the contexts of their own working environment. In doing so I will achieve intersectional feminist queer knowledge about these people as well as develop an inclusive history which uncovers the hidden queer stories residing in our archives.

Amount: £6,591
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Surrey

Research to venture mental health programme Stream 1 (BSC) 30 Sep 2018

This programme will bring together the expertise and track record of Zinc (venture incubation), Bethnal Green Ventures (venture acceleration) and Big Society Capital (social impact investing) to innovate and try new ways of working, by testing the best ways to support and finance ventures that seek to improve people’s mental health in response to their real needs and to ensure they are people-centred and research-led. The programme will also consider how research and evidence can shape funding and co-financing models and find out whether there are systematic gaps or approaches that arise from the learnings. There will be four streams of work: 1) Understanding the needs and barriers for scale within mental health-related charitable organisations (run by BSC) 2) Co-creating mental health ventures at initial ideas stage (run by Zinc), 3) Providing funding at a beta stage (run by BGV) and 4) Conclusions, evaluation and dissemination of learning (coordinated by BSC)

Amount: £35,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Big Society Capital