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Results

Importance of mammillary body connections for memory. 22 Mar 2010

Parallel programs of work will be carried out using rats and patients to compare and test different hypotheses of mammillary body function. Answering these research questions will involve separating the key inputs that drive mammillary body function and determining the different ways in which they might support memory. A combined rat/human approach will take advantage of the unique benefits provided by each line of research. In rats, I have developed techniques that make it possible to disconn ect selectively all the major afferent and efferent connections of the mammillary bodies. By manipulating these sets of inputs and outputs it will be possible to test which are key for memory function, and why are they important. The application of convergent techniques with rats (electrophysiology, functional gene-imaging, anatomical disconnections, behaviour) will be used to assess system function. Complementary research with patients who have mammillary body damage from different aetiologies will address very similar questions. A key component will be detailed anatomical assessments based on MRI derived information, including diffusion tensor imaging. Again, multiple approaches, including neuropsychological testing and functional imaging, will be used to test various models of mammillary body function.

Amount: £1,089,059
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Microbiology, genomics, and beyond: regulating dual use technologies into the 21st Century. 13 Jul 2010

Explore and develop definitions of dual use paying due regard to differing interpretations. Consider the challenges raised by current and future developments in biotechnology & their increasing availability (garage genomics). Develop the regulatory dialogue in the UK around dual use biological technologies leading to a set of recommendations.

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

"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.

Amount: £5,150
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Approaches to ancient medicine 2010 to be held at Cardiff University on 23-24 August 2010 13 Apr 2010

The purpose of the Approaches to Ancient Medicine conferences is to provide a multi-disciplinary international forum for scholarly exchange in the fast growing field of ancient medicine. The 2010 meeting is part of a very successful series that was initiated in Newcastle in 2000 and continued on an annual/biennial basis in co-operation with Reading. The 2010 meeting will be held, for the first time, at Cardiff University.

Amount: £2,184
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

"History of ancient science and medicine vs economic history, Classical Association conference 2010" to be held at Cardiff University on 7-10 April 2010. 15 Feb 2010

The Classical Association's annual conference is the premier annual gathering of classical scholars within Britain, providing a forum for discussion and dissemination of information over a wide spectrum of topics within the discipline as a whole. It attracts large numbers of proposals for papers, and the increasingly international profile of the programme is an indication of the high regard in which it is held. A special feature of the conference is that it brings together academics from all career stages: not only established scholars but also postgraduate students, who will provide the next generation of academics. This allows a unique opportunity to establish international relationships and enhance current research. Since the conference is also well attended by school and college teachers, the international dimension is disseminated through all levels of classical education not only within the UK but also abroad, with consequent benefits to teaching and learning. The proposed session on ancient medicine should help to bring to the attention of a wide constituency the importance of integrating ancient medicine into both the teaching curriculum and the research agenda.

Amount: £1,111
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

"Rhetorics of pain: A Transcultural history of bodily pain 1800-2000" to be held at Birkbeck College on 16 January 2010 15 Dec 2009

This workshop will explore each of the components for the proposed application to the Wellcome Trust for a Programme Grant entitled "Rhetorics of Pain: A Transcultural History of Bodily Pain, from the Eighteenth Century to the Present". The preliminary application will be submitted to the Funding Committee in February 2010. Objectives: 1) to discuss how historians can most rigorously address the question of pain in transcultural and interdisciplinary contexts; 2) to interrogate theoretical and methodological approaches to pain, both in the past and present; 3) to assess the manuscript source-base; 4) to discuss the viability and effectiveness of our current proposals for disseminating our findings; 5) to explore further ways that the project will be able to engage with diverse communities, including those of patients, the medical profession, and the general public; 6) to liaise and forge links with clinicians, other health professionals, and experts in "outreach".

Amount: £4,892
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Reviving tradition: Traditional medicines in modern Japan 1868-2005 20 Oct 2009

This project examines the history of Japan's traditional medicines since the late 19th century. Kampa, a localised version of traditional Chinese medicine, had been Japan's traditional medicine for over a millennium. Following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan began a rapid programme of Westernisation and modernisation that included Kampa's replacement by Western style medicine. After 1874, only physicians trained in Western style medicine were permitted to practice in Japan. But the type of traditional medicines used in Japan before the Meiji Restoration continued to be consumed. Kampa revived in the decades after World War II. The resurgence of Kampa medicines was due to a combination of factors, including the realisation of limitations to Western medicines following drug tragedies such as the thalidomide; the development of technologies to mass produce standardised versions of Kampa medicines; and the government's 1976 decision to recognise Kampa medicines as legitimate prescription drugs. My research aim is to provide a comprehensive multifactorial explanation for the fall and rise of traditional medicines in modern Japan.

Amount: £1,714
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

The role of zinc transporters in cellular zinc signalling. 29 Jun 2010

Zinc is essential to cells and is transported across cell membranes by zinc transporters which are increasingly aberrantly expressed in a variety of diseases such as diabetes, neurodegeneration and cancer. The discovery of zinc as a second messenger signalling molecule is relatively new and we have further described zinc transporter ZIP7 as the hub of the intracellular zinc signalling pathway due to its location on the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and its ability to release zinc from these sto res into the cytoplasm. It is this zinc release from stores that is responsible for the ability of zinc to inhibit phosphatases in cells and having implications for activation of signalling pathways controlled by tyrosine kinases and others. Excitingly, I have now discovered that ZIP7 requires phosphorylation by Casein Kinase 2 before it can transport zinc, an unprecendented observation for zinc transporters which now needs further detailed examination to discover (1) the extent of the mechanis m, (2) whether it holds for all cell types and (3) whether it is true for other zinc transporters as well. This will have implications for treatment of certain diseases such as cancer as Casein Kinase 2 inhibitors have also been well tolerated in the clinic.

Amount: £307,291
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Biomedical Vacation Scholarship 14 Jun 2010

Not available

Amount: £10,620
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Value in People Award. 29 Mar 2010

Not available

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

Value in People Award. 29 Mar 2010

Not available

Amount: £200,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Generation of lipid standards for biological studies: oxidized phospholipids generated by activated immune cells. 07 May 2009

This proposal will establish a resource for generating and supplying oxidized phospholipid standards for biological/biochemical studies to the international research community. The study of these lipids is an emerging field, of relevance to basic mechanisms of physiology and to human disease. Detailed structural characterization, quantitation and biological studies require purified synthetic lipids. We have generated two of these compounds already, but the others (<26) require a total synthesis approach that is more time consuming/costly. Once this methodology is established, it can be applied to numerous other related structures, as detailed in our application. We request funding for an organic chemist based in the laboratories of Drs O'Donnell & Bagley. He/she would travel to Dr Porter's lab for up to 3 months to learn advanced organic synthetic chemistry required for this project, then would establish routine synthesis in Cardiff. Related approaches for other lipids are already set- up in Nashville and we do not anticipate any problems. The lipids would be available free of charge to research collaborators (currently 8) but intellectual property will be protected so that they may be commercialized at a later date. A preliminary application for this grant was approved in early 2008.

Amount: £192,231
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Characterization and optimization of T cell/antigen interactions 02 Oct 2008

T-cells recognise 'foreign' peptides bound to self-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) molecules with their specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) and are critical for the elimination of pathogen-infected and tumour cells. Our preliminary data indicates that while natural T-cell receptors (TCRs) may be the best available solution for recognition of a particular antigen they are far from the best possible solution. We have produced T-cells that the HIV virus cannot escape from and manufactured TCRs that are 100 times better than the best natural TCRs at recognizing human cancer antigens when transduced into primary human T-cells. Our objectives are to: (1) Produce TCRs to a range of pathogen- and cancer-specific peptide antigens (2) Build optimized vehicles for expression of TCRs in T-cells without TCR chain mispairing (3) Determine the optimal TCR binding affinity, kinetics and glycosylation status for antigen recognition (4) Produce and characterize optimal epitopes for a range of natural T-cells (5) Optimize interactions between the MHC and T-cell coreceptors We are working with groups from around the globe that wish to apply this knowledge to new therapeutic approaches to cancer and infection by the adoptive transfer of patient-autologous T-cells, or 'immortalized' human killer T-cell lines, expressing optimized antigen-specific TCRs.

Amount: £805,574
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Promoting evidence-based practice for autism in the Arab World 23 Jul 2009

Autism is a life-long condition affecting 1 in 100 individuals and interfering with the person's ability to communicate and relate to others. There is currently a clear gap between the level of public awareness of autism and the extent to which scientific research findings are integrated within practice towards people affected by the condition. While this holds internationally, the gap between evidence and practice is much wider in developing countries. Our vision is to promote public engagement with autism research in the Arab world. This is achieved through the integration of the best scientific evidence within the context of characteristics and values of those affected. We view this as a bi-directional learning process. By promoting the use of scientific evidence in practice, stakeholders will have the opportunity to directly articulate their outlook of future research needs and priorities. We will design and implement a series of workshops delivered to families and educators of people with autism. The workshops will be designed with input from leading international figures in autism research and individually customized to maximally benefit stakeholders in each developing country. Local partner organisations in four Arab countries will contribute to the project by facilitating the goals in their communities. Through direct engagement with stakeholders at multiple levels, we will gather critical knowledge about local and regional research needs and priorities. We will disseminate this knowledge locally and globally. By increasing awareness of the state of the science, the immediate impact will be to improve family and educator's practices towards people with autism. The process will also contribute towards deriving future research needs and priorities directly from these stakeholders, with the hope that their vision will influence the global research agenda.

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

Open access award. 22 Sep 2009

Not available

Amount: £45,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Open access award. 22 Sep 2009

Not available

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

Making and breaking habits: the role of chromatin remodelling in the acquisition and expression of habitual behaviour. 21 Jul 2009

The project will examine the role of epigenetic mechanisms in brain processes underlying habit formation - the transition of behaviour from being initially goal-directed and sensitive to the outcome of the behaviour ('actions') to being more rigid , inflexible and relatively insensitive to the outcome of behaviour ('habits').

Amount: £141,950
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

Validation and characterisation of a new method for in vivo assesment of human donor cells. 21 Jul 2009

To characterise a novel preclin ical screening tool (the desensitisation animal model) in order to inform its use for use for the screening of human donor cells for neural transplantation therapies.

Amount: £141,950
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

The role of phosphorylation in Huntington's disease. 21 Jul 2009

We aim to investigate the role of phosphorylation on the subcellular localisation of the Huntingtin protein, and how this may be aberrant when huntingtin includes the expanded polyglutamine repeat present in Huntington's disease. Specifically I aim to: 1. Characterise the intracellular movement of huntingtin and phosphorylated huntingtin in tissue culture using immortalised striatal cell lines carrying mutant htt and primary cells from mouse models of HD 2. Follow up these findings in human ES and iPS lines carrying the expanded polyQ tract. 3. Characterise the phosphorylated huntingtin nuclear speckles formed in response to growth factors . 4. Examine differential expression and splicing of de novo transcripts in a model system characterised above.

Amount: £141,950
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University

The role of the extracellular calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) in development and plasticity. 01 Jul 2009

1. Investigate a possible role for CaSR in regulating dendritic spine density & morphology in the hippocampus 2. Further characterize the published role of CaSR in regulating gross dendritic morphology in developing neurons [1] 3. Extend preliminary observations suggesting CaSR may have a role in early development of sympathetic neuroblasts and neurons (see Appendix) 4. Participate in studies to elucidate the intracellular signaling pathways by which CaSR promotes axon growth in fetal sympathetic neurons

Amount: £141,950
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Cardiff University