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Results

Transformations: Encountering Gender and Science 16 Jun 2018

The Rethinking Sexology team’s historical research has uncovered important material on the relationship between medical authority and ‘patient’ experience and the development of diagnostic categories/treatment protocols. We propose a public engagement programme that invites young trans people (age 16-25) to explore this material, co-conduct new research, including an oral history project, and develop an ambitious programme of creative responses leading to a performance and exhibition in four relevant high-profile venues across the UK. The plan of action has been developed during an extensive consultation period with key stakeholders, in which ideas and methodologies have been fully tested. The programme is led by the Rethinking Sexology (RS) team who has an outstanding track record in field-leading engaged research and public engagement. The team’s experience will be complimented by collaborating with a uniquely qualified group of writers, performers and youth-facilitators, known for their pioneering and award-winning work with the trans community, with whom the RS team already has long-standing collaborative relationships. The programme will deliver a set of exceptionally innovative activities that will empower young people to: contribute to and enhance health and humanities research and public engagement practices; investigate clinical and diagnostic protocols and transform clinical dialogue; shape public debate through high-quality creative outputs (exhibition/performance) that promise to be intellectually, artistically and emotionally powerful and stimulating. The co-production model at the heart of the programme will feed systematically and continually into ongoing research activities, enabling the project to stand as a beacon of good practice in engaged research and public engagement.

Amount: £147,315
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Macromolecular Mechanisms of Microsporidia Infection Investigated by Cryo Electron Tomography 21 May 2018

Microsporidia are eukaryotic, intracellular parasites that infect most animals, including humans. They cause debilitating disease in immunocompromised individuals and are partly responsible for the global decline in honeybee populations. To infect a host cell, microsporidia employ a harpoon-like apparatus called polar tube (PT) that rapidly ejects from the spore, penetrates the membrane of a target tissue cell and transports the spore content (sporoplasm) into it. I propose to investigate the so-far unknown macromolecular architecture and mechanism of the PT using state-of-the-art cryo electron tomography (cryoET). The key goal is to examine the cellular machinery that facilitates PT release, sporoplasm transfer and target membrane penetration. This research will provide 3D molecular maps of the PT in action and thus detailed and dynamic understanding of the microsporidian infection pathway. The research will enrich our knowledge of fundamental cell biology, establish microsporidia as a eukaryotic model system for cryoET, inform new medical approaches to treat microsporidiosis and help fight the decline in honeybee populations. Seed Award funding will pave the way for my career as new independent group leader in the UK, with a high impact biomedical profile and will offer a plethora of opportunities to collaborate with academia and industry downstream.

Amount: £98,680
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

The development of insulin resistance and anabolic resistance during muscle disuse: what is the role of fuel integration? 08 Nov 2017

Skeletal muscle atrophy, which occurs during short-term disuse, is thought to be due to the development of anabolic resistance of protein metabolism and insulin resistance of glucose metabolism, although their cause is currently unknown. The primary research aim of this fellowship is to establish the role of muscle fuel availability and integration in disuse-induced insulin and anabolic resistance. In collaboration with the Medical School, I will perform two randomized, placebo-controlled studies in which young, healthy participants undergo 2 days of forearm immobilisation with placebo, Acipimox (to decrease plasma lipid availability), Formoterol (to stimulate glycolytic flux), or dietary branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) manipulation, to alter substrate availability. I will combine the arteriovenous-venous forearm balance technique, that I have recently established in Exeter, with stable isotope amino acid infusion and repeated forearm muscle biopsies to quantify muscle glucose, fatty acid, and BCAA balance, oxidation, and intermediary metabolism (including muscle protein synthesis), both fasted and during a hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic-hyperaminoacidaemic clamp. Two periods of research at the University of Texas Medical Branch will enable me to develop skills in mass spectrometry tracer analyses and develop a network of collaborators in the USA, both crucial for my future career investigating disuse-induced muscle atrophy.

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

Neurobiological mechanisms of emotional relief in adolescents with a history of sexual abuse 06 Dec 2017

Adolescents who experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) more frequently than peers exposed to other forms of abuse or no abuse. NSSI serves an important function of relief from acute negative affect. Despite providing temporary relief from distress, NSSI is also linked to higher rates of suicide and hospitalisations and the effectiveness of current clinical interventions is limited. This may be attributed to a lack of understanding the neurobiological and behavioural mechanisms that underlie NSSI as a relief function in particular in youth who experienced CSA. To address this gap, the study aims (1) to model brain activity during distress and emotional relief (i.e., NSSI) in adolescents with and without a history of CSA using functional magnetic resonance imaging and (2) to examine if adolescents with CSA select actions to 'escape' an aversive context more quickly and often compared to non-abused peers. The ultimate goal of this translational research is to understand the neurobiological and behavioural mechanisms that confer vulnerability to NSSI following CSA (Stage 1) in order to develop effective intervention and prevention strategies to keep vulnerable teenagers safe (Stage 2) . Keywords: sexual abuse, non-suicidal self-harm, relief, functional magnetic resonance imaging, translational research

Amount: £230,048
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Open Access Awards 2017/18 30 Sep 2018

Not available

Amount: £58,344
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

The filamentous phage assembly system as a therapeutic tool 04 Dec 2017

Antibiotic resistance is a growing healthcare concern worldwide. The rise in the number of resistant bacteria is not being matched with an increase in new antibiotics or treatments. Novel ideas harnessing modern technology therefore need to be applied to address this problem in a timely manner. In this work, a phage encoded assembly system will be assessed for its potential application as a "switch" to control bacterial proliferation. By genetic manipulation of cells and viruses, protein expression, purification and high-end electron microscopy, the structure of a virus-encoded machinery in its host bacterial cell membrane will be determined in different conformational states. Furthermore, pilot experiments will be carried out to express and purify individual protein components for downstream mechanistic and high-resolution structural studies. The knowledge gained will provide many further avenues for research on our quest to develop advanced bactericides and synthetic cell-based treatments, and will deepen our understanding of bacterial pathogenicity in crops and animals, including humans. Funding for this proposal will also open up a multitude of downstream opportunities for collaboration with academia and industry, and importantly will provide me with the means to launch the crucial next stage of my career as an independent investigator.

Amount: £99,386
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Identifying low frequency and rare genetic variation involved in type 2 diabetes using next generation sequencing data. 24 May 2010

To answer my research question, I will utilize the following datasets: Dataset 1: Whole genome sequence from 1500 Type 2 diabetes patients and 1500 characterised controls at 4 fold coverage. Dataset 2: Targeted sequencing of 50-200 selected genes from 480 young onset diabetes patients and 480 normo-glycaemic controls, at 50 fold coverage. Dataset 3: Variant data from the publicly available 1000 genomes project My project will then proceed in four stages. In Stage 1 I will use NGS data fr om datasets 1-3 to identify low frequency and rare variants in the coding regions of selected candidate genes. In Stage 2 I will annotate these variants including their likely functional effect and genomic context. In Stage 3 I will prioritise variants for follow up using a combination of criteria including nominal association (p<0.05). In Stage 4 I will follow up prioritised rare variants by genotyping in additional samples of up to 50,000 cases and equivalent numbers of controls. I will also t est the impact these variants have on beta-cell function and insulin resistance in well phenotyped non-diabetic cohorts. My fellowship will improve understanding of biological mechanisms involved in diabetes and may lead to stratification of individuals for treatment or preventative measures.

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

"Feeling better": Recovery and recuperation in Early Modern England, c1580-1720 31 Aug 2010

I intend to spend ten days in London and Cambridge conducting preliminary research into my postdoctoral project, which is about recovery and recuperation in early modern England. The postdoctoral project has four aims: firstly. to investigate medical perceptions of recovery. a ski rig how doctors explained the processes by which the body overcame illness. Secondly, to examine the management of recuperation, exploring how doctors and laypeople cared for the recovering patient. Thirdly, the project will unravel the experience of recovery from the patient's perspective, taking an emotional, physical, and spiritual angle. Fourthly, the project will explore the family's experience of recovery, examining the celebrations that marked a loved one's return to health. During the ten days of preliminary research, my goals are, firstly, to carry out a review of the historiography of early modem recovery. Secondly, to examine a sample of primary sources to assess their potential for use in my postdoctoral project. Thirdly. I will familiarize myself with some of the repositories and archives at the University of Cambridge, so that I will be well prepared for undertaking the postdoctoral project at this institution. Ultimately. the research will help strengthen mv postdoctoral proposal by clarifying and developing my objectives and methods.

Amount: £1,429
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

"Stress, shock and adaptation in the twentieth century" to be held in Exeter NLM and NIH on 9-10 November 2010 31 Aug 2010

This workshop will explore what happens when the concept of "stress" enters into medical discourse and policy. While there have long been associations made between modernity and illness, the concept of stress has intensified and refocused such debates. No longer restricted to maladapted individuals and groups, the problem of stress is shared by all, becoming the most widely utilized medical concept in the twentieth century. In this workshop we will be exploring the scientific, intellectual and political decisions underlying the emergence of the stress concept; its uses in making novel linkages between disciplines such as ecology, neurology, physiology, psychiatry, public health, and a range of social sciences; and its application in a variety of sites or places, such as the battlefield, the office-building, the transport system, the hospital, and home. The workshop will bring together leading historians of science and medicine, exploring many different perspectives on stress - from scientists and physicians, to health activists, urban planning and environmental design professions, industry, policy makers, and regulators. The very diversity of .conceptions and varied applications of "stress," ensures its value as a means of exploring how social, political, and economic concerns have shaped the production and application of scientific knowledge.

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

"'In sickness and in Health': Medical history workshop for postgraduate historians" to be held atthe University of Exeter on 9-10 September 2010 13 Apr 2010

The workshop has five aims. Firstly, to bring together medical history postgraduates from around the country who are working on a variety of topics and time-periods. Centres for Medical History are often relatively isolated within their History Departments, and it would therefore be advantageous to provide an opportunity for strengthening ties between medical scholars, through the forging of new contacts. Secondly, the workshop will identify a number of common themes which are evident in medical histories. This will enable students to consider familiar interpretative questions in a fresh light. The third aim is to engage with a diverse range of research methodologies. Students working in different fields tend to have contrasting research backgrounds and areas of expertise. It will therefore be fruitful for students to share their research strategies in the anticipation that they will be able to incorporate effective new methods into their work. Fourthly, the workshop will furnish postgraduates with the intellectual support they need for undertaking their studies. This will be achieved through the delivery of question and answer sessions about academic and practical challenges. Finally, the workshop will provide a forum for the Trust to promote its longer-term research support strategies for doctoral and post-doctoral research.

Amount: £4,920
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

"Human heredity in the twentieth century" to be held at the University of Exeter on 2-4 September 2010 15 Feb 2010

The idea that physical and mental characters can be attributed to discrete hereditary factors or "genes" has profoundly affected our understanding of human nature and society. The perceived social implications of genetic knowledge have, in turn, had a profound effect on the development of scientific methods, concepts, theories and technologies. Modern knowledge about human heredity, however, does not only stem from the discipline of genetics. Various fields such as medicine, anthropology, and psychology have maintained and developed their own ways of analysing and explaining the phenomena of heredity through technologies such as intelligence testing, surveys of fertility, patterns of disease, blood groups and linguistic boundaries. The workshop will produce a much needed and comprehensive picture of the various scientific, medical and political practices that have shaped the notion of human heredity from 1900 to the mid-1970s (when new biotechnologies opened up a new age of human heredity). It will focus on developments that have hitherto attracted little attention in the historiography of human heredity, and which shed new light on the interaction between science and society and on the transfer of knowledge and practices between scientific fields.

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

A critical study of John Money's contribution to the sexological concept of 'paraphilia' 15 Feb 2010

The project undertakes a critical investigation of the understudied concept of 'paraphilia' in the work of New Zealand-born sexologist, John William Money (1921-2006). I trace Money's debt to the foundational European texts of sexology of the late-nineteenth century that first described the sexual 'perversions' and posed them as a social and moral threat under the umbrella discourse of 'degeneration'. I explore the logic of Money's theorization of abnormal sexual development, and the practices for treating sex offenders that he pioneered at Johns Hopkins University in the 1980s and 1990s. By bringing attention to the importance of Money's work on this subject, the commonplace assumption that twentieth-century sexology is very far removed from the presuppositions and values underlying its nineteenth-century counterpart is called into question. Moreover, the project demonstrates the extent to which the significance of the diagnostic category of 'paraphilia' in twentieth-century Anglo-American sexology has been overlooked. Finally, the project offers a fuller and more accurate picture of a key figure in the history of sexual medicine than is currently available, as most published scholarship on Money focuses uniquely on his contribution to debates about gender identity, notably, his controversial involvement with the 'John/Joan' case in the 1960s.

Amount: £4,700
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

"On balance: an interdisciplinary conference on notions of balance and stability in health and medicine" to be held on 12-13 May 2010 at the University of Exeter 15 Feb 2010

The immediate aim of this conference is to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines in order to reflect on and interrogate the role of concepts such as balance and stability in debates about health and disease, both in historical and modern cultural terms. Our purpose is to include studies that relate to all periods and places, including Western and Eastern theories and treatments of disease and from ancient through to modern formulations of balance and health. As longer term goals, we intend both to publish the proceedings of the conference in some form and to develop an ambitious inter-disciplinary research programme on the medical, political and personal implications of the notion of balance within medicine.

Amount: £5,331
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

"The burthen of the mortal body: Life, death, sickness and health in the Early Modern period" to be held at the University of Exeter on 23-24 August 2010 18 Jan 2010

The conference has four main objectives: Firstly to identify, promote and publish new research in this subject area; Secondly, to introduce early career scholars working in the same field, and create and develop a network of scholars involved in researching the body, health, sickness and death in the early modern period; Thirdly, to develop further the historical understanding of the body, and sickness, within the context of early modern social, cultural and religious concerns; Finally, through discussion open up new research questions and develop new approaches, across .a range of disciplines, to the study of the body and its ailments across the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Amount: £1,800
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

First European Advanced Seminar in Philosophy of Life Sciences" to be held on 6-10 September 2010 at Hermance 20 Oct 2009

This is the first of a planned series of biennial meetings of senior scholars and research students from six major research centres in the philosophy of the life sciences and medicine across Europe. The aims of this series are: (1) to acquaint young researchers with recent trends in their own and neighbouring disciplines and allow them to network in an early stage of their career; (2) to facilitate exchange of young researchers among the institutions involved and potentially enhance the institutional research scope; and (3) to create a platform for more senior scientists to develop new programs and projects on a European level.

Amount: £4,500
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Biomedical vacation scholarship 14 Jun 2010

Not available

Amount: £2,880
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Environments, expertise and experience: the transmission and boundaries of medical knowledge and practice. 21 Jul 2009

Our key objective is to expand and sustain a critical mass of researchers exploring three inter-related themes. 1. Environments, bodies and boundaries. Research will focus on the impact of domestic, occupational, and urban environments on medical understandings and patient experiences of disease. Revolving partly around research on stress, this strand will also focus on `sick building syndrome', child health, and the relationship between environmental change and health. 2. Sexual knowled ge, sexual experiences and health. This strand explores theories of sexuality, sexual practice and health from ancient to modern worlds. It encompasses projects on impotence and infertility, bodies, sex and health, and how representations of sexual practices in `other historical contexts have shaped modern debates. 3. Transmission and boundaries of medical knowledge. Much of our research analyses the construction and transmission of medical knowledge across time and space and exchanges betw een expert understandings and lay experiences of disease. We aim to develop these themes into a designated strand that encompasses work on the reception and dissemination of Galen s physiology and research on the cultural history of heredity. Seminars, joint conferences, staff exchange schemes and collaborative research projects will be used to disseminate research findings, strengthen international links, and facilitate comparative research.

Amount: £30,805
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Health and Masculinity in Post War Britain. 08 Jun 2009

This pilot project will provide the opportunity for exploratory archival, documentary and oral research into masculinity and men s health in the post-war period, leading to a re-submission of a fellowship grant application in December 2009. In order to refine the overall direction of a larger project on the apparent rise of psychosomatic and psychological illness in men, it will allow the RA to pursue exploratory research into four specific areas: 1 How men presented with symptoms (by oral te stimonies of retired GPs with experience in this area). 2 Attitudes and values of men relating to work, family and health (qualitative electronic data from social surveys on health and lifestyle and archival records from the GP John Fry) 3 The rationale behind the marketing of pharmaceutical treatments for depression and anxiety to men. 4 Representations of masculinity in popular culture (television, magazines and newspapers). The study will result in one journal article and a number of pu blic engagement activities, as well as a larger research fellowship application.

Amount: £20,347
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Tax Law, Tax Administration and Medical Practice 1780-1920: Pilot Project. 29 May 2009

This pilot project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a major examination of the relationship between tax law and medical practice and the effects of tax on the professionalisation of medicine and the provision of healthcare in the nineteenth century. It seeks to confirm that tax issues were a consideration for medical practitioners and institutions by examining archival materials in tax law and medical practice and revealing that their nature, scope and quality are such as to support a majo r investigation. The records of the central revenue boards and the tax tribunals reveal state practices and tensions in relation to medical practitioners and the tax behaviour of medical practitioners. The proceedings of the professional medical bodies and the medical press reveal the contemporary importance, if any, of tax issues to the medical profession and individual practitioners. The key goals of the pilot are: o to confirm that tax issues were a consideration for medical practitioners and institutions; o to demonstrate the feasibility of the principal project by explicitly identifying tax engagement in the medical archives and of medical engagement in the tax law archives; o to permit an application to the Trust for support for the principal project.

Amount: £23,702
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter

Rewriting the System of Nature: Linnaeus's Use of Writing Technologies. 13 Nov 2008

Although the cultural turn in the history of science and medicine has considerably raised awareness for the contextual importance of material artefacts and practices, medical and scientific knowledge itself is still largely seen as something which is exemplified by cognitive entities: the concepts, theories, and methodologies that scientists hold and use. This project would start from a different perspective by assuming that any form of socially organized knowledge is essentially written knowled ge, and proceeds through the development, deployment and dissemination of writing technologies. While the project focuses on the corpus of manuscripts and publications of a single scientist, Carl Linnaeus (1707 1778), I conceive it as a pilot project that will serve to develop both a terminology and a methodology that is attentive to the materiality of writing, and will have ramifications for how the history of science and medicine is done in general. In particular, it will bring historiography closer again to the defining mark of modern science and medicine: their reliance on forms of inductive reasoning operating on a social and global scale, and the concurrent emergence of ontological concepts of collective entities like species, disease categories, and human types .

Amount: £119,746
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Exeter