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Volunteering Matters
Queen Mary University of London

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Results

Grant to Volunteering Matters 23 Mar 2015

The men go forth to Battle, the women wait and knit

Amount: £9,800
Funder: The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: North East
District: County Durham

Grant awarded to Community Service Volunteers (Training and Enterprise NE) (Tyne & Wear) 10 Mar 2009

To provide support and mentoring to people with mental health problems to help them volunteer in Newcastle.

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

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

Positive Futures London 18 Nov 2015

This project, based on a established youth-led volunteering model is expanding as a result of self-referrals and is being delivered in Hackney, Haringey and Tower Hamlets. It will support young people aged 13 to 25 to deliver volunteering and social action projects which they have identified to be of benefit to the local community. The aim of project is that all of the young people who are participating in it will develop key skills and have positive experiences that will shape their personal development.

Amount: £387,576
Funder: The Big Lottery Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: London
District: Hackney London Boro

Domestic animals as a model to understand the relationship between deleterious mutations, demography and disease 04 Dec 2017

Most mutations have mildly to strongly harmful effects. In extreme cases, where populations experience acute demographic and selection processes, deleterious mutations implicated in both infectious and genetic disease can accumulate in the genome to impose a significant burden (a measure known as mutational load). Domestic animals provide such an extreme case because of their complex evolutionary history, marked by bottlenecks, population expansions and relaxed selection. They are thus an ideal model to investigate how different mechanisms contribute to mutational load. Recent relaxed selection (e.g. via antibiotics and vaccination) and dramatic population expansion likely increased disease transmission and the frequency of deleterious genetic variations throughout the genome, including in immune genes. Investigating these processes in domestic animals is therefore critical for human health because these species are a major source of zoonotic diseases (e.g. bird/swine flu). Using simulations, ancient and modern genomes, and transfection experiments, this project will: 1) develop computational methods to disentangle contributions from different mechanisms, such as population bottlenecks and positive or relaxed selection, towards increases in mutational load; 2) generate preliminary data and establish laboratory techniques to test the hypothesis that recent relaxed selection has had an impact on the immune capabilities of domestic animals.

Amount: £80,175
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

open access award 2017/18 30 Sep 2018

Not available

Amount: £43,560
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Ribosomes under attack: smFRET analyses of bacterial ribosomes in context of impaired rRNA stability and antimicrobial treatment 06 Sep 2018

Antimicrobial resistance is a major burden on public health and the economy. Current estimates put associated annual costs at EUR 1.5 billion and annual deaths at ~25,000 in the EU and ~700,000 worldwide. Research into resistance mechanisms is urgently needed to tackle this significant threat to society. A major antimicrobial target is the bacterial ribosome, which translates genetic information into polypeptides in a process involving large-scale movements of ribosomal subunits and tRNAs that is inherently asynchronous and heterogeneous. Single-molecule Förster-resonance-energy-transfer (smFRET) enabling analyses of translation-dynamics with single-codon resolution, sub-nanometer accuracy at physiological concentrations in real-time was instrumental in gaining novel insights into antimicrobial interference with ribosome-function. We will implement smFRET to reveal for the first time how the conserved yet previously unrecognised rRNA repair-system RtcAB that increases tolerance to ribosome-targeting antimicrobials affects ribosome-function. Specifically, smFRET will allow us to ask the following questions: Does RtcAB affect the i) conformation and population-dynamics of key states of the translation-apparatus? ii) translation-efficiency and ribosome subunit-rotation? iii) tRNA-selection? iv) ribosome-translocation? and v) ribosome-recycling? The answers to these questions will help us understand how RtcAB contributes to antimicrobial resistance and provide a platform for future studies of the interplay between rRNA repair and ribosome-targeting antimicrobials.

Amount: £99,971
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Virulence strategies for Mycobacterial persistence: Investigating the role of the Mammalian Cell entry proteins. 12 May 2017

The global burden of mycobacterial infections especially tuberculosis is inconceivable with at least one new case of infection arising every second, every third person being latently infected and around 2 million people dying annually. Persistence of mycobacteria arises from long durations of dormancy within host macrophages evading host defense mechanisms and utilising unusual nutrients. Mycobacterial Mce (Mammalian cell entry) transport systems play an important role in facilitating cell entry and import of nutrients like cholesterol or lipid. This proposal concentrates on characterizing the Mce4 proteins and their assembly in the Mce4 transport system. One of the key goals is to isolate a minimal hetero-complex of the Mce proteins forming the transport channel for structural and functional studies. Two possible models for organisation are proposed: i) a heterohexamer of six Mce proteins or ii) a stack of six homo-hexamers of individual Mce proteins. Biochemical characterisation of individual Mce proteins and interaction studies between different Mce proteins will help establish the organisation model of Mce4 proteins. Structural studies using X-ray crystallography or other techniques, and functional characterisation for cholesterol binding and cell invasion will shed light on the structure-function relationship of Mce4 proteins within the transport assembly.

Amount: £99,951
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

The relationship between innate immune cell function and bacterial infections in severe acute malnutrition 22 Feb 2017

Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) underlies one million deaths in children under 5 years old annually. Immunodeficiency is implicated in SAM mortality because deaths are predominantly due to infections and infectious mortality persists after nutritional rehabilitation; however, we know very little about how malnutrition affects immune cell function. This fellowship will characterise the relationship between bacterial infections and the anti-bacterial functions of monocytes and dendritic cells (DC) using blood samples collected from children admitted to hospital with SAM (n=200) and track this relationship during hospitalisation and over 48 weeks of community-based nutritional rehabilitation (n=100). I will evaluate both the capacity of monocytes and DC to bind and respond to bacteria in vitro, and how pro-inflammatory mediators in plasma, which are elevated in SAM, affect healthy monocyte and DC. These assays will generate a detailed profile of monocyte and DC function in each child which I will use to determine whether innate immune function is: 1) compromised relative to adequately-nourished controls (n=200); 2) associated with bacterial morbidity and mortality; and, 3) restored by treatment. Understanding the relationship between innate immune cell dysfunction and bacterial mortality in children with SAM could identify new immunotherapeutic targets to improve clinical outcomes in this high-risk population.

Amount: £1,159,877
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Vacation Scholarships 2017 - Queen Mary University of London 16 Jun 2017

Vacation Scholarships 2017- Queen Mary University London

Amount: £2,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Autism through cinema: body language and the illegible body 30 Jan 2018

This research engages the history and practice of cinema as an unexplored framework through which autism can be contextualized as an evolving discourse of body language, and repositioned as a condition with benefits. Autism is widely known as a disorder in which communicative practices and embodiment are experienced in an idiosyncratic way, with the effect of isolating the autistic person from communal social interaction. Proponents of the neurodiversity movement have critiqued the framing of autism as an impairment deviating from the standard practice of verbal modes of expression underpinned by bodily communication. This contested binary of an a-typical and a-social embodied practice, versus a socially fluid communicative capacity, is a less assured division when viewed through the prism of cinema. The goals of the project are: To use film practice to elucidate the potential of autism to expand understandings of bodily communication. To examine autism as gesture and trace its changing modalities on film during the twentieth century. To compare autism as it appears in medical and commercial film during the twentieth century to identify binaries of legible/illegible body language. To work with autistic individuals to develop an alternative film language inclusive of the neurodiverse population.

Amount: £657,843
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Pathologies of Solitude, 18th - 21st century 25 Jul 2017

Loneliness today is a serious health concern. This is generally regarded as a recent development but in fact solitariness has long been perceived as a medical risk, especially a psychological risk. Our present-day concern about social isolation and loneliness is framed by this largely neglected history. This project aims to remedy this neglect by undertaking the first health-related history of western solitude. Its leading premise is that the development of modern society has involved changes in perceptions of solitude whose overall tendency has been to pathologise and medicalise it. By documenting and analysing this process, the project will yield unprecedented insights into one of humankind’s most fundamental experiences, and one of contemporary society’s most complex health challenges. The primary research focus is on Britain; its chronological starting point is the long 18th century when modern medical perceptions of solitude first took shape, with developments in this period compared to those in succeeding centuries. An interdisciplinary research network has been assembled that will bring these historical findings into dialogue with scientific research about contemporary experiences of solitude. The project will also engage with campaigns devoted to alleviating loneliness, while an ambitious outreach programme will take its findings to the general public.

Amount: £860,670
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

C. elegans – a model system to study causation in the microbiome-gut-brain axis 06 Sep 2018

Metagenomic approaches are generating a long list of health and disease states associated with the microbiome (the microbes inhabiting our digestive tract) but without mechanistic understanding. The challenges arise from the enormous complexity of the microbiome, including genetic, environmental and dietary variations, microbe-microbe interactions, and the cost associated with studying the microbiome using murine models. If the field is to move beyond association, simple, well-controlled and cost-effective models allowing unbiased high-throughput studies are needed. The nematode C. elegans is a genetically tractable model, ideally suited for mechanistic and causative studies of host-microbiome and microbe-microbe interactions shaping host physiology and metabolism. Aims: 1) Establish an experimental microbiome in C. elegans based on strains from the human microbiome associated with health, disease and ageing 2) Generate fluorescent labelled bacterial strains and perform real-time imaging of gut colonisation 3) Characterise the effects of the experimental microbiome on the microbiome-gut-brain axis during ageing The experimental microbiome in C. elegans will be an important contribution to the field, complementing existing models. It will allow me to establish important collaborations, form a basis for my future research and address one of the most important questions of modern biology: the effects of the microbiome on host physiology.

Amount: £99,905
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Exploring how laboratory animal technicians put ethics into practice. 18 Dec 2012

We, Beth Greenhough (PI) and Emma Roe (Co-I), want to study whether animal experimentation procedures can be refined through developing greater understanding of the work of animal technicians (ATs) and the bodily skills and capacities they use in turning ethical principles into caring practices. Through preliminary meetings and interviews we have established collaborations with three Biological Services Units at Cardiff University, the University of Southampton and Queen Mary University of London. The research will involve eighteen in-depth interviews with laboratory ATs at these three sites as well as a two week period of ethnographic observation of ATs at work at one site and participant observation at the Institute of Animal Technology annual congress. This methodology has previously been used successfully by Roe in her work on farm animal welfare. The findings will be disseminated through attendance at the IAT annual congress, at least one academic research paper and a 10,000 word report for industry. This study will benefit laboratory animal research and facility staff, ethical review bodies and animals themselves by highlighting the role of the AT-animal relationship in ensuring good animal welfare and providing recommendations for supporting ATs in facilitating good animal welfare and contributing more fully in ethical discussions.

Amount: £4,580
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Step-down affordable treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection in Africa and India Acronym - STEP-HEP 06 Jun 2012

Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus is common throughout the developing world. Effective treatments are too costlyand complex for widespread use leading to signficant preventable morbidity and mortality. We will complete a randomisedcontrolled clinical trial examining a new approach to therapy in which virological response is induced by therapy withexpensive tenofovir and patients are then randomised to either continue tenofovir monotherapy or receive cheaperlamivudine.The primary objective of the study is to determine whether treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection with an inductionmaintenanceregime of tenofovir stepping down to lamivudine is safe and feasible in developing countries. Specifically wewill test the hypothesis that in patients with chronic HBV infection and active liver inflammation, 48 weeks induction therapywith tenofovir can be followed by successful transfer to lamivudine therapy in patients with a 'normal' ALT and any relapsecan be controlled by reintroduction of tenofovir. The primary objective of the study is safety and we will determine whetheran induction-maintenance regime followed by re-introduction of tenofovir in those who fail to respond to lamivudine isinferior to continuous tenofovir.Secondary objectives are:-To determine what proportion of patients can successfully be converted to lamivudine and a critical secondary objective isthe cost effectiveness of this approach.To determine whether treatment modifications can be guided by the use of liver function tests rather than sophisticatedvirological monitoring.

Amount: £52,343
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Theories and Histories of the Unconscious. 27 May 2014

It is proposed to hold a day-long conference, 'Theories and Histories of the Unconscious', featuring presentations from nine leading specialists in the field drawn from universities in the UK, France, and the United States. This event would be held at Queen Mary UL in late November or early December 2014. It would be widely advertised and open to all.

Amount: £3,625
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

British Autozygosity Population Gene Function Study. 10 Oct 2013

Parental relatedness (e.g. cousin marriage) is common in certain UK ethnic groups including the health disadvantaged British-Bangladeshi and British-Pakistani communities. Recent studies indicate that outbred human genomes contain ~100 genuine complete loss of function (LoF) variants. Consanguineous (parental and/or historic) individuals carry genomic regions identical-by-descent (autozygous), thus rare frequency variants occur as homozygous genotypes. Our knowledge of human gene function an d genome annotation remains incomplete. Characterisation and deep-phenotyping of healthy adult individuals enriched for naturally occurring homozygous knockout alleles will provide invaluable knowledge of human biology. We propose a large-scale community based exome sequencing programme of consanguineous individuals (25,000) of whom a subset (3,000) with genotypes of interest will be later recalled. We will focus on East London populations whose recruitment and recall will be coordinated arou nd our Whitechapel site. We will recall sequenced individuals possessing autozygous variants of biomedical importance (predicted complete LoF, coding, and regulatory) for deep-phenotyping and experimental medicine studies. Our proposal complements existing rare disease sequencing programmes, national sequencing studies (UK10K, DDD), and other UK BioResources (Cambridge and NIHR BioResources, TwinsUK and UK BioBank). We will substantially engage East London communities and increase our existing p ublic engagement activities around genetics and genomics.

Amount: £7,214
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Protecting organ function in severe trauma/haemorrhage using the anti-malarial drug artesunate 25 Apr 2013

Trauma is the most frequent cause of death in people under the age of 40. Despite resuscitation in the emergency room, severe blood loss can lead to the dysfunction of vital organs (kidney, lung, heart, liver, brain), which ultimately may cause the death of a trauma patient. At present there are no specific treatments for organ failure in routine clinical use, and management is only supportive.A research group headed by Professor Christoph Thiemermann at Queen Mary University of London, has discovered that small doses of a commonly used and safe anti-malarial drug (artesunate), reduces multiple organ failure after trauma-haemorrhage in a rat model. The team at Queen Mary's plan to conduct a trial with artesunate in patients with trauma and severe haemorrhage. The team hopes to demonstrate that this therapeutic agent is safe and also effective at reducing the incidence and severity of multiple organ failure. This early treatment of trauma patients against organ failure could have a major positive global impact on patient outcomes and resource utilisation.

Amount: £325,444
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

The Carnival of Lost Emotions. 11 Feb 2013

Not available

Amount: £6,338
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London

Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship 20 Jul 2016

I want to make the case for how conversation can both challenge and enhance the empirical side of health practice and research, to develop ways people interface with biomedical science and to infuse this space of coexistence with desire, creating spaces where different kinds of people want to be. I want to co-create new ways to behave in this space and to talk about what we know. I hope this will be a space where our cognitive and associative, considered and impulsive, feeling and desiring selves ask important scientific questions. I will do this by developing, establishing and disseminating modes of conversation that use performance methodologies as a crucial part of health communication and care. I will experiment with how these interventions enable people to air their own stories, thinking and perceptions on important issues, working toward making knowledge exchange more egalitarian and influencing social change connected to health and the human condition. My ongoing research experiments with performance as a means of public engagement and I have used these experiments to provide diverse (and often socially excluded) groups with platforms to think about and debate serious issues in safe stimulating environments. Interventions have included Long Tables, Fantasy Personas, Creative Hosting, Porch Sitting, Green Screening and my YouTube channel hosted by my own fantasy persona/interlocutor, Tammy WhyNot. Examples of this work include: collaboration with Dr Alison Mears, Consultant in GUM/HIV, on Q and As facilitated by Tammy in theatres and online; What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex, a performance collaboration with older adults, including workshops with elders in Croatia, where I lived in an elders’ care home for ten days; DemTech, an AHRC/EPSRC funded collaborative project with psychologist Prof Pat Healey investigating how elders could be empowered to think about and influence future technologies through adopting fantasy personas. Although this work will be applicable to an intergenerational public, I want to start with my current research collaborators, elders, before expanding to include other diverse groups of people. Despite being a rapidly increasing demographic, elders are becoming progressively more invisible and absent from decision making and public life, leading to isolation, depression, ambulatory health conditions and decreased resilience. As an elder myself I want to be an authentic interlocutor who engages scientists and the public and clinicians and seniors. This is one way my work is unique; usually such activities are developed 'for' elders by others (Bliss 2016). I want to create elder-led visibility, confidence and wellbeing, to create robust evidence to demonstrate how agency creates wellbeing for elders, how my methods contribute to this, how they can contribute better, how conversation can effectively engage the public in debate about issues raised by biomedical research, and how this can lead to better informed research outcomes and policy-making. I want to influence policy, creating long term and large scale empowerment, which directly impacts on improved health conditions.

Amount: £207,103
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London