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Results

Homicide Specialist Support 01 Apr 2016

To provide specialist counselling support to people bereaved by homicide prior to 2010

Amount: £20,000
Funder: Ministry of Justice
Recipient: Cruse Bereavement Care

Grant to Oxfordshire Cruse Bereavement Care 12 Feb 2015

Funding awarded to contribute towards the initial start up costs to establish a bereavement support service in three hostels for the homeless.

Amount: £1,700
Funder: Oxford City Council
Recipient: Oxfordshire Cruse Bereavement Care

Volunteering Matters 06 Nov 2014

Piloting Engage and Transform, a scheme to break down cultural barriers and develop a long-term partnership of mutual benefit between public and social sector organisations.

Open Access (COAF) Award 2019/20 30 Sep 2020

Not available

Amount: £33,015
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Open, reproducible analysis and reporting of data provenance for high-security health and administrative data 16 Oct 2019

In the UK many types of routinely-collected data from the NHS and other government agencies are available for research. To protect privacy, data governance law requires that only project-specific portions of the data be extracted, filtered and anonymised before release for research. Currently little information is provided to researchers on the methods used to produce their data. This lack of transparency results in an increased risk of undetected error propagation and leaves the resulting research difficult or impossible to evaluate and reproduce. We will co-design, pilot, and evaluate methods for recording and reporting provenance for research using high-security data. The result will be a method to report data provenance that maintains privacy and makes the research more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible. Our approach recognises that meeting the needs of both data guardians and researchers requires active cooperation. It is a collaboration between data guardians, computing scientists specialising in provenance and trust, an expert in service evaluation methods, and a specialist in open science practice. The project will provide a provenance ontology model for the high-security NHS Data Safe Haven environment and open-source resources for tracking and safely reporting provenance data for research therein. The method is designed to be scalable across the UK’s high-security environments that host a range of government data. No tools for capture and reporting of data provenance from these environments exist. This project lays the groundwork for a process that is required for fair use of the public’s data for health care research and innovation.

Amount: £49,267
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Mitigating rodent impacts on health and well-being in rural Madagascar 03 Dec 2019

In low-income countries, rodents have very significant impacts on health and well-being. Annually cereals lost to rodents could feed hundreds of millions of people, whilst rodent-borne infections (RBI) kill thousands. A major research challenge is developing holistic rodent management strategies that deliver both improved food security and reduced disease burdens, and are sustainable for communities. I will work with health and agricultural stakeholders and communities to fill key knowledge gaps and adapt and test innovative management techniques developed in the agricultural sector, primarily in Asia, to other ecological and socio-cultural contexts. Working in Madagascar, I will combine empirical and modelling studies to explore how localised control impacts on the risk from a range of RBI with contrasting transmission routes, determining in what circumstances control increases or decreases risk. I will test the cost-efficiency of different strategies, using an approach that incorporates agricultural losses, disease burdens and management costs. With communities I will explore the impacts of socio-cultural practices, identifying opportunities and constraints for community-led control. To optimise management strategies, adaptive research experiments will be co-developed and evaluated with communities and stakeholders. Active engagement with national and international stakeholders throughout the project will facilitate scaling up and policy impact.

Amount: £1,600,709
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

The eco-epidemiology of leptospirosis in South Africa and Madagascar 10 Mar 2019

<p>In a changing world, zoonotic pathogens are an increasing risk to human health. Leptospirosis is a widespread and common zoonotic disease with the greatest burden of disease falling on the poorest communities in the developing world. Leptospirosis is increasingly being recognised as a public health threat in South Africa and Madagascar and an urgent need has been identified to establish which <em>Leptospira</em> strains are responsible for human infections and what their key reservoir hosts are. <em>Leptospira</em> are notoriously challenging and time consuming organisms to culture. Therefore, using recent advances in DNA capture and enrichment technologies, I aim to identify evidence of transmission between reservoir hosts and humans by generating culture-independent high resolution molecular typing data directly from human and reservoir host samples. These data will be used to refine diagnostic antigen panels, identify the animal sources of human infection and inform control programs. Increasing the <em>Leptospira</em> genomic resources from sub-Saharan Africa will also allow me to explore fundamental questions related to the microevolutionary changes required for cross-species transmission of zoonotic pathogens and the role of horizontal genetic transfer in the evolution of bacteria in a real world system.</p>

Amount: £307,821
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Open Access (COAF) Award 2018/19 30 Sep 2019

Not available

Amount: £36,687
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Fuelling pathogenicity: nutrient adaptation of human fungal pathogens 27 Nov 2018

<p>During infection, mammalian hosts restrict the availability of key micronutrients in a process called &ldquo;nutritional immunity&rdquo;. To cause disease, pathogens have evolved ways to circumvent this restriction. Building on discoveries made in my Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, this proposal addresses three key aspects of <em>Candida albicans</em> nutrient adaptation during colonisation and infection. I will define the signalling pathways orchestrating intracellular nutrient trafficking. Eukaryotic pathogens have the unique capacity to store high levels of micronutrients. I have shown that this fuels virulence and will now dissect the molecular mechanisms and regulatory pathways governing this important process. I will determine the mechanistic basis of competition for zinc at the host-pathogen interface. Having discovered the first zincophore zinc scavenging system of any pathogen, I will now structurally resolve this crucial micronutrient assimilation protein and show how it allows fungi to secure this essential micronutrient during infection. I will show how <em>C.&nbsp;albicans</em> Goliath cells, a novel morphotype I recently discovered, pioneer the colonisation of the mammalian gut. Here I will take advantage of this seminal discovery to understand how <em>C. albicans</em> establishes it commensal niche.&nbsp;</p>

Amount: £1,712,381
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Institutional Strategic Support Fund 30 Sep 2019

Not available

Amount: £600,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Are Phenotypic Variability and Drug Resistance in the Emerging Fungal Pathogen Candida auris Generated by Genetic Recombination? 21 May 2018

<p>I aim to elucidate how genetic diversity is achieved in the emerging multi-resistant fungal pathogen <em>Candida auris</em> and how this influences its drug resistance phenotype. Using genetic, genomic, and imaging approaches this project will determine why the strains of this fungus causing different outbreaks are highly variable, and how this diversity underpins its multi-drug resistance and other phenotypic characteristics.</p> <p>This project is based on hypotheses framed by pilot data that suggest that this fungus is sexually recombining with non-human host strains to generate novel pathogenic phenotypes. In Objective 1 I will determine whether (para)sexual reproduction generates genetic diversity in <em>C. auris</em> thus driving its evolution and dissemination. In Objective 2 I will establish how chromosomal variability maps onto the global population structure of this yeast and how this correlates with its drug resistance profile. In Objective 3 I will establish which genetic factors underlie the multi-drug resistance of clinical<em> C. auris</em> isolates.</p> <p>This project will provide crucially important mechanistic insight into the genetics of an emerging and dangerous human pathogen, <em>C. auris;</em> and has major implications for our understanding of its epidemiology, and significant potential to elucidate the origin of differences in drug resistance between clinical isolates of <em>C. auris</em>.</p>

Amount: £99,674
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Open Access Awards 2017/18 30 Sep 2018

Not available

Amount: £60,307
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Vacation Scholarships 2017 - University of Aberdeen 16 Jun 2017

<p>Vacation Scholarships Institutional Award</p>

Amount: £4,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

IVerbal Autopsy with Participatory Action Research (VAPAR): expanding the knowledge base through partnerships for action on health equity 26 Oct 2016

<p>Health systems are increasingly considered in terms beyond 'building blocks' models, as complex, adaptive, human and relational. Despite the conceptual advances, people-centered health systems research methods remain underdeveloped. The proposed work will connect two issues: the lack of information on the health of people excluded from access to health systems, and the low utilisation of research evidence by health systems stakeholders. The proposal is to institutionalise a process to strengthen data on mortality registration, combine with local knowledge, and interpret, plan and act on this basis in the health system at different levels. The method combines Verbal Autopsy (VA) with Participatory Action Research (PAR). VA is a method to determine levels, causes and circumstances of deaths. In PAR, communities organise evidence for action. 3 phases are proposed. In Phase 1, a series of 3 reflection and action cycles will be conducted to generate evidence, analyse, plan and act. Data will be generated on levels, causes and circumstances of deaths (using VA) and on health needs and priorities for action (using PAR) with communities. Data will be analysed with provincial level policy makers, action plans will be developed and implemented by district-level practitioners, and progress will be re-assessed in subsequent cycles. In Phase 2, participants and researchers will evaluate the process using realist and political economy methods to understand changes in care, outcomes and progress towards health equity. In Phase 3, sustainability and transferability will be developed with authorities, research and technical groups, health systems stakeholders and communities in the study site, and to the public. The output will be a process based on international standards, that is contextually relevant in health systems at different levels, and capable of translating local priorities into actionable agendas for health systems strengthening as a means towards health equity.</p>

Amount: £235,156
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

Zeiss LSM 880 confocal microscope with Airyscan detector for super-resolution imaging at the University of Aberdeen 06 Jul 2017

<p>We seek funds for a Zeiss LSM 880 confocal microscope with Airyscan detector and Airyscan Fast Acquisition Module to advance a diverse range of interdisciplinary Wellcome Trust funded projects with a focus on medical microbiology and immunology that are central to the University&rsquo;s strategic plan. &nbsp;Compared to conventional confocal microscopes, the LSM 880 with Airyscan provides greatly improved image quality and super-resolution imaging by simultaneously increasing signal to noise (4-8x) and resolution (1.7x) while enabling faster scanning (4x). &nbsp;Notably, laser power can be reduced substantially, thereby enabling long-term imaging of live cells expressing multiple fluorophores. &nbsp;This allows rapid, dynamic and complex processes to be acquired in super-resolution. &nbsp;The supplied ZEN2 software enables automation of many tasks.</p> <p>The equipment will be housed in our well-established Microscopy Core Facility in the College of Life Sciences and Medicine.&nbsp; The equipment will be maintained by core-funded staff with extensive expertise in state-of-the-art microscopy and decades of experience serving our research community, locally and further afield, using sustainable cost-recovery mechanisms. &nbsp;The equipment will primarily support our Welcome Trust funded researchers, but also other researchers working in the biomedical sciences, bringing considerable added value and new insights into these research programmes.</p>

Amount: £332,338
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen

In vitro characterisation of neurons and glia derived from mouse ES cells having Y chromosome gene deficiencies 27 Apr 2017

<p>The brain is a sexually dimorphic organ, which can explain why many psychiatric disorders are gender-biased. While it has been thought that fetal sex hormones play a crutial role in brain sexual differentiation, emerging evidence indicates that genetic and/or epigenetic factors encoded by sex chromosome genes are also involved. Here, we focus on several Y-linked genes expressed in the male brain, which may act in a dominant manner.&nbsp;<em>Sry</em>,&nbsp;<em>Uty</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Smcy</em>&nbsp;genes, whose products can participate in histone modification, are of particular interest. However, their functions in the brain remain unknown mainly because of difficulties in conventional gene-targeting of Y loci in embryonic stem cells (ESCs).&nbsp;In this project, we will take advantage of Crispr/Cas genome-editing technology that allows us to modify Y-linked genes. Mutant alleles of these three genes in ESCs were created and then differentiation will be induced of neurons and glia from the mutant ES cells. Differential gene expression between wild-type and mutant cells will be analysed by RT-RCR and bisulfite PCR,&nbsp;and subsequently epigenetic status of these differential genes will be elucidated. The project will reveal influences of Y-linked genes on sex-specific epigenetic modification and lead to better understanding of gender-biased psychiatric disorders.</p>

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

CRISPR/Cas9 enabled study of cis-regulatory regions of the NPY gene 27 Apr 2017

<p>NPY is a neuropeptide, expressed in the hypothalmus, which known to be involved in appetite regulation.&nbsp;Although little is known about&nbsp; the regulation of the NPY gene preliminary&nbsp;studies in the MacKenzie lab&nbsp;have&nbsp;identified highly conserved enhancers&nbsp;around&nbsp;&nbsp;the NPY locus many of which drive&nbsp;reporter gene &nbsp;expression in mouse hypothalamus.&nbsp;Dr&nbsp;Mackenzie's lab has recently carried out&nbsp;&nbsp;CRISPR based knockouts of&nbsp;regions&nbsp;of the&nbsp;NPY locus in mice and&nbsp;wish to study&nbsp;the affect on mouse feeding patterns and NPY gene expression in order to further characterise the enhancers&nbsp;controlling NPY. This&nbsp;will initially involve the&nbsp;use of&nbsp; in situ hybridisation and Qrt-PCR&nbsp;on tissues derived from genome edited mice from which candidate NPY enhancer regions have been ablated.&nbsp;&nbsp;Understanding the regulation of this gene will bring us significantly closer to understanding the factors affecting&nbsp;appetite, increased&nbsp;food intake and obesity.</p>

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

Navigation and steering systems in fungal pathogens - the route to fatal infection 05 Apr 2017

<p>Invasive candidiasis is the most common fungal disease among hospitalised patients in the developed world, affecting&nbsp;over 250,000 and killing 50,000 people a year. My research will discover how the microscopic filaments (hyphae) of <em>Candida albicans</em> disseminate from the bloodstream into solid organs, including the lung, liver, spleen, kidneys and bone, by addressing the hypothesis that&nbsp;hyphal guidance&nbsp;regulation&nbsp;is highly adapted to host microenvironments. My first aim is to determine the molecular mechanisms that regulate hyphal guidance.&nbsp; My second aim is to examine how physical properties of the microenvironment affect hyphal interactions with relevant host cells <em>in vitro</em> using biomaterials and the fluorescence live-cell imaging methods I have developed. With these, I showed that hyphal behaviour&nbsp;is determined by&nbsp;environmental factors, including adhesion, surface topography, substrate stiffness, calcium influx and carbon source, and can affect tissue distribution and interactions with macrophages. My third aim is to apply the understanding gained from my <em>in vitro</em> studies to an <em>in vivo</em> model of immune-cell activation and tissue invasion using see-through zebra-fish to image hyphal behaviour.&nbsp; This study will reveal how fungus-host interactions are influenced by the microenvironment and&nbsp;identify the regulatory pathways required for&nbsp;fungal dissemination during&nbsp;invasive candidiasis.</p>

Amount: £1,258,447
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: University of Aberdeen