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The Wellcome Trust
Recipients:
Birkbeck University of London
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Results

Medical internationalism in practice: infrastructures, organisations and networks 31 Aug 2019

<p style="margin-left: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm">We are a group of historians located at the intersection of the history of medicine and science, medical humanities and international relations. With the help of this grant we would like to throw light on the social and political infrastructures, practices and organisations that have shaped &lsquo;medical internationalism&rsquo; in practice in the course of the 19<sup>th</sup> and 20<sup>th</sup> centuries. &lsquo;Internationalism&rsquo; can refer to very different ideas and practices, from the search for intergovernmental agreements to the practice of international assembly and the transfer of ideas, objects or people across borders. We are seeking to make explicit the infrastructures, organisations and networks that have shaped how medically-trained professionals have understood their place in the world. Our main goal is to create a network of researchers with expertise in medical and scientific internationalism and the internationalisation of academic institutions. This grant would enable us to define a new and shared research agenda, and to anchor our enquiries within the broader scholarships on internationalism and international relations which have hitherto frequently ignored the roles played by medicine.</p>

Amount: £30,300
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Reframing HIV Stigma: Towards a 5 Cities Research Programme 31 Aug 2019

<p>This project brings together an international network of leading HIV scholars, activists, artists, policymakers and practitioners in 5 Fast Track Cities (FTC) &ndash; Delhi (India), Brighton (UK), New York (US), Nairobi (Kenya) and Havana (Cuba) to develop an innovative research programme that foregrounds the body in relation to stigma, HIV treatment and prevention encompassing intimate, public and globally comparative perspectives. The UN FTC partnership is a global initiative inviting municipalities in the Global South and North to commit to arresting HIV transmission by improving access to health services and reducing stigma. This focus on the eradication of stigma to&nbsp;facilitate access to HIV biomedicines for treatment and/as prevention, neglects how people affected by HIV live their bodies in respect of localised socio-economic contexts, sexual cultures and HIV bio-technologies - crucial for understanding how stigma operates. During 5 workshops structured following the arts-based methodology Embodied Mapping, we will develop innovative epistemological and methodological approaches for assembling situated knowledges about HIV stigma; investigate how visual methods open up new trajectories for HIV stigma research; and explore how the body in relation to HIV and stigma is understood differently between sectors and urban locations and how this multiplicity is negotiated in practice.&nbsp;</p>

Amount: £29,968
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Multi-scale mechanisms of microtubule-based transport within cilia and flagella 16 Jul 2019

<p>The goal of this proposal is to obtain mechanistic insight the microtubule-based transport system that enables cilia/flagella to assemble and perform essential functions in cell motility, signaling, and sensing. Strikingly, this process of intraflagellar transport (IFT) involves multi-megadalton polymers, termed IFT 'trains', which move under the power of oppositely-directed microtubule motors dynein-2 and kinesin Kif3. To address outstanding motor mechanisms of&nbsp;IFT, I propose a&nbsp;multi-disciplinary approach spanning three scales.&nbsp;At the scale of individual motors, we will determine structures of the dynein-2 and Kif3 complexes&nbsp;to elucidate how their subunits come together and&nbsp;enable regulated motor activity. At the scale of multi-motor assemblies, we will reconstitute IFT trains with purified proteins to dissect how they polymerize and coordinate bidirectional&nbsp;motility. At the scale of whole cilia, we will determine how dynein-2 powers IFT turnaround at the ciliary tip and define spatial regulators of dynein-2 in mammalian cells.&nbsp;To achieve these goals, we will use reconstitution and cryo-EM to determine structures, fluorescence microscopy to visualize dynamics, and genome editing to interrogate cellular factors. Together, these studies will illuminate the multi-scale mechanisms that cells use to build and signal through cilia/flagella, which I will integrate into&nbsp;a&nbsp;molecular movie.</p>

Amount: £1,729,179
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Molecular Dissection of Conjugative Transport in Gram-negative Bacteria 16 Jul 2019

<p>Type 4 secretion (T4S) systems mediate transfer of DNA from one bacterium to another in a process called &quot;bacterial conjugation&quot;. As a result, T4S systems are crucial players in the spread of antibiotic resistance among bacterial populations.&nbsp;They also mediate secretion and injection of protein effectors into eukaryotic host cells, and therefore, are important virulence factors in bacterial pathogenesis. This proposal focuses on conjugative T4S&nbsp;systems in Gram-negative bacteria. Conjugation starts with the processing of the DNA at a defined site&nbsp;called the origin of transfer (OriT). This processing step is executed by a large complex called the relaxosome, containing a protein called the &quot;relaxase&quot;, and several accessory proteins. During processing, the relaxase nicks and covalently attaches to the DNA and it is this ssDNA-protein conjugate that is transported through the T4S system. Prior to transport, donor and recipient cells come together to form a conjugative&nbsp;junction.&nbsp;Our research goals are the following: i-determine the structure of the relaxosome bound to OriT; ii-trap the ssDNA-protein conjugate within the T4S machinery and solve the structure of this substrate-trapped system in order to elucidate the secretion path; iii-&nbsp;investigate the structure and architecture of conjugative&nbsp;junctions between donor and recipient cells.</p>

Amount: £2,590,352
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Molecular basis of the oxidative stress response and its regulation 12 Jun 2019

<p>Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are obligatory by-products of aerobic living conditions and important signalling molecules. Excessive amounts of ROS can be deleterious for cells: they can damage proteins, membranes and the DNA. They are the cause and consequence of multiple human diseases. Complex pathways have evolved to maintain the redox balance and, if necessary, trigger apoptosis to protect cells from damage accumulation.</p> <p><br> Despite their importance in human health and disease, the molecular mechanisms of ROS-regulated gene expression and cell survival decisions under oxidative conditions are poorly understood, with several key questions remaining. What are the molecular mechanisms underlying redox stress response in higher eukaryotes? What are the safety mechanisms that protect cells from thriving under oxidative stress and how are these mechanisms hijacked in pathological conditions? To answer these questions, I will elucidate the key steps in the redox stress response using a combination of biophysical and structural techniques. This work will focus on: i) the regulation of the major transcription factor implicated in the redox stress response; ii) the activation of the detoxification machinery; iii) the safety mechanisms that govern cell fate under oxidative stress.</p>

Amount: £1,464,550
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

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

Not available

Amount: £21,956
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Open access award 2015/16. 21 Sep 2015

Not available

Amount: £14,167
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Open access publishing costs 2014/15. 15 Sep 2014

Not available

Amount: £14,167
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Open Access Awards 2017/18 30 Sep 2018

Not available

Amount: £21,390
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Open Access Block Grant 2016/17 30 Sep 2016

Not available

Amount: £18,634
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Re-Examining the ‘Global’ in Global Mental Health: African Understandings of Mental Disorder and Intellectual Disability 06 Oct 2018

<p>Global mental health stands at an important juncture: recent research and policy reveals substantial challenges in closing the mental health treatment gap in low- and middle-income countries.&nbsp; However, worries persist that global mental health represents cultural colonisation by Western psychiatry/pharmacology, exacerbated further by the expansion of psychiatric genomics in African contexts. &nbsp;The project establishes a UK-Africa consortium which seeks to resolve dual ethical imperatives of addressing genuine challenges to mental health care in African settings alongside respect for African cultural thought and&nbsp;practice. &nbsp;The grant will enable:</p> <p>(i) a three-day workshop investigating&nbsp;(a) biomedical/non-biomedical explanatory models of mental disorder and recovery; (b) cultural conceptions of personhood and genetic identity;</p> <p>(ii) an international&nbsp;conference which explores African bioethical contributions to global mental health;</p> <p>(iii)&nbsp;knowledge exchange drop-ins which establish&nbsp;a deliberative&nbsp;forum for&nbsp;'bottom-up learning';&nbsp;</p> <p>(iv) published outputs that (a) critically reflect on psychiatric classificatory models and the DSM-V Cultural Formulation interview;&nbsp;(b) the launch&nbsp;of a research and practical agenda for improving dialogue between biomedical and non-biomedical models of mental health. &nbsp;</p> <p>This&nbsp;will establish a collaborative programme of work devoted to future project proposals that advance cross-treatment dialogue and &lsquo;joined-up&rsquo; thinking amongst practitioners and researchers of African mental health care.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Amount: £49,743
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Institutional Strategic Support Fund 30 Sep 2019

Not available

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

History of Medicine: Minds, Bodies and Cultures 11 Jul 2018

<p>The MA in History of Medicine runs for one year full-time or two years part-time, during which students complete two core courses and three subject-specific option modules. The first core course&mdash;'Mastering Historical Research&rsquo;&mdash;introduces students to the important debates and schools of thought that have shaped the discipline of history. The other core course&mdash;'Research Skills for Historians&rsquo;&mdash;prepares students for dissertation-writing. Both aim to establish pathways for progression to doctoral research. The option modules represent HCA&rsquo;s diverse research expertise.</p> <p>Unlike HSTM MAs at many other institutions, we explore health and illness from antiquity to the present day, equipping students with the conceptual knowledge and analytical skills to draw meaningful comparisons across many centuries and great cultural and geographical divides. Our MA provides students with a rich and varied experience of studying history at a postgraduate level, allowing them to satisfy and expand their passion for the history of medicine and health. But our primary focus is always to transform these passions into meaningful research&mdash;to help students build the intellectual and methodological foundations to undertake sophisticated and original projects that prepare them for doctoral work and professional life.</p>

Amount: £87,705
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Data Worlds and Futures: Archives, Bioinformation and Evidence 27 Jun 2018

<p>As body fragments, tissue samples and DNA sequences are progressively transformed into highly mobile and replicable data, bioinformation raises urgent questions about the entanglement of (life and) death with the materialities and mechanisms of data worlds. This project explores the relation between bioinformation, infrastructures and evidence in relation to forensic archival practices and data processing. It examines the social lives of data through practitioners&rsquo; day-to-day activities, social practices of collection, storage and use through associations that privilege particular data types and configurations. An integrated programme of activities will: 1) establish a research network of bioinformation scholars; 2) engage forensic specialists and data scientists in two collaborative workshops to explore the digitisation and storage of biomaterials and the algorithmic applications used to interpret data and produce evidence; 3) produce exploratory empirical research at a forensic services provider and repository, as a background case study to analyse digitisation and data processing in forensic research and forensic service provision.</p> <p>This project will open up major areas of enquiry that will improve public understandings of evidence intersecting forensic science, genetic profiling, and algorithmic processing. It will foster new avenues in bioinformation research, data policy and algorithmic governance in the field of health and wellbeing.</p>

Amount: £29,084
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

History of Medicine: Minds, Bodies and Cultures 30 Jun 2018

<p>Recent historical work has begun to grapple with the ways in which representations of epidemics in the Global South have impacted both popular understandings and policies towards afflicted countries. Previous studies such as David Campbell&rsquo;s &lsquo;The Iconography of Famine&rsquo; have shown how visual culture has played an important role in both presenting the Global South as inferior to the West and in prompting government actions. There is, however, a need for more scholarly attention to be focused on historical representations of Ebola epidemics and the impact that such representations have had in social and political spheres. By contextualising my close analysis of Ebola photography within a diverse selection of textual sources, this project will fulfil the following three objectives:</p> <p>1. Explore the ways in which photographs of the Ebola epidemic in British popular culture have historically shaped attitudes and policies towards afflicted countries.</p> <p>2. Produce a peer-reviewed article that will examine the history of photographic representations of Ebola in Britain.</p> <p>3. Submit an opinion piece to <em>Guardian Science</em> that will explore visual imagery in relation to current debates over public-health and immigration policies. Further, a policy report will be produced for <em>History &amp; Policy</em>.</p>

Amount: £25,175
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Toddlerlab CAVE Neuroimaging Facilities 05 Jul 2018

<p>The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) has been at the forefront of developing behavioural, electrophysiological, and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) methods for use in early development. <strong>We propose to assemble the world&rsquo;s first audiovisually contingent, fully immersive multiuser <em>Cave Automatic Virtual Environment</em> (CAVE) incorporating real-time synchronised brain recordings of electrical activity, blood oxygenation,&nbsp; and motor functioning (motion tracking, EMG), all using wearable or wireless technology enabling natural <em>toddler </em>and <em>pre-school child</em> interactions to be recorded.&nbsp;</strong>This will be achieved by building a completely new dedicated facility incorporating state of the art behavioural and neuroimaging capabilities. The proposed automated end-to-end pipeline will provide an unconstrained solution that will allow toddlers and pre-school&nbsp;children to be studied in comparable ways to infant and animal studies, affording direct validation of existing animal models of cognitive development to neurotypical development, as well as to emerging disorders, such as <em>ADHD</em>, <em>Autism Spectrum Disorder</em>, <em>Down syndrome</em>, and <em>Williams syndrome</em>.&nbsp; This facility will allow us to join the dots between early neurocognitive development, which is relatively well understood, and later development in middle childhood that will enable the direct translation of advances in basic bioscience to practical clinical and social solutions.</p>

Amount: £850,458
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Timestamping Integrative Approach to Understand Secondary Envelopment of Human Cytomegalovirus 28 Nov 2017

<p>The mechanisms facilitating &nbsp;the assembly of <strong>Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)</strong> in the cytoplasm of infected cells, a complex process termed <strong>&lsquo;secondary envelopment&rsquo;</strong>, are poorly understood. Our goal is to identify in-situ the identity, position, and interactions of all the essential proteins involved in this critical stage of the viral &lsquo;lifecycle&rsquo;. Despite decades of research, it has been difficult to dissect the complexity of secondary envelopment, as bulk assays only show ensemble averages of populations of viral particles. To study these intermediates that are formed when cytoplasmic capsids acquire tegument proteins and their envelope membrane, we will develop a <strong>novel approach</strong> that separates these <strong>intermediates in time and space</strong>. We will provide their spatio-temporal models by integrating complementary cutting-edge techniques and expertise within this collaboration, including flow-virometry, correlative (fluorescence and electron cryo) microscopy, crosslinking and ion-mobility mass spectrometry-based proteomics, and computational modelling. Specifically, we aim to:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>-Identify key players in tegument assembly on capsids/membranes.</p> <p>-Elucidate the order and spatial organisation of tegument assembly.</p> <p>-Validate the interactions in vivo and analyse capsid tegumentation in vitro.</p> <p>-Integrate the information into a spatiotemporal model.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This will significantly improve our understanding of herpesvirus assembly in general, a crucial step towards identifying new therapeutic targets.</p>

Amount: £673,700
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Feeling Flesh: Pain, Emotion and the Self in the Understanding of Insanity’s Tortured Bodies and Fractured Minds, c.1880-1930 02 May 2017

<p>This study draws attention to the ambiguities and conflicts surrounding embodiment and pain in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century understanding of the experience of &lsquo;insanity&rsquo;. Engaging with concepts of embodied cognition, the history of emotion and phenomenology, it considers the relationship between the body, culture, and language in the experience and construction of disorder. Deconstructing boundaries drawn around the &lsquo;shell-shocked body&rsquo; in historical discourse draws attention to the ambiguous but shifting position occupied by the hypersensitive uncontrollable or pained body to reveal the experience of mental illness as shaped by a complex interaction of body, language, and culture. Resistant reading of patient case-notes and published treatises on insanity will be used in conjunction with a consideration of representations of the &lsquo;insane body&rsquo; in the visual arts (including photography and film). Arguing for a biopsychosocial approach to mental health, this research emphasises the importance of historicising the ways in which the experience of &lsquo;disorder&rsquo; is filtered through textual and visual discourse; asking how patients have communicated sensation and considers the ways in which doctors have sought to record or understand it.</p>

Amount: £89,933
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London

Fascism, the Corruption of Psychiatry and the Coercion and Confinement of LGBT People in Italy, 1922 - 1943 02 May 2017

<p>My doctoral thesis will draw together substancial archives records and will analyse the complex and intricate behind-the-scenes dialogue between psychiatric hospitals directors, public security forces, local authorities, mental health patients and their families during the fascist regime in Italy (1922-1943). Analysing and comparing the correspondence between these institutions and individuals, together with doctors' and nurses' notes, in four different locations, it will shed light on how&nbsp;repression of so-called &quot;sexual inversion&quot; was implemented. This fragmented and choral dialogue will be revealing of broader social attitudes towards homosexuality and will challenge the stereotype of cohesive Italian families that was&nbsp;so central in fascist propaganda. It will unravel mechanisms of power and authority during the regime and will show&nbsp;to what extent its rhetoric had entered everyday life. Finally, it will&nbsp;demonstrate how the law and its representatives accommodated the regime's need to isolate and punish non-conforming individuals, and how psychiatry offered its knowledge to this project, thus becoming its most effective tool of repression.</p>

Amount: £96,076
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: Birkbeck University of London