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The 2014 - 2016 ISSF allocated funding to 41 projects across a variety of strategic areas and technical and scientific themes.

Strategic technical and support staff

  • The Patient Advisory Board: Harriet Teare. Funding to support development of a platform to enable patients and research participants to contribute to policy development to support medical research, so that that decisions made regarding ethics, law and regulation are reflective of the views of research participants.
  • Developing new computational approaches for a systematic approach to understanding the biology underpinning GWAS hits: Peter Donnelly and Doug Higgs. Funding to support a project bringing together world-leading experts in computational science and genetics, and clinicians studying patients with anaemia, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, to develop and implement a systematic approach that will link these disease-associated differences in DNA sequence to the genes they control. 
  • Super-resolution Cryo microscopy for correlative studies of membrane proteins in situ: E Yvonne Jones. Funding to extend the imaging and biophysical techniques available for the in situ analysis of cell membrane proteins by establishing an advanced light microscope which will be able to image cells at higher resolution (greater detail) than is possible with conventional light microscopy.
  • XChem - X-ray-Accelerated and Synthesis-Aligned Fragment Chemistry for Boosting Drug Discovery in Oxford: Chris Schofield. Funding to to establish a long-term alliance between the new Diamond X-ray screening facility, Oxford Chemistry, the SGC, and industrial partners, to develop, cement and exploit the 'XChem' approach to early drug discovery in Oxford and Harwell. The XChem approach is based on applying x-ray screening and chemistry to difficult protein (drug) targets being studied in Oxford.
  • Chemical Exchange in Acute Cerebral Ischaemia: using protein NMR spectroscopy to understand the clinical potential of chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI: James Kennedy and Nicola Sibson. Funding to support a project using applied protein NMR spectroscopy to complement human stroke MRI in the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre (AVIC) in order to improve understanding of the possibilities for new treatments, and monitor the translation of any new treatments from the laboratory to the clinic.
  • Genomic Platform To Characterise Human Cell Populations And Single Cells For Cross-Disciplinary Functional Studies: Paresh Vyas. Funding to help establish a facility that will provide genetic characterisation of diseased tissue at a single cell level. This is a necessity for a comprehensive understanding of diseased tissue. The project is initially focussing on myeloid cancers like Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
  • Support for Bioinformatics Key Staff in Biological Mass Spectrometry: Benedikt Kessler. Funding to retain a senior bioinformatician whose contributions have been critical for may research groups requiring bioinformatics support. This post will continue to support and further develop mass spectrometry data analysis and software tools to better interpret biological, biomedical and clinical experiments.
  • A laboratory and analytical pipeline for analysis of the Human Virome: Paul Klenerman & Rory Bowden. Funding to apply sequencing methods to tissues in the body in order to find new viruses and capture detailed information about both new and existing viruses, for example details of drug resistance.

Infrastructure support and strategic investment

  • Expansion of inter-departmental genome engineering services: Daniel Ebner. Funding to develop develop a coordinated genome engineering service across Oxford's 3 major campus areas.
  • Enhancing our BioNMR capabilities in pursuit of protein structure-function relationships and biomolecular interactions: application for an upgrade of the ultra-high field 950 MHz NMR spectrometer: Christina Redfield. Funding to upgrade the 950 MHz NMR, with modern electronics to greatly enhance its capabilities and bring it up to current state-of-the-art standards. 
  • Enhancement of technological capacity in biomedical research: Wolfson Imaging Centre Oxford: Christian Eggeling. Funding for upgrades to the microscopes in the Wolfson Imaging Centre to improve the sensitivity for detection of molecular interactions in living cells and organisms, additional management staff and an optimization of the image analysis and storage infrastructure to cope with the growing needs for user support.
  • Building 4Pi-SMS, a revolutionary single molecule super resolution fluorescence microscope: Ilan Davis. Funding toward purchase or a 4Pi-SMS microscope system to support the renewal of The Micron Oxford Advanced Bioimaging Unit.
  • Establishing a metagenomics platform to support clinical research at KWTRP: Etienne de Villiers. Funding to support the establishment of a metagenomics platform the support clinical research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) including investigation of the gut microbiome in severe acute malnutrition and inflammatory disease in children, the cause of non-traumatic coma in febrile children and the vaginal bacterial environment during Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Pregnant Women.
  • Funding to equip the new South Parks Road fish facility: Mathilda Mommersteeg. Funding to equip the new fish facility on South Parks Road with essential research equipment.
  • Wellcome Trust Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging: Heidi Johansen-Berg. Funding for an IT Cluster to support the Wellcome Trust Centre for Intergrative Neuroimaging.
  • Establishing a flexible and responsive platform for interdisciplinary research to identify and address practical ethical issues arising in data-driven medical research at global scale: Mike Parker. Funding to support the Wellcome Trust Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine.
  • A new SPR proteomics facility bringing together existing capabilities in The Dunn School, Biochemistry and Chemistry Departments: Mark Sansom. Funding to establish a dedicated centre of excellence in proteomics to develop and apply new chemical and physical advanced proteomics methods to address challenging research areas such as cellular signalling, regulation, epigenetics, and dynamic changes in vivo protein structure.
  • Critical sequencing capacity to South Parks Road for cost effective and timely execution of standard sequencing based experiments: Aziz Aboobaker. Funding to update sequencing capacity in the South Parks Road area.

Technical and scientific themes: International health

  • Harnessing Routine Data for Learning Health Systems in Developing Countries: Mike English. Funding to support a project working with Kenyan Ministry of Health and the Kenya Major Overseas Programme to examine global best practice in policy, ethics and governance of data from Electronic Health Record systems and the creation of learning health systems.
  • Newborn phenotypes – risk factors for susceptibility to infection and vaccine response in the first year of life: Stephen Kennedy. Funding to establish a collaborative research programme between the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (NDOG), Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) and the two largest maternity hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, to investigate the epidemiology of the preterm birth (PTB) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) phenotypes in Vietnam, and the relationship between these newborn phenotypes and susceptibility to infection and vaccine response in the first year of life.
  • Genomics of the host response to influenza in China: establishing a new partnership as part of the CAMSOxford Centre for Translational Immunology: Julian Knight. Funding to develop a research partnership with Ditan Hospital in Beijing to investigate the genomic determinants of the individual patient response to influenza.
  • The Impact of C-Reactive Protein Quantitative Tests on Antibiotic Prescription in Health Facilities in Africa and Asia: Yoel Lubell. Funding to investigate the acceptability of C-Reactive Protein point of care quantitative readers to clinicians at health facilities in Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the impact on antibiotic prescription.
  • Building an Oxford Africa Platform for Collaborative Research in Health and Biomedical Sciences: Kevin Marsh. Funding to establish an Oxford Africa Platform for collaborative research through development of a network of Oxford-Africa researchers and small grants to support visits between outstanding emerging African researchers and researchers based in Oxford.
  • An evaluation of a serious mobile game to improve trainee nurses knowledge and skills in emergency neonatal care in Kenyan teaching hospitals: Niall Winters. Funding to support the development of a serious game for low-cost smartphones to provide training in neonatal resuscitation for emergency care nurses in Kenya.

Technical and scientific themes: Neuroscience

  • High-resolution in vivo imaging of human retina: New capabilities for medical science in Oxford: Hannah Smithson. Funding to establish capability for high-resolution in vivo retinal imaging in a clinical setting.
  • Developing world-class human neurophysiological resources at Oxford: Charlotte Stagg. Funding to establish a new laboratory at the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) with capability to use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study the human brain.

Technical and scientific themes: Genomics and genome engineering

  • A multiplex genome engineering discovery platform for functional analysis of miRNA regulatory networks: Tudor Fulga. Funding to develop a cutting edge multiplex genome engineering based technology platform. 
  • Characterisation of meningococcal carriage isolates from UK MenCar4 study: Martin Maiden. Funding to analyse meningococcal carriage isolates in order to investigate the virulence and transmission of a bacteria that causes meningitis and septicaemia.

Social Sciences in Medicine

  • The foundation of multidisciplinary human reproductive research at Oxford: Melinda Mills. Funding to investigate the biological and genetic components of reproduction alongside socio-environmental traits and the interaction between the two.

Medical Humanities

  • Phenomenology and Health: An Interdisciplinary Symposium: Cleo Hanaway-Oakley. Funding to support the inaugural conference of the TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network which explored the role of phenomenology in health-related research and practice.
  • Enhancing the Medical Humanities at Oxford Programme 2015-17: Stephen Tuck. Funding to support a two-year multi-disciplinary programme of research, public engagement and outreach for a wide group of Medical Humanities researchers working in literature, language, philosophy, theology and religion, theatre, and music.
  • Healthcare Values Partnership: Joshua Hordern. Two awards to establish the Healthcare Values Partnership and pursue a programme of research and public engagement concerning key factors shaping the ethos of healthcare.
  • The History of Dyslexia Project: William Whyte. Funding to support research into the science of reading, the politics of dyslexia, everyday dyslexia to capture the voices of those with the condition and the creation of a dyslexia archive.

Training and Development

  • Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School Career support for Clinical Lecturers: Chris Pugh. Two awards to support the career and professional development of Clinical Lecturers.
  • Train-EM: Cross-departmental response to the rapidly growing demand for provision of access and training in biological cryoEM: Kay Grünewald. Funding to establish a joint training post to train the growing cryoEM community across both the Old Road and South Parks Road campuses and to support users in making best use of the existing and coming equipment.

Public Engagement

  • Contemporary Science & Society: public engagement with Oxford’s biomedical research portfolio: Paul Smith. Funding to establish a new programme of contemporary science showcases within Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
  • Public Engagement in the Medical Sciences Division: Matthew Wood. Funding to support the appointment of a Public Engagement Co-ordinator for the Medical Sciences Division.
  • Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Engagement Fund: Matthew Wood. Funding to establish a public engagement small grants scheme.
  • Developing Medical Sciences Division Public Engagement with Research activities: Matthew Wood. Funding to support festival participation and public engagement training for medical sciences researchers.