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Interdepartmental strategic

  • Doing well? Social Mobility, Health and Well-Being in Britain. Stanley Ulijaszek. This interdivisional project to conduct a study that brings together socio-epidemiological and historical datasets for the development of a novel, timely, and policy-relevant analysis of the impact of educational mobility on contemporary British citizens’ well-being, across the 20th century will ultimately build to establish a sustainable, cross-divisional research network for the medical humanities and social sciences in Oxford.
  • Upgrade of state-of-the-art mass spectrometer for deep Proteomics. Roman Fischer.  It is imperative in a technology-driven field like proteomics relying on world-class mass spectrometry, that Oxford acquires and underpins its research with the most up-to-date technology. This initiative will benefit multiple research groups and areas in a critical analytical context.
  • Uniting iPCS and CRISPR/Cas9 screens- a platform to model and interrogate genetic disease in Oxford. Benjamin Davies. This collaborative proposal put forward by three research brings together the expertise key for the advancement of iPSC modelling in Oxford, working to overcome the challenges of using iPSC for disease modelling, with potential to benefit numerous projects running university wide and in the clinical space beyond.
  • Acquiring a cryo-light microscope for correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM) studies on bacterial biofilms. Tanmay Bharat. This proposal and strategic investment in research assets will enable localisation of fluorescently tagged macromolecules of interest; combining this information with the electron microscopy will greatly enhance the potential for generating novel findings and is therefore of high importance for Dr. Bharat’s research and a number of other research groups.
  • Establishing a cross departmental Global Health Systems Group: Mike English. Addressing an unmet need, this project is set to have beneficial effect in the short term as well as strategic value in relation to GCRF and Global Health calls through enhanced communications strategies.
  • Exploring the potential for Behavioural Activation to facilitate successful economic transitions for adolescents in LMICs: Stefan Dercon. Strategically important project resonating with other funding to set up a research stream to explore whether psychological therapies can be applied to LMIC communities with high levels of socio-economic and other adversity to impact key life outcomes.
  • Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (MALDI) with imaging capability: James McCullagh. Strategic investment in research assets to support research from six University departments across a range of fields, including epigenetics, drug development, and imaging;  bringing new capability in mass spectrometric-based imaging to Oxford and underpinning future grant applications in the fields of epigenetics, diagnostics, anti-infectives, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammatory diseases.
  • The Oxford Quantitative Biology Training Programme: Doug Higgs. Cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary collaboration to leverage the enormous power, widespread availability and decreasing cost of big data technologies across computational and statistical contexts in medical sciences, to generate enhanced skillsets, best working practices and exchange of expertise in computational biology.
  • China-Oxford collaboration on emerging infections: Peter Horby. Initiative to enhance the potential for very significant impact from collaborations between University departments and the Chinese Centres for Disease Control.
  • Summer School in Medical Humanities: Laurie Maguire. A week long residential summer school in Medical Humanities which aims to develop interdisciplinary skills, dialogue and expectations in prospective medical students and to provide pedagogical innovation for sixth formers by teaching students to think in an interdisciplinary way. Public engagement and outreach are crucial to the vision, so the summer school also aims to provide a generous bursary programme for those students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • A comprehensive platform for microbiome studies. Fiona Powrie. This exciting multi-departmental project will support the Centre for Microbiome Studies in making its facilities available to scientists across the University to advance our understanding of the microbiota. This may uncover new targets for interventions that promote health or prevent or treat disease.
  • Real time monitoring viral replication dynamics. Nicole Zitzmann. This proposal is a strategic investment in a Clariostar microplate reader for the study of the replication capabilities of a number of viruses and cellular responses in conditions that mimic physiological oxygen levels, not possible with more standard plate readers. This brings an excellent opportunity for further inter-departmental collaborations.
  • Developing new approaches to early disease detection using a primary care cohort with vague non-specific symptoms. Gail Hayward. Experts from across the University of Oxford have teamed up for this innovative project to evaluate the effectiveness of new, simple tests in helping GPs identify serious diseases sooner in a cohort of participants it would otherwise be impossible to obtain.
  • Building Proteomics Excellence for the South Parks Road Community. Shabaz Mohammed. Like genomics, proteomics is a rapidly growing field that has yet to reach maturity. Access to innovative and robust facilities like the Advanced Proteomics Facility (APF) on South Parks Road is vitally important to the Oxford scientific community. This facility is a good strategic investment and is an appropriate recipient of support, which will drive methodology innovation and ensure good service.
  • Healthcare and Humanities. Daniel Grimley. This project will establish a research leadership post in healthcare and humanities in order to capitalise on existing internal and external partnerships, take forward new initiatives, and ensure the healthcare and humanities programme is self-sustaining and productive.
  • A real time metabolic analyser combined with hypoxic/anoxic chamber to support cross-divisional metabolic research. James McCullagh. This proposal is a strategic investment in a metabolic analyser and hypoxia/anoxia chamber with real-time capability for Oxford's Mass Spectrometry Research Facility, which will leverage significant academic value from existing facilities and open avenues for novel research across a range of departments in both the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) and the Medical Sciences Divisions.

Individual Career Support

  • Establishing an animal-microbiota model: can good microbes shape C.elegans host responses to pathogens? Kayla King.  Investigating the effects of protective microbes on host health is pressing for biomedical research. Whilst we know protective microbes can suppress pathogens in vivo, it is unclear what effects are on host biology, particularly on host defences against infection. This interdepartmental, interdivisional project has potential to open up a new dynamic in the fight against pathogens.
  • Decoding movement intention for closed-loop DBS for essential tremor. Huiling Tan.  Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common movement disorders, causing uncontrollable and debilitating rhythmic motions.  This work, combining experience from multiple disciplines, will develop DBS systems with the capacity for simultaneous stimulation and recording, with minimal stimulation artefact in the recorded signal, for optimal performance of closed-loop DBS. This will provide critical insight into the pathology of Essential Tremor, which may lead to further improvement in the treatment
  • Calcitonin receptor signalling in atrial fibrillation.  Svetlana Reilly. A non-invasive biomarker enabling targeted therapy of atrial fibrillation (AF), reducing the risk of mortality, is urgently needed. The proposal suggests calcitonin and pro-calcitonin serum levels as such potential biomarkers based on promising preliminary data, an original approach with a clear plan to pump-prime applications and high potential for clinical impact.
  • A new role for proton-sensing receptors in brain ischemia - does gender matter? Maike Glitsch.  This investment in career transformation will enable this experienced researcher to pursue realisation of the potential for translation of basic science to a specific clinical condition in the area of area of ischaemia, where need is clear.
  • Neurocomputational mechanisms of motivational impairments in Parkinson's Disease: Matthew Apps. Project paving the way for major future initiatives by this researcher, linking basic and in-vivo neuroscience, computational neuroscience and clinical study across multiple University departments.
  • Measuring three-dimensional high-speed nanoscale forces during T-cell activation: Marco Fritzsche. Exciting technology and a collaboration with Janelia Farm (USA) as well as several University departments, seeks to characterize physical forces in action during T-cell activation, in a highly novel interaction between the physical and biomedical arenas.
  • The role of High Mobility Group Nucleosomal Binding Protein 1 in the regulation of urinary calcium: Sarah Howles. Support for Early Career Clinical Academic’s project will aid investigation of genetic factors contributing to idiopathic hypercalciuria, key to improvement of the understanding of kidney stone disease - a condition affecting up to 20% of the population at some stage during their lifetime - and its prevention.
  • Central nervous system autoimmunity: understanding how pathogenic T cells evade central and peripheral tolerance: Adam Handel.. This strategically important work by an Early Career Clinical Academic supports a range of activity relating to neurological disease and its ultimate clinical and societal burden, with a focus on the study of inflammation and seeking to design improved future treatments through fluorescence activated cell sorting, sequencing and bioinformatics initiatives.
  • Structure, function and translation of the REST complex in human disease: Bass Hassan. Career transformation investment with co-applicant support from Professor Susan Lea of the Structural Microscopy Imaging Centre with fundamental importance across departments in the Medical Sciences Division. This applicant’s placement, across both structural and functional biology, provides an unique and immediate opportunity for translation of the science that fully and vitally exploits the Wellcome Trust infrastructure.
  • Endotyping asthma: functional location of airway inflammation: Grant Ritchie. Interdisciplinary project utilising trace gas detection in work towards construction of a prototype real-time instrument aiding clinicians in asthma diagnosis by an applicant who previously developed a novel diode laser-based bronchoscope.
  • Development of long-lived fluorescent dyes for gated STED microscopy: Robert Edkins. Project from an Early Career Researcher to develop bespoke dyes that will enable biologists to take full advantage of the new developments in fluorescence microscopy. The Co-I, facility manager of the Wolfson Imaging Centre, will collaborate to ensure the work is highly relevant to the needs of microscope users.
  • Whole-genome sequencing M. tuberculosis in a remote, highburden setting: Timothy Walker. Working with an international collaborator to acquire vital sequencing data in Madagascar on M.tuberculosis using a portable system, with the intention of passing on for local use. This would enhancing responses to predicted multiple circulating clones of the disease and providing a seminal boost to WHO objectives.
  • Augmenting brain plasticity via dietary intervention: Jacinta O'Shea. Collaboration across neuroscience departments developing, in combination with electrical brain stimulation, dietary interventions following brain injury as a preferred strategy to contraindicated current pharmacological interventions.
  • Sugar and fertility in ageing male Drosophila: Stuart Wigby. Project aims to address lack of fundamental knowledge about male fertility by using fruit flies as a model system, and experimentally changing environmental
    factors to test their effect on sperm. Specifically, this project will investigate the role of dietary sugar on male fertility. 
  • Determining the Ability of the Maternal Angiogenic Profile during Pregnancy to Predict Maternal and Offspring Cardiovascular Phenotype. Christina Aye. This is an important area of research that will deepen our understanding of the link between the blood markers of mothers and infants and risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. ISSF funding will support the continued collection of data and its analysis.
  • Motor thalamocortical circuits: from connectivity to behaviour. Andrew Sharott. The proposed research to investigate the little understood connections between the motor thalamus and frontal cortex is timely and important, and combines the PI’s expertise in up-to-date neuroscience with his international collaborator’s ability to record neuronal activity in awake patients to produce a unique data set not commonly available in the UK.

Translational Research

  • EMD Millipore Collaboration: Redevelopment of Adenoviral Vector Upstream Production Platform. Philip Angell-Manning. Initiative to establish collaboration between the Jenner Institute and EMD Millipore to create a scaleable, industrially-compatible cellular manufacturing process for Adenovirus, suitable for use in clinical vaccine manufacture.
  • GaitThaw: helping people with Parkinson’s disease walk. James Cantley. A novel approach addressing the impairment of ability to control movement in people with neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease, which affects 10 million people worldwide.
  • Circadian Regulation of Hepatitis B virus.  Jane McKeating. The circadian clock underpins most physiological conditions and provides a temporal dimension to our understanding of body and tissue homeostasis. This emerging area of viral-clock biology research provides a fertile ground for discovering novel anti-viral targets. With GCRF relevance,  the project seeks to address the challenge presented by Hepatitis B and associated signalling pathways in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.