Grant winners – 5 November 2015

A round-up of recent recipients of research council cash

November 5, 2015
Grant winners tab on folder

Royal Society

Wolfson Research Merit Awards

These awards are worth £10,000-£30,000 a year, which is a salary enhancement

Tuneable lasers for optical coherence tomography and their translation

Unlocking the biotechnological potential of the subsurface

Understanding and exploiting immune recognition of cellular stress

Stochastic modelling for improving understanding of storm risk

National Institute for Health Research

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

A blinded randomised controlled trial investigating the efficacy of morphine analgesia for procedural pain in infants

Public Health Research Programme

A woman-centred, tailored SMS-delivered multi-component intervention for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss in the postpartum period: intervention adaptation and pilot RCT

Health Technology Assessment Programme

QUIDS: quantitative fibronectin to help decision-making in women with symptoms of preterm labour

Medical Research Council

Research grants

MICA: Investigating the pathogenic role of T follicular helper cells and their therapeutic targeting in primary Sjögren’s syndrome

Human mechanosensation: from first-order neurone to somatosensory cortex

Optogenetic dissection of homeostatic and Hebbian components of cortical plasticity

In detail

Award winner: Matthew Wood
Institution: University of Oxford
Value: £1,008,110

Exosome-based gene therapy for Huntington’s disease

Despite being comparatively rare, this neurodegenerative disease nevertheless affects one in 10,000 people in the UK. Huntington’s disease puts a huge burden on patients and their families, and there is currently no cure. This is largely because of the inability of therapeutic compounds to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter affected parts of the brain at levels sufficient for clinical benefit. While therapeutic compounds are being developed to treat Huntington’s disease, their delivery into the brain is the major hindrance to their becoming treatments that could be widely used. Over 36 months, the team will develop a new treatment, which can switch off the mutant Huntingtin gene, and cross the blood-brain barrier to enter the brain using small, natural particles called exosomes. This will open the door to testing compounds that have been proven to reduce the levels of the Huntingtin gene. If successful, the method could be used to treat many other currently incurable neurodegenerative diseases.

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