MRC gives Pounds 30 million injection

August 6, 1999

The Medical Research Council has announced a record annual increase of Pounds 30 million for research into health and medicine.

Among those to benefit is a Pounds 7.5 million initiative aimed at mapping the genetic blueprint of the mouse. The mouse genome is one of the most important model systems for developing treatments for human diseases. Collaborating institutions include the Mammalian Genetics Unit at Harwell, Imperial College, London, and the Sanger Centre in Cambridge.

A Pounds 5.6 million award goes to the MRC Functional Genetics Unit in Oxford, led by Kay Davies. The unit will help develop molecular approaches to the treatment of human diseases by bringing together various genome sequences - including the worm, fly, mouse and yeast - so that researchers can track the function of genes across them.

Public health is the focus for a raft of smaller awards, including a study of social influences on health by Michael Marmot at University College London and new programmes at the MRC's Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow.

Primary health-care research is another priority: the MRC is almost doubling the number of its cooperative group grants from 40 to 75.

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