News

Crowdfunding for Research in Life Sciences

Cardiff University are looking to support a number of research projects through innovative crowdfunding company FutSci. Crowdfunding, in its simplest form, is a way of raising funds by asking a large number of people to contribute a relatively small amount of money. Futsci specialises in funding biomedical research through crowdfunding and provide the opportunity for individual to support specific research projects.

For more information, please visit their website, https://www.futsci.com


MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme 2015

The European Parliament is issuing an invitation for academics to take part in the ‘MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme 2015’.  The EU recognise the importance of scientific expertise in informing policy-maker dealing with global challenges, from climate change to feeding the world, from an ageing population to energy security.  The MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme provides an opportunity for scientists to influence policy makers and gain a better understanding of the EU science, technology and research policy framework.
Interested parties should download the application form for more details (website).  Please note that the deadline for application is the 31st of July 2015.

AMR

Anti Microbial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing public health issue that threatens to undermine the treatment of an increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Many of the most commonly used antimicrobials are becoming less effective with bacteria, viruses and fungi naturally adapting and becoming increasingly resistant to medicines used to treat the infections they cause.

This is a global problem that the Work Economic Forum and World Health Organisation have both identified as a major public health problem.

The issue has also been raised by the UK’s Chief Medical Officer and resulted in the Department of Health releasing a Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy (2013-18).

Academics from across Wales have a long track record of research into antimicrobial resistance and are working together to address key challenges in the following areas:

Alternative Approaches to Treating Bacterial Infection
Development of Novel Therapeutics
Development of Diagnostic Devices.
The consortium includes members from the following Welsh universities:

Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea.

If you are interested in joining the forum or finding out more, please email us nrn@cardiff.ac.uk


Recently funded Research Projects and Studentships

The Network has recently awarded the following Round 3 Research Projects and Studentships:

Research Projects:

Dr Gwenin, A rapid point of care system to manage/monitor drug treatment in therapeutically relevant mycobacterial infections

Prof O’Donnell, Development of new prothrombotic lipids for haemostatic applications

Prof Hall, Investigating the potential of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 modulators for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Prof Piguet, Anti-viral activity of ProTide derivatives on human T cells

Dr Rozanowska, Novel modulators of the visual cycle for treatment of retinal degenerations

Dr Kidd, Investigating a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in a mouse model of amyloid pathology

Dr Clarkson, Sensitizing to radiotherapy: ore-clinical evaluation of a novel indication for adjuvant bcl3i

Prof Dale, Establishing a screen for the WNT-STOP mitotic signalling pathway

Prof Wilkinson, Expression and activity determination of novel cloned antibiofilm peptides

Dr Westwell, Advancing analogues of a novel cFLIP inhibitor which sensitises breast cancer cells and cancer stem cells to TRAIL

Studentships:

Dr Heard, Towards the repurposing existing of topical antimicrobials by ligand complexation.

Prof Hoffmann, Repositioning histone methyltransferase inhibitors as next generation anthelmintics.

Prof Mur, Exploiting natural products from Hops (Humulus lupulus) to suppress tuberculosis.

Prof Sheldon, Manipulation of squalene synthase to limit bacterial infections.

Dr Howell, Treating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Using A Novel Neuroprotective And Anti-Inflammatory approach.

Dr Del Sol, Companion diagnostic development guides Antibody-Drug Conjugate formulation: Implications for patient stratification and precision medicine.

Dr Cai, Combining carbon monoxide (CO)-releasing molecules with anti-VEGF therapy for triple-negative breast cancer therapy.

Prof Doak, Design and evaluation of an antibody-drug conjugate for prostate cancer treatment.

Prof Brophy, Towards validation of an immune suppressor protein from liver fluke as a drug target.

Prof Triantafilou, Peptides derived from Yersinia pestis V antigen as novel therapeutic interventions for sepsis.

Prof Doak, Mechanistic evaluation of the impact of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles conjugated with drugs (SPIONd) on intracellular signalling/homeostatic mechanisms.

Dr Creevey, Computational approaches to mining the rumen micro biome for novel antimicrobials.

Dr Gwenin, Testing a novel chemotherapy delivery system using two dinitrobenzamide mustard prodrugs.


European Institute of Innovation Technology (EIT) partnership workshop on diet, metabotypes and healthy living

The Life Science Research Network is supporting an European Institute of Innovation Technology (EIT)  partnership workshop on diet, metabotypes and healthy living next Tuesday the 19th of May in the Life Science Hub at Cardiff Bay.   This event is being led by Aberystwyth University and will be of most value to individuals and businesses interested in bringing new health innovations in precision nutrition and diagnostics to market. The event is open to all but places are limited. For further information, please contact Lia Tseki at evt3@aber.ac.uk.
EIT Health (http://eit.europa.eu/eit-community/eit-health) is the newly designated Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for Healthy Living and Active Ageing. KICs are a unique type of partnership within the European innovation landscape and develop innovative products and services, foster new business, encourage growth, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. Characterised by a high degree of integration, a long-term perspective, efficient governance, the co-location model and an entrepreneurial culture, KICs aim to increase Europe’s capacity for innovation by bringing together leading companies, universities, and research labs.

 


Tackling AMR Theme 2: Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development

The AMR cross-council initiative has launched a new call under theme  2 –  “Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostic development”.

MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, and ESRC are supporting this call and the MRC is managing it on behalf of the funding partners.

The focus of the call is to:

  • Refresh the pipeline for human and animal antibiotics;
  • Develop new non-drug based treatments for bacterial infections (vaccines, immunotherapies, probiotics, prebiotics, phages, amongst others);
  • Improve the efficacy of existing drugs through effective dosing strategies to minimise development of resistance and/or develop more targeted delivery methods;
  • Accelerate the scale-up and manufacture of novel antibiotics and vaccines;
  • Underpin the development of rapid, point of care diagnostics to enable the most appropriate therapy/intervention to be chosen;
  • Develop innovative diagnostics data linkages for community settings to monitor spread; and
  • Consider the real world issues that will affect the development and utilisation of new treatments and diagnostics

Partnership between industry and academia is actively encouraged under this initiative.

The call has two funding modes:

  • Collaborative grants – ~£3m each for 4-5 years, multidisciplinary in nature across more than one research organisation
  • Innovative grants – ~£200k each over 12-24 months, highly innovative, high risk/high gain

Deadline for submission is 4 June 2015.

Please circulate widely to your communities and direct them to this webpage:

http://www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/browse/tackling-amr-theme-2-accelerating-therapeutic-and-diagnostics-development/

For queries:

MRC: Ghada Zoubiane / Ruth Kelly amr@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

BBSRC: Sian Rowland: amr@bbsrc.ac.uk

EPSRC: Victoria Marlow: healthcare@epsrc.ac.uk

ESRC: Naomi Beaumont: Naomi.Beaumont@esrc.ac.uk


Record Number of Applications Received

Our call has now closed and we have received and acknowledged a record number of applications – 83 in total! Thank you for applying.

For information, the board will be meeting on 29th and 30th April to discuss applications and award successful ones.

If you have any queries in the mean time, please contact us nrn@cardiff.ac.uk

 


Life Sciences Bridging Fund Scientific Advisory Board: Appointment of Chair and Members

The new £3m life sciences bridging fund, established in March 2015, will create commercial opportunities from Welsh life sciences research projects, stimulating further growth in the sector. The fund will be managed by the Life Sciences Hub Wales and will support up to 25 research projects over 3 years.
The Scientific Advisory Board will be responsible for the administration, governance, management and delivery of the fund and will report to the Life Sciences Hub Board who will be responsible for providing oversight of the fund.

Welsh Government, on behalf of the Life Sciences Hub Wales, is seeking applicants with an interest in, knowledge and experience of the life sciences sector, in particular research and commercialisation; technology transfer, academia and commercial exploitation of life sciences research.

Background to the Fund:
http://gov.wales/newsroom/businessandeconomy/2015/9877571/?status=closed&lang=en

Closing date: 15 April 2015

Further details and application information can be found at: http://www.lifescienceshubwales.com/news/life-sciences-bridging-fund-scientific-advisory-board-appointment-of-members/


GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge

GSK have recently launched their Discovery Fast Track Challenge.  This scheme is an opportunity for academic researchers to work with GSK scientists on the development of new medicines.   It is aimed at academics that have identified a drug development concept and wish to work with GSK to translate novel science into new medicines.

The Discovery Fast Track Challenge is looking for proposals that are able to address the following questions:

Do you have a clear therapeutic hypothesis?

GSK are looking for a coherent ad supportable hypothesis for the development of a medicine that would provide therapeutic benefits to particular groups of patients.

Do you have a defined target and/or pathway?

You should have identified a specific drug target linked to disease and can propose ways of modulating this to provide a effective and safe therapy

Do you have enabling expertise?

The Discover Fast Track Challenge is a partnership.  You should have generated data which provides proof of concept for your proposal and, ideally, already developed key reagents and assays.

The deadline for submission of a brief non-confidential summary is the 24th of April 2015.  Please note that you should contact your relevant Technology Transfer Office in the first instance who will be able to support you with the application process.

GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_Flyer    GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_PI_Tips

www.openinnovation.gsk.com