The Life Sciences Research Network Wales are pleased to announce their latest calls for Projects and Platform Grants.

Round 2 Project Grants
Project Grants are specifically aimed at allowing academics to undertake highly speculative risky research with the ultimate goal of providing exemplification data to submit  major research applications.  These seedcorn projects  are highly flexible and the Network expects that the majority of projects will be less than 12 months in duration but will consider proposals of up to 24 months in exceptional circumstances.  Match funding is not a pre-requisite and applicants can apply for up to £50k for projects less than 12 months in duration or £100k for projects up to 24 months.
Click here for information on applying and application forms: Project Grants
Platform Grants
The Network seeks to support a number of assays or platform technologies in areas of drug development which would benefit researchers from across Wales.  Applicants are expected to  collaborate with other academics  and offer free access to a limited number of samples generated by researchers from across Wales.   Applicants can apply for up to £50k and whilst match-funding is not a pre-requisite, it may be important if the call is over-subscribed.
Click here for information on applying and application forms: Platform Grants
The closing date for both applications is the 17th of September 2014
The current 2 rounds for Research Projects and Platforms grants have now closed. We have received 45 applications for funding and will be making awards in early October.

Endeavour Award 2014: Welsh Natural Products Networking Meeting

Professor McGuigan attended the Welsh Natural Products Networking meeting on 26th June. The event was organised by Prof Luis Mur (pictured below, right, and with Prof McGuigan, left). The group consists of a multi-disciplinary effort to identify novel anti-microbials from invasive plant species and microbes from extreme environments, and aims to develop links with the commercial sector. The event was joint funded by the NRN. There were 40 attendees which included Welsh Universities and commercial organisations.

Harvesting invite

Luis and Chris             Luis

Round 2 Studentships


In March 2014 the Network launched the 2nd Studentship round. Some of the funded studentships include (PI and project title):

Prof Hoffmann,  Increasing the selectivity and potency of a novel anthelmintic chemical entity.

Dr Westwell, Radiosynthesis of 18 F-labelled pro-nucleotides (ProTides) for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging.

Dr Moseley, Pharmaceutical evaluation of novel tiglianes as modulators of dermal fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation, scar formation and fibrosis; and elucidation of their underlying mechanisms of action.

Prof Mahenthiralingam, Development of vietnamycin: a novel Burkholderia antibiotic targeting mupirocin resistant methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Prof Mur, Identifying new antimicrobial drugs in microbes from extreme environments.

Prof Mur, Targeting natural products to counter the challenge of MRSA.

Dr Bugert, Biological evaluation of [L] ddBCNAs as novel cell-targeting antivirals.

Prof Allemann, An Innovative Approach to New Antimicrobial Drugs.

Dr Young, Structure-based design of human P2X4-selective small-molecule modulators.

Dr Pertusati, Diastereoselective Synthesis of Phosphoroamidate Prodrugs.


Newly Awarded Postdoctoral Projects


In February 2014 Life Sciences Research Network Wales launched a Postdoctoral project grant (fellowship) round. Project Grants are specifically aimed at allowing academics to undertake preliminary speculative research with the ultimate goal of providing the exemplification data to submit a major research application. The Network has confirmed funding to 11 research projects. These include (PI and title):

  • Prof Jiang, Evaluation of Transglutaminase-4 as a therapeutic and target and diagnostic tool in human prostate cancer.
  • Dr Bugert, Mechanism of action of [L] ddBCNAs as novel cell-targeting antivirals
  • Dr Prokopovich, Nanocarrier controlled delivery of antibiotics from acrylic bone cement
  • Prof. Clarke, Developing a stem-cell containing 3D culture model for pre-clinical studies of colorectal cancer therapeutics
  • Dr Gwenin, Optimising cellular uptake of enzyme/gold-coated magnetic nanoparticle conjugates
  • Dr Huws, Further prospecting and characterisation of novel antimicrobials from bovine metagenomes
  • Prof. Conlan, Nanoparticle delivery of epigenetic modifiers: a targeted approach for Endometrial Cancer treatment.
  • Prof. Dyson, Bacterial-mediated RNA interference as a new therapy to target advanced prostate cancer.
  • Dr Fallis, Multi-Modal Theranostics (MMTs) – Towards Personalized Cancer Therapies
  • Dr Cai, Targeting αB-crystallin (CRYAB): A possible novel strategy to impede triple-negative breast cancer growth
  • Dr Jenkins, Development of human liver tissue models for drug safety assessment.

1st Annual Scientific Congress 24-25th November 2014, Cardiff

We will be holding our First Annual Scientific Congress for our researchers on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November 2014.
All of our PhDs, supervisors, researchers and Board will be invited to attend. The Network will cover attendance costs.
We will invite all of our Jan 2014 Phds to present a short oral talk and any new students recruited in Autumn 2014 to present a poster. There will be prizes for best presentations.
We will also feature some international expert talks on aspects of drug development.
This will be an annual event and will move around Wales.