Successful Small Award Scheme Winners Announced

The MAHSC Inflammation and Repair (IR) Domain put out a call to provide additional funding for projects carried out by medical students undertaking an intercalated degree at the University of Manchester.
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The IR Domain anticipates that these awards will encourage collaborations between the NHS and the University of Manchester and improve translational research processes.

Judith Hoyland, Professor of Molecular Pathology and Coordinator of the Small Award Scheme, hopes that it will “help to encourage undergraduate students to start thinking about linking research and clinical practice.”

Applications for funding were open to students on BSc Pathology, MRes Translational Medicine, MRes Medical Sciences and MRes Tissue Engineering for Regenerative Medicine.  The domain allocated some of its budget to fund five projects up to £2000 each.

Twelve applications were received on a range of topics.  The reviewing panel of staff, from the University and NHS representing the IR operational group, was impressed by the enthusiasm for the scheme and the variety of projects submitted.  Applications were reviewed on how well they aligned with the IR Domain’s aims, as well as their feasibility within the time and their potential for leading to publications and further funding.

Congratulations go to the five successful applicants:

  • Fatema Juma, BSc Pathology
    To improve responses to treatment, this project will look at identifying a biomarker to assess the likelihood of an individual’s response to the expensive biological therapy, abatacept, when treating rheumatoid arthritis.
  • John Doherty, BSc Pathology
    This project will improve understanding of the mechanisms contributing to the pathological changes occurring in patients with severe asthma.  It will look at ways to reduce a particular inflammatory response which could lead to new treatments for this condition.
  • Kyle Hallas, BSc Pathology
    This project aligns with the domain’s aim of developing novel approaches to repair and rehabilitation by looking at a new way to inhibit the over-active bone resorption seen in osteoporosis which result in fractures.
  • Saqib Ashraf, MRes in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
    This project will look at a potential biomarker to provide an early diagnosis for osteoarthritis and using this information to identify a novel disease-modifying drug to prevent cartilage loss.
  • Giovanna Marrai, BSc Pathology
    In this project, five candidate peptides will be identified that produce an autoimmune response in rheumatoid arthritis and then tested to find which provides the most specific diagnosis of the disease.  This will contribute to the domain’s aim of providing the right treatment to the right person at the right time.

These students will share their work with the domain at the end of the academic year.


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