UCL receives 10 industry-linked awards from MRC

12 January 2009

UCL has received funding for ten new awards from the Medical Research Council (MRC), which aim to strengthen research training links between academia and industry and to meet the UK’s need for health research skills.

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UCL has been awarded eight industrial CASE PhD studentships with seven different industrial partners, the highest number of such studentships received by any UK institution. The awards aim to support the provision of multidisciplinary research training between industry and academia that will enhance the student experience and provide a range of skills that will help strengthen the research workforce.

All those who take up a studentship will be based at UCL but will also spend part of their time with the company. The industry placement is expected to include business-related training for the student in areas such as project management or business strategy.

Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) says: “These awards reflect both UCL’s strength in biomedicine and our active collaborations with key industrial partners to drive forward medical research.”

The studentships will be allocated for supervision under the following members of staff and will be tenable from the beginning of the next academic year.

  • Dr Rachel Chambers (UCL Centre for Respiratory Research) – a project on the signalling mechanisms of blood coagulation proteinases in lung injury and fibrosis; in collaboration with Novartis.
  • Professor Simon Gayther (UCL Institute for Women’s Health) – two studentships in collaboration with Geneservice; one for the development of multiplex technologies for the clinical diagnosis of ovarian tumours and the second for the development of resequencing strategies to identify genetic susceptibility loci for ovarian cancer.
  • Professor David Hawkes (UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing) – two studentships; one for the development of novel imaging biomarkers in oncology and inflammation (with Ixico Ltd) and the other for the development of a visualisation system for integrating colonoscopy and microendoscopy (with Medicendo).
  • Professor Daniel Hochhauser (UCL Cancer Institute) – a project on optimising the effects of inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor in cancer therapy; in collaboration with Merck-Serono.
  • Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) - a project for continuous monitoring of the adequacy of organ perfusion using NADH fluorescence; in collaboration with Oxford Optronix.
  • Professor Vince Walsh (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) – modulating brain states in neuro-rehabilitation; in collaboration with Magstim.

UCL also received two awards in the MRC Capacity Building Studentship Scheme, which funds targeted PhD courses to help UK research organisations make a significant impact on unmet national needs for advanced biomedical and health research skills.

Four PhD studentships per year have been awarded in biological and medical imaging in a programme directed by Dr Mark Lythgoe (UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging) in 2009 and 2010. The scheme will also fund two places per year on the MSc course in Neuroscience under the direction of Dr Stephen Price (UCL Cell and Developmental Biology). This funding will run from October 2009 to 2011.

To find out more, follow the links at the bottom of this article.


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