UCL gains awards in a major new funding scheme

7 June 2011

Four UCL scientists have received major awards to research health and disease in a new Wellcome Trust scheme.

The inaugural Investigator Awards will allocate £56 million worth of funding to 27 Investigators (seven New Investigators and 20 Senior Investigators), with the awards ranging from approximately £1 million to £3 million.

Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards

The UCL award-winners and their research aims are as follows:

Senior Investigators:

  • Professor Jurg Bahler (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) – non-coding RNA function in genome regulation and cell maintenance
  • Professor Matteo Carandini (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) – integration of internal and external signals in sensory cortex
  • Professor Dimitri Kullmann (UCL Institute of Neurology) – synaptic neurology.

New Investigator:

  • Dr Christiana Ruhrberg (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) – defining signalling pathways that control neurovascular interactions in the brain and retina.

Prospective Investigators were interviewed by expert panels led by Professor Deborah Smith, Head of the Biology Department at the University of York, and Professor Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society.

“Throughout the rigorous selection process all of these individuals demonstrated research excellence, vision and leadership,” said Professor Smith. “It was very rewarding to be involved in interviewing such an exceptional group of scientists. They are highly deserving of the Wellcome Trust's support.”

Wellcome Trust Investigators will help the Trust tackle its five major challenges, as set out in its Strategic Plan: maximising the health benefits of genetics and genomics; understanding the brain; combating infectious disease; investigating development, ageing and chronic disease; and connecting environment, nutrition and health.

Image: Wellcome images

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