Queen Square Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases


Recipients of UCL-AIIMS Strategic Partner Funds 2021/22

19 April 2022

Four projects in the areas of healthcare and medicine have been awarded joint funds from UCL and AIIMS, New Delhi

AIIMS building, New Delhi

In the third annual UCL-AIIMS, New Delhi Strategic Partner Funds call, four UCL academics and their counterparts at AIIMS were awarded seed funds for joint projects.

Each project received up to £10,000, jointly contributed by UCL and AIIMS, to support research projects in healthcare and medicine, which are areas of strong collaboration for the two institutions.

Last year, UCL speakers joined two discussions hosted by AIIMS, New Delhi to share experiences of managing COVID-19, and six joint projects were awarded funds under the 2020/21 call for collaborative projects.

One of this year’s recipients, Dr Enrico Bugiardini, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of UCL and AIIMS for our collaborative first study of causes of the debilitating neuromuscular disease FSHD in the Indian population. From important previous work by collaborators in Leiden, we know different populations can show genetic differences in FSHD, relevant to diagnosis. We hope our study will help us to understand for the first time if this also applies to FSHD patients of Indian ethnicity, so clinicians around the world can be mindful of this as they work to diagnose patients with suspected FSHD.”

Enrico’s counterpart at AIIMS, Dr Vishnu VY, added: “Many patients with suspected FSHD and their families come to our neuromuscular clinics in AIIMS, Delhi. Our current diagnostic approach is via physical examination and laboratory tests, not genetics. We hope our study’s data will represent the start a lasting collaboration that will enable clinicians in AIIMS and other centres in India to generate genetic results and deliver diagnoses to their FSHD patient communities.”

Congratulations to all the 2021/22 recipients:

Lead UCL academicFacultyProject
Dr Enrico BugiardiniBrain SciencesThe first investigation of the genetic causes of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) in the Indian population
Prof John AndersonPopulation Health SciencesThe role of cell free DNA in Retinoblastoma diagnosis and management
Dr Victoria Garfield Population Health SciencesA multidisciplinary approach to understanding the interrelationships between Sleep quality, brain morphometry And Cognition (a SOLACE study): comparison between individuals residing in India vs the UK
Prof Karl Friston Brain SciencesBrain network dynamics preceding interictal epileptiform discharges in epilepsy