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UCL academics named as Future Leaders Fellows

7 May 2019

Five UCL academics have been named as future leaders in science and research, and will receive government investment towards their projects.

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Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore announced the 41 recipients of the first wave of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships this morning as part of the government’s wider Industrial Strategy programme.

UCL has more new fellows than any other institution. The five UCL academics are:

Dr Anahid Basiri, UCL Centre for Advance Spatial Analysis (CASA); for her work creating accurate 3D maps of cities using crowdsourced data on the blockage, reflection and attenuation of GPS signals, using machine learning techniques, that can be used for emergency services, autonomous cars and drones navigation.

Dr Lucy Barnes, UCL Political Science; for research focusing on mental models and political economy, investigating contemporary communication and understanding of the economy amongst voters and politicians.

Dr Marc Aurel Busche, UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL; for research into the relationship between molecular processes in the brain that often lead to Alzheimer’s disease, developing data that could help find new Alzheimer’s treatments.

Dr Marta Andres Miguel, UCL Ear Institute; for research on biogenic amines in malaria mosquitoes: from hearing to swarming behaviour.

Dr Sanjeev Kumar, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering; for his research discovering new concepts and effects in fundamental quantum physics and harnessing them for quantum technologies.

Chris Skidmore said: “From Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s creation of the World Wide Web, to Rosalind Franklin whose work was critical in understanding DNA, we have a rich history of talented individuals who have paved the way for ground-breaking research and discoveries in their fields.

“Our investment in these Future Leaders Fellows will enable the brightest and best of our scientists and researchers to work with leading lights in industry, to help their research move from the laboratory to the commercial market.

“This support to the next generation of scientists and researchers is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, and our commitment to raise R&D spend to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 will maintain the UK’s position as a world-leader in science and innovation and building on our historic legacy.”

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: “UCL is committed to harnessing the power of academic research to improve the lives of people around the world, and to change our understanding of the world around us. Through the work of pioneering research leaders, we’re making breakthroughs that have real-world impacts, in industry, science, public health and beyond. This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work, academic insight and leadership of UCL’s people, and I’d like to extend my congratulations to the Future Leaders Fellows, who have deservedly been recognised for their discoveries and the potential they hold.”   

The Future Leaders Fellowships are open to early career researchers in any field of research and innovation across UKRI’s remit. Researchers are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary and business-linked research.

The Future Leaders Programme will award around 200 new fellows each year. UKRI will provide about £900 million to support over six competition rounds over three years.




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Kate Corry

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 6995

Email: k.corry [at] ucl.ac.uk