The University has received a substantial grant from Wellcome’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF).

Exeter wins £1.5m funding for world-leading initiative to advance health research

The University of Exeter has been awarded £1.5 million by Wellcome to enable translation of findings from its world-leading research programmes into improvements in human health on a global scale.

The University has received the substantial grant from Wellcome’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) – the third time it has successfully applied for funds through the leading scheme.

The five-year award will be used to establish the Translational Research Exchange@ Exeter (TREE) – an innovative programme designed to build research links between biomedical and clinical research.

This award will fund a cohort of three Research Fellows every two years, and at least six cross-disciplinary secondments – offering clinicians and researchers the opportunity to conduct research that will influence how medical and clinical practice is delivered.

These will be supported by additional equipment, academic posts, PhD studentships, seed corn funding and a programme of public engagement.

The day-to-day running of the TREE programme will be conducted by Professor John Terry (EMPS) and Willie Hamilton, from the University’s Medical School.

Professor Nick Talbot FRS, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this extremely prestigious award from the Wellcome Trust, and yet another crucial vote of confidence in our strategy for supporting Wellcome-funded research across the University.

“This is a pivotal period for the University of Exeter and our ambitions to strengthen our position as one of the very best universities in the world. We will soon be opening our £50m Living Systems Institute. This will bring together leading mathematicians, physicists, cell and molecular biologists, biomedical scientists and engineers to understand living organisms and the way in which diseases develop.

“This latest Wellcome ISSF investment is absolutely central to this exciting, interdisciplinary strategy and our commitment to pioneering new research that will improve human health on a global scale.”

The TREE Programme will span the STEMM Colleges and the University’s Medical Humanities and Social Sciences centres. It will focus on addressing the potential impact and risks of translational pathways to improve the delivery of healthcare on a global scale.

The latest award is the third the University has received from the ISSF scheme. In 2014, the University received £1million to establish an initiative aimed at advancing our understanding of living systems and the causes of disease by enhancing its capability and capacity in bio-medical data modelling and analysis. That award built on the successful Biomedical Informatics Hub, also funded through the Wellcome ISSF.

ISSF awards offer financial support for universities to develop and embed strategic areas of mutual importance to both Wellcome and the Institution. Priority areas for support through the scheme are early career researchers, interdisciplinary research and discipline-hopping, equality and diversity initiatives, public engagement, translational and inter-institutional initiatives.

Date: 21 October 2016

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