Research in Dundee
We support research across all the fields of clinical, biomedical, physical or engineering sciences related to medicine. The following are awards made to researchers working in Dundee's universities and hospitals.
Awards in 2012-13
Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships were awarded as follows:
Dr Gillian Smith (Division of Cancer Research) will be supervising Emma Joseph during her PhD Studentship, "Specificity of fibroblast growth growth factor-induced signalling pathways in human tumours - identification of novel therapeutic targets?". This research will also involve close working with Dundee Cell Products
Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat - it is often widespread at diagnosis, and treatment is palliative rather than curative. Ovarian cancer patients are primarily treated by chemotherapy, although response is unpredictable, and often limited by the development of drug-resistant disease. There is therefore an urgent clinical need to understand how ovarian tumours spread and become drug resistant, and to develop better treatments. Many new drugs in development are targeted to "growth factors", specialised proteins produced by tumours, which promote cell growth. We are interested in fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) - we have shown that the amount of a protein called fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) varies widely, and is increased in more advanced ovarian tumours. We have created novel experimental models with different amounts of FGF1, and shown that the amount of growth factor produced determines whether tumours respond to cisplatin and carboplatin, the chemotherapy drugs most commonly prescribed to ovarian cancer patients. In this project, we will further investigate FGFs and related proteins in ovarian and other common tumours including breast, colorectal and lung cancers. We will identify additional chemotherapy drugs, where tumour growth factors influence response, and will investigate whether blocking growth factor production can halt tumour spread and/or influence response to chemotherapy.
Ben Allsop (Neuroscience, Dundee University) supervised by Professor Michael Ashford for a project entitled, The role of BACE1 in cardiovascular health and disease.
Lloyd Hamilton (Neuroscience, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Sheriar Hormuzdi, for a project entitled, Investigating the role of phosphorylation in regulating KCC2 activity levels.
Alice Rowan (Biomedical Sciences, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Andrew Irving for a project entitled, Identification and characterisation of novel lipid-sensing, cannabinoid receptors.
Awards in 2011-12
Dr David Meek (Medical Research Institute) will be supervising Mr Sumanth Iyer during his PhD Studentship, "Improving the sensitivity of a novel PIM kinase-targeted therapeutic agent, CXR1002, through identification and modulation of cross-talking pathways". This research will also involve close working with CXR Biosciences
PIM protein kinases are a group of highly related signalling molecules that normally regulate the growth and survival of cells. Failure of cells to regulate these molecules occurs in a range of diseases including cancer. The development of drugs that inhibit these molecules offers the potential to block the contribution PIM kinases make to the development of disease. Defining pathways that interact or cooperate with PIM will improve understanding of basic disease processes. Defining approaches to improve sensitivity to the recently-developed PIM inhibitor (CXR1002) should benefit continued clinical trials and, ultimately, effective patient treatment.
Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships were awarded as follows:
Dr Jennifer Woof (Medical Research Institute) will be supervising Miss Lois Paton during her PhD Studentship, "Construction and characterisation of anti-tumour magnetic fusion proteins for use in diagnostics and therapeutics". This research will also involve close working with Integrated Magnetic Systems Ltd.
Through the development of novel magnetic antibody-based technology, this project aims to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, using an approach applicable to many diseases, including arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Ms Gillian Scott (Neuroscience, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Sheriar Hormuzdi, for a project entitled, Are Electrical Synapses Plastic? Studies in a Novel Transgenic.
Ms Rebecca Crook (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Jenni Harvey, for studies on targeting the estrogen system to treat CNS-driven disease.
Mr Paul Middleton (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Graham Rena to investigate the guanidine group as a mitochondrial tag and its implications on drug function.
Awards in 2010-11£141,512 to Dr Sarah J. Coulthurst (Division of Molecular Biology, Dundee University) for a two-year investigation into the role of a new protein secretion system in the virulence of the opportunistic pathogen, Serratia marcescens.
The bacterium called Serratia marcescens is the source of many hospital-acquired infections (HAI). This project seeks to improve detailed understanding of the steps in the infection process, with the results contributing to the search to find new ways to combat HAI.
Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships were awarded as follows:
Ms Imogen Bidwell (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Jenni Harvey, to study oestrogen and its therapeutic potential as a cognitive enhancer.
Ms Agnieszka Rybacka (Biomedical Sciences, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Caroline Stewart, to investigate the effect of short-term, high-fat feeding on cognition.
Ms Catriona Neil (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Julie-Ann Woods, to study phototoxicity and photoallergy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ms Faith Dalgaty (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Andrew Irving, to investigate the pharmacology and cellular expression of GPR92, a novel lipid-sensing receptor.
Awards in 2009-10Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships were awarded as follows:
Mr William Barnard (Biomedical Sciences, Dundee University) supervised by Dr William Fuller, to study the involvement of protein FXYD1 in the control of intracellular sodium levels.
Ms Kirsty Farquharson (Medicine, Dundee University) supervised by Dr Jenni Harvey, to study the effects of oestrogen on a cellular process pivotal in learning and memory.
Awards in 2006-07£74,715 to Dr Jenni Harvey (Neurosciences Institute, University of Dundee) for a two-year investigation of whether age-related decline in cognitive function is assocated with altered neuronal responsiveness to leptin.
Leptin regulates food intake and body weight and is also involved in the processes underlying learning and memory. Food intake is linked to age-related cognitive decline; over-eating increasing the risk. The levels of brain leptin receptors reduce with age and this research will investigate whether age-related decline in cognitive performance and brain leptin function are linked.
Awards in 2000-01£70,000 over two years to Dr Cameron J. Weir & Professor J.A.W. Wildsmith (Anaesthesia) and Profesor Jeremy J. Lambert (Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Dundee University) for characterisation of general anaesthetic binding site(s) on human GABAA receptors.
In spite of their regular use, the mechanisms behind the effects of general anaesthesia are largely unknown. This research will study the components of GABAA receptors which interact specifically with general anaesthetics.
£99,573 over two years to Drs Michelle J. Ferguson (Cancer Medicine), Theodore R. Hupp, Neil M. Kernohan (Molecular & Cellular Pathology) and Professors Robert J.C. Steele (Surgical & Molecular Oncology) and Elaine M. Rankin (Cancer Medicine, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) to develop novel strategies for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
The p53 gene pathway is necessary for cells to undergo programmed cell death, known as apoptosis. However, p53 is mutated in many colorectal cancer patients, making treatment challenging. This research considers ways to manipulate the p53 response to improve cell killing when accompanied by chemotherapy.
£99,418 over three years to Drs Andrew J. Irving and Bruno Frenguelli (Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Dundee University) for a study linking hypoxia/ischaemia with altered glutamate receptor expression and dynamic changes in the neuronal cytoskeleton.
Neurodegeneration following reduced blood flow and oxygen deprivation involves the production of certain receptor complexes which are activated by glutamate, intensifying the damage. By studying these neurotoxic receptors this research hopes to find a way to modify the neurone damage and prevent loss of normal functioning.
Awards in 1999-2000£19,400 to Professor Jill F. Belch (Vascular Medicine & Biology) Mrs Rosemary Levison (Vascular Laboratory) Profesosr Annie Anderson (Centre for Applied Nutrition Research), Dr J. Stewart Forsyth (Child Health) and Dr Faisel Khan (Vascular Medicine & Biology, Dundee University and Ninewells Hospital & Medical School) for the purchase of equipment for research into aortic compliance, measured by ultrasound echo tracking, as an early marker for vascular disease.
£69,990 over two years to Dr Andrew M. Wilson & Professor Brian J. Lipworth (Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Dundee University) to study the clinical and histological outcomes in allergic airways disease and the efficacy of combined mediator antagonism or topical corticosteroid treatment.
The Cruden Medical Research Scholarship 2000-01 was awarded to Ms Amy Leslie (Surgery, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) to study the genetic mutations asociated with both colorectal cancer and the polyps which precede it, to clarify whether they might prove useful as markers in early screening for the disease.
Awards in 1998-99£70,000 over two years to Dr Keiran C. Breen (Pharmacology, Dundee University) to continue his research into the role of tau protein glycosylation in the generation of neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer's Disease.
£87,119 over two years to Drs Christopher N. Connolly & John Peters and Professor Jeremy Lambert (Neurosciences Institue, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for the cloning and characterisation of notel 5-HT3 receptors and interacting proteins that regulate native receptor function.
£40,545 over one year to Miss Dorin Ziyaie, Mr Alastair M. Thompson & Professor Robert J.C. Steele (Surgery) and Dr Theodore R. Hupp (Molecular & Cellular Pathology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) and Dr Kathryn L. Ball (Biochemistry, Dundee University) to study regulation of p53 activity during breast cancer treatment.
Awards in 1997-98£1,235 for a 5-month pilot study to Dr Lawrence Elliott (School of Nursing & Midwifery, Dundee University) Dr Avril Taylor (Behavioural Studies, Scottish Centre for Infection & Environmental Health, Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow) and Mr Simon Ogston (Epidemiology & Public Health, Dundee University) to study the long-term impact of needle exchanges on injecting-related risk behaviour.
£30,415 over one year to Dr Malcolm P. Caulfield (Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a study of metatropic glutamate receptors in cerebellar Purkinje neurones.
£13,807 to Dr Meilien Ho, Professor Jill F. Belch & Dr Margaret McLaren (Medicine, Dundee University) and Professor George Nuki (Medicine, Western General Hosptial, Edinburgh) for a pilot study lasting three months to investigate oxidised low density lipoprotein and homocysteinaemia sclerosis.
£66,558 over 18 months to Drs Faisel Khan, Margaret McLaren, Stephen A. Greene & Alexander Hill and Professor Jill F. Belch (Medicine, Dundee University) to study the effects of oral antioxidants and L-arginine on macrovascular function in young people with Type I diabetes mellitus.
Awards in 1996-97£85,285 to Mr Robert P. Mills (Otolaryngology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) and Dr Eric W. Abel (Biomedical Engineering, Dundee University) for a two-year in vitro evalulation of physiological models of the ossicular chain.
£94,237 to Dr Ian J. Holt (Molecular & Cellular Pathology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) & Dr Alan R. Prescott (Biochemistry, Medical Science Institute, Dundee University) for a three-year project analysing innervated cultured muscle from patients with mitochondrial disease.
£30,391 to Dr Kieran Breen (Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a one-year study of the role of Tau protein glycosylation in the generation of neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer's Disease.
£99,697 to Dr Bruno Frenguelli (Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a three-year investigation into neuronal function after hypoxia/ischaemia in the in vitro rat hippocampal slice.
Awards in 1995-96£63,539 to Dr Malcolm P. Caulfield (Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a study to define the transduction pathways inducing long-term synaptic depression and release of calcium from intracellular stores by investigating the metabotropic glutamate receptors in cerebellar Purkinje neurones.
£12,363 as a supplement to Drs Michael W.H. Coughtrie (Biochemical Medicine) and John A. Mills (Reproductive Medicine Unit, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for their investigation of the regulation by sulphation of steroid hormone activity in the human female reproductive tract and its relationship to infertility and early pregnancy loss.
Awards in 1993-94£15,320 for one year to Drs Jill J.F. Belch & F. Khan (Medicine, Dundee University) and Dr Margaret McLaren and Sister Roberta Littleford (Vascular Medicine, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a study of fibrinolysis and endothelial cell function in patients with Raynaud's Phenomenon.
£89,854 over three years to Dr Kieran C. Breen (Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology, Dundee University) for a study of neural glycosylation state in Alzheimer's Disease.
Awards in 1992-93£88,668 to Dr Michael W.H.Coughtrie (Biochemical Medicine), Drs David H. Edgar & John A. Mills (Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) for a three-year investigation of the regulation of steroid hormone activity in the human female reproductive tract and its relationship to infertility and early pregnancy loss.
The Cruden Medical Research Scholarship 1993-94 was awarded to Dr Robert I. Cargill (Clinical Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) to study the effects of vasoactive peptides on the pulmonary vascular bed.