Oxford University has been granted £750,000 to further its biomedical research.
Oxford is one of 14 UK universities to be awarded funds from a total of £7.4 million, provided through the Medical Research Council’s ‘Confidence in Concept’ scheme.
The funds are expected to subsidise 150 pilot projects at these universities.The grants range from £360,000 to £750,000, with Oxford and Dundee being the only institutions to receive awards at the upper end of the scale.
Oxford University has specifically been given the money from the £180 million Biomedical Catalyst fund which is managed by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board. The University will use the funding to establish a ‘pipeline’, through which novel discoveries made in science laboratories throughout the city can be brought to the point of clinical development and testing.
All 14 universities will have control over the allocation of funding to projects within their institution, allowing them flexibility to pursue the most promising translational research opportunities and respond to new opportunities.
There are numerous potential projects that the money could be used for at Oxford University, including work on flu vaccines, through obtaining better measures of immune responses, or developing techniques that monitor the interaction of drugs with important proteins that reside in cell membranes.
Professor Rodney Phillips, Associate Head of the medical sciences division at Oxford University, said: “We are delighted to receive this large grant from the MRC. Oxford has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic.
“It’s not always easy for researchers to get the funding they need, to see if their novel research could have promise as a new treatment for patients. This new funding should enable a lot more of this initial development work and clinical testing to happen and is very welcome.”
Dr Wendy Ewart, Deputy Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, said: “The MRC’s Confidence in Concept awards will empower leading UK universities to respond quickly to emerging translational opportunities as they arise.
“They will give academic researchers the opportunity to generate enough evidence to leverage further investment from a variety of sources to progress the best ideas, helping to bridge the gap between discovery and development.”