Research in St Andrews
We support research across all the fields of clinical, biomedical, physical or engineering sciences related to medicine, including in the nursing, midwifery & allied health professions. The following are awards made to researchers working in St Andrews University.
Awards in 2010-11Mr Joshua Newmark (Medicine, St Andrews) undertook an Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship under the supervision of Dr Gillian Brown, to study sex differences in the cytoarchitecture of the midbrain dopamine system.
Awards in 2009-10£146,832 over three years to Dr V. Anne Smith (School of Biology, St Andrews University) and Drs Simon Langdon & Dr Dana Faratian* (Institute of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Edinburgh University), for a project involving taking a systems biology approach to the development of predictive patient selection for ovarian cancer therapy. [*No longer involved with this grant.]
Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis: 65% of women die within 5 years, in spite of often responding well to intial treatment. Unlike breast cancer, there are no biological markers to indicate who should get what therapy. This project will involve creating datasets from treatment-sensitive and -resistant ovarian cancers and using a powerful statistical technique for data analysis. This systems biology technique allows the visualisation of how a range of variables, including biological measurements and response to therapy, relate to each other in pathways. These biomarker pathways should enable improved decision-making with respect to treatment suitability.
Mr David Clark (Medicine, St Andrews University) undertook an Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship under the supervision of Dr Lorna Marson at Edinburgh University, to study the role of the lymph cells in the rejection of kidney transplants.
Ms Rohan Munir (Medicine, St Andrews University) undertook an Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship under the supervision of Dr Andrew Sims at Edinburgh University, to study the accuracy of current tests for preducting breast cancer subtypes.
Awards in 2008-09£133,793 over three years to Dr Joanna L. Parish (Bute Medical School, University of St Andrews), for a structural study of ChIR1, a DNA helicase required for sister chromatid cohesion and papillomavirus genome persistence.
Cell division, involving the accurate copying and separation of the DNA into the resultant daughter cells, is important for the growth and maintenance of the body but its failure can result in cancer. During separation of the DNA, duplicated chromosomes are temporarily 'glued together' by a protein complex. This project will use X-ray crystallography to study the basic structure of an enzyme (CHlR1) which is known to be required for the gluing process and has also been shown to be essential to maintaining infection with the cervical cancer-causing papillomavirus.
Awards in 2007-08£141,343 over three years to Dr Gareth B. Miles (School of Biology, University of St Andrews), to test the 'synaptic stripping' hypothesis for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), by an investigation of cholinergic synapses on motoneurones in ALS.
ALS is a neurodegenerative, paralysing and fatal disease which results from the selective loss of motoneurones - the nerves in the brain and spinal cord responsible for controlling movement. It is incurable and the only available treatment has limited benefit. This project hopes to shed light on the poorly understood mechanisms which damage the nerves.
Awards in 2001-02£69,957 over three years to Dr Frank J. Gunn-Moore (School of Biology, St Andrews University) to investigate the amyloid-ABAD complex, a novel model for Alzheimer's Disease.
The protein amyloid is known to be deposited in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, where it is thought to bind to ABAD protein. This research will study the molecular effects of deposition and look at the early processes in Alzheimer's.