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Bradford researchers help tackle global health issues

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Two Bradford researchers have been awarded grants from the Academy of Medical Sciences in this year's Springboard Round.

Dr Briony Yorke and Dr Conor Meehan have each been awarded a grant of £100,000 to help them progress their research projects over the next two years. The Springboard is an early-career scheme for researchers within 5 years of their first full-time appointment.

Springboard offers a bespoke package of support to biomedical researchers at the start of their first independent post to help launch their research career.

Dr Briony Yorke, Lecturer in Structural Biology/Biochem, is carrying out research looking at how cataracts develop, and the molecular mechanisms involved. With the funding she will create innovative videos showing the early stages of cataract development, which will feed into a wider project on developing new drugs to offer a safe alternative to cataract surgery.

Dr Conor Meehan, Assistant Professor, will use the funding to further his work looking at the spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) and the flaws in tracking transmission due to DNA differences. His research aims to improve global accuracy of TB tracking and tracing and so help to quickly identify hotspots and reduce the number of TB transmissions.

The University of Bradford, led by the Springboard Champion Professor Diana Anderson, was invited to the scheme in 2017 and over the last four years has received five awards. The scheme welcomes applications from a broad range of research fields and supports experimental and theoretical approaches; the only key criterion is that the proposed project must demonstrate clear relevance to human health.

Professor Diana Anderson, Springboard Champion said: “The University of Bradford has some fantastic early career researchers who are helping solve real-world problems that affect millions of people.  We have had great success with the Springboard scheme over the last four years and I am delighted that Dr Yorke and Dr Meehan are able to further their research with the help of this grant and look forward to seeing the results over the next two years.”

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