Multi-million pound boost for fungal research

Multi-million pound boost for fungal research

Internationally recognised fungal expertise at the University of Aberdeen has been further acknowledged with two key research awards worth almost £5million.

The Wellcome Trust has given two of its prestigious Senior Investigator Awards - which support world-class established researchers - to Professors Neil Gow and Gordon Brown.

Both academics are part of Aberdeen Fungal Group – the biggest fungal research group in Britain and one of the largest in the world.

Their Awards will further advance their studies of poorly understood fungal infections that claim around 1.5 million lives worldwide each year.

Professor Gow,Chair in Microbiology, who received an Award worth £2.75m, said: “Both Senior Investigator Awards recognise the strength of the research at Aberdeen Fungal Group and come in the wake of a £5.1m Wellcome Trust Strategic Award to the University to enable us to lead a large UK consortium which is taking a ‘lab bench to hospital bedside’ approach to tackling the problem of fungal infections.

“My Senior Investigator Award will enable my group to continue our studies of the wall of the fungus. The wall is essential to the fungus and has molecules that you don’t get in the human body. This makes it an ideal target for new ways diagnostics and new therapies for hard-to-treat fungal infections.”

Professor Gordon Brown, a Chair in Immunology, received an Award worth £2.2m. He said: “It’s tremendous to receive this Award from the Wellcome Trust as it will allow us to investigate in detail how the immune system recognises and responds to fungi, and how this can be both beneficial and detrimental to the body. This work will help improve our ability to manage and treat these devastating infections.”