News /

£1.2 million new research investment

Clockwise from top left: Professor Anthony Chalmers, Dr Lynsey Duffell, Dr Philippa Warren, Dr Virginia Newcombe

We are delighted to share details of four exciting new research projects that are getting underway, thanks to a £1.2 million research investment.  

Each project has been selected on the basis that it will make an important contribution to knowledge in one of our key priority areas, offering the very best chance of progress - with impact in the short- to medium-term.

Professor Anthony Chalmers, University of Glasgow:

Reducing the damage caused by radiotherapy in brain tumour patients

Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for many brain tumours but can cause side effects that impact severely on quality of life.

Working with Professor Kaye Williams at the University of Manchester, Professor Chalmers is focusing on a drug called AZD1390, which is currently being trialled in combination with radiotherapy to see if it can help patients with glioblastoma live longer. There is some evidence that AZD1390 might reduce the side effects of brain radiotherapy, and the team will study this further. The results will feed directly into the clinical trial, to guide assessment of neurological outcomes in patients. Read more.

Dr Lynsey Duffell, University College London: 

Improving bladder control after spinal cord injury

The impact of a spinal cord injury varies from person to person, depending on the nature, severity and location of the injury. People will have limited or no ability to feel or move limbs below the level of the injury, and the functions of organs such as the bladder and bowel are also affected, which can be very distressing.

Existing techniques for managing bladder problems are inadequate, and improving bladder management is a priority for those living with spinal cord injury. In this collaborative, multidisciplinary project, Dr Duffell will recruit spinal cord injured volunteers to a trial that will use electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to improve bladder control. Read more.

Dr Virginia Newcombe, University of Cambridge: 

The role of blood vessel damage in traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury is a common cause of death and disability affecting people of all ages. There are no therapies capable of lessening the burden of the brain injury itself, and there has been little improvement in outcomes over the past two decades.

In this project, Dr Newcombe and colleagues aim to better characterise the injury to the brain, with a focus on injury to the blood vessels and changes to the way that the blood clots. This will guide the development of effective treatments. Read more.

Dr Philippa Warren, King's College London: 

Restoring movement after ischemic spinal cord injury

'Ischemic' spinal cord injuries occur when blood flow to the spinal cord is restricted. The consequences can be devastating - including paralysis of the legs, incontinence, impotence and increased risk of death.

Dr Warren and colleagues are setting out to answer key questions about the way that these injuries develop, and will use their findings to work out a treatment strategy that will be tested in their experimental model. Read more.

Amazing supporters

The money to fund these new projects – a total of £1.2 million – has been raised by our amazing supporters, most of whom have very personal reasons for fundraising.

Every year we receive far more high-quality research applications than we can fund; the four projects above were selected from 87 applications originally received. With more funding we could do so much more.

Find out how you can help us fund more research to accelerate progress – from making a donation to running a marathon!