University College London (UCL) has won four grants worth a total of over £5 million (U.S. $7.28 million) from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support research into large-scale integrated projects that explore the role of nanotechnology in healthcare.
The projects, which are funded through the council's Nanoscience through Engineering to Application program, will focus on using nanotechnologies to advance knowledge and treatment of cancer, dementia and HIV, according to the EPSRC. They are due to start May 1 and are scheduled to last for three years.
The four grants were awarded to:
• Professor Quentin Pankhurst, scientific director of the Royal Institution, who received approximately £1.65 million (U.S. $2.33 million) to lead a project investigating novel high-efficiency targeting agents that can treat locally metastatic cancers;
• Rachel McKendry, PhD, London Centre for Nanotechnology, who won £1.64 million (U.S. $2.33 million) to engineer and commercialize the next generation of multi-marker HIV smart chips, which will rapidly diagnose and monitor HIV in resource-limited environments such as district hospitals, GP surgeries and developing countries;
• Stephen Hart, PhD, UCL Institute of Child Health, will lead a project with £1.4 million (U.S. $2 million) in funding to develop nanotechnologies for the targeted delivery of novel therapies for Alzheimer's disease, the major cause of dementia in the elderly; and
• Andreas Demosthenous, PhD, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering, won approximately £366,000 (U.S. $533,000) for UCL's participation in research on new portable, non-invasive imaging methods that use low-level electrical measurements to detect colon cancer biomarkers.