During the latest round of funding made available through the Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITNs), three bids led by Bath researchers were successful, two of which are biosensor projects.
Marie Curie ITNs are highly prestigious funding awards, focused on the training of a large number of PhD students and Postdoc students across several European institutions, working towards a common high impact scientific goal.
Each of the three awards is worth around €4 million, with around €1 million allocated to Bath as overall coordinator.
The three successful bids are:
PROSENSE: This project is being led by Dr Pedro Estrela from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, and aims to increase current understanding of the clinical relevance of prostate cancer biomarkers. Prostate cancer kills 10,000 men each year in the UK, and through this project the research team hopes to improve the sensitivity, selectivity, robustness and speed of biosensing technologies for the testing for this disease.
SEWPROF: Led by Dr Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, from the Department of Chemistry, this project explores ‘sewage epidemiology’ - the testing of sewage to improve public health monitoring at a community level. The research will be applying innovative sewage epidemiology techniques to deliver the real-time profiling of community-wide health and lifestyle through the analysis of human biomarkers in sewage. This conceptually simple but highly sophisticated research could become an early warning system for outbreaks of disease and a unique tool for the identification of hot-spots for pandemics.
DESTINY: This project, led by Professor Alison Walker from the Department of Physics, will tackle major challenges in the development of stable dye-sensitized solar cells. These cells offer exciting possibilities for applications in building solar power into consumer electronics, but they possess complex structures which cause the cells to degrade. This project will explore why this degradation takes place, and explore methods for enhancing cell life without sacrificing performance and scalability.
All three projects will benefit from new PhD and Postdoc roles, with the ITNs offering these early stage researchers the opportunity to improve their skills, join established research teams and enhance their career prospects through high-impact socially significant research.
Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, said: “This is a significant achievement for the University of Bath. Marie Curie ITN funding is highly prestigious, with ITN proposals selected through an open competition based on excellence as determined through peer review. The award of funding for three ITNs at Bath is therefore a vote of confidence from the academic community towards the research we are undertaking.”
For more information about all of the University of Bath Marie Curie ITN projects please see the Europa website.