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Pioneering York research centre secures major funding

Posted on 31 October 2014

The Wellcome Trust has awarded £1 million to continue its support of the successful interdisciplinary work of the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2) at the University of York.

C2D2 will continue its varied outreach programme (Credit: Mark Woodward)

York is one of 25 Universities to receive two-year awards under the Trust’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF). The scheme aims to enhance the generation of new knowledge, to promote innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange, and to accelerate the application of research to achieve improved health outcomes.

The University established C2D2 in 2011 as an institution-wide 'virtual centre' for coordinating, promoting, supporting and maximising interdisciplinary research. To date the Centre has funded over 100 researchers in 19 departments across the sciences, social sciences and art and humanities in a wide range of research, translational and public engagement projects.

More than half of them are exciting new collaborations between researchers in different departments and many involve striking and non-conventional disciplinary pairings – for instance, Archaeology and Psychology and Electronics and Medieval Studies – enhancing the University's position as a leading innovator in interdisciplinary research.

The Centre has supported research across a wide range of chronic diseases and disorders, including neurological and mental health disorders, chronic infections, cancers and chronic wounds. These areas have been approached from a wide spectrum of disciplinary angles - from molecular biology and biochemistry to history and sociology – and using a range of the latest technologies, including magnetic resonance imaging  genomic sequencing, advanced computer simulations and low temperature plasmas.

C2D2 has also sponsored projects with over 60 external collaborations, including universities, NHS Trusts, health organisations, medical charities, arts bodies and pharma companies. Around 40 of these are new collaborations seeded by C2D2 funding. C2D2-supported projects are generating impact in research, with publications in leading international journals and through leverage for new funding – over eight times that invested by C2D2 itself to date.

Over the next two years, C2D2 plans to build on this impressive record by continuing its support for new research, translational and public engagement projects. It will also initiate a number of new projects to support early career researchers to establish their research careers.  In public engagement, the Centre will launch an innovative project in partnership with local York schools is to generate and then pilot new materials that will help to educate children about  health, disease and disability.

In 2015, films commissioned by C2D2 will be shown at York City Screen and the public will again be able to see more of the Centre’s work at the York Festival of Ideas and the YorNight, European Researcher’s Night sponsored by the EU.

Professor Deborah Smith, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at York said: “The success of the Wellcome Trust C2D2 Centre in promoting new cross-disciplinary research across the University has been impressive, as has the level of public engagement in the city and the region.  Broad knowledge of the causes and impact of chronic diseases and disorders is increasing locally, while progress is accelerating in the development of innovative interventions for some of these conditions.”

Further information:

  • The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. www.wellcome.ac.uk
  • For more information about C2D2’s work, please visit www.york.ac.uk/c2d2

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