Search Results for: "University of Bristol"
1) Deliver the UK's ambition to be internationally outstanding in global health research, improving the lives of people in LMIC. 2) Create an environment where world-class global health research, focused on the needs of LMIC can thrive. 3) Translate advances in applied global health research into benefits for patients and the public in LMIC. 4) Focus on priority areas which will have the greatest impact on health in LMIC in the short, medium and long term. 5) Provide high quality research evidence to inform decision-making by public health officials, practitioners and policy makers. 6) Increase the volume and quality of multi-disciplinary global health research from the UK. 7) Develop knowledge and capacity within existing UK institutions which can be translated into global health research practice.
The overall goal is to develop understanding of how education systems can act as drivers of sustainable development in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa. We will realise this through the following objectives: Objective one: Developing a sustainable network of researchers based in universities, NGOs, government departments and community-based organisations with the capacity to undertake rigorous transdisciplinary, innovative, impactful research facilitated through the work of four national hubs in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa. This responds to a need to develop Southern based research capacity in the area of education for sustainable development. Objective two: Synthesise and disseminate existing and emerging knowledge about the nature of SD and how it shapes the need for transformative education system change; This strategic objective will focus on developing genuinely and uniquely transdisciplinary understanding that can serve as an evidence base in its own right and that can inform the call for 'Plus' funding as part of the network plus. Objective three: Co-produce the evidence and arguments urgently needed to transform education and training systems so that they become drivers of socially and environmentally just development. 50% of the overall funding for the network plus will be dedicated to 'plus' funding of innovative projects based on principles of knowledge co-production.
Our first challenge is to address these unknowns and rank the importance of different substances, conditions and actions that drive selection/transmission of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in Thailand. We will: Quantify the contamination of food and key environmental sites with ABs, herbicides, and metals. Quantify the levels of enteric carriage of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in humans and (domestic and farmed) animals in food and in key environmental sites. Quantify AB usage in humans and (domestic and farmed) animals. Use risk factor analysis to identify behaviours/management practices that impact on the level of enteric carriage of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in humans and farm animals. Use bacterial isolates and data collected in these studies to address nine hypotheses: 1. The clinical burden of ABR caused by 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE is underpinned by a high frequency of asymptomatic enteric carriage in the community. This hypothesis may stand for some types of infection but not for others; each will be tested separately. 2. The clinical burden of ABR caused by 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE derives primarily from bacteria and ABR mechanisms of human rather than animal origin. 3. The carriage of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in the human or (domestic or farmed) animal gut originates from the environment via ingestion of contaminated food and water. 4. The community carriage of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in the human or (domestic or farmed) animal gut is driven by prior AB therapy. 5. Carriage of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in the human gut is driven by the ingestion of water and food contaminated with ABs, herbicides and/or metals. 6. 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE can be selected for with sub-lethal concentrations of ABs or through co-selection by herbicides and metals. 7. Commonly encountered 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE isolates outcompete less commonly encountered isolates or strains in the absence and/or presence of selection and or their resistance plasmids are more transmissible. 8. Contamination of human or animal food with 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE is derived from both human and animal faecal carriage. Such contamination is less clinically significant for food produced by industrial versus smallholder farming. 9. 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE in water ingested by humans and animals derive from both human and animal faecal contamination. Where animal faecal contamination is found, contamination is more likely to be caused by smallholder farms than industrial farms. Our second challenge is to investigate the specific sociocultural, organizational and economic formations (concepts, arrangements and practices) associated with the anthropogenic drivers of ABR identified as key during completion of challenge 1. Resources will be flexibly deployed once we have a preliminary understanding of the key drivers, but lines of enquiry that are certainly under consideration are: We will study AB usage practices and healthcare seeking behaviour for humans and animals, including direct (over the counter) purchasing of ABs from retail outlets and animal food suppliers, professional practices around AB use at all levels of human and animal healthcare, and local rationales for these practices. We will consider behaviours and practices relating to food procurement, slaughter, domestic preparation and consumption, and water use in study communities. Our third challenge is to develop a model incorporating all the identified drivers in order to identify interventions for reducing the impact of 3GCR Ec and Kp and CRE on human health. This holistic approach will inform interventions that are underpinned by a full understanding of the social and policy contexts at provincial and national levels.
The main objective of SAFER is to tackle global development challenges in Nepal through engineering research for Sustainable infrastructure and Disaster Resilience through a multi-disciplinary consortium of geotechnical and structural engineers, engineering seismologists, ICT experts, earth scientists from academia, social scientists, policy makers financial experts, and humanitarian aid stakeholders. This is achieved by targeting the following objectives: (a) building upon the existing data, processes and strategies to develop a holistic framework, in collaboration with key international partners and local stakeholders for improving the seismic resilience of educational communities. (b) developing an innovative, low-cost, sustainable, locally sourced technique for construction of new school buildings and co-produce low-cost/high-performance retrofit schemes. (c) making use of two world class test facilities in the UK (at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton) to provide experimental justification for the current construction practices. (d) integrating the existing data, advanced methodologies into an easy to use mobile system for the stakeholders. (e) condensing the new knowledge into guidelines for local engineers and stakeholders. (f) organising an extensive scheme of interaction among the international consortium, the stakeholders, the engineering and educational communities to facilitate two-way knowledge transfer, enabling co-development of sustainable solutions that change the current state-of-practice in Nepal. Thus benefitting the people of Nepal. It is noted that the above objectives will be met by drawing upon existing collaborations, namely, the School Earthquake Safety Program (SESP) between the Department of Education, NSET, Arup International Development and the World Bank, the existing MoU between the Fuzhou, Roma Tre and Tribhuvan University, the long term collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Southampton, the joint NSF-USAid program of California Institute of Technology and University Buffalo at SUNY in USA and the established cooperation of the latter with the University of Bristol. It is also linking together three existing EPSRC Global Challenge Institutional Sponsorships to the University of Bristol focusing specifically Nepal.
Our overall objectives for the Partnership Hub are to: 1. Estimate the economic burden of AMR in China and determine the cost-effectiveness of ABR-reducing intervention strategies 2. Design and evaluate a tailored intervention to modify antibiotic prescribing behaviour among health professionals and reduce antibiotic consumption 3. Measure human exposure to antibiotics from direct and indirect (water and food animal) sources, estimate their health effects & develop new tools for risk assessment and monitoring of environmental exposures to antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant genes 4. Assemble evidence on current patterns of antibiotic use and the implementation of ABR-related policies and regulations in China at local, regional and national levels 5. Formulate evidence-based recommendations on optimising antibiotic use, monitoring ABR and assessing the success of strategies to reduce the burden of ABR. 6. Build cross-institutional and cross-national thematic groups to enhance research capacity in key disciplinary, methodological and cross-disciplinary research skills. Our project-specific objectives are: Work Package 1 i. To develop a complex intervention aimed at HPs and patients to reduce antibiotic prescribing for RTIs ii. To investigate possible novel intervention components to reduce self-treatment with antibiotics purchased from pharmacies iii. To evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention through a cluster randomised controlled trial. Work Package 2 i. To comprehensively assess exposure level of humans to antibiotics from multiple sources and evaluate consequences in terms of the multiple health hazards posed ii. To investigate types and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes; assess the effects of antibiotic exposure on resistance genes; and explore possible pathways of transmission of ABR genes among livestock, environment and populations iii. To develop an effective approach for monitoring antibiotic residues and ABR genes in aquatic environments by identifying representative monitoring sites and identifying a set of relevant indicative antibiotics and indicators of ARGs, alongside the development of rapid screening methods iv. To describe the spectrum of antibiotics and usage patterns in representative Chinese populations and livestock, and explore the relationship between use of antibiotics and ABR. v. To assess comprehensive spatiotemporal community-wide public exposure to antibiotics (public intake vs total environmental burden) and resulting ABR using Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) vi. To understand current policy context relating to antibiotics usage and systems for monitoring ABR; to explore implementation of policies to limit antibiotic use in health, agricultural and environmental sectors; and identify strategies to improve monitoring and optimise antibiotic use. Work Package 3 i. To estimate trends of antibiotic use and the incidence and prevalence of ABR in hospital settings ii. To estimate the mortality, excess length of stay and costs of ABR in hospital settings iii. To estimate economic burden of ABR in China from a societal perspective and investigate the cost effectiveness of different intervention strategies.
CONNECTED - COmmunity Network for africaN vECTor borne plant viruses Director ~ Prof Gary D. Foster : University of Bristol Co-Director ~ Prof Neil Boonham : University of Newcastle/Fera Sub Saharan Africa is the poorest region of the world and vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are one of the most significant constraints for production of staple and cash crops, for example cassava (CBSV and CMD), sweet potato (SPVD), maize (MLN) and potato (PVY). Limiting production causes poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition and prevents economic and social development. Emergence of new virus diseases in combination with climate change, resource limitations and a growing population will impact the region sooner and more significantly than other parts of the world and is of global significance. The network seeks to directly improve the food security and livelihoods of people in Sub-Saharan Africa by pump priming a large number of innovative research activities with the ultimate aim of growing the ones with greatest regional impact into larger activities within the three years of the project. Objectives 1. To build a sustainable and long lasting Network of multi-disciplinary international scientists, to address the problems created by plant virus VBDs 2. To run a series of activities to promote and embed interdisciplinary working and to strengthen research capacity, capabilities and methodologies particularly focused on the vectors of plant disease 3. To use pump-priming funding for a range of innovative projects identified by the Management Board of CONNECTED ultimately leading to more competitive, collaborative, cross-disciplinary and integrative research proposals, as well as real impact 4. To capacity build, via improved communication and collaboration networks, seminars & workshops, and training courses both in the UK and Africa 5. To develop early stage researchers, by focusing part of the pump-primed funding on proposals submitted by them, provide support to enable proposal development and delivery of projects. 6. To support collaboration between researchers in the UK and LMICs and engagement with end-users, stakeholders and policy makers 7. To provide legacy benefits from the network by facilitating the opportunity for further funding for the projects bringing the greatest impact to the region.
The Sendai Framework by UNISDR (http://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/sendai-framework) identified an urgent need for the concerted global effort by academics, practitioners, and governments to reduce the disaster risk by understanding the complex interplay of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. In particular, it highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness, instead of post-disaster management, for future catastrophic events by promoting the Build Back Better principle and by implementing robust risk management strategies. An accurate hazard-risk assessment tool is essential to achieve such goals. PREPARE (Enhancing PREParedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering) tackles the global challenge of improving the earthquake disaster preparedness for East African communities by developing integrated earthquake impact assessment tools in close partnerships with local governmental and academic institutions. It addresses the key scientific challenges in characterising the earthquake rupture potential in the East African Rift zone and applies advanced seismic resilience engineering methods to evaluate seismic vulnerability of unreinforced masonry structures in East Africa (both experimentally and numerically) and to develop effective low-cost solutions for enhanced community resilience. The PREPARE team, consisting of researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff, is truly multidisciplinary and brings in a unique set of expertise and skills in earthquake, geotechnical, infrastructure engineering, engineering seismology, geodesy, and geology. Through collaboration with local partners, PREPARE will transform novel scientific results into practical guidelines and outputs to achieve improved seismic risk reduction. Specifically, the research objectives of PREPARE are fivefold: (1) to develop integrated seismic risk assessment tools for East African countries. The tools treat alternative hypotheses and uncertainties associated with hazard, exposure, and vulnerability components comprehensively and consistently; (2) to co-produce a variety of seismic hazard-risk maps and seismic design guidelines in close collaboration with local governmental and academic partners. As part of co-production, bilateral visits of researchers and staff are arranged to consolidate long-term relationships; (3) to improve the knowledge on tectonic behaviour of major fault systems in East Africa by gathering new field data (geology and GPS) and by analysing the regional seismicity data. The new findings will be used to update the fault-based seismic hazard model; (4) to develop bespoke seismic vulnerability models of unreinforced masonry (brick) constructions in East Africa through an extensive experimental programme (i.e. material testing of local bricks and pull-over testing of real-scale brick walls) and advanced structural modelling; and (5) to investigate the effectiveness of low-cost engineering solutions to improve the seismic resilience of the buildings and infrastructure in East Africa. The main deliverables of the project are: (i) integrated seismic risk assessment tools (e.g. seismic hazard maps and modern design guidelines) for East African countries; (ii) consolidated partnerships with local institutions in East Africa; (iii) improved knowledge of the tectonic processes in the East Africa Rift; and (iv) state-of-the-art seismic vulnerability models of unreinforced masonry structures in East Africa. The results will be disseminated through a number of means, including co-organised workshops and training sessions in Malawi, joint geophysical fieldwork, joint structural testing, and high-impact journal papers.
Beyond the networked city: building innovative delivery systems for water, sanitation and energy in urban AfricaUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The aim of the Beyond the networked city project is to enhance the delivery of sustainable and resilient water, sanitation and energy services to marginalised communities inn Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Kampala, Uganda through high quality research that develops a mixed economy model of on-grid and off-grid systems. Central to our thinking is that both on-grid and off-grid systems should provide users with the same safety and adequacy of service. Our research has eight key objectives: 1. To develop and implement new and effective methods of analysing service delivery across cities in low- and middle-income countries. This will allow the research team and its non-academic partners to determine the appropriate mix of on and off-grid delivery of water, sanitation and energy services to marginalised urban communities, and to develop dynamic plans for municipal authorities that incorporate spatial and temporal change in services. 2. To identify and demonstrate the most effective ways to supporting marginalised communities, and the most marginalised people within communities, to be fully engaged and active participants in making decisions about how services can be improved over multiple time-scales and demonstrate to municipal authorities and policy makers the advantages of such active engagement. 3. To co-develop and test local level improvements in water, sanitation and energy service delivery to marginalised communities in Freetown and Kampala that have the full support and active participation of communities, municipal authorities and service providers and which have the support of national policy makers. 4. To co-develop with municipal authorities, national policy-makers, communities and development partners, city-wide plans for the development of services in Freetown and Kampala that incorporate both on-grid and off-grid systems and which promote spatial and temporal evolution of services within each city. 5. To identify how to overcome the physical, technological, environmental, financial, economic, social and political barriers that constrain the expansion of formal on-grid services to marginalised communities in Freetown and Kampala. 6. To test the use of big data in developing service delivery plans for cities and to assess the degree to which such data can compensate for scarce official data and the degree to which it can complement official data in developing municipal plans. 7. To understand the role and business models of informal suppliers of water, sanitation and energy services in Freetown and Kampala and identify how these services can be improved and integrated as part of an overall mix of service delivery options operating in each city. 8. To produce risk maps for water, sanitation and energy systems in Freetown and Kampala to support operational managers and policy makers take decisions on risk management and mitigation in relation to both current and future hazards.
EdJAM's vision is to create an inclusive, international and interdisciplinary network that builds capacity, amplifies innovative practices, and generates new knowledge to contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.7 - ensuring all learners have the knowledge and skills to build a culture of peace and non-violence. EdJAM aims to reshape the discussion around SDG target 4.7 and to make a significant impact towards achieving it. To do this, our network will: 1) Build capacity of civil society organisations, educators and researchers in LMICs to shape research agendas and to create and share evidence around educative practices and outcomes for SDG target 4.7; 2) Identify, support and amplify innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning about the violent past in order to build a culture of peace, both inside and outside of the classroom (with an attention to heritage sites, social memory construction, and transitional justice processes as other spaces for teaching and learning about difficult histories); 3) Develop and contribute evidence, partnerships, new approaches and indicators for achieving SDG target 4.7, sharing with key stakeholders including policymakers (national, regional and international), education in emergencies practitioners, and researchers in order to influence strategies for achieving SDG target 4.7. EdJAM works across three overlapping strands with the following objectives: STRAND I: Understanding promising practices, learning from knowledge exchange, and expanding our network 1. Understand and amplify creative practices for teaching and learning about the violent past through proof of concept work with civil society partners in Cambodia, Colombia, Pakistan and Uganda. 2. Map opportunities, barriers to, challenges of and gaps in our knowledge about each thematic area and their links to teaching and learning for a culture of peace and non-violence. 3. Strengthen partnerships, knowledge exchange and in-country impact through partner exchange visits and co-produced impact agendas and events in each country. 4. Expand our network within and beyond these four countries, building partnerships with policymakers, civil society actors, and researchers nationally and regionally. STRAND II: Building research capacity and developing new knowledge 1. Generate new knowledge around: a. Creative and innovative practices for teaching and learning about the violent past in order to build a culture of peace and violence; b. Ways to amplify these creative practices so that they can change and support formal education policies and practices at national and international levels; c. Opportunities, barriers, challenges and gaps around education as a site of memory production, identified in Strand I. 2. Build research capacity in and beyond our countries of focus, with a priority on supporting the research agendas and development of global south researchers and UK early career researchers. STRAND III: Synthesising learning for SDG target 4.7 and for partnership working The objectives of Strand III are to: 1. Enhance the impact of Strands I and II, disseminate their achievements widely in order to contribute significantly towards meeting and measuring SDG target 4.7 2. Assess and learn from the models of partnership working, North-South and South-South collaboration and co-creation of knowledge used by EdJAM and to share this widely.
The overarching objective is to establish a cohesive network of academic and clinical centres that shares productively world leading UK initiatives in basic and translational renal glomerular research with LMIC centres that have a proven track record of enormous clinical experience and enthusiastic clinical research. PRACTICAL DELIVERABLES (i) Obtain ethical approvals at each centre to carry out the proposed research plan, including ethics for collection of blood, urine and DNA from ethnically and age matched controls. (ii) Establish the ability to collect ongoing clinical data in an international web-based registry, and recruit patients using an established systematic protocol applied across all centres (iii) Uploading of clinical information (using and adapting existing RADAR datafields) and sample storage data to a centralised web based registry ('International RADAR'), alongside upload of pathology laboratory data (iv) Establish a robust and consistent protocol for high-quality blood and urine sampling at different stages of disease, handling and storage, as well as biopsy material (v) Set up each LMIC centre with the ability to extract DNA and RNA from blood samples, and with laboratory based podocyte assays for novel biomarker development and testing. (vi) Train key personnel in clinical trials (Delhi, Bristol) and epidemiological expertise (Bristol) Accurate estimations of incidence, outcomes, and responses to current therapies. More detailed study will reveal incidence of monogenic disease, effects of environment (e.g. rural/urban), nutrition, early life influences, and infectious triggers.
Our OVERALL OBJECTIVE, by adopting an integrated analysis of peripheral blood from Indonesian patients who have well-defined clinical outcomes, is to correlate dengue disease severity with i) dengue virus genetic diversity or other co-morbidity factors (e.g. co-infection) using metagenomic analysis, ii) host transcriptomic and proteomic changes and iii) platelet function and the presence of mediators of endothelial permeability. Our integrated data analysis will allow us to identify candidate viral and host biomarkers that predict progression to severe dengue disease, which will be verified using prospectively collected samples. In addition, our metagenomic analysis will also assess whether other arboviruses such as chikungunya and Zika virus, whose status in Indonesia is unknown, may have been misdiagnosed as dengue infection. To achieve our overall objective, we propose two parallel but closely integrated activities that are built within a collaborative framework and research infrastructure. The core activities are: A) Research and B) Training. Research: The project has 5 specific research aims: i) To use retrospectively and prospectively collected blood and serum from patients sampled at different times after hospital admission (during the febrile, critical and recovery phases) with well characterised clinical outcomes (febrile illness non-dengue, dengue +/- warning signs and severe dengue disease) to undertake a global unbiased metagenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic ('omics) analysis. ii) To analyse platelet function in the prospectively collected samples and determine the effects of patient serum on endothelial cell permeability using an in vitro model. iii) To develop a collaborative bioinformatic framework that integrates clinical, 'omics and biochemical and immunological data. iv) To use the integrated datasets to identify candidate nucleic acid and protein biomarkers for prognostic diagnosis of dengue severity and verify the biomarkers using prospectively collected clinical samples. v) To determine the contribution of circulating arboviruses in Indonesia to dengue and other febrile diseases. Training: The research plan will be achieved using a series of interconnected work packages distributed between the UK and Indonesian researchers. The expertise of the researchers at the University of Bristol (UoB) and University of Glasgow (UoG) in high-throughput 'omics along with any integrated bioinformatic and statistical analysis tools will be transferred to the Indonesian partners at the Universities of Indonesia (UI), Padjadjaran (UP) and Jenderal Soedirman (JS) through short-term scientific exchange visits, and joint workshops throughout the project. This will significantly support the Indonesian research capacity enhancement program. Critically, the training will help to establish an adaptable technological framework that is relevant to many other infectious disease areas in Indonesia.
Bringing Memories in from the Margins: Inclusive Transitional Justice and Creative Memory Processes for Reconciliation in ColombiaUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to a sustainable, inclusive reconciliation process in Colombia by analysing, supporting and creating space for the voices and memory projects of marginalised groups within national transitional justice initiatives and within wider everyday processes of transition and social change as reflected through formal and non-formal learning spaces. To achieve this, we have the following aims: 1) Memories from the margins: To support victims and communities in eleven of the most marginalised municipalities of Colombia, whose voices have been excluded from mainstream narratives, to a) creatively develop a piece of memory work that reflects their experiences and hopes for the future; b) to develop skills and capacities to widely share this work on their own terms. 2) Reconciliation: To create spaces and opportunities for the memories of marginalised and victim communities to be heard and acknowledged formally by Colombia's Truth Commission (TC) and more widely, including in schools and community spaces. 3) Lessons from Colombia's transitional justice: To share and reflect on project methodologies and findings in order to contribute to national and international debates around reconciliation, memory, transitional justice, education and peace. To achieve these aims, the project has three overarching research questions: 1. Memories from the margins: What memories have been marginalized through and beyond the conflict in Colombia? What obstacles have marginalized municipalities encountered as they seek to relate their experiences of conflict and promote reconciliation and how can these be countered using participatory methodologies? 2. Reconciliation: How have victims' memories been acknowledged within formal (the TC) and informal processes (educational and digital spaces) of reconciliation in Colombia? What lessons have been learned at the national level from creative and participatory processes of connecting victims' memories with reconciliation processes? 3. Lessons from Colombia's transitional justice: Does Colombia show that effective engagement with victims' memories of conflict can shape a successful transitional justice processes elsewhere? To answer these questions, we adopt a co-production methodology, working in partnership with a strong and established network of national level partners who already work in marginalised municipalities across Colombia. These partners include the Colombian National Library, the National Centre for Historical Memory, the Ruta Pacifica national women's organisation, and the National Network of Memory Sites, all of whom are well recognised and respected for their human rights and reconciliation work. These partners will work with victims of Colombia's more than five decade long armed conflict to answer these questions using innovative methodologies in memory and education, ensuring that victims' memories and experiences form part of Colombia's post conflict reconciliation. The project has been designed to work across Colombia with some of its most marginalised constituencies, including indigenous groups in Bolivar department, areas particularly affected by the conflict such as Caqueta and Cesar, and groups most affected by gendered violence, such as women in Antioquia. Participatory methods can only be adopted by an interdisciplinary academic team with a track record of impactful research in Latin America and Colombia. Our team includes a historian (Brown), a media and communications specialist (Lopez), a political scientist (Pinto), and an educationalist (Paulson), who have previously collaborated across the UK and Colombia on research that has made a contribution to the peace process in Colombia.
The development and implementation of sensors and treatment technologies for freshwater systems in IndiaUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
We have 4 main project aims; 1) To implement and test the deployment of already developed sensors (UWE and Chelsea TG) for the monitoring of microbial quality of freshwater supplies. (led by UWE) 2) To implement and test the deployment of an already developed water treatment system for the rapid production of drinking water (led by UWE) 3) The development of a biosensor for the detection of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in freshwaters (led by BI) 4) The development of a bioreactor for the remediation of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in freshwaters (Led by BI) Urban agglomerates and rural areas can achieve higher levels of sustainability if there is a harmonic integration of the community with robust, well engineered technologies that have been rigorously tested prior to implementation. An important consideration is the design and development of any technological solution and, importantly, its co-implementation with local communities and stakeholders. Integrating well engineered sensing and treatment technologies the WWEF nexus with the community will bring socio-economic benefits to the community environment e.g. clean-safe water production; energy, and nutrient recovery; pollution reduction; and food security. Specifically, we will; i. Deploy and evaluate the long-term in field-performance of a developed sensor which measures key fluorescence properties for in-situ high temporal monitoring of bacterial processes in freshwater aquatic systems ii. Deploy and evaluate the in-field performance of an off-grid water treatment platform iii. Design and develop a working biosensor prototype for the detection of EDCs in freshwater systems iv. Design and develop a laboratory scale pilot bioreactor for the remediation of EDCs in freshwater systems
Analysis of flavivirus infection on the cellular lipidome - implications for virus particle production and replication.UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Flaviviruses such as dengue virus (DENV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are arthropod-borne RNA viruses that have emerged in recent years to become serious global public health concerns. Countries in tropical and sub-tropical regions, such as Thailand, bear the greatest economic and societal cost of these diseases, which are endemic due to the presence of the mosquito vectors. Flaviviruses are known to manipulate cellular lipid metabolism during infection to promote viral replication, particle assembly and egress which influences virus infectivity and disease. We hypothesize that the alterations that occur to the lipid composition of the host cell membranes used for flavivirus replication and assembly define the lipid composition and infectivity of virus particles and modulate the lipidomic secretome of infected cells. The OVERALL AIM of this project is answer the following scientific questions: 1) Are the changes that occur in the composition of the host cell membranes used for flavivirus replication and assembly reflected in the lipid composition of the flavivirus particle and the lipids that are secreted from cells? 2) Are the specific lipids present in flavivirus particles important for the production and immunogenic properties of either flavivirus particles or empty virus-like- particles (VLPs), that have potential as vaccines? 3) Are flaviviruses reliant on common lipids for their replication? In order to achieve our overall aim the MAIN OBJECTIVES of the project are to: 1) Use a high-throughput liquid chromatography (LC) mass spectrometry (MS) approach to: a) Investigate whether the lipid profiles of intracellular membranes remodelled during flavivirus (DENV, JEV and ZIKV) replication reflect the lipid composition of flavivirus particles. b) Analyse the alterations that occur in the cellular lipidomic secretome during flavivirus infection. c) Determine whether there are differences in the lipid composition of flavivirus VLPs produced from cells containing an active flavivirus replication complex compared to uninfected cells. 2) Use complementary approaches to confirm that the lipids identified to be associated with virus replication and/or particle morphogenesis by LC-MS analysis are essential for productive virus infection. 3) Determine whether the lipid composition of VLPs affects VLP yields, immunogenicity or intracellular signalling. The collaborative scientific investigation will enhance the capacity of Thai researchers to undertake advanced LC-MS based lipidomic analysis through academic exchange and training. The approach used in this investigation can be applied to other investigations on infectious diseases. The research will improve our understanding of the role of lipids in the flavivirus particle that will have direct benefits to controlling these viruses through improved VLP based vaccine production and the identification of targets for anti-viral therapy which are both active fields of research Thailand.
This project is the first attempt at combining state-of-the-art hydrodynamic flood models with high-resolution data on economic activity, mitigation and coping strategies of households. Studying how hydro-physical and socio-economic conditions and processes interact is important because (i) a large component of vulnerability to floods is explained by assets and activities at stake and (ii) households adjust their behaviour to flood risk. The proposed research will address this challenge by combining state-of-the-art flood models with a novel high-quality household survey. This main methodological contribution will allow the production of a comprehensive index of socio-economic vulnerability, aggregated from household-specific exposure. By incorporating the household response to flood risk, future scenarios and policy interventions will be evaluated accounting for strategic response of economic activities, risk-mitigating instruments and post-disaster support. The research contribution can be summarized by the following aims: Aim 1: Integrate a state-of-the-art hydrodynamic flood model, satellite imagery, detailed land-use maps, and household survey data to develop a novel socio-physical flood model of the Central Highlands and to produce a set of risk projections based upon a range of possible future scenarios. Aim 2: Evaluate all aspects of the individual household response to flood risk in the short- and medium-run and assess how their responses aggregate at the commune level, through the estimation of social multipliers across households and heterogeneity in household adaptation strategies. Aims 1 and 2 will be met by undertaking the following key objectives as a set of five linked work packages. O1. Collect unique household data identifying the household resilience strategies, social links between households of the same commune, and the specific household flood exposure through the geo-location of their assets and economic activities; O2. Develop an integrated socio-hydrodynamic model of the Central Highlands, micro-validated with satellite imagery and survey data; O3. Evaluate the high-dimensional effects of flood risk through the identification of household resilience strategies (and their heterogeneity) and social multipliers across households of the same commune; construct flood vulnerability indicators and welfare estimates at the household level; O4. Develop and validate a low-dimensional approach to flood vulnerability mapping based on satellite imagery alone; O5. Project a series of future flood risk scenarios that incorporate a range of possible changes to key hydrophysical parameters, socioeconomic conditions, land use, household mitigation strategies, and public interventions to inform future policy and disaster risk reduction strategies.
This project seeks to advance Smart City practice by developing a novel approach to Smart City innovation and increasing our understanding of the preconditions for innovation to be firmly oriented towards citizens' priorities and interests. Close attention to the institutions and politics of urban governance will allow us to move away from the tokenistic citizen participation characteristic of much current Smart City development towards more effective methods of co-creation. The current Smart City debate lacks in-depth analyses of how to move towards the citizen- and problem-oriented development that has been widely advocated. This project can make a significant contribution to filling that gap. The project will bring together a multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral team to work collaboratively to: (i) develop and test the value of a novel multi-dimensional framework in facilitating the co-creation of integrated, inclusive and equitable citizen-oriented Smart City innovation. The framework will be based upon the Responsible Innovation framework used in the anticipatory governance of techno-science, but not yet applied in the Smart City context. This will be combined with the Bristol Approach to citizen-centred Smart City development. Through knowledge exchange, contextual expertise of Mexican collaborators, and project learning this framework will be adapted and refined to be more broadly applicable. (ii) evaluate the extent to which existing Smart City practices in Mexico City align with the dimensions of this framework, with a particular focus on equity and social justice. Case studies of existing projects in Mexico City in development and operation will be conducted. The case studies will compare state-sponsored projects with those originating in civil society. The case studies will be benchmarked against our multi-dimensional framework. (iii) identify the institutional preconditions for effective and impactful citizen-oriented Smart City innovation. For citizen-oriented innovation to have broader impact can require it to interface with the social and political systems in which it is embedded. The project will examine the institutional context in which such innovation exists. The analysis will encompass organisational capacity; the involvement or incorporation of non-state actors; mechanisms of co-ordination and integration, including hybrid organisational arrangements and formal and informal rules of the game. Particular attention will be given to possible normative conflicts and the exercise of power. More specifically, the research will address the following six objectives: 1. formulate a multi-dimensional framework rooted in Responsible Innovation to support Smart City development based on collective competencies and capacities for anticipation, reflection, inclusive deliberation, and responsiveness; 2. use this framework to work with citizens and other stakeholders in Mexico City to (i) conduct an integrated anticipatory exercise on Smart City innovation, structuring capacity development into the process, and (ii) design a Smart City innovation geared towards citizens' priorities; 3. examine the broader institutions of urban governance with which citizen-oriented smart city developments need to interface successfully, identifying enablers and barriers; 4. benchmark existing approaches to Smart City development in Mexico City against our multi-dimensional framework; 5. provide opportunities for social learning directed at (i) better understanding the institutional constraints upon citizen-oriented Smart City development and the scope for institutional change; (ii) refining our framework to facilitate application in ODA countries more broadly; 6. collaboratively produce diverse outputs for a range of audiences, with a focus upon accessible tools to assist citizens and communities engage effectively with the Smart City agenda.
Philippines - Quantitative Lahar Impact and Loss Assessment under changing Land Use and Climate ScenariosUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Assessing the risk communities face to lahar hazards requires an integrated modelling approach that accounts for the interactions of hydrometeorological conditions, land use characteristics, flow dynamics, and the build environment. Our aim is to develop a lahar model that is capable of predicting the lahar hazard footprint and the physical vulnerability of buildings to lahar impacts and this will be achieved through six linked objectives, co-developed and co-delivered by the University of Bristol and the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Objective 1: Predictive lahar model implementation at building scale. We will develop our dynamic model of lahars to efficiently predict flow dynamics on a range of scales, including, critically, on the scale of buildings, using automated mesh-refinement and interpolation schemes to connect wide-area low-resolution and local high-resolution topographic data. Objective 2: Linking Land Use and erodibility for lahar modelling. We will use fieldwork (ground surveys, UAVs, satellite observations) to examine land use in catchments and around channels, to characterise surface characteristics and the availability of erodible material (depth of erodible layers and ease of mobilization) and assess temporal changes to erodibility over days/weeks/months/years after an eruption. Objective 3: Catchment hydrology modelling for lahar initiation. We will develop a simplified but applicable model of catchment hydrology, accounting for infiltration, run-off and erosion, to determine potential volumes and estimate lahar hydrographs in drainage channels, linking the lahar initiation to rainfall across catchments. Objective 4: Characterising rainfall on catchment scale for lahar initiation under current and future climates. We will analyse rainfall data at the catchment scale for past and current lahar events and use flow observations and coincident rainfall and river stage data to characterise lahar triggering conditions and to calibrate catchment hydrology models. We will use these approaches to explore intensity and likelihood of future lahars under changing climate conditions. Objective 5: Using models to assess physical vulnerability. We will combine outputs of high-resolution modelling with new analysis of transient and quasi-steady impacts of lahars and their transported solid loads, to translate flow conditions to assessment of infrastructure vulnerability and loss estimation. Objective 6 Lahar Risk Assessment Test Case. We will integrate flow and hydrological modelling of footprints into spatial mapping of impacts and losses, with a comprehensive characterisation of the uncertainty in these predictions. We will work with local stakeholders (risk managers/civil defence, authorities and communities) to develop practical tools for assessing and communicating lahar threats and apply these to lahars from the ongoing eruption of Mayon. Objective 1 allows our lahar model to be used efficiently for hazard planning and response from the source region and into urban centres. Objective 2 provides the observational data necessary to determine the potential for lahar initiation across land use and precipitation conditions. Objective 3 allows rainfall observations and predictions to be translated into lahar source characteristics. Objective 4 provides data for calibrating the catchment model and for future-proofing the modelling under changing climate and land use. Objective 5 allows the translation of predictions of the dynamical characteristics of lahars into the physical vulnerability of structures. Objective 6 provide a stringent and encompassing test of the modelling framework and demonstrates the practical application for lahar hazard and risk.
RESPiRES aims to address major knowledge gaps in the implementation of Smart City initiatives to ensure sustainable outcomes for people, the environment and the economy. These aims will have a focus on social-ecological resilience across emerging (Mexico) and established (UK) economies and met in four core objectives: 1. Identify future-proof and smart tools and techniques that are available, accessible and appropriate, and could be adopted by community-based monitoring (CBM) initiatives across Smart Cities to monitor blue-spaces (e.g. wetlands, ponds, lakes and rivers) 2. Determine place-based values and perceptions of urban blue-spaces (positive and/or negative) held by local communities across demographic gradients (e.g. age, gender, wealth, health, education) 3. Co-construct and validate a suite of social-ecological resilience indicators that represent intrinsic as well as instrumental values held by local people, and can be used by local governance to deliver highly valued and resilient blue-spaces in Smart Cities 4. Identify local and regional factors that contribute to highly functional and resilient blue-spaces and associated ecosystems that provide important ecosystem services to local communities In achieving these objectives, RESPiRES will explore the role of environmental justice and equity regarding access to blue-space provision that are both healthy and valued. The co-construction process and development of a CBM programme will engage local communities in Mexico City and Bristol and encourage sustainable behaviour change through citizen participation and the co-development of knowledge. Critically, through investigation of current and emerging technologies as well as the barriers and opportunities for their use in CBM, RESPiRES will provide solid foundations for the smarter use of data and information in future Smart Cities.
Potential of acellular biological scaffold coated with chemokines and cytokines as tissue engineered small artery graftsUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overall objective of the proposal is to determine whether an acellular biological scaffold coated with chemokines and cytokines enhances monocyte adhesion and differentiation into endothelial-like cells which provide a protective lining to the graft and thereby retards thrombosis and lumenal encroachment and improves graft performance. The creation of an acellular scaffold that avoids the harvesting of saphenous vein from the patients leg will shorten the surgical procedure, avoid discomfort and infection of the wound site and thereby improve patient outcome and the cost of the procedure. Moreover, the scaffold will induce in situ cell recruitment and differentiation which will avoid the need for ex vivo tissue engineering which is costly and time-consuming. The specific research objectives are to: i. Investigate monocyte recruitment to acellular scaffolds coated with MCP-1 and CX3CL1, (coated vs. uncoated xenogeneic pericardia or porcine intestinal submucosa extracellular matrix (SIS-ECM)) in a static in vitro and dynamic ex vivo flow system. ii. Examine pleiotrophin and TNF-alpha modulation of monocyte/macrophage differentiation into ECs in a static in vitro and dynamic ex vivo flow system. iii. Compare the outcome of the two coated acellular scaffolds to control uncoated scaffolds at 1-month after surgical implantation in a pig carotid artery model.
Developing human model cellular systems for studying Red Blood Cell diseases and as screening platformsUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overall objective of our proposal is to create not just much needed human cellular model systems of the thalassemia syndromes and sickle cell disease (SCD), but a compendium of associated and extensively characterised disease lines complemented by the founder BEL-A line. The lines will provide a readily available and reproducible resource for ourselves and the hematology/hematopoiesis community for further delineating the underlying molecular mechanisms of disease, for developing new therapeutic strategies and as screening platforms for the effect, efficacy and action of new drugs and reagents. The thalassemia syndromes and SCD represent a significant global health problem and financial burden to health services and are of particular interest to many researchers and health service professionals. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of the disease phenotypes are not fully understood, and therapy options limited. Studying the molecular defects behind such RBC diseases is severely impeded by paucity of suitable, and adequate quantities of material from patients, and lack of suitable cell lines. Therefore, new approaches and human model cellular systems for these disorders are essential. We have recently developed methodology and created 1) the first immortalised adult human erythroid cell line (BEL-A) that recapitulates normal erythropoiesis, expresses normal levels of adult globin, terminally differentiates and enucleates to generate mature reticulocytes, providing a sustainable supply of cells; 2) a platform for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing of the BEL-A cells, creating sublines with single or multiple gene edits. We now have the unique opportunity to exploit these tools and technologies to create lines as human model cellular systems of RBC diseases, providing a sustainable and reproducible supply of cells for study. Specific Objectives of Proposal: i) Generation of human disease lines by genome editing the BEL-A line. Disease mutations will be introduced into the BEL-A line using CRISPR-Cas9. We plan to create eight different beta thalassemia and five different alpha thalassemia lines with mutations associated with different disease severity and with different mode of action, as well as a SCD line. Such a range of lines for a given disease will help determine variability in disease mechanisms, as well as evaluation of drugs etc across spectra of phenotypes and in a human cellular milieu. Importantly, all lines will have a constant genetic background, and the same as the founder line removing the many experimental variables between patient samples. ii) Validation and characterisation of disease lines Lines will undergo extensive characterisation both to validate disease phenotype and as a data resource to facilitate future studies and applications. Examples include globin expression levels and profile, subunit ratios and solubility, oxygen association/dissociation, expansion, differentiation, morphological analysis, ROS levels and apoptosis, sickling of SCD cells, abundance of proteins reported aberrantly expressed, response to reagents that increase gamma globin and to perturbation of factors involved in gamma globin silencing. iii) Multiplex comparative proteomics will be used to both validate known targets and to identify novel dysregulated proteins, along with pathway and gene set enrichment analysis tools to determine molecular mechanisms/pathways effected and upstream regulators. We will also compare the profile of such proteins across lines with mutations associated with differing disease severity for the respective thalassemia. Identified proteins will be followed up by western blot qPCR etc and overexpression or knockdown in disease and control lines to verify involvement in disease phenotype. iv) Generation of immortalised erythroid lines from patient CD34+ cells. Lines can be created directly using our immortalisation methodology as an alternative approach for risk mitigation.