Search Results for: "University of Leicester"
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.
Our overriding objective is for the first time to conduct historical and criminological research on a critical but almost entirely neglected aspect of Guyana's prison system: the definition, experience, management and treatment of MNS disorders. We will research MNS disorders among prisoners and the people who work with them, in the country's five jails: Georgetown, Lusignan, Mazaruni (inc. juvenile establishment Sibley Hall), New Amsterdam (inc. female prison), and Timehri. We will take a long and broad historical, social and cultural approach, covering the period from 1825, when the British Empire opened the colony's first jail in Georgetown, through to the present day, following Guyanese independence in 1966. Our intermediate objectives aim to: 1. Discover how the different ethnic and religious communities, including men, women and youths, define and experience MNS disorders in the jails context, historically and today. 2. Establish and evaluate rates of prevalence of MNS disorders in Guyana's jails (1825-present), according to the definitions of global health studies, and the findings of (1) above. 3. Find out about and evaluate MNS disorders welfare provision in Guyana's prisons, examined particularly through ethnicity, religious, gender and generational lenses (1825-present). 4. Stimulate debate and behavioural change among the Guyana Prison Service, including its Sentence Management Board, the Guyana Ministry of Health (Mental Health Department), people living close to jails, prisoners' families and relevant NGOs. 5. Inform policy and practice, by enhancing support for prisoners and their families, and improving prison officer support and training. 6. Engage with academic beneficiaries over the methods and substantive findings of the project so that we contribute to wider interdisciplinary debates within global health studies, and to historical and criminological research on penality, incarceration and prisoner release in regards to health and well-being, social welfare, ethnicity, religion, gender and generation. 7. Connect present-day challenges associated with MNS disorders to the history and legacies of the British Empire in Guyana, especially in regards to jails regimes, labour management, demography and culture. 8. Strengthen the existing partnership between the universities of Leicester and Guyana, and between both parties and the Guyana Prison Service. 9. Establish new relationships with Guyana's Ministry for Public Health, NGOs and HMP Leicester. 10. Render the research findings portable to other ODA-recipient countries in the Caribbean region. 11. Enhance the knowledge base and work of the UK Ministry of Justice, HM Inspector of Prisons and HMP Leicester.
Determining the persister populations in sputum during tuberculosis therapy. A supplementary study to the RIFASHORT trial.UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Persisters are a subpopulation of bacteria that remain viable after the initial killing action of antibiotics. In tuberculosis (TB), as distinct from antimicrobial drug resistance, persister populations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) are widely believed to be responsible for relapses following chemotherapy, slow response to therapy and treatment failure. High Mtb persister populations at the onset or developing during chemotherapy may explain why some patients are not cured. Here we test two sputum assays of Mtb phenotypes linked to persisters for their utility in predicting responses to TB chemotherapy. The work will enhance and add value to a funded clinical trial and offers great potential to accelerate evaluation of new drugs and treatment regimens in TB. The primary aim of this work is to investigate the predictive value for cure of quantifying specific bacterial sub-populations in patients' sputum during the early phase of treatment for TB. The work builds on the MRC/DFID/WT Global Health Trials funded RIFASHORT trial, a randomized trial to evaluate the toxicity and efficacy of 1200mg and 1800mg rifampicin daily for 4 months in the treatment of pulmonary TB. The targeted Mtb populations are recognised by their dependency on Resuscitation Promoting Factors (Rpfs) to grow in liquid medium and by the presence of bacterial intracellular lipid bodies (LBs). These phenotypes are the subject of well-established research programmes in, and have been linked both phenotypically and mechanistically to, antibiotic tolerance and the persister phenomenon. The analytical readouts relating to Rpf and LB assays are respectively referred to as Rpf-dependent (Rpf-D) counts and percentage of LB positive (%LB+) cells. The value of these analyses will be further enhanced by determining the Mtb transcriptomes associated with selected samples. This work is incentivised by a case-control study demonstrating that %LB+ analyses at 21-28 days into therapy clearly distinguish between unsatisfactory and 18 month relapse-free treatment outcomes and by development of a procedure for storage of sputum samples allowing deferred analysis of Rpf-D counts. The central hypotheses are: A. That the abundance of Rpf-D and %LB+ Mtb cells in sputum reflect the size of the persister population in that individual and their risk of treatment failure or relapse. B. That absolute levels of and/or changes in the abundances of these target populations during early chemotherapy or combinations thereof provide a predictive index for relapse or treatment failure. C. That Rpf-D and %LB+ populations are correlated D. That Mtb transcriptional signatures in sputum can be correlated with the subpopulation determinations. The specific objectives are: 1. To prepare and analyse smears of sputum samples taken 1 month into treatment for %LB+ counts. (n= 300) 2. To store serial (T=0, 2, 4, 8 week) sputum samples from 150 subjects enrolled in the RIFASHORT trial (50 each from 2 study arms and 1 control arm) 3. To prospectively analyse selected samples (t=0, 3, 14, 28 days) for Rpf-D and %LB+ counts and the associated Mtb transcriptome (n=60). 4. To determine relationships between Rpf-D, %LB+ and Mtb transcripts. 5. To use the stored samples to conduct a case-control study to compare the Rpf and LB indices and their dynamic changes between successfully treated subjects and those in whom relapse or treatment failure occurs. 6. To determine the single or combination of assays most strongly associated with failed therapy. Achievement of these objectives will enable completion of three studies. (i) Prospective analyses of %LB+ counts at ~1 month as a predictor of unsatisfactory outcome. (VALIDATION STUDY) (ii) Prospective determination of the correlation between sputum indices. (CORRELATION STUDY) (iii) A case-control study matching early sputum analyses from subjects with unsatisfactory outcomes with those obtained from cured individuals. (CASE-CONTROL STUDY)
Our aim is to develop a phage food additive to control Salmonella in chickens and pigs and therefore reduce disease and antimicrobial resistance in the human food chain. We will exploit our novel phage resources, interdisciplinary team and established network of collaborators and animal meat producers to develop and rigorously test resilient, stable phage-cocktails that target relevant Salmonella serotypes from Thai and UK poultry and pig farms. Objectives In order to deliver the research activities, five major objectives have been identified which will be delivered as discrete work packages, each with an associated milestone as shown on the Gantt Chart attached. WP1. Assemble, characterise and evaluate the threat potential of a strain collection of all relevant Salmonella strains in UK/Thailand WP2. Assemble phage catalogue based on phages with suitable host range, stability parameters and genome characteristics WP3. Optimise spray drying parameters, establish how to encapsulate and then spray dry, determine best sugar carrier to minimise phage loss WP4. Establish efficacy of phages in culture and in chicken and pig cell lines and Galleria WP5. Establish how to add phage to feed/water/carcasses, and monitor downstream effects in model systems
Thermal infrared technologies for supporting environmental assessment and decision making in the Ganges BasinUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overarching objective for this project is to map land and atmospheric vulnerabilities in critical zones located within the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). This will be achieved through employment of thermal infrared technologies combined with the creation of a framework for scientific engagement with UK and Indian Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) involved in policy research and intervention. With a focus on sustainable land-use, food- and water- security related to agriculture practises, the main objectives are: 1. To extend the scope of existing UK - India partnerships and facilitate integration of science expertise and community knowledge through new communication streams with IGP communities. 2. To support monitoring of the Ganges Basin using the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) on Sentinel-3A and high quality in situ sensors and provide a first detailed validation of SLSTR measurements in the IGP. 3. To empower NGOs, The Flow Partnership (TFP) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), with new prototype agricultural indices to bridge the gap between the science and the community and co-design strategies for future environmental policies. 4. To enhance and grow new capabilities in land and atmospheric modelling with novel space borne datasets and provide training for early career researchers and PhD. Underpinning these objectives will be a demonstration of how existing partnerships between UK and Indian academics can contribute to an improved understanding of climate and anthropogenic vulnerabilities of the IGP ecosystems. This opportunity aims to generate a sustainable interchange of information for a lasting impact on NGO action and policy driven research.
Role of HbA1c and 50g GCT in early detection and prediction of gestational diabetes and associated maternal and fetal complications in ThailandUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common obstetric medical conditions and if undetected can cause significant adverse outcomes for the mother and child. The risks to the mother include a doubling of pre-eclampsia, higher frequency of Caesarean deliveries, anxiety and depression. Women with a history of GDM have a 7-fold risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) later in life. Up to half of them will develop T2DM within 10 years after delivery. The immediate risks to the children include macrosomia (20%-30%), being small for gestational age (7%-10%), shoulder dystocia, neonatal hypoglycaemia and hyperbilirubinemia, respiratory distress syndrome and in rare situations, stillbirth. Children born to mothers with GDM are predisposed to childhood obesity and diabetes later in life. Treating GDM improves the obstetric adverse outcomes by approximately 50%. Diagnosis is made usually between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy using a 75g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), but by then some adverse consequences to the baby may have occurred and any delay in screening and treatment may make it too late to improve outcomes. In Thailand, the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advocates screening with the 50g Glucose Challenge Test (GCT) at first antenatal visit for women with high risk for GDM; if 50g GCT >= 140mg/dl or 7.8mmol/l (positive) then further testing with 100g OGTT is performed; if negative, the OGTT is repeated at 24-28 weeks gestation. But, the rate of screening for GDM in Thailand varies from none at all in rural areas to 78% in urban areas. Although universal screening is recommended by many guidelines, this is not uniformly followed across the world, because of a lack of resources and doubts about cost-effectiveness. The major limitations are difficulty in conducting OGTT, which requires prompt access to laboratory facilities (glucose degrades in storage), in lower middle income countries (LMICs), where majority live in rural settings. Even in high-income countries like the UK, universal screening is not adopted due to the lack of cost-effectiveness in specific populations. An alternative to 50g GCT screening is with HbA1c at booking clinic, which has been advocated by the International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG). The HbA1c is a one-step test and patients do not need to fast. However, the relationship of different HbA1c levels in first trimester/early second trimester of pregnancy and outcomes of pregnancy (including the development of GDM as per current criteria) is yet to be determined in Thai women. The primary objectives of our project are: a) to assess the value of HbA1c and 50g GCT testing at first antenatal visit at or before 20 weeks gestation in predicting later GDM and adverse outcomes of pregnancy, including determining levels of HbA1c and 50g GCT that might rule out later GDM. b) to examine the relative cost-efficiency of different screening strategies i.e. universal versus selective screening; c) to determine whether diet and lifestyle interventions, can prevent the development of GDM by a nested RCT in women with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia. The secondary objectives of the study will be: a) assessing the value of risk factors that can be easily measured in resource constrained settings (such as gestational weight gain, baseline body mass index, blood pressure, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, etc.), and their relative contribution to the prediction of GDM; b) to see if HbA1c and/or 50g GCT testing in early pregnancy can reduce the overall need for OGTT by early detection of GDM or impending GDM; c) to determine the risks of adverse outcomes of pregnancy by bands of glucose level, in order to consider the level at which treatment is required; d) to develop a research network and data to underpin a larger study.
1. Establish a mutually beneficial research relationship between Loughborough University (UK) and Tongji University (China) that will develop expertise in the challenges and opportunities associated with the role of graphic design for urban heritage 2. Create a taxonomy of urban graphic heritage objects for the purpose of informing future design, guidance and planning in graphic design for urban heritage 3. Encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge exchange between design, planning and heritage professionals for the benefit of new and innovative creative industries practices in China and the UK 4. Develop the relationships, knowledge and outputs from collaboration to explore opportunities to extend the research through more substantive applications for funding between UK and China
Focusing on the Digital Rights theme and specifically, on "the use of digital technology to enhance participation and access for women and minority groups", this Network project addresses Sustainable Development Goals 5 (gender equality and empowering all women and girls) and 8 (sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth). The project tackles the digital gender divide in Africa, which is highest globally (International Telecommunication Union, 2016) and in particular, African women's continued under-representation that threatens to further economically dis-empower and entrench their gender-inequality. It establishes that cultivating female digital talent and enterprise will potentially address skills supply and demand gaps, increase productivity and innovation, and help firms to tailor their tech offerings to meet women's needs (UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, 2017). Similarly, Small and Medium sized Businesses/ SMBs - the growth engine of African economies - struggle to provide accessible and appropriate digital solutions to a largely underserved African female market (Intel Corporation, 2013). Intermediaries e.g. innovation hubs and digital skills initiatives are attempting to bridge the digital gender gap through digital skills and entrepreneurship support, but are equally resource constrained. The formation of cross-sector partnerships therefore becomes critical between academia, businesses and digital ecosystem stakeholders if digital opportunities for women are to be leveraged. Focusing on Uganda and Ghana, two rapidly emerging digital economies in Africa, this project seeks to build a Network to address the gender digital divide in Africa and stimulate growth in African digital sectors, and is guided by the following objectives: 1.Consult with partners and digital ecosystem stakeholders to better understand their needs and interests. 2.Convene digital ecosystem stakeholders to co-create solutions on: -Enhancing African women's participation in the digital economy -Reaching, supporting and channelling investment to female digital entrepreneurs and digital enterprises. -Understanding and catering to the under-served female digital market needs. -Creating enabling policies to enhance women's inclusion and digital sector growth. -Collaborations to create market-led solutions to drive women's inclusion and impact. 3.Convene an inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral team to support the co-development and implementation of the full (Stage 2) proposal. 4.Enhance collaboration and knowledge exchange between stakeholders in Uganda and Ghana, and between the African stakeholders and UK academic institutions, businesses, investors and digital industry experts
The aim of the project is to investigate how rural and urban communities can strengthen their resilience, promote their sustainability, and protect and foster their local heritage through the use of creative and digital tools. By working with the communities on three areas (sustainability, local heritage and identities) in the light of contemporary global flows, the project has been designed to tackle the following objectives: 1. to promote the reflection on heritage and sustainability, in order to co-create strategies to shape the communities' future; 2. to employ digital media, in particular interactive mapping tools can be used to raise awareness among local as well as global audiences on the complex interplay between heritage and sustainability; 3. to identify similarities and peculiarities of this process in each case study, in order to promote a Global South dialogue among communities affected by similar challenges and opportunities. These objectives will be reached by engaging in community-based participatory workshop events leveraging the creative and storytelling potential of digital media to capture culture-specific community experiences. Core network partners, local organisations, and community members will collaboratively work on the production of local stories reporting on opportunities and challenges related to the three interconnected areas of the network: local heritage, global flows, and sustainability. These stories will shape the outpus and dissemination strategy of the network.
Research Network Objectives: 1 Bring together academics and representatives of the Sri Lankan Department of Archaeology (policy makers) in a series of meetings and site visits to explore the use of archaeology and heritage in new and challenging ways in Northwestern (NW) Sri Lanka 2 Use the network as the springboard for co-creating an archaeology and heritage project based in NW Sri Lanka 3 Meet with representatives from CSOs, NGOs, and community groups working in NW Sri Lanka to ensure issues of relevance to local communities are understood and given weight 4 Involve post-doctoral researchers and post-graduate students in meetings and sites visits and explore approaches to heritage training 5 Raise awareness of the potential of post-conflict archaeology and heritage have in wider academic and practical contexts The aim of this Research Network is to bring together a core group of UK and Sri Lankan academics and practitioners from the related disciplines of archaeology and heritage to explore the use of archaeology in heritage initiatives. Of particular relevance in the context of NW Sri Lanka is the need to find new methods for engaging post-conflict (often displaced) communities with local archaeology and heritage. The challenge of the network will be to explore diversity in heritage that augments the current focus on monumental World Heritage sites of the early historic period. This heritage has national and international reach and sustains a substantial industry but over-rides more local, recent and everyday heritage. A key objective is to use the network as a springboard to co-create a new research project based in the north western region of Sri Lanka, to be Co-directed by colleagues from UK and Sri Lanka. This project will build on the collaborative relationships created within the network and will address research and impact agendas that emerge from the network dialogues through field activities in the NW region focussed on the later historic period (c. 1200-1948). Carrying out archaeological fieldwork in the neglected NW province will contribute to new understandings of the more recent past, and allow new heritages to be constructed by different communities as well as academics and heritage professionals. Research questions and appropriate methodologies will be the result of discussions within the network. Extending beyond the core academic group within the network, we recognise the critical importance of working with NGOs, CSOs and community groups to develop useful and appropriate methods to ensure that we engage with communities to identify their heritage understandings and needs. Working with groups outside academia will allow us to explore effective methodologies for the process of heritage engagement with marginalised communities (which may be applicable in other post-conflict settings). In turn, local groups will be able to explore the potential of heritage for use in initiatives aimed at building stronger, stable and sustainable communities through greater understanding of multiple and shared heritages. Our fourth objective is to offer new researchers and graduate students opportunities to be involved in the network. In Sri Lanka, students from the Post-Graduate Institute of Archaeological Research (PGIAR, directed by the Co-applicant) will be included in meetings and site visits, allowing them to share their views and ideas with more senior academics and specialist from non-academic organisations. Similarly in the UK, new researchers and students will be involved in meetings and site visits. Post-conflict archaeology and heritage is an emerging area of interest, with considerable academic and practical value. Finding ways to help re-build stable and strong communities after conflict is a major global challenge, and exploring ways in which archaeology and heritage can contribute to supporting understandings of diversity in heritages is a valuable tool in meeting this challenge.
Scientific Training in Southeast Asia: Phages as Antibacterial Tools to Combat Antibiotic ResistanceUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy