Marie Curie COFUND

Marie Curie COFUND

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

Between 2009 and 2013, the RSE was able to enhance its existing Scottish Government Personal Research Fellowship scheme and give Fellows the opportunity to apply for funding for substantial international travel and personal development activities, thanks to a successful application for EU co-funding within the framework of Marie Curie Actions.

Sixteen Personal Research Fellows made use of the COFUND: 

Dr Jorunn Bos

   
Jorunn Bos  
Year of Appointment: 2010 
Fellowship Institution: the James Hutton Institute
Fellowship Research: Manipulation of plant host cell processes by aphid saliva proteins
Webpage: http://www.hutton.ac.uk/staff/jorunn-bos 
Dr Jorunn Bos is a plant scientist based at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. Her Fellowship research is aimed at understanding how aphids – one of the most devastating sap-feeding insects found in plants establish successful infestations on host plants. Dr Bos made use of the COFUND to complete training in EMBO Laboratory Management and thus develop her skills as an independent group leader.  Year of Appointment: 2010

Fellowship Institution: the James Hutton Institute

Fellowship Research: Manipulation of plant host cell processes by aphid saliva proteins

Webpage: http://www.hutton.ac.uk/staff/jorunn-bos

 

Dr Jorunn Bos is a plant scientist based at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. Her Fellowship research is aimed at understanding how aphids – one of the most devastating sap-feeding insects found in plants establish successful infestations on host plants. Dr Bos made use of the COFUND to complete training in EMBO Laboratory Management and thus develop her skills as an independent group leader.

Dr Angela Bradshaw

Angela Bradshaw  

Year of Appointment: 2012 

Fellowship Institution: University of Glasgow  

Fellowship Research: A novel approach to ameliorating vascular pathologies driven by transforming growth factor-beta (TGFß)

Webpage: http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/icams/staff/angelabradshaw/

Thanks to the Marie Curie COFUND, Dr Angela Bradshaw was able to exchange research results with academic and industrial collaborators at the Leiden University Medical Centre and Crucell, the Biotechnology Company in the Netherlands. The visit enabled her to cement links with Professor ten Diike, a leading expert in the field of TGF beta signal transduction, and his group.  In addition to presenting data to the group and obtaining important feedback, she was invited to give a talk at a LeDucq Foundation meeting on Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) Signalling. The meeting was attended by several leading international figures in the field of TGF beta superfamily biology, and so helped to increase her visibility and profile in the field of TGF beta signal transduction.

Dr Davide Bulgarelli

Davide Bulgarelli  

Year of Appointment: 2013

Fellowship Institution: University of Dundee

Fellowship Research: Structure, functions and host control of the barley rhizosphere microbiota

Webpage: http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/people/davide-bulgarelli

Dr Bulgarelli made use of the COFUND to visit Dr Eyal Fridman, a leading plant scientist whose expertise complements Dr Bulgarelli’s Fellowship research, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The visit increased his awareness of state-of-the-art approaches to the study of the genetics of barley in the environment where it occurs naturally. He said that the interaction was key in “developing experiments aiming at understanding the molecular basis of barley and microbial adaptation to the environment.” Moreover, the availability of Israeli soil samples previously exposed to barley roots gave him with the opportunity to optimise the most suitable procedure to ship to and analyse these specimens ex situ.

Dr Claire Cousins

Claire Cousins  

Year of Appointment: 2013

Fellowship Institution: University of St Andrews

Fellowship Research: Searching for life on Mars: analogue and technology-based approaches

Webpage: http://clairecousins.wordpress.com/

Dr Claire Cousins is an astrobiologist based at the University of St Andrews. She made use of the COFUND for training in first-aid for fieldwork, off-road driving lessons for fieldwork and GIS and ArcGIS software training. Her first short visit was to the Exobiology research group at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France, where she was able to take advantage of the instrumentation at the institute, particularly the AFM-Raman platform, to further her research. She also acquired state-of-the-art Raman spectroscopy data on samples relating to her RSE Fellowship and used the visit to strengthen collaborations with Francis Westall and Frederic Foucher. Her second short visit was to the University of Winnipeg, Canada. This visit gave her the opportunity to use the Planetary Spectrophotometer Facility to obtain reflectance spectra from samples collected during her recent Iceland fieldwork, gain experience in acquiring data from different spectrometers and develop a new collaboration with Professor Ed Cloutis and his research group.

Dr Paul Griffin

Paul Griffin  

Year of Appointment: 2009

Fellowship Institution: University of Strathclyde

Fellowship Research: Microphotonic Quantum Registers: Single Trapped Atoms for Quantum Simulation

Webpage: http://photonics.phys.strath.ac.uk/paul-griffin/

As part of Dr Paul Griffin’s Fellowship work into developing tools of atomic physics and constructing a quantum simulator for investigations of quantum information, he spent a year working with Paul Lett in the Laser Cooling group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in Maryland, USA. He conducted experimental work with two additional researchers in a dedicated laboratory and established further theoretical collaborations with academics at NIST and at the University of Maryland. Speaking of the visit he said, “I gained a significant amount of experimental experience that is directly applicable to research projects I should develop. I have copies of schematics and “how-tos” through a group wiki. I will continue to have access to this resource, meaning I will be able to make use of any further technical advances developed at NIST. In return I will add my own developments to this resource." On the back of the visit, he submitted a successful EPSRC grant to build an experiment to entangle clouds of atoms through their magnetic interactions.

Dr Edgar Huitema

Edgar Huitema  

Year of Appointment: 2009

Fellowship Institution: University of Dundee

Fellowship Research: Mechanisms of virulence acquisition during Phytophthora-host Associations

Webpages: http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/groups/edgar_huitema/%3Cfront%3E and http://www.hutton.ac.uk/staff/edgar-huitema

Dr Edgar Huitema, a plant scientist at the University of Dundee, was awarded an RSE/Scottish Government Fellowship cofunded by Marie Curie Actions to investigate the mechanisms of virulence acquisition during Phytophthora-host associations on crop plants. He used the COFUND in year 2 of his Fellowship to visit Professor Kurt Lamour at the University of Tennessee. He organised meetings with the US-based members of the Genome sequencing consortium in order to “predict effector gene models in an effort to rationalize future effector candidate selection” and “examine the next generation sequencing datasets to assess gene diversity in P. capsici.” Working with his collaborators, he selected specific genomic regions that contain effector genes of interest for future studies. Two publications arose as a result of the collaboration. Additionally, he used the COFUND for training in laboratory management. Following completion of his Fellowship in September 2014, Dr Huitema secured a permanent senior lecturer post in the Division of Plant Sciences, University of Dundee.

Dr Mark Larance

Mark Larance  

Year of Appointment: 2013

Fellowship Institution: University of Dundee

Fellowship Research: Analysis of Calorie Restriction and its Role in Ageing from Nematodes to Humans

Webpages: http://www.lamondlab.com/newwebsite/people/Mark_Larance.php and http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/people/mark-larance

Using quantitative proteomics, Dr Larance aims to provide a unique insight into the dynamic process of ageing and the effects of calorie restriction. He used the COFUND to carry out a five-month visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to learn techniques from Professor Josh Coon, an expert in mass spectrometry-based proteomics, and use the lab facilities for analysis. He was also able to discuss data that he had generated with Professor Coon, learn biological follow-up analysis and other techniques relevant to mouse biology and metabolism.

Dr Alistair McGowan

Alistair McGowan  

Year of appointment: 2009

Fellowship Institution: the University of Glasgow

Fellowship Research: Disentangling signals of regional biodiversity change from geological and sampling biases

Dr Alistair McGowan, a palaeobiologist at the University of Glasgow, was awarded a five-year RSE/Scottish Government Fellowship to focus on “the integration of theoretical approaches based on ecological techniques with field-based sampling of Carboniferous fossils." He used the COFUND to acquire and expand his skills related to the outdoor nature of his work, completing courses in First-aid, scrambling, rock-climbing, summer ML training and wilderness medicine. He said: “The biggest benefit to me was in the outdoor and First-aid skills training, which contributed enormously to my ability to get involved in Arctic fieldwork"." He also spent a six-month visit at the School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin, and trained in Portaferry at the Queen’s University Marine Lab in dissection techniques, which was a source of “fruitful collaboration, final year student projects and new knowledge" relevant to his work as a cephalopod specialist.

Dr Haralampos Miras

Haralampos Miras  

Year of Appointment: 2010

Fellowship Institution: University of Glasgow

Fellowship Research: Non Equilibrium Engineering Methods of Functional Metal Oxides

Webpage: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/chemistry/staff/charalamposmoiras/

Dr Miras’ research is primarily focused on the investigation and development of metal oxide/chalcogenide-based surfaces for energy applications (H2 production, water oxidation, catalytic processes, etc.) The Marie Curie COFUND allowed him to complete Communication and Media training and attend a familiarisation course on the Scottish Parliament and Government. He also used the funds to complete a course in Electrochemistry at the University of Bath. This course expanded his knowledge of electrochemical methods as an analytical technique and aided his investigation of the behaviour of emergent properties of electroactive metal oxide materials.

Dr Mark Naylor

Mark Naylor  

Year of Appointment: 2009

Fellowship Institution: University of Edinburgh

Fellowship Research: Managing uncertainty in earth systems

Webpage: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/geosciences/people?indv=1037

Dr Naylor’s Fellowship was focused on seeking structured ways in which key uncertainties in the Earth Sciences could be reduced, and how these methods could be taken up by the wider community. He spent one month at the Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Grenoble, where he collaborated with a world-leading lab on new ways to analyse and interpret detrital fission track samples. The global reputation of the lab gave his work increased visibility and the collaboration established became the main focus of his Fellowship research. Moreover, the collaboration helped him to generate code that will be available to help others better interpret their data. He also spent one month at the University of Calgary, Canada, collaborating with the complexity group on the analysis of spatio-temporal patterns of seismicity. Whilst in Canada, he established a new collaboration with the University of Dalhousie in the field of Co2 storage. Following completion of his Fellowship in 2014, he obtained a Lectureship in the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh.

Dr Ian Overton

Ian Overton  

Year of Appointment: 2009

Fellowship Institution: MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, the University of Edinburgh

Fellowship Research: Integrative Computational Studies of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Development, Stem Cells and Cancer

Webpage: http://www.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/people/i.overton.html

The Marie Curie COFUND enabled Dr Ian Overton to visit and interact with scientists in the USA, specifically at Harvard and Vanderbilt Universities. The resulting collaborations “energised" several research projects in his group in Scotland in terms of scientific knowledge and resources, as well as contributing to two successful external funding applications (including a UK-USA collaboration Development Award). He says: “The COFUND has expanded my professional scientific network and I have gained invaluable perspectives about the culture and environment of world-leading institutions." Dr Overton has secured a tenure track Chancellor's Fellowship in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where his group apply network biology and machine learning approaches to gain insights into cancer metastasis and drug resistance, towards more effective clinical tools.

Dr Yong Sung Park

Yong Sung Park  

Year of Appointment: 2013

Fellowship Institution: University of Dundee

Fellowship Research: A new framework for experimental study of tsunamis

Webpage: www.dundee.ac.uk/epm/staff/profile/yong-sung-park

The primary objective of Dr Park’s Fellowship is to develop a new experimental framework for tsunamis research. He is designing an innovative large-scale wave generation facility. His nine-month, COFUND visit to the University of Rhode Island allowed him to collaborate with Professor Stephan Grilli, a distinguished Professor of Ocean Engineering and Oceanography and to adapt Professor Grilli’s et al.’s three-dimensional Numerical Wave Tank (NWT) to make it suitable for his own tsunami research. The time was also used to learn how to use a two-dimensional model, FUNWAVE, which is widely used in coastal engineering applications, including tsunamis. During his visit, he participated in the annual meeting of the US National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program as a FUNWAVE modeller, the result of which is soon to be published as a paper. Overall, the visit led to £33,000 in funding from the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology and £5,000 from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland. He continues to collaborate with Professor Grilli today. Finally, Dr Park made use of the COFUND to present his work at the EU-Russia Researchers’ Mobility Forum in Brussels and to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education.

Dr John Stevenson

John Stevenson  

Year of Appointment: 2010

Fellowship Institution: University of Edinburgh

Fellowship Research: Explosive silicic eruptions in Iceland: from vents to peat bogs

Webpages: http://all-geo.org/volcan01010/ and http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/geosciences/people?indv=268

Based in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Stevenson’s Fellowship sought to understand the eruptive and transportation processes by which microtephra layers (from volcanic eruption) form and to evaluate the hazard to the UK presented by the volcano eruptions that produce them (e.g, airport closures, potential fluorine poisoning of livestock). The Marie Curie COFUND enabled him to carry out long and short trips to Iceland for fieldwork and make visits to fellow researchers at the University of Iceland. The aim of his fieldwork was to obtain samples on deposits of the two largest explosive eruptions from Mt Hekla. To achieve this, he spent 92 nights in a camper van, covered 9364 km, visited 284 sites, collected 307 samples and took 1704 photos! The data obtained have formed the basis of his research – for example, the measurements taken helped to present a much better idea of what the eruptions were like (e.g. how high the plume reached, how much very fine ash was produced). His work has resulted in new volcanological inputs for ash transport models and evaluation of the hazards associated with a range of eruption scenarios. Given the public interest in the possibility of another volcanic eruption causing major disruptions to flights, his work has been quoted widely in local and national media. Dr Stevenson blogged about his visits here.

Dr Bartlomiej Waclaw

Bartlomiej Waclaw  

Year of Appointment: 2013

Fellowship Institution: University of Edinburgh

Fellowship Research: Physical processes in the biological evolution of cellular populations

Webpages: http://www.ph.ed.ac.uk/people/bartlomiej-waclaw and https://bartekwaclaw.wordpress.com/

By combining mathematical calculations, computer simulations and experiments, the aim of Dr Waclaw’s Fellowship research is to investigate how the physical properties of pathogenic cells (such as bacteria or cancer cells) and their environment determine how fast these cells evolve resistance to drugs. Dr Waclaw carried out a short visit to Professor Martin Nowak, Harvard University, USA, a world-class leader in mathematical biology, to continue collaboration on simple models of cancer progression. The visit was used to extend their collaboration on modelling; Professor Nowak’s expertise in mathematical biology and Dr Waclaw’s knowledge of physics and computer simulations complemented each other and led to a joint publication. Plans were also made for joint grant applications concerning the physics of microbial evolution and of cancer. Dr Waclaw also used the visit to establish collaborations with other leading scientists in the Cambridge/Boston area, which helped to reach important milestones in his RSE Fellowship, namely constructing more realistic models of microbial growth in response to antibiotics, and of the physics of bacterial colonies.

 

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