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07.12.17

European funding award for Dundee researcher

A University of Dundee scientist has been awarded €2 million to study how cells respond to infection. 

Professor Victoria Cowling, from the School of Life Sciences, has been given the European Research Council grant to investigate T cells, key components of the immune system which fight infection and kill cancer cells.

Professor Cowling said, “I am delighted to receive this award from the European Research Council. This grant is unusual as it encourages high risk research, in our case funding a new area of research in immunology.

“I would like to thank the many people who were involved in putting this proposal together. In particular two postdocs, Alison Galloway and Linda Sinclair, who provided invaluable advice and preliminary experiments.”

When T cells encounter antigens, such as bacteria, viruses or cancer cells, they undergo massive changes in gene expression in preparation to kill infected or cancerous cells. Professor Cowling and her team will use the five-year grant to understand some of the mechanisms which control gene expression in T cells. Ultimately, her research will begin to reveal the therapeutic value of targeting key enzymes to treat immune disorders and cancer.

The funding will allow Professor Cowling to recruit two new research position to help her with her work. Postdoctoral researchers interested in joining the project can email her directly at v.h.cowling@dundee.ac.uk.