Previously funded projects

Over 80 projects were successfully funded during the ISSF round 2 award, spanning five disciplines:

  • transition funding,
  • inter-disciplinary secondments,
  • pump priming,
  • infrastructure 
  • public and patient engagement

A number of female project holders are currently on maternity leave and in compliance with our Athena SWAN bronze award, we provided flexibility and continual support with their project and future progression. These initiatives enhance our commitment to support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and support innovative ideas for public engagement.

From the £1.972m currently committed, some highlights and wide-ranging outcomes include promoted innovation, increased competitiveness and translation. Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) funding has enhanced strategically important research infrastructure, early career researcher support and forged new collaborations.

Major Grant Success for ISSF Discipline Hopping-Award Holder  

A team led by Professor Stuart Murray (School of English) has been successful in securing a 5-year Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Sciences Collaborative Award for a project titled: Imagining Technologies for Disability Futures.

The project started through an ISSF discipline-hopping award obtained by Professor Murray in 2016 to begin initial work with Dr Raymond Holt (School of Mechanical Engineering). Subsequent funding by the Wellcome Trust, the British Academy, the Royal Society, and the British Academy of Engineering, as well as the University of Leeds, created the platform for the full Wellcome Trust application.

The project team also includes:

It also has international partners in the US, Japan and Sweden. The overall total of the Award is £1,488,785 and the research will begin in January 2020.

Imagining Technologies for Disability Futures will undertake an interdisciplinary investigation of the future relationship between disability and technology. It brings together collaborators from Leeds, Sheffield, Dundee and Exeter, specialising in literary and cultural studies, medical humanities and phenomenology, disability design, production engineering and robotics.

The project will focus on the ways creative and theoretical imaginings of disability and augmentation inform, and are informed by, the practicalities of product design and creation, and the subsequent lived experience of this. Research design will take place with a variety of disability groups spread across the UK, who will then work as partners over the remainder of the project. Our major international partners are in the US, Japan and Sweden.

We will also make films, design exhibitions, participate in festivals and showcase our work in technology fairs in the UK and abroad. The project will produce the first research that combines Arts, Engineering and Robotics approaches in further understanding how disability is imagined in the present and anticipated in future societies. 

Read our news story about this project

Fellowship updates from successful applicants September 2017

The following people were successful in their applications for fellowships in September 2017. Here is an update on their completed and ongoing fellowships. 

Dr Alicja Piotrkowicz- ECR Fellowship- School of Medicine

My project is on ethically-aware computational analysis of heterogeneous data in medical education, with the aim of identifying case studies on communication-related issues in healthcare that can be solved by Artificial Intelligence methods. This will be used in a research proposal for a postdoctoral fellowship (EPSRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR).

Research. I am finalising a research proposal on Automatic Health Literacy Scoring and Adaptation of Health Texts for Improved Patient Comprehension. A health text will be automatically adapted to match a patient's health literacy. Since there is no one definition of health literacy, in the second half of my fellowship I plan to use medical students' communication-related formative assessment data to come up with a list of factors which can affect a person's health literacy.

Stakeholder engagement. I set up meetings with organisations for whom patient-facing communication is highly relevant. This resulted in Health Education England and mHabitat joining my research proposal as project partners and agreeing to provide data and expertise. In both cases the data will come from online mental health information. I am currently planning stakeholder engagement activities with mental health charities in Leeds.

Professional development. I attended the Lisbon Machine Learning School in June 2018, where I gained further expertise in machine learning, in particular when applying it to natural language processing tasks. I also attended the ACM User Modelling, Adaptation, and Personalisation conference in July 2018, where I co-chaired a workshop on human factors in adaptation and personalisation (HAAPIE 2018). In September I co-chaired a workshop on co-creation in technology-enhanced learning (CC-TEL 2018).

Dr Gustav Markkula- Discipline Hopping Fellowship- Institute for Transport Studies

As intended, the discipline hopping fellowship “Brain imaging of decision-making in traffic emergencies” is allowing me to spend a substantial amount of my time at the School of Psychology, learning how to apply EEG methods in my research on modelling driver behaviour and traffic safety. 

An initial literature study and reanalysis of an existing dataset allowed me first experience of EEG data analysis, and led to the conclusion that tighter control of participant eye movements was needed. This led on to the EEG experiment design phase, where my first step was to run a small replication of a highly controlled (non driving related) laboratory experiment from the literature. This replication was successful, and gave me experience with EEG data collection. The first novel EEG experiment of my own making has now been designed, implemented and piloted, and data collection is currently ongoing. Excitingly, the data so far seem to be confirming the experimental hypothesis; that the assumption of a “visual looming detection threshold” for detecting collision threats, a much used concept in traffic safety research and even road design, may in fact be inappropriate. Both the behavioural and neural data instead seem to be tentatively supporting an alternative view, based on neuroscientific theories about perceptual decision making.

Moreover, the fellowship has been instrumental in securing two larger, more applied grants: (1) A US project led by Texas Tech, “Modeling driver responses during automated vehicle failures”, into which my fellowship results can feed directly. I act in an advisory capacity and am co-authoring on papers. (2) A £1.4M EPSRC Early Career Fellowship, where I will be building on the present fellowship’s EEG methods to develop better models of interactions between human road users, and between humans and automated vehicles.

Dr Alex Borodavka- ECR Fellowship- School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

The aim of my project is to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of genome packaging in pathogenic rotaviruses and reoviruses as the potential target for novel anti-viral drugs. To achieve my goals, I have teamed up with several research groups based in Munich that enabled me to develop and apply highly sensitive single-molecule fluorescence-based approaches to investigate this long-standing problem in virology. I have focused on exploring the structures of rotavirus and reovirus single-stranded RNA genome precursors to explore how they can interact with each other.

During my ongoing ISSF3-funded Fellowship, I have completed two manuscripts addressing the molecular mechanisms of segmented genome packaging in reoviruses and rotaviruses that have now been published in Current Opinion in Virology and Nucleic Acids Research. In collaboration with the Jungmann group (MPIB, Munich), I have been developing novel analytical tools for multiplexed imaging of rotavirus RNAs in situ. Using this approach, we have been able to unravel the molecular organization of rotavirus replicative intermediates in unprecedented detail, and these results are being prepared for publication.

I have been also investigating a number of small-molecule compounds that disrupt viroplasm formation in rotavirus-infected cells. By exploring the common features in the RNA structures and replication strategies utilized by rotaviruses and other segmented dsRNA viruses, we hope to identify novel anti-viral targets suitable for developing broad-spectrum anti-viral compounds. These findings are also being prepared for publication next year.

Finally, ISSF3 support enabled me to attend two major international conferences focusing on dsRNA viruses (Houffalize, 2018) and virus structure and assembly (Madeira, 2018), where I was invited as a speaker. Most importantly, the ISSF3 funding allowed me to successfully apply for a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to continue my research as a PI starting in 2019.

Fellowship updates from successful applicants January 2017 

The following people were successful in their applications for fellowships in January 2017. Here is an update on their completed and ongoing fellowships. 

Dr Ryan Sweet - ECR Fellowship- School of English

My ISSF Fellowship at the University of Leeds enabled me to develop publications from my PhD research on Victorian representations of prostheses and cultivate a new project on the entangled discourses of disability and nonhuman animals (also with a focus on nineteenth-century Britain). During my fellowship, I wrote and submitted an essay entitled “Physical ‘Wholeness’ and ‘Incompleteness’ in Victorian Prosthesis Narratives” for the CUP collection Literature and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. I also secured a contract with Palgrave Macmillan for my first monograph, Prosthetic Body Parts in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, and submitted the full typescript in July 2018. The Wellcome Trust agreed to provide £11,000 of top-up funding to enable this book to be published Open Access.

In terms of the new project on animals and disability, the Fellowship helped me to uncover new primary materials, immerse myself within the field of animal studies, and present papers on Victorian animal prostheses at academic events in various venues, including the St Anne’s College, University of Oxford; Royal Holloway, University of London; and the Institute of Historical Research. I am now developing these papers into an article that I plan to submit to the journal Victorian Studies this summer. I also organised "'Going to the Dogs'? A Workshop Series on Research at the Intersection of Disability and Animal Studies" and a public-engagement showcase at The Tetley in Leeds on animals in disability art with the Finnish conceptual and textile artist Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen. In terms of further funding applications, (among other external applications) I developed and submitted a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship application with the support of the School of English. While this was unsuccessful, I made the final shortlist, and the experience helped me to secure a 2-year Lectureship at the University of Plymouth, which I started in September 2018.

Dr Jane Blackwell - ECR Fellowship- School of Psychology

During my fellowship, I have conducted the first ever longitudinal follow up study of psychosocial well-being and sleep in children with narcolepsy and healthy controls. I am very pleased to report that all of the 46 families that took part in my doctoral study “The Paediatric Narcolepsy Project” agreed to take part in the follow up study. My doctoral research showed that children with narcolepsy had more sleep disturbance, reported more anger and disruptive behaviour and poorer health-related quality of life than controls. This follow up study enabled us to measure psychosocial well-being and sleep two to three years after the baseline data was collected from 23 children with narcolepsy and 23 healthy matched controls (aged 8-15 years) in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Standardised age-appropriate questionnaires were used to measure the children’s self-reported depression, anxiety, anger, self-concept, disruptive behaviour, paediatric quality of life and strengths and difficulties. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their child’s sleep habits, strengths and difficulties, quality of life and provide information about changes to their children’s medication, diagnoses and support received at school.

In addition to conducting this study, my fellowship has provided an invaluable opportunity for me to develop my skills as a researcher. I have presented my research at an international conference, gained experience applying for external funding by writing a grant application for a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship and contributed to the supervision of doctoral students. I have built a new collaboration with Clinicians from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in Leeds General Infirmary to investigate the relationship between sleep disturbance and pain in individuals with chronic pain. I have also contributed to two systematic reviews in the field of paediatric sleep research. This experience has enabled me to secure a research post beginning in January 2019. 

Dr Kat Rawling - ECR Fellowship- Medical Humanities

I spent the 12 months of the fellowship developing my postdoctoral research project Photomania: Anxiety and the Camera in Britain, 1839-1914. The aim is to secure a 3-4 year postdoctoral fellowship to complete this research. The project investigates how the practice, consumption, and concept of photography was viewed with much concern and anxiety in the nineteenth century and explores the ways the camera was seen as damaging to individual, societal, and cultural health and well-being.

The fellowship has enabled me to foster connections with the Schools of History, Media and Communication, English, and History and Philosophy of Science and secure a supervisor for the larger project. Mentorship and support from senior colleagues has been invaluable and I have a clear plan to take the project and my career forward.


  • Conditional acceptance for a journal article from Social History of Medicine.
  • Monograph under consideration with Palgrave Macmillan for Mental Health in Historical Perspective series.
  • Spoken at 3 large international conferences (BSHM Edinburgh, September 2017, SSHM, Liverpool July 2018, RSVP-VSAWC, Canada, July 2018) and 3 smaller events (Leeds HMS Seminar, November 2017, Medicine in Focus, Leeds, May 2018, Faith in Reform, QMUL, July 2018).

Events and Public Engagement:

  • Carried out public engagement pilot activity at Be Curious, Leeds, March 2018.
  • Sole organiser of a one-day workshop in May 2018 to bring together for the first time scholars working on medical photographs. The event was received very positively and attendees were enthusiastic about attending an event dedicated entirely to historical medical photos. This has laid the groundwork for a network of historians and future conferences.


  • ACU ECR travel grant to attend the joint RSVP-VSAWC Annual Conference at University of Victoria, Canada, July 2018.

Dr Charlotte Scarff - ECR Fellowship-  School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

My research involves integrating mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods with electron microscopy (EM) to tackle heterogeneity in complex biological systems. With a strong background in MS, and more recent experience in cryo-EM, one of the aims of this fellowship is to establish myself in the EM field. So far, I have published a first-author paper on negative-staining EM methods (Scarff et. al. JoVE (2018) 132, e57199) and contributed to a cryo-EM methods paper (Drulyte et. al. Acta Crystallogr. D (2018) 74, 560-571). I have been working on a glycoprotein complex structure from nematode worms (an important vaccine target), determining a 4.5 Å structure by cryo-EM and using MS to inform on subunit connectivity and composition (first-author paper submitting to Nature Communications Jan 19). In addition, I’ve contributed to work on time-resolved cryo-EM, a complementary approach to study heterogeneity (submitted Nature Methods Dec 19). I have also been performing the first ever fast photo-oxidative labelling of an adenovirus to report on surface-exposed residues, information which could be combined with electron tomography.

Having completed the above provides me with the necessary preliminary data to write a competitive external fellowship, submitting to the April deadlines (WT/EPSRC). A major focus of my proposal will be on the development of new technology, modifying an ion-mobility enabled mass spectrometer so that species separated by size or shape can be soft-landed, maintaining their structural integrity, directly onto EM surfaces. Proof-of-principle for this approach, and preliminary data to show that shape-resolved species can be selected for deposition, has been obtained. Waters Corporation (Manchester, UK) have committed to performing all necessary instrument modifications, for which we are at an advanced planning stage. I have developed a collaboration with researchers in Oxford who are pursuing a complementary approach and through my recent work have several biological applications.

Dr James Hitchcock -ECR Fellowship- School of Chemical & Process Engineering

Cancer therapeutics have dramatic side effects on healthy tissues. We have demonstrated the efficient manufacture of impermeable metal-shell/liquid core microcapsules (Hitchcock et al ‘Long-term Retention of Small, Volatile Molecular Species within Metallic Microcapsules’, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7, 14808) that permit localised delivery of active ingredient by triggering release with ultrasound, potentially allowing for the release of therapeutic cancer drug at a target location only.

Plan-1: Demonstrate encapsulation of cytotoxic drugs within micron-size capsules.

Results-1: The encapsulation of paclitaxel in micron sized metal capsules was successfully demonstrated. HPLC was used evidence drug retention. Several different carrier oils were tested for their drug solubility capsule synthesis compatability. Sunflower oil proved to be the oil of choice.

Plan-2: Optimising capsule properties for delivery within human body.

Results-2: Pickering emulsions were successfully reduced in size from several microns to a mean size of less than 100nm using a combination of reduced core to continuous phase ratio and a high energy ultrasonic probe, making them a suitable size to take advantage of the EPR effect. Size distributions were evidenced by Cryo TEM (figure 2b) and Dynamic Light scattering. In order to optimising capsule shell thickness the underlying platinum nanoparticles were precisely grown from their original 5nm diameter to 10nm in order to achieve the thinnest possible complete metal film.

Plan-3: Demonstrate localised release of encapsulated fluorescent drugs via ultrasound in phantom tissue and finally in-vitro validation on a single cell line (SW480).

Results-3: Capsules were shown to be ultrasound contrast agents in tissue phantoms but timewise work on parts1/2 did not permit us to test actual nanocapsuels in vitro. However, control tests on SW480 were carried out in preparation. Nanocapsules permanent core encapsulation was also evidenced.

Dr Kasia Szymanska- ECR Fellowship- School of Medicine 

In my ISSF project I proposed to investigate post-translational modifications of ciliary proteins. I am still in a process to complete my first publication from that project. After consultation with my ISSF supervisor we decided to conduct few more experiments to increase the impact of the results, with the view to submit the paper early spring 2019. I am in a process of preparing reagents for investigation of SUMO modification in the cilium. I purchased plasmid with SUMO3 and will subclone it in the near future. The aim of this study will be to create a stable cell line with specific SUMO3 localisation to the primary cilium, followed by pull down and MS analysis of SUMOylated proteins in the cilium. Additionally I am in a process of optimizing new cell line for the tertiary screen to confirm new proteins building/regulating ciliary subcompartment – the transition zone. I successfully conducted secondary screen with exciting results that I need to confirm in a different ciliated cell line.

Furthermore I submitted Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, The Royal Society and I am preparing express of interest for UKRI Future Leaders.

Examples of the previous projects awarded within the Public and Patient Engagement theme include:

Be Curious Festival 2017

The second annual research open day was held at the University of Leeds in March 2017. 

Below is a full list of all the previous successful projects:

Non clinical transition funding

  • Laura Knight (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Investigating the first identified reversible RNA modification and its implications in Merkel cell polyomavirus virus replication in order to gain essential insights into how this modification regulates viral gene expression.
  • Morgan Herod (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Investigating the transient viral protein precursors formed during norovirus infection.
  • Charlotte Blease (Faculty of Arts) - Common Representations of Depression in Literary Memoirs: The Value of Illness Narratives in Medical Education.
  • Gemma Angel (Faculty of Arts) - The impact of the 2004 Human Tissue Act (HTA) on professional and public attitudes towards human remains in the heritage and medical sectors, and the effects of this legislation on the professional practice of pathologists, anatomists and curators of medical collections.
  • Lizzie Oliver (Faculty of Arts) - The impact of captivity on the health of allied prisoners of war in Southeast Asia during the Second World War.
  • Katie Simmons (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Identification of modulators of IR/IGF1R hybrid formation.
  • Jacobo Elies Gomez (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Investigating the physiological role of heme-oxygenases in connective tissue diseases associated to pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Tom Quick (Faculty of Arts) - Mediating the Laboratory: communication in the work of C.S.Sherrington (c. 1890-1930).
  • Lydia Young (Faculty of Biological Sciences) – The search for therapeutic agents that bind specifically to precursor protein confirmations and inhibit assembly into amyloid is a significant challenge given that many precursors of aggregation are partially folded or intrinsically disordered and therefore not amenable to structure-based drug design.
  • Nikesh Patel (Faculty of Biological Sciences) – Positive-sense ssRNA viruses are major human pathogens for which novel forms of anti-viral therapy are urgently required.
  • Michelle Morris (Faculty of Environment) – Develop models which can be used to better understand the risk factors associated with poor diet, obesity and related comorbidities. Arthur Rose (Faculty of Arts) – Focus on the phenomena of breathing pathologists related to the mining industry in South Africa and beyond.
  • Fran Bigman (Faculty of Arts) - Technophobia, and Reproduction in British Women’s Writing, 1918-2018.
  • Duncan Wilson (Faculty of Medicine and Health) – Complex interventions are those which involve two or more potential interacting components, and are commonly used in the treatment of stroke, mental health and older people.
  • Laura Wetherill (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Fundamental control mechanisms of DNA replication and repair in lymphocytes.
  • Antonia Melechi (University of York) – Laboratory and commercial instruments, have transformed scientific and popular conceptions of ‘the unconscious.
  • Nick Preston (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Transform health service provision for children with motor neurone problems by enabling teachers to deliver evidence-based programmes with school setting.
  • Sophie Jones (School of Arts, University of London) - Attention, ADHD and American Literary Minimalism, 1980 – Present.
  • Antonio Calabrese (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Non-covalent mass spectrometry (MS) to study the stichiometries and architectures of complexes of Skp with OMPs of various sizes, proposing a model for how Skp accommodates its substrates.
  • Marlous Hall (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Undertake a comparison of UK (MINAP), Swedish (SwedeHeart) and French (FAST-MI) quality indicators for AMI.
  • Claire Smith (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Detailed phenotyping of affected teeth from AI patients and compare with murine AI models.
  • Jennifer Tomlinson (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Elucidate the molecular mechanism of resistance to fusidic acid (FA), a clinically-important antibiotic that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by preventing release of elongation factor-G (EF-G) from the ribosome.
  • Hannah Proctor (Department of English & Humanities, Birkbeck) - Postdoctoral research on the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System (HPSSS).
  • Esther Martin (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - The orientation of NAC on the ribosome is unclear, as is any binding site for substrates.
  • James Robinson (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Activating FcyRs are key mediators of antibody-driven inflammation in autoimmune diseases.
  • Shaun Rawson (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Optimisation of cryo-EM grids for high resolution structures of NPC1L1 and building an atomic model of NPC1L1 and an Exetimide/NPC1L1 complex.

Transition funding (clinical)

  • Katie Spencer (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Variation in the use and outcome of palliative radiotherapy across England
  • Begonya Alcacer-Pitcarch (Faculty of Medicine and Health) – Systemic sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by vasculopathy, inflammation and fibrosis.
  • Lara Morley (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Piezo1 as a mechanical sensor in placental vascular endothelium.
  • Peter Day (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - To examine modifiable early-life risk factors of severe dental caries in young children participating in BiB.
  • Emily Clarke (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Generation of high quality pilot research data to form the basis of an externally funded PhD fellowship in digital pathology.
  • Kathryn Griffin (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Novel imaging technique to support and develop research into vascular regeneration in the context of Diabetes Mellitus.
  • Yazan Khaled (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Develop a multifunctional nanoparticle that incorporates a photosensitiser for combined diagnostics and photodynamic therapy in CRC.

Interdisciplinary secondments

  • Richard Cleminson (Faculty of Arts) - Seconded to Laboratory of Applied Genetics, Dept. of Biology, University of Aveiro, Portugal.
  • Gordon Hutchins (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Seconded to Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute Stephen Evans (Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences) - Seconded to Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, St James's University Hospital, Leeds.
  • Sonny Gunadi (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - Seconded to Princess Margaret Cancer Center at University of Toronto and then Department of Radiation Oncology in Smilow Center for Translational Research at University of Pennsylvania.
  • Danielle Miles (Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences) - Seconded to JRI Orthopaedic Ltd. Michelle Peckham (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Seconded to NIH, Bethesda Maryland.
  • Guiseppe Tronci (Faculty of Arts) - Seconded to University of Michigan (School of Dentistry and Department of Chemical Engineering.
  • Claire Brockett (Faculty of Engineering) - Seconded to Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University, Denmark.
  • Stuart Murray (Faculty of Arts) Pete Culmer (Faculty of Engineering) - Seconded to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • Annie Jamieson (Faculty of Arts) - Seconded to ACS Custom, Banbury.
  • Anne King (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Seconded to Brain Vision UK and Rambam Medical Centre, Israel.
  • Ali Alazmani Nodeh (Faculty of Engineering) – Seconded to ETH Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
  • Michael Webb (Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences) - Seconded to Microbial Genetics Laboratory, Genetic Strains Research Center, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan.
  • Alastair Curd (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Seconded to National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
  • Matthew Allsop (Faculty of Medicine and Health) – Seconded to Kenya Hospices & Palliative Care Association.
  • Glen McConkey (Faculty of Biological Sciences) – Seconded to Covance, Harrogate.

Pump priming

  • Al Benson (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Influence of age on cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility.
  • Philip Conaghan (Faculty of Medicine and Health)
  • R Elwyn Isaac (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Topoisomerase II (Top2) induces transient double strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA to relieve topological problems arising during chromosome metabolism.
  • Isuru Jayasinghe (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - “Unlocking the loss mechanism of membrane tethers in heart pathologies
  • Glenn McConkey (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - Methyl-seq data to assess global DNA methylation changes in neuronal cells during infection.
  • Andrew Smith (Faculty of Biological Sciences) - novel chemical tool to carry out cell surface ‘biopsies’ from living cardiac cells, thus allowing characterisation of membrane-bound protein complexes without disrupting normal function
  • Julie Aspden (Faculty of Medicine and Health) - existence of specialised ribosomes with testis-specific components that permit the regulation of specific mRNAs at defined times during spermatogenesis
  • James McLaughlan (Faculty of Engineering) - High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a microsurgery took for the central nervous system (CNS).
  • Richard Foster (Faculty of Engineering) – Novel depthwide analysis, quantitative relationships between biological constituents, mechanical properties and MRI data.
  • Emma Tomalin (Faculty of Arts) – The role of religion in public health amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in the UK.
  • Susan Deuchars (Faculty of Biological Sciences) – To demonstrate that we can undertake RNA-seq of single cells, in particular from neuronal tissue.

Public and patient engagement (PPE)

Leeds shines at National Award Ceremony

A PPE project that was supported by ISSF2 has won a national completion


Pepnet is a network for everyone involved or interested in public engagement, events, patient involvement, partnership working, co-creation and pathways to impact activities. An open, friendly group which staff can join for regular learning and networking opportunities, pepnet also welcomes champions of engagement to join us to help shape our direction and future topics.

Find out more 

University of Leeds Be Curious Festival 2016: Health and Wellbeing theme

On 19 March 2016, in Parkinson Court and across the central university campus involving all Faculties and Schools, a public open day was held adopting a health and wellbeing theme. This involved exciting hands on displays and exhibitions, talks and tours to engage the public with the exciting research that takes place at the University of Leeds.

Medical Humanities Touring Pods ‘Health: look at life from cradle to grave’

In early 2016, an exhibition pod is being coordinated by Dr Iona McCleery, School of History, bringing together the research of historians of medicine in the School of History and the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science. Based around the themes of birth, illness and aging, it is anticipated that this display of images and artefacts will go on tour around local libraries and other venues in Leeds and Wakefield districts over the next two years. Further details of the dates and venues of display will be available shortly.

Anatomical Artefacts Restoration Programme

A team of staff and students visited the Hunterian Museum in London to learn skills in repairing and restoring wet and dry human tissue specimens. These skills were then put to work in conserving specimens currently held within the University of Leeds, which will in turn be used to develop a series of public and school sessions, as well as displays that will help explain and remove the stigma around human tissue collections by allowing people to understand their history and human value.

History of Science in 20 Objects

A public lecture series was held in January 2016, organised by Dr. Mike Finn and Prof. Greg Radick. Over a two-year period, monthly lectures (excluding July and August) will take place on campus, with each lecture given by an academic from the Centre for HPS at the University of Leeds, and taking as its starting point an object from the collection held by the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

For more details, including dates, see the project page

Small Grants Scheme (March 2015): Inspiring the public about biomedical and medical humanities research

  • A small grant scheme was made available in March 2015 to provide funding for novel public engagement activity from the University of Leeds, details provided by the eight successful applicants can be found below.
  • Dr Anke Bruning-Richardson – Meet, greet and brainstorm with the researcher: an interactive event – a project to raise awareness of brain tumours and research with the public. Dr Kerry Baker – Nature’s Engineers – This project aims to highlight what it means to be an engineer, what engineers work on and how engineers’ main role is to help mankind live healthier, safer and more fulfilling lives.
  • Rose Bavage – How do we use DNA today? – Purchase of portable biotechnology kit is allowing the University to bring research-level science into schools at ‘key decision points’ for pupils (before they choose A-Levels and before they apply for University), to encourage them to continue choosing science.
  • Dr Maria Bryant – The Child Cosmos Sculpture Project – This project aims to raise community awareness of a complex programme of work designed to improve children’s social development, health, communication skills and emotional wellbeing, through artistic interpretation.
  • Cheryl Harris – Raspberry Spine – The aim of the Raspberry Spine is to give the general public more understanding of what happens when a disc is replaced in the spine.
  • Dr Jennifer Edwards – Biomedical Engineering: from tissue to cell – Biomedical Engineering: from tissue to cell’ is about the structure of the extracellular matrices which make up our tissues and how these provide strength and function in the body.
  • Dr Laura King – HIStory: Experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and becoming a father by fathers on probation – In part thanks to this grant, we have now nearly completed work on our planned film. This is a c.40 minute film documenting the experiences of ex-offenders of becoming a father.
  • Dr Mike Finn – Victorian Medicine School Workshops – Museum volunteers will work with a local artist and sculptor, Lawrence Molloy, to develop activities and tools for interactive sessions run by the Museum of the History of Science, Technology & Medicine.