University of Dundee

Tenovus Scotland funding success for Life Sciences researchers.

12 Feb 2018

Dr Helge Dorfmueller and Dr Harunori Yoshikawa have been awarded Tenvous Scotland grants in the most recent round of funding.

Dr Dorfmueller, a Principal Investigator in the Division of Molecular Microbiology, was awarded a 2 year large research grant worth almost £100k. The funding will allow Dr Dorfmueller to investigate a biosynthetic carbohydrate as a vaccine candidate for Streptococcus pyogenes infections. S. pyogenes is a major human pathogen, causing more than 500,000 deaths annually worldwide.

“This research grant gives us the exciting opportunity to develop a new research line. We will explore a glyco-engineering approach to produce the immunogen - a surface carbohydrate from S. pyogenes. We will investigate its ability to help the immune system to recognise the pathogenic bacteria," explained Dr Dorfmueller.

Dr Yoshikawa, postdoctoral researcher in Professor Angus Lamonds’ lab in the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, was awarded a small research grant worth £17k. If successful, the research could identify important new diagnostic biomarkers and potential new therapeutic targets for breast and oesophageal cancer.

Dr Yoshikawa said, “I have worked on a ribosome, a large molecular factory, which translates the information on mRNAs to proteins in cells and tissues in our body. The regulation of translation by ribosomes plays an important role in controlling cell function and biological response mechanisms and is typically dysregulated in disease.”

Dr Yoshikawa continued, “I have recently developed a new method, termed “Ribo Mega-SEC”, which allows the efficient and rapid isolation and characterisation of ribosomes from cells and tissues by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). This project aims to apply our new method to examining the changes in composition of ribosomes as well as the changes in protein expression between healthy tissues and breast and oesophageal cancer tissues. This project is based on the collaboration with Professor Russell Petty in the School of Medicine, who will provide me with access to clinical tissue samples.”