III - June 2017
Work in a laboratory

Two research groups from the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham have been awarded funds over £285,000 to support PhD scholarships from the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation.

The funds will support two PhD students as they join labs that are looking at developing new treatments to improve health.

The first project, led by Dr Dhruv Parekh, Dr Aaron Scott and Professor David Thickett, is looking to improve outcomes when people have critical illnesses in intensive care. They will focus on the hormone FGF23, analysing its effects on immunity in critically ill patients with sepsis and testing whether blocking FGF23 with an antibody improves outcomes.

Managed through the British Society for Research on Ageing, the second project, led by Dr Helen McGettrick, is developing a new treatment for bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Dr McGettrick’s team has already identified a new molecule called PEPITEM that encourages new bone formation. Now the team will investigate whether PEPITEM can be used as a drug to improve the repair of fractured bones.

Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, said: “It’s great news that the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation has agreed to fund two PhD scholarships in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing both aiming in their different studies to develop new treatments for patients in critical care and patients living with chronic inflammatory diseases”.

The Chernajovsky Foundation was founded in 2019 to support high-quality biomedical research into the development of new targeted biomedical therapies.

Dr Lorna Chernajovsky, Trustee of the Chernajovsky Foundation said: “We are delighted to be funding these exciting research projects at the University of Birmingham. Research has the power to enable people to lead healthier and longer lives – with improved quality of life, reduced suffering and greater independence. We feel strongly that in these uncertain times it is important to ensure that research into improved health is protected and advanced.”