The RCVS Trust is to award 34 grants during 2010/2011 (totalling approx. £165,000) to veterinary surgeons, universities and higher education (HE) establishments.

The RCVS Trust will award 34 grants during 2010/2011 – totalling approximately £165,000 – to veterinary surgeons, universities and higher education (HE) establishments. These grants will fund high-quality research projects in the UK and overseas, and support veterinary education.
 
RCVS Trust to award £165,000The RCVS Trust provides an educational grants programme and a library and information service to the veterinary profession. Since 2005, the charity has invested more than £2.5 million in veterinary education and research, and projects to improve animal welfare in the UK and overseas.
 
This year, Harper Adams University College and Myerscough College will be the first veterinary nursing colleges to receive funding under the Spencer-Hill equipment grants programme. This was the first time that RCVS-approved HE veterinary nurse training providers were able to apply for this funding. Harper Adams will receive £2,350 to purchase a Humphrey ADE-circle system, and Myerscough is to be awarded £1,395 for an ‘Emily’ canine positioning mannequin.
 
Séverine Tasker from the University of Bristol and Janet Patterson-Kane from the University of Glasgow each received Blue Sky Awards of £17,000. Dr Tasker will conduct research into constructing defined feline coronavirus strains for determination of the role of virus genetics in the development of feline infectious peritonitis. Dr Patterson-Kane’s research will investigate whether a new therapy for treating wounds in humans can be translated for use in horses.
 
Dr Patterson-Kane said: “Limb wounds in horses are very common and are notorious for developing masses of exuberant scar tissue – proud flesh – and not healing properly. This can necessitate multiple operations. The findings of current research at University College London by our collaborator, Professor David Becker, suggest that in human patients a protein, connexin 43, is not downregulated at the edges of wounds that are difficult to heal. Use of therapy to reduce connexin 43 expression in human skin wounds in which healing has stalled has been remarkably successful in achieving wound closure. The aim of our research is to determine if connexin 43 plays a similar key role as a ‘master switch’ for wound healing in horses.  I am extremely grateful to the RCVS Trust for their support.”
 
Six veterinary undergraduates will also receive EMS vacation research scholarships of £700 each, which can be used to fund expenses relating to a research project undertaken in the UK or overseas as part of a UK veterinary school’s extra-mural studies requirement.
 
Full details of the RCVS Trust grant awards may be found at www.rcvstrust.org.uk/awards

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