Professors Vicky Cowling and Tomo Tanaka were given Investigator Awards from Wellcome in the recent funding round. Vicky’s award of £1.3M will allow her to take her expertise on mRNA cap regulation in a new direction while Tomo’s award of ~£1.5M will allow him to continue to build new knowledge on the process of cell division. This will fund their programmes of research for 5 years.

Professor Vicky Cowling

Vicky’s team will investigate the role of mRNA cap regulation in neural differentiation and neuron function. They aim to uncover how regulation of the mRNA cap directs developmental decisions and how mature neurons function.

Vicky said about her award, “We are grateful to receive this funding from the Wellcome Trust which takes us into new areas of research. The application was put together with support from Kate Storey, Miratul Muqit and Sheriar Hormuzdi and we look forward to our continuing collaborations. In Dundee, the biochemistry of neurons is an expanding area of expertise with a spectrum of potential therapeutic benefits – we look forward to working in this lively area of research.”

Professor Tomo Tanaka

Tomo’s team will study fundamental mechanisms ensuring accurate chromosome inheritance. To maintain vital genetic information, a complete set of chromosomes must be accurately inherited when cells divide. Errors in chromosome inheritance cause miscarriage during pregnancy, genetic abnormalities and various types of cancers. Outcomes from Tomo’s labs research will contribute to understanding the mechanisms of these diseases and abnormalities.

Tomo said, “I am very delighted to receive this prestigious award from The Wellcome Trust. I thank all the lab members who helped to make this application successful. We are hugely grateful to colleagues in Dundee for collaborations and support to our research.”