Infections and allergies: a cross-generational riddle

In 2015 a WUN-funded research collaboration among the Universities of Bergen, Cape Town, and Southampton set out to understand whether parasite exposure is having an impact on allergy rates. Their research since suggests that the answer is yes, but exactly what is happening and why remains a mystery.  Click through to read the full story.

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WUN Research Development Fund 2019 Results

WUN is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 round of the Research Development Fund (RDF) applications.  These awards, which facilitate collaborative research among WUN universities, will bring our financial investment in establishing new WUN Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) to more than £170,000 over the past six months.

From among 31 applications, we have been able to support 15 projects from the RDF.  Notably, all 23 WUN member universities are represented on awarded projects research teams in this round.  These new projects join 88 existing IRGs that have engaged over 2300 researchers across the Network.

Since 2009 the WUN Research Development Fund (RDF) has directly invested over £2 million to establish research projects on problems of global significance, and on which member universities, working together, can make distinctive progress.

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Action research for a cleaner future

Not just talking, but doing: with funding from the WUN Research Development Fund, academics from four WUN universities got together with experts and decision-makers in Accra to combine forces on global waste management. Professor Shyama V. Ramani and PhD researcher Ms Maria Tomai talk here about their recent activities.

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Modelling marine microplastics: international workshop explores new challenges

Did you know that teabags are made of plastic? Do you know where that plastic ends up? With WUN funding, a team of researchers led by Professor Bruce Sutherland (University of Alberta) are learning how to predict the movements of microplastics after their entry into water systems. Click through to read more about their recent workshop and their goal to help policy-makers take action.

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WUN funding helps lay foundation for international cooperation on digital health

New technologies are capturing different information about health and treatments, opening up new pathways for more efficient and effective care. With its distinctive collaborative model, the WUN Digital Health Research Network has founded a new international society and is developing methodologies for studying and evaluating digital health innovations.  Click through for the full story.

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CROP-FS tackles gritty issues of global food security

The WUN-sponsored project Crop-FS (Climate-resilient open partnership for food security) is a consortium of 24 highly reputed international researchers engaged in conducting cutting-edge research to develop climate-resilient crops, microbial communities, and soil amendments for improving crop productivity under extreme environments. 

PI Prof Om Parkash (UMass Amherst) explains that since its launch in 2016, the consortium has grown exponentially with more than 14 universities and institutions across five continents now involved. (Click through for full story)

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New paper probes data diplomacy’s expanding role

The convergence of data and diplomacy and its far-reaching effects are the focus of a new academic paper by WUN-affiliated researchers published in Science & Diplomacy.

Data Diplomacy was co-authored by Andy Boyd (Bristol), Jane Gatewood, (Rochester), Stuart Thorson, (Syracuse)  and Timothy Dye (Rochester).  The publication reflects insights from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) symposium on data diplomacy held at the Academy of Medicine in New York in October 2015.  It also names symposium delegates who lent their expertise in the areas of public health and translational research, governance and public policy, and data sharing and management to investigate the intersection of data and diplomatic engagement.

The paper shows data to be a two-edged sword: used to empower communities by granting them cultural capital and opening diplomatic possibilities, and as a tool to manage citizens’ behaviour. (Click through to full story.)

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Smart research, smart policy, smart care

By 2050, the world’s population of people over the age of 60 will double, which has significant implications for sustainable development. The World Health Organisation’s Decade on Healthy Ageing 2020–2030 calls for concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families and the communities in which they live.  PI Professor Ka Lin (Zhejiang University, China) says the WUN-funded research he’s been leading has yielded several significant findings in this area since the collaborative project kicked off in 2018 with the construction of a new analytical framework that brings innovation studies together with elderly care studies.

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WUN’s legume research – a lynchpin to global food security

WUN’s Legume Network is building a global reputation for research excellence – paving the way for pulses to be embraced as crucial allies in the fight against climate change, hunger, obesity and other threats to world health.

In 2018, the network was awarded a sustainability grant from WUN to bolster its efforts to secure large-scale, transnational funding to establish a centre of excellence and associated nodes of research.  “Large-scale funding will ensure we tackle major challenges in legume biology as a unified world-leading academic community of excellence, driving WUN bioscience forward in this key area,” says PI Associate Professor Michael Considine (UWA). 

WUN’s Legumes Network comprises dozens of leading scientists across 12 institutions from five continents. Since its launch in 2015, the number of papers published relating to legumes and climate change has tripled from under 20 to more than 60 per annum – many connected directly to the network.  (Click through to full story.)

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Launch of the 2019 WUN Research Development Fund

WUN is pleased to announce that the Research Development Fund (RDF) 2019 round is now open.  

In its eleventh year, the RDF provides researchers in WUN universities with grants of up to £10,000 to foster research collaborations across the network. Grants are offered to support projects within the scope of the four WUN Global Challenges. 

“RDF support is intended to help investigators launch collaborative projects that capitalize on distinctive research strengths within the network”, said Professor Peter Lennie, Executive Director of WUN. “The partnership enables us to assemble an unrivalled constellation of strengths that, through the RDF, can be powerfully brought to bear on problems of real consequence.”

Click through for further information.

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WUN Annual General Meeting 2019

From 19-24 May, 230 participants from WUN member universities came together for the Network’s Annual General Meeting Week 2019, hosted by University College Dublin.

Peter Lennie, Executive Director of WUN noted, “Our hosts at UCD provided a marvellous environment for a most productive meeting that highlighted both the achievements and the great potential of WUN. Several important initiatives have resulted from the meeting, and I’m confident they will bring considerable benefit to the partnership."

WUN would once again like once again to thank President Andrew Deeks and the organising team at University College Dublin for their generous support in hosting WUN AGM 2019. The 2020 edition will be held in Monterrey, Mexico with the support of host member Tecnològico de Monterrey from 17-22 May 2020.

Click through for the full article and further images from the week.

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