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Covid-19 - Cardiff wins £1m for Sêr Cymru research

12 January 2021

Stock image of coronavirus

Cardiff University has won £1m in Sêr Cymru research grants to tackle the challenges of Covid-19.

The 14 Welsh Government awards span the University’s three colleges and focus on a range of solutions - from using novel catalysis for the disinfection of surfaces to the continuity of digital learning in Wales.

The largest awards include funding to explore novel technologies for point-of-care genetic testing for SARS-CoV-2 and work to develop Active Virus Filtration Membranes.

Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “Welsh universities have been at the forefront of the response to Covid-19, developing solutions to the myriad challenges the pandemic has presented. Cardiff University’s projects are founded on expertise across a broad spectrum disciplines, from virology and immunology to diagnostics and behavioural science, offering real potential in the fight against virus.”

Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Funding through the Sêr Cymru – Tackling COVID-19 Call will allow researchers to develop novel proposals that could contribute to or boost the advancement of research that impacts COVID-19, laying the foundations for larger bids into other funding streams.”

The awards in full for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering are as follows:

ApplicantsTitleWG contribution
Professor Andrew Godkin, Dr Bruce MacLachlan, Monash University, Melbourne, Professor Paul Klenerman, Nuffield Dept of Medicine, OxfordUsing structural studies of T-cell receptors (TCRs) bound to peptide-MHC class II (pMHC-II) to inform COVID-19 vaccine design£60,243.00
Dr. Tomasz Jurkowski, Oliver Castell, Jim Murray, Patrick Hardinge,Novel technologies for point-of-care genetic testing for SARS-CoV-2£141,869.00
Andrew J Weightman, Tom Connor, Isabelle Durance, Devin Sapsford, Peter Kille, Owen Jones, Kata Farkas, Davey Jones, James McDonald, Shelagh MalhamWastewater Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance of  SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Using Metaviromic Approaches£102,201.00
Professor Chris Taylor, Dr Jennifer Hampton and Mr Rhys DaviesContinuity of learning in Wales: ‘Live’ analysis of digital learning£22,243.00
Dr Rich Stanton, Eddie WangDiagnostic and therapeutic potential of ADCC in COVID-19£70,587.00
Dr Katerina Kaouri (PI), Prof Ian Griffiths, Dr Enrique Ruiz-TrejoMathematical modelling and smart coatings: fighting the COVID-19 pandemic£62,634.00
Dr Helen Waller-Evans, Dr Ceri Fielding, Dr Emyr Lloyd-EvansDoes inhibition of the lysosomal virus receptor NPC1 prevent SARS-CoV-2 infectivity?£46,807.00
Professor Graham J. Hutchings, Dr Jennifer K. Edwards, Dr Andrea Folli, Dr Richard Lewis Professor Jean-Yves Maillard and Professor, Damien MurphyDisinfection of surfaces using novel catalysis£81,304.00
Professor John HarringtonTowards a Welsh Health Law: Values, Governance and Devolution after COVID-19£87,310.00
Prof. Andrea Brancale (Cardiff University; PI); Dr. Salvatore Ferla (Swansea Unversity; Co-I); Dr. Giulio Nannetti (Cardiff University; Co-I)Welsh Coronavirus Research (W-CoRe): a platform for the discovery of Anti-Betacoronaviruses agents£53,887.00
Professor Cathy Holt, Prof Val Sparkes (HCARE), Dr Jen Davies (HCARE) Prof Colin Gibson (C&V UHB Rehab Engineering Unit).Clinical acceptance of technology in remote rehabilitation assessment: addressing urgent COVID challenges to drive future technology transfer£74,779.00
Prof Oliver A Williams, Prof Jean-Yves Maillard, Dr Jennifer Edwards and Dr Andrew CrayfordActive Virus Filtration Membranes£124,227.00
Dr Tatyana Shelkovnikova and Prof John AtackAssay development and high-throughput screening for the identification of novel small molecules with a potential to reduce the NEAT1_2-mediated cytokine storm in COVID-19£74,950.00