Research grants and contracts October 2012
The total amount of money awarded in research grants and contracts in October was £1,504,219. The grants awarded ranged from £450 to £661,492, and this money came from a number of sources including research councils, industry, charitable trusts and other research institutions.
Professor Julie Lovegrove from the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research was awarded £321,916 by the European Commission for the Food4Me project. This is a four-year, €8.9 million project involving 25 partners across 12 EU countries.
The research looks at understanding the relationship between food and gene expression to help design better, healthier and more individual diets. The Reading part of the research aims to identify the barriers to adoption of personalised nutrition; to explore technologies which support the implementation of personalised nutrition services; and to investigate the impact that gene variations have on cardiometabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Results from the Food4Me studies will help to guide future research into the reduction of cardiometabolic risk and the prevention and treatment of other nutritionally mediated diseases.
Professor Janet Barlow from Meteorology was awarded £661,492 by the EPSRC for the Refresh project - Remodelling building design sustainability from a human centred approach. We are all familiar with working in buildings that are over-hot, stuffy and have seemingly no air flow, and how our performance seems to suffer as a result. Yet such environments may be well within building specifications for environmental quality. There is a clear need to be able to quantify the impact of indoor air on human performance and determine what are optimal conditions. What if a building knew something about the humans working within them? Would we be able to present a co-interaction meter that might suggest opening a window or going for a walk to get some air in order to complete a task when we're apparently becoming sluggish? The Refresh project will look at how poor design may have such a critical impact on the creativity and innovation required for knowledge work that we need a radical shift in design focus. The goals of the Refresh project are to put the human at the centre of building performance and to develop new measures and models that better capture the complexity of these interactions.