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News

13 Jun 2022

Early Career Funding Scheme – Awarded Projects

COG-UK has recently launched a new internal fund to support career development in the Consortium.

This scheme aims to provide support to early career scientists with a particular focus on helping those who contributed towards the work of COG-UK. Our collective efforts, output and impact were a direct result of the work done by many people in the consortium. But we recognise that this may have come at a cost of delaying other research projects.

We put out a call to COG PIs to encourage early career scientists in their groups to apply for up to £25,000 of funding. We asked that the scientists complete an application form that detailed their plan for a research project that could be undertaken in the coming months.

We are pleased to announce that seven awards have been made and we would like to congratulate the recipients on their success.

Dr Adrienn Angyal, The University of Sheffield
Research project: “Deep immunophenotyping of anti-viral T-cells using spectral flow cytometry”
Summary: Establishing a spectral flow cytometry panel to characterise the antigen specific memory T cell populations that are generated in individuals upon natural viral infection (SARS-CoV-2, influenza) and/or as a consequence of the vaccination schedule.

Angela Beckett, University of Portsmouth
Research project: “Utilisation of nanopore sequencing for the discovery of novel plastic degrading enzymes in the environment”
Summary: Screening for novel, plastic-polymer degrading enzymes from environmental microorganisms using in-field nanopore sequencing.

Katherine Bellis, University of Cambridge
Research project: “Staphylococcus pseudintermedius as a part of the healthy human nasal microbiome”
Summary: Studying S. pseudintermedius: description of a novel method to isolate it, investigation of human colonisation; description of antibiotic resistance in isolates; investigation of its population structure and potential persistent colonisation in humans using phylogenetics; and assessment of the association of S. pseudintermedius carriage with pet ownership.

Dr Leonardo de Oliveira Martins, Quadram Institute Bioscience
Research project: “Phylo-barcodes: long read enabled subspecies classification and analysis”
Summary: Searching for ‘universally’ shared multigenic regions across bacteria with good phylogenetic signal to establish a phylogenetic protocol, and developing a prototype software to generate and analyse the phylo-barcodes.

George MacIntyre-Cockett, University of Oxford
Research project: “Compilation of a manual for establishing a high-throughput, semi-mobile, pathogen surveillance and sequencing laboratory (an ancillary study to the AMPHEUS project)”
Summary: Assist with the development and transfer of HIV sequencing methods to a mobile laboratory being built in Zambia, and with incorporating their ‘metagenomic-type’ methods for respiratory pathogen surveillance, including SARS-CoV-2, into the same laboratory set-up in Zambia.

Dr Marc Niebel, MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Research project: “The factors associated with spontaneous clearance in acute HCV infection”
Summary: Investigating the evolutionary rate of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection from acute to chronic and elucidating the factors associated with spontaneous clearance of acute HCV infection.

Dr Evan P Troendle, Queen’s University Belfast
Research project: “Agnostic detection of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) recombinants”
Summary: Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 intra-host variation and development of a software tool that will rapidly and confidently identify recombinant SARS-CoV-2 samples.


COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK)

The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium works in partnership to harness the power of SARS-CoV-2 genomics in the fight against COVID-19.

Led by Professor Sharon Peacock of the University of Cambridge, COG-UK is made up of an innovative collaboration of NHS organisations, the four public health agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and sixteen academic partners. A full list of collaborators can be found here.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, represents a major threat to health. The COG-UK consortium was formed in March 2020 to deliver SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis to inform public health policy and to support the establishment of a national pathogen sequencing service, with sequence data now predominantly generated by the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Public Health Agencies.

SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis plays a key role in the COVID-19 public health response by enabling the identification, tracking and analysis of variants of concern, and by informing the design of vaccines and therapeutics. COG-UK works collaboratively to deliver world-class research on pathogen sequencing and analysis, maximise the value of genomic data by ensuring fair access and data linkage, and provide a training programme to enable equity in global sequencing.