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Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences


Wellcome Developing Concept Fund

This call is funded from Institutional Translational Partnership Award (iTPA), awarded to University of Cambridge by the Wellcome Trust. The Developing Concept Fund is intended to pump-prime the translation of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including repurposing of existing therapies towards a clinical end. 

It is intended that successful project applicants will obtain evidence of the feasibility (or otherwise) of their translational plans, strengthening their chances of obtaining downstream funding. The focus will be on very early stage translational research and projects should be seen as a way to gain sufficient evidence to support follow on funding such as MRC Impact Acceleration Account Confidence in Concept call. Projects will be encouraged to include a substantive cross-disciplinary collaborative component between basic scientists, clinical scientists and/or industry (as appropriate for the project). Proposals must be led by a Principal Investigator at the University of Cambridge.

The fund supports projects up to a maximum of £50,000 each for 9 months.

​If interested, please contact Caroline Reynolds or Juraj Rievaj to discuss your project plans.

Deadline for completed applications: 24 March 2023. 


The review pane last year included:
  • Dr John Skidmore (Chair), Chief Scientific Officer ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute
  • Prof Margaret Ashcroft, Department of Medicine
  • Prof Michael Sutcliffe, Theme Leader of Bioengineering
  • Dr Dave Smith, Principal Scientist, AstraZeneca
  • Mr Stuart Kay, Director Medtech Solutions Ltd
  • Prof David Jayne, Director of the Vasculitis and Lupus Service, Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Dr Tim Allsopp, Independent Consultant
  • Dr John Pritchard, Independent Consultant
  • Dr Neil Thompson, Independent Consultant
  • Prof Anne Willis, MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge
  • Prof Steve Charnock-Jones, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Prof Tim Eisen, Department of Oncology
  • Dr Stephanie Hopley, Apollo Therapeutics
  • Prof Narita Masashi, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
  • Prof Tim Eisen, Department of Oncology
  • Prof Mark Toshner, Department of Medicine
  • Dr Sofia Villar, MRC Biostatistics Unit
  • Prof Duncan Jodrell, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Funded Projects in 2021

Lead Applicant Department Title
Ulrich Keyser Department of Physics Identification of viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens
Chris Proctor Department of Engineering A medical device for treatment of spinal cord injury
Marko Hyvonen Department of Biochemistry Development of inhibitors for hard to treat cancers
Athina Markaki Department of Engineering Densified Collagen Conduits as Vascular Grafts
Jeremy Baumberg Department of Physics Vitamin K Diagnostic for neonates

Funded Projects in 2020

Lead Applicant Department Title
David Owen Department of Clinical Biochemistry / CIMR A New Approach to Lowering LDL-Cholesterol in Familial Hypercholesterolaemia
Joanne Jones Department of Clinical Neurosciences  Preventing Organ Transplant Rejection – A New Treatment 
Manohar Bance Department of Clinical Neurosciences  Development of an artificial cochlea and insertion device to reduce the trauma of cochlear implant insertion and improve hearing results
Folma Buss Department of Clinical Biochemistry / CIMR Developing new drugs to treat malaria 
Jonathan Weir-McCall Department of Radiology Ischaemia detection in perfused human hearts
James Duce The ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute, CIMR  Blocking Aβ production using a novel bio-therapeutic approach 
James Lee Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease/ Department of Medicine A cell-based therapy for COVID-19
Vasilis Kosmoliaptsis Department of Surgery Detection and in depth profiling of antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 
Christoph Hess Department of Medicine Cellular metabolic dysregulation in COVID-19 patient


Funded Projects in 2019

Lead Applicant Department Title
Sebastian Pattinson Department of Engineering Enabling healthy motion and preventing injury through advanced orthoses
Clare Bryant Department of Medicine Targeting approaches for respiratory infection 
Sanjay Sinha Cambridge Stem Cell Institute  Novel strategy for improving cardiac function post-myocardial infarction
Margaret Ashcroft Department of Medicine Targeting approaches for respiratory infection 
David Fairen-Jimenez Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Novel approaches for targeting pancreatic cancer
Peter Arthur-Farraj Department of Clinical Neurosciences A novel therapy to promote peripheral nerve repair
David Summers Department of Genetics Improving the effectiveness of antibiotics
Jamie Blundell Department of Oncology Better blood cancer rosk prediction


Funded Projects in 2018

Lead Applicant Department Title
Stephen Hofmann Department of Engineering Nanomaterial based sensor for rapid detection
Giovanna Mallucci Department of Clinical Neurosciences Developing a cell-based, high-throughput assay to repurpose drugs for the treatment of neurodegeneration
Jenny Gallop Gurdon Institute Targeting phosphoinositide metabolism to rebalance defective endocytosis in Lowe syndrome
Sadaf Farooqi Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science Targeting obesity, type 2 diabetes and associated diseases
Matt Davis MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit Auditory Brain-computer interfaces
Fiona Karet Cambridge Institute  for Medical Research Developing a low-cost, hand-held device
Ben Seymour Department of Engineering Chronic back pain therapeutics
Paul Conduit Department of Zoology Developing peptide-based inhibitors for targeting cancer