The Narita Group have been awarded £490,000 to study epigenomes and ageing from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration, in a joint call with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
Professor Masashi Narita’s Group study how to permanently stop the growth of tumour cells. In response to internal and external stresses, cells can choose to either die or to stop cell division permanently in order to remove unhealthy cells. Permanently stopping cell growth causes many changes in cells, affecting gene expression and how proteins are processed within the cell.
Collaborating with Professor Yasuyuki Ohkawa from Kyushu University, this new project aims to understand how epigenomes – proteins and chemical modifications bound to DNA that are crucial to human development – change as we grow older. The researchers will develop new technologies and models to increase knowledge in this area, which could then be used in the development of new treatments for cancers which are linked to the ageing process.
UKRI launched the fund earlier this year to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners.
The UKRI-JSPS Joint Call supports globally leading and innovative collaborative research projects in Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences, offering access to facilities, knowledge and supporting UK universities and researchers to develop long-lasting partnerships with centres of excellence.
The Fund for International Collaboration is strengthening collaboration between the UK and fellow R&D leaders throughout the world to deliver new knowledge and societal and economic impact.
Professor Andrew Thompson, UKRI Executive Champion for International
UKRI Executive Champion for International, Professor Andrew Thompson, said: “Life and environmental sciences are areas of research excellence for both the UK and Japan, and the projects announced today will harness the expertise of both countries to deliver benefits for our health and the environment.
“This demonstrates how the Fund for International Collaboration is strengthening collaboration between the UK and fellow R&D leaders throughout the world to deliver new knowledge and societal and economic impact.”
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The UK has a well-earned reputation for world-class research and innovation. Programmes like the Fund for International Collaboration have put us at the forefront of a global network of academic and business partnerships tackling some of humanity’s greatest challenges, from the impact of climate change to critical health issues.”