WEIZMANN UK CO-FUNDS BIRAX PROJECT

Shlush For Web
Dr Liran Shlush (pictured) and Dr Elisa Laurenti will explore how ageing affects the blood and immune system.

Weizmann UK is delighted that £1.5 million of funding has been announced by the British Council for four new joint medical research projects by British and Israeli Scientists as part of the BIRAX scheme. The three-year bilateral projects focus on the use of stem cells to tackle degenerative diseases.

Weizmann UK will fund 50 percent of the grant awarded to Dr Elisa Laurenti, University of Cambridge and Dr Liran Shlush, Weizmann Institute of Science for their collaboration exploring how ageing affects the blood and immune system.

Sheridan Gould, Executive Director says: “Weizmann UK is delighted to be able to support this fascinating research project which brings together scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Cambridge. Facilitating collaboration between the UK and Israel is a core part of our mission. Projects like this really go to show that science knows no boundaries.”

Weizmann UK facilitates a number of scientific collaboration projects which bring scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science together with their counterparts from UK Universities. In 2018, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our flagship Making Connections programme which has funded 43 projects to date and has brought Weizmann scientists from a variety of fields into contact with scientists from 25 UK universities and research institutes.

More about BIRAX

Full BIRAX Announcement: 

£1.5 million awarded to four new joint medical research projects by British and Israeli scientists

The British Council is proud to announce that UK and Israeli research institutions will work together on four new three-year bilateral projects in the use of stem cells to tackle degenerative diseases.

The projects, that will develop stem cell therapies to treat diabetes, heart disease, leukaemia and Anaemia and Alzheimer’s, are the latest additions to the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme (BIRAX), a £10 million initiative of the British Council investing in world-leading research jointly undertaken by scientists in Britain and Israel.

The new round of funded projects, selected under BIRAX third call for proposals, brings together scientists from Edinburgh University, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Technion – Israel Institute for Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Exeter University, University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow.


BIRAX was initiated 6 years ago by the British Council, British Embassy in Israel and the UK Science & Innovation Network in collaboration with founding partners Pears Foundation and the UJIA. Through the initiative they teamed up with philanthropic Foundations and leading UK Medical Research charities including the British Heart Foundation, JDRF, and Alzheimer’s Society. The programme is also generously supported by funders including Weizmann UK, Clore Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and Pears Foundation.


Mr David Quarrey, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Israel said: “I am excited that four new projects have been selected for our flagship science research programme, the BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative. I am delighted that our valued partners, including some of the UK’s leading medical foundations, have reaffirmed their partnership with us as we work together to deliver world-class, cutting-edge collaborative research projects that will both bring the UK and Israeli academic communities closer together, and take us a step closer to making the world’s most debilitating diseases a thing of the past.”

The funded projects are:

Regenerating new blood vessels to restore healthy tissue
Principle investigators: Andrew Baker, University of Edinburgh and Igor Ulitsky, Weizmann Institute of Science
This research collaboration will explore how cells that line the blood vessels in the body develop. The information will be used to inform future work aimed at regenerating new blood vessels in damaged tissue.


How ageing affects the blood and immune system
Principle investigators: Elisa Laurenti, University of Cambridge and Liran Shlush, Weizmann Institute of Science

This project will establish how mutations in blood stem cells affect their function and will lead to a better understanding of why the blood and immune system deteriorate with age.


A new window into understanding, diagnosing and treating type 1 diabetes
Principle Investigators: Richard Oram, University of Exeter and Yuval Dor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This project will combine two powerful new technologies developed by the investigators to ask whether insulin-producing cells can regenerate in some people with long-standing type 1 Diabetes.


Combatting Alzheimer’s disease
Principle Investigators: Thimo Kurz, University Of Glasgow and Michael H. Glickman, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

This research collaboration aims to understand how defects cleaning mechanisms contribute to the development of Alzheimer that may lead to new ways of treating the disease.

Published: December 13, 2017

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