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MLW’s First iTPA Seed Grants

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Earlier this year, MLW received the Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership Award (iTPA). The award aims to create a stronger link between the MLW researchers and innovation by highlighting and supporting the concept of translational science and encouraging the further translation of research to impact health. Thus, MLW iTPA has three main objectives:

1. Raise the translational science priority and belief
2. Develop an exemplar portfolio of translational research
3. Improve the landscape/ecosystem to facilitate translational research

In efforts to meet these objectives, several activities have been lined up, with the first one being a call for seed grant applications. The first call was made in June and we were pleased to have 5 applications, of which 3 were funded. This is an exciting time for MLW as we build our translational science portfolio. We would like to congratulate our first seed grant awardees. Each awarded project will be running for 6 months to 1 year

Congratulations to:

• Nicholas Feasey awarded with £30,000 for project title: A pilot intervention to support improved hand hygiene at QECH

• Peter MacPherson awarded with £29,500 for project title: A electronic Patient Locator (ePAL) application for remote high-resolution surveillance of disease

• Jamie Rylance awarded with £7392 for project title: Predicting AKI Risk in Sepsis (PARIS)

We look forward to the months ahead to witness the success of these projects. 


Associate Professor Musaya Wins Two Awards

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Janelisa MusayaAssociate Professor Musaya: It is possible as long as one works hard and focuses on reaching the goal

MLW’s Associate Director Janelisa Musaya recently won two awards under Wellcome Trust and Organization for Women in Science.

Here is the chat we had with her:

1. Tell us more about the awards that you have won.
Prof Russell Stothard from LSTM and I have won the Wellcome Investigators Award. Our title is “Hybridisation in urogenital schistosomiasis (HUGS): A 2-year longitudinal population study highlighting the transmission, epidemiological impact, and associated host morbidity of Schistosoma haematobium-hybrids in Malawi.” The Wellcome Investigator Award is important because it is a milestone for our young Neglected Tropical Diseases Group at MLW. This will help us grow as a research group under MLW.

I have also won the Organization of Women in Science in Developing World Early Career Fellowship (2020 OWSD Early Career (EC) Fellowship Programme). The title is “Mapping Trypanosomiasis cases in endemic Malawi sites (MapTryps)”.


2. What can you tell others who aspire to get this award?
It is possible as long as one works hard and focuses on reaching the goal. For the 2020 OWSD Early Career (EC) Fellowship Programme, it has been awarded to 21 people and it will be valid up to 2021.

The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is a prestigious award of up to USD 50,000 offered to women who have completed their PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and are employed at an academic or scientific research institute in one of the listed Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs). The OWSD Early Career fellows are supported to establish environments at their institutions where they can maintain an international standard of research and attract scholars from all over the world to collaborate.

The Wellcome Investigator Awards enable independent researchers with a compelling research vision to tackle the most important questions in science. It is awarded to researchers who have a strong track record relative to your career stage of leading innovative and creative programmes of research, making important contributions to research, eg publications, patents, and impacts on policy securing research grant funding.

Congratulations, Associate Professor Musaya!


Fanuel Bickton Awarded a Wellcome International Master’s Fellowship

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Lung Health Group Pre-MSc Research Intern, Fanuel Bickton, has been awarded the prestigious 30-months Wellcome International Master’s Fellowship. Fanuel is a physiotherapy graduate from the University of Malawi, College of Medicine (COM).

As a Fellow, he will spend the first 12 months undertaking a taught Master of Science (MSc) course in Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy at the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom (UK). Dr Harriet Shannon, the Programme Lead for Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Education at UCL, will supervise Fanuel on the course.

After completing his MSc, Fanuel will be based at MLW within the Lung Health Group where he will spend the last 18 months of his Fellowship undertaking a research project under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Rylance (Lung Health Group Lead at MLW), Mr. Enock Chisati (Senior Lecturer and Head of Physiotherapy Department at COM), and Professor Sally Singh (Professor of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University of Leicester, UK). Fanuel’s work will focus on testing a culturally appropriate pulmonary rehabilitation programme among adults with functionally limiting chronic respiratory diseases in Malawi.

“This is a landslide victory and I am on cloud 9! It is a victory not only for me but also for the Lung Health Group at MLW and Malawi’s entire physiotherapy community which I represent. The Fellowship award comes only a few weeks after also being nominated by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK for the award of its prestigious Commonwealth MSc Scholarship. These achievements are a tribute to my grit, peer support, and first-class mentorship from supervisors (Dr. Rylance, Mr. Chisati, Dr. Shannon, and Prof Singh) who believe in me. I am grateful to the MLW Training and Development Team for giving the pre-MSc internship opportunity in the Lung Health Group which gave me the much-needed winning edge for the Fellowship application.”

“The Fellowship gives me an opportunity to be trained in a field I am passionate about at an internationally recognized academic centre of excellence. It gives me a chance to form networks with experts in Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy which will serve as a platform for sharing expertise in the field and expanding my professional horizons. The MSc course I will undertake at UCL will prepare me for a leadership role in combating non-communicable diseases in Malawi through rehabilitation interventions that are based on locally derived research evidence. I cannot wait to embark on this rewarding career.”