The ageing immune system was identified by the British Society for Research on Ageing as an underfunded area of great importance. A House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee report on “Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living” also highlighted that “one area which has received less attention is how the immune system changes with age”.
Accordingly, in 2021, Dunhill funded a number of seed funding awards under this theme and are now following-up this funding with a call for Research Project Grant proposals.
After consultation with their Research Grants Committee and the CARINA (CAtalyst Reducing ImmuNe Ageing) network, the call is targeted at proposals focusing on areas such as immune system markers, cell/tissue interactions, potential targets for interventions and the use of various methodologies (e.g. “omics”) to build knowledge on the following topics:
- The influence of the ageing immune system on the development of frailty – including, but not limited to, the mechanisms, the effects of gender and/or other characteristics etc.
- The influence of the ageing immune system on cognitive decline and vice versa.
- The influence of the ageing immune system on the gut microbiome and vice versa – including, but not limited to, any links to age-related issues.
Ageing immune system seed funding award holders are eligible to apply for follow-on projects to their seed funding awards, irrespective of whether they align to the research topics outlined in this section.
Dunhill have allocated £1M to the call, from which we expect to award 2-3 Research Project Grants, although more funding may be available if they receive enough applications of a suitably high quality.