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Issue 135 Spring 2020

Endocrinologist > Spring 2020 > Society News

Advance your research: equip your lab using society funds

| Society News

The Society for Endocrinology Equipment Grant helps members establish their laboratories by funding the purchase of vital equipment. Equipment Grants of up to £10,000 can be awarded for complete items of equipment, parts of larger items or basic lab supplies.

Could you benefit from this funding to get your own lab going?

Read on to discover how previous awardees have used their Equipment Grants to further their research and careers.

Up to two Equipment Grants are offered per year. The next deadline for applications is 6 May 2020. Visit for more information and to apply.

GISELA HELFER, Lecturer in Medical Sciences, University of Bradford

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Gisela was awarded an Equipment Grant in 2017. Her research aims to understand the role of the adipokine chemerin in hypothalamic and neuroendocrine function, particularly appetite control, growth and energy balance. She used her grant to buy essential equipment to set up small animal brain surgery, which was unavailable at her institution at that point. The data from her initial studies formed an integral part of a successful application for an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award Grant, and is included in a BBSRC grant application, currently under review.

“The Equipment Grant provides a fantastic opportunity for early career scientists in their first independent position to receive crucial start-up funds, to set up their first lab. In my case, it allowed me to gain important preliminary data to make bigger (successful) grant applications. Without the Equipment Grant, I would not have been able to get this follow-up funding.”

ASTRID HAUGE EVANS, Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton

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Astrid was awarded an Equipment Grant in 2016. Her research centres on islet biology and diabetes. The grant enabled Astrid to buy equipment which was fundamental to setting up pancreatic islet isolation and carrying out specific, cell-based assays. Astrid had just started as a Senior Lecturer and needed support to equip her new lab.

She has just published a study featuring the research that was supported by the funded equipment (Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry 2019 52 486–502).

“Important parts of the work described in our paper were made possible by the Equipment Grant, so I would like to express my thanks to the Society for all their support of our work. It was, and is, much appreciated.”

JAMES THORNE, University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds

Colleagues in James’ lab: (L–R) Chrysa Soteriou, Alex Websdale, Giorgia Cioccoloni, Priscilia (Lia) Lianto, James Thorne, Zhi (Rex) Chong.

Colleagues in James’ lab: (L–R) Chrysa Soteriou, Alex Websdale, Giorgia Cioccoloni, Priscilia (Lia) Lianto, James Thorne, Zhi (Rex) Chong.

James was awarded an Equipment Grant in 2016. His research was focused on the paradox that tumours with similar genetic landscapes can have differing prognoses and responses to therapy. His ultimate aim was to identify novel therapeutic targets and improve the prediction of therapeutic responses of breast cancer patients. He used the grant to buy a key instrument for real-time analyses of cell–cell signalling in tumour cells and assessment of the impact of chemotherapy on cultured cells.

His team’s new high-throughput assay for measuring chemotherapy drug efflux from cells in culture was successfully designed using the funded plate reader. His pilot data led to the award of a larger project grant. James’ team now includes Giorgia Cioccoloni, a postdoctoral researcher funded by Breast Cancer Action, who is running a clinical trial on the effect of sterols on chemotherapy drug efflux, and Alex Websdale, a PhD student funded by Breast Cancer UK, who is evaluating drug efflux in three-dimensional breast cancer spheroids, with a paper on the further research due for submission soon. The Equipment Grant provided the pilot data to obtain funding for both of them.

“This was a fantastic award, and I appreciate the opportunity to say thank you to the Society for supporting my research and career.”

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