An international network of malaria scientists is to be established to map the emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs and guide global efforts to control and eradicate the disease, thanks to a $20m (£12.5m) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A new study has shown that, while taking aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks and strokes among people with established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention), its benefits don’t clearly outweigh the risks in healthy people (primary prevention). Professor Colin Baigent took part in the study.
The world’s leading candidate for a tuberculosis vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, is to enter Phase IIb proof-of-concept clinical trials, making it the first TB candidate vaccine for more than 80 years to get to this advanced stage of clinical trials in infants. Dr Helen McShane leads this project.
At a Science Media Centre briefing on clinical trials, Rory Collins, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Oxford University, has suggested that "people are dying unnecessarily" due to the high levels of bureaucracy resulting from the EU Clinical Trials Directive.
Researchers have shown that a gene implicated in the development of obesity is also associated with susceptibility to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Dr Tom Barber from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism took part in the study.
The University of Oxford has received the highest amount of quality research funding of any university from the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The quality ratings for research came out in December 2008, and Oxford was judged to have the largest submission of world-leading research (4* rated) in the UK.
Women who regularly have one or two alcoholic drinks a day increase their risk of several cancers, according to Oxford University research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr Naomi Allen led this study.
Researchers have found evidence that a direct interaction between vitamin D and a common genetic variant alters the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). The Oxford University-led research, published in PLoS Genetics, suggests that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and the early years may increase the risk of offspring developing MS later in life. Dr Julian Knight took part in the study.
New multi-million pound laboratories that research vaccines for major diseases are opening in Oxford. The Jenner Institute Laboratories at the University of Oxford house scientists looking into malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and bird flu. Professor Adrian Hill said the new £5m facility left them "well placed to tackle the challenge of developing vaccines against some of the world’s most devastating infectious diseases".
Professor Sir Peter J Ratcliffe FRS, the Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford, has been awarded the 2009 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine. He shares the prize with Professor Michael N Hall of the University of Basel, Switzerland.
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