MRC reveals grants

The winners of the Medical Research Council's cooperative grants have been announced. The grants, proposed last May as part of a reorganisation of MRC awards, are designed to foster collaboration between researchers.

New teams at Manchester and Edinburgh universities have won awards totalling Pounds 1 million. Established teams at Bristol University, London's United Medical and Dental School of Guys and St Thomas' Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry have been given cooperative grants. They can now apply for component grants to support specific research projects.

The awards featured among Pounds 19 million for new research projects announced this week by the MRC.

The major winners included a team at Oxford University that has picked up Pounds 1.1 million to study the biological basis of depression. They will use brain-imaging techniques on those suffering from depression to study the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxyamine, which has been linked to depression.

A pilot study has been approved at the Institute of Child Health in London to see if steroids can cut the risk of brain damage after a head injury, and Pounds 1.85 million has been given to the Institute of Animal Health in Edinburgh as part of a project studying transmissable spongiform encephalopathies.

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