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Two University colleagues awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

14 Dec 2023

Dr Madhvi Menon and Dr Thomas Day Goodacre among the most promising science and research leaders in the country – awarded a coveted Future Leaders Fellowship by UK Research and Innovation

Madhvi Menon Thomas Day Goodacre

Two University of Manchester applicants have been awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships.

There are 75 new Fellows, including Dr Madhvi Menon at the Lydia Becker Institute, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH) and Dr Thomas Day Goodacre, a Dame Katherine Ollerenshaw Fellow at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE).

The new Fellows will between them benefit from £101 million funding, enabling them to tackle major global issues and commercialise their innovations in the UK.

The UKRI’s flagship scheme helps universities and businesses develop their most talented early career researchers and innovators.

Dr Madhvi Menon

Madhvi’s Fellowship will enable her to further her research into future treatments for chronic lung disease at the School of Biological Sciences.

She explains: “The healthy lung contains only sparse immune cells to allow the physical properties necessary for efficient gas exchange and maintain its critical functions. In chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), immune cell infiltrates expand, persist and contribute to defective lung function. As a result, the lung does not return to its original state, and this can have long-term consequences for the patient.

“COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, with no available treatments to delay disease progression. Therefore, developing novel therapeutic strategies for improved disease management is a global priority.”

She added: “The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship provides the perfect platform to launch my career as an independent researcher, enabling me to assemble a world-leading team, harness the latest technologies and support quality high-impact research.”

The next two rounds of the UKRI’s Future Leader Fellowships have been confirmed for 2024 and 2025, with a pre-call announcement for round 9 due to be published shortly.

Dr Thomas Day Goodacre

Tom’s Future Leaders Fellowship centres on novel medical isotope production.

He says: "There is a growing demand for established medical isotope treatments, coupled with problematic supply chains as nuclear research reactors are decommissioned around the world.

"The increasing necessity for accelerator-based isotope production is modifying the range of isotopes available, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Reliable processes for isotope production and separation are required to deliver pre-clinical samples for initial studies and to realise the full potential of these applications.

"This work seeks to enhance the provision of such isotopes through ion source and electromagnetic mass separator (EMIS) development."

Further information

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