Dr David Hunt wins £100k Emerging Leaders Prize from the Medical Research Foundation

Dr David Hunt wins £100k Emerging Leaders Prize from the Medical Research Foundation


Monday, 30 April, 2018

Dr David Hunt (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine) has been awarded £100k in the Medical Research Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Prize. This new prize offers flexible funding to researchers, with winners deciding how to best use the funds to support their research into lupus and their research careers. 

Lupus is an autoimmune condition and Dr Hunt’s work between the Medical Research Council Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh examines how lupus can affect the brain at a molecular level. His group tackles two problems often faced in lupus research and aims to establish the molecular pathways of the disease and also develop practical biomarkers of brain disease. His long-term aim is to develop effective, personalised therapies.

Dr David Hunt said: "Brain disease in lupus is very poorly understood. I’m delighted to have won the Emerging Leaders Prize as it’s a wonderful recognition of the work my lab, clinic and colleagues are doing to help understand and tackle this important problem." 

“The MRF emerging leaders prize will transform my group’s ability to pursue this research. We will use the prize funds to purchase cutting-edge equipment which can detect single protein molecules. This will allow us to develop precise tests of the molecular pathways involved in lupus brain disease and help us measure how the brain is affected. The funds will also allow us to develop collaborations with groups in other countries working in this field, accelerating clinical translation and linking our research to the needs of the lupus community.”

The Emerging Leaders Prize aims to recognize and reward talented researchers who’ve already made a strong contribution to their field. The Foundation funds research in areas like lupus where investment is low, but clinical need is high. This year’s Prize was made possible thanks to a legacy gift from Dr Erina Herrick, and is a tribute to her own work as a lupus researcher.