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Wolfson Foundation pledges £1 million in support for Science and Humanities at Warwick

One of the UK’s most generous supporters of Higher Education, the Wolfson Foundation, has pledged £1 million in two grants to the University this month.

A capital grant of £750,000 to support lab space in the new Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) will fund the Tissue Mechanobiology and Human Disease research laboratories.

Professor Mohan Balasubramanian, Pro-Dean of Research at Warwick Medical School and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, led the bid to Wolfson for the new research space.

"Tissue Mechanobiology is- at its simplest- the study of how tissues develop, grow and move, and how mechanical properties of molecules and cells impact these processes. The research field will impact our understanding of a range of diseases from cancer to cardiomyopathy to brittle bones, and we are already developing a team of international researchers to undertake this work. The grant from Wolfson to fund this area means we can hit the ground running - I am very grateful for this support."

A further £265,000 was pledged from Wolfson to support the highly successful Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in Humanities at Warwick, continuing a programme of support for Humanities PhD scholars which began in 2011. The programme was created by Wolfson to recognise the important role Humanities plays in society, and the need to fund the next generation of excellent academics from UK universities. Since its launch, scholars at Warwick will have benefited from nearly £2 million in Wolfson scholarships. Wolfson supports nine UK universities with this programme, and Warwick is one of the institutions which has received funding since the inception of the award.

Professor Jennifer Burns from Warwick’s Faculty of Arts is the lead academic for this programme:

"In 2011, the Wolfson Foundation made a bold commitment to support academic research in the Arts. The UK has long been a leader in this space, and this award recognises the need to grow new and talented researchers who will be academic stars of the future. I am so pleased and honoured that Warwick has once again been successful in securing funds for three new PhD scholars starting in 2020 and wish to thank the Wolfson Foundation trustees for their support in this important academic endeavour."

Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President, added:

"A key element of Warwick’s Strategy for the next decade is to build our research capacity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Our decision to build IBRB underpins this expansion, and I am thrilled that the Wolfson Foundation has backed the project with this grant. I also thank Wolfson for their continuing support of the Wolfson Scholars in Humanities- this has been a major injection of confidence and financial support in an area that is crucial to maintain the UK’s reputation as a global leader in arts and culture."

The Wolfson Foundation’s Chief Executive, Paul Ramsbottom, commented:

"We are delighted to have enjoyed a fruitful and longstanding relationship with Warwick, and I was very happy to be back on the campus in March. Funding from the Wolfson Foundation is awarded following rigorous and independent expert review. These awards recognise the quality of the specific research funded and we hope also acts as an endorsement of Warwick’s activities across the Science and Humanities."

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Wolfson Scholars: Fern Ellis, Ian Farnell and Anne-Sophie Ninino with Professor Jennifer Burns, Faculty of Arts