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Four Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research (KTRR) Fellows at the Kennedy Institute were awarded prestigious funding awards, highlighting the success of the KTRR programme in supporting outstanding investigators launch their independent research career.

Kennedy trust senior fellowship

The KTRR Senior Research Fellowship programme creates a platform for early stage scientists to launch an independent research career; it has also enabled the Kennedy Institute to recruit bright young investigators from across the globe. 

“The KTRR provided a great opportunity for the Institute to recruit the best and brightest after the move to Oxford.” Says Professor Michael Dustin, Director of Research of the Kennedy Institute. “We are all excited by their progress in establishing their research programs and development as independent scientists.”

The five-year fellowships provide awardees with a generous funding package and strong mentorship, embedded within the institute’s outstanding research environment. 

The first of these fellowships was awarded in 2013 to Dr Tal Arnon, who has subsequently received a Wellcome Trust Investigator award in 2014.

Three more Senior Research Fellowships were awarded in 2016, to Dr Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic, Dr Anjali Kusumbe, and Dr Audrey Gérard.

Dr Kusumbe received an MRC Career Development Fellowship in 2017 and earlier this year Dr Gérard won a BBSRC New Investigator Grant.

More recently, Dr Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic won an MRC New Investigator Research Grant to study the biology of FAM26F protein in myeloid cells.

She says: “We are grateful to the Kennedy Trust for their support in establishing our independent research programmes. My group is investigating how innate immune cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, integrate tissue-derived inflammatory signals to initiate an appropriate effector response to infection or to sterile injury. The MRC New Investigator Grant is an exciting opportunity to investigate what role a poorly characterized protein, FAM26F, plays in the inflammatory process.”