Jameel Fund | Round 2

Each year, the Jameel Fund provides grants of up to $65,000 to propel short-term, high-impact project that aim to understand, prevent, diagnose and treat coronaviruses and other infectious diseases.

In 2021, the chosen projects included ground-breaking technology that enables rapid and effective RNA testing outside of laboratories, new methods to track variants, research into severe COVID-19 in children, and customisable respiratory protective equipment, highlighting the breadth of innovation happening at Imperial in the face of a global pandemic.

The projects are divided between Imperial College London and King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, with the aim of encouraging international research collaboration in this field.

The projects chosen from King Abdulaziz University are:

  • Dr Mohmaed Ahmed Alfaleh (Department of Pharmaceutics): Tetravalent IgG-Fc fusion subunit vacine against the two highly pathogenic human coronaviruses: MERSCoV and SARS-CoV-2
  • Dr Ayat Zawawi (Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences): Molecular mechanisms of host innate antiviral immune evasion by SARS-CoV2
  • Dr Maimonah Alghanmi (Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences): Isolation novel antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 for diagnostic applications using antibody phage display library
  • Dr Tarfa Altorki (Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences): Understanding the humoral and cellular immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccine using Nasal-Associated Lymphoid Tissues model
  • Dr Ahmed Mohamed Sharif Hassan (Department of SIAU): Metagenomic of respiratory virome as an early warning and surveillance system for coronaviruses and other emergin and re-emerging zoonotic infections
  • Dr Isra Alsaady (Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences): Characterisation of extracellular vesicles from MERS-CoV infected cells
  • Dr. Ahbad Abdulazim Alsaieedi (Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences): T-cell powerhouse: Exploring mitochondrial function and oxidative stress in COVID-19

The projects chosen from Imperial College London are:

  • Dr Roya Haghighat-Khah and Professor Andrea Crisanti (Department of Life Sciences): Functional genomics for prognosis on clinical nasopharyngeal swab samples
  • Professor Danny Altmann (Department of Immunology and Inflammation): Mechanisms of Long COVID variation over the menstrual cycle: does hormonal contraception ameliorate cyclical symptoms?
  • Dr James Harker (National Heart & Lung Institute): Investigating the role and mechanism of respiratory epithelial dysfunction in long COVID
  • Dr Cecilia Johansson (National Heart & Lung Institute): Understanding immunopathology after SARS-CoV-2 infection using a mouse model
  • Dr Nishel Shah (Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction): Do pregnancy-related immune changes modify immunity post COVID-19 infection and vaccination?
  • Dr Aran Singanayagam (Department of Infectious Disease): Investigation into the role of  airway microbial dysbiosis as a driver of post-viral lung fibrosis