University of Dundee receives £13.6m for tropical disease research

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image captionThe university said diseases like malaria disproportionately affected the poorest people in the world

The University of Dundee has been awarded £13.6m to tackle some of the world's most devastating diseases.

The money from Wellcome will be used to establish a new research centre at the university.

Scientists at the centre will work to find drugs to treat "neglected" tropical diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis.

The university said they were all diseases which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

They also disproportionately affect the poor and cost developing economies billions of dollars.

Professor Paul Wyatt, the director of the new Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research, said the funding was a "major boost" to research into "neglected diseases".

"It will also mean we can expand our international collaborations, catalyse new projects and provide resources to carry out drug discovery training for scientists from countries where these diseases are endemic," he said.

"There is an urgent need to find new treatments for these diseases, where there is increasing resistance to old drugs. We are at the forefront of this global effort to find new therapeutics and this award from Wellcome will further strengthen our efforts."

image copyrightSPL

Last year, researchers in the drug discovery unit at Dundee announced the discovery of a new anti-malarial compound with has the potential to treat malaria patients with a single dose.

Wellcome's director Dr Jeremy Farrar said: "Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.

"At Wellcome we believe in long-term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."

The Wellcome award is part of a £118m investment in major research centres over the next five years.

The other Wellcome Centres in Scotland are at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

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