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Pete Aldiss awarded TENOVUS funding to study 'lean genes' and obesity

CVS's Dr Pete Aldiss has received a pilot grant to study a lean gene linked to calorie burning.

Scottish research charity, TENOVUS, has awarded Dr Aldiss one of two pilot grants, awarded to young post-doctoral researchers, working to further research in clinical science for the benefit of patients.

Dr Aldiss' project focuses on a lean gene, Thiosulfate Sulfurtransferase (Tst), that may be involved in calorie burning. It is hoped this project will improve understanding of treatments for obesity in patients with diabetes.

Thiosulfate Sulfurtransferase (Tst), the lean gene

Tst was previously identified by Co-I Prof. Nik Morton in 2016 as being over-expressed in white fat tissues of lean healthy mice and humans, where it may protect against obesity-associated diabetes. Dr. Aldiss, whose research to date has focussed on brown adipose tissue, will now investigate how Tst potentially boosts the function of calorie-burning brown fat, which is normally activated in colder temperatures. Building on work that shows Tst is highly expressed in brown fat, and that mice lacking Tst have an impaired response to cold, this pilot grant will allow Dr. Aldiss to build towards further projects determining the efficacy of activating Tst in brown fat to combat obesity and diabetes.

TENOVUS Pilot Grants

Both TENOVUS pilot grants have been awarded to University of Edinburgh researchers: Dr Peter Aldiss, of the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, and Dr Kylie Matchett, from the Centre for Inflammation Research. Dr Matchett's project explores human liver cell regeneration with a view to understanding better how treatments beyond liver transplantation might support patients with acute liver failure. 

Along with the pilot grants, TENOVUS has awarded a prestigious 3-year PhD scholarship to a young scientist also in Edinburgh. The 2020 'Princess Royal TENOVUS Scotland Medical Research Scholarship Programme' has been awarded to Claire Richmond, a neuroscience graduate from St Andrews. Claire will be studying at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and her project explores the impact of inflammation in the spinal cords of zebrafish following injury. Her 3-year scholarship should result in the award of a PhD and the start of a rewarding career in scientific research. 

The committee was impressed by the number and quality of all applicants this year, particularly given the problems during the COVID-19 lock down period. The 3 award holders faced fierce competition and are to be congratulated on their success. We wish them all well for their projects and look forward to reading their progress reports. The Committee will call again for grant applications in 2021 and hope that research teams in Edinburgh, the Borders and Forth Valley will consider applications.

Professor BellChair of the Edinburgh Regional Committee, TENOVUS

TENOVUS is a Scottish charity, entirely dependent on donation and legacies from the public. Its prime purpose is to fund young researchers and pilot projects that may lead to further research in clinical science for the benefit of patients. 

Related Links

Dr Pete Aldiss

Dr Kylie Matchett

Centre for Inflammation Research

Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences

TENOVUS Scotland