£2.48m awarded to University researcher to further understand coronavirus

Dr Edward Emmott

A University of Liverpool researcher, Dr Edward Emmott, has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive fellowship, the Wellcome Trust Career Development Award.

The funding will allow Dr Emmott to carry out important work that will give the global scientific community greater understanding of coronavirus, specifically how it replicates.

Work has been done to create antiviral drugs that target the viral proteins responsible for replication, but there are still important questions to be answered about how this process in coronavirus works. Dr Emmott will lead a team, using a range of approaches, including mass spectrometry methods developed in his lab at the University of Liverpool, to answer these questions.

Dr Edward Emmott, Lecturer, Biochemistry, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Liverpool said: “In-depth research of this nature cannot be done without long-term and significant funding like this. The work will determine the dynamics of coronavirus replication, and how the viral proteins responsible for this alter and regulate this process throughout infection.  I am incredibly grateful for this award, which gives us a fantastic opportunity to really dig into the details of how coronaviruses work, what human and animal coronaviruses have in common, and to better understand coronaviruses so we are better prepared for possible future outbreaks.”

Dr Emmott is the second University of Liverpool researcher this year to have received this award. In July, Dr Adeniyi Olagunju was awarded £1.68m to research drug safety in pregnancy. Read more about that here.

Professor Sonia Rocha PhD, Executive Dean of the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology said: “The Wellcome Trust Career Development Award is highly prestigious and it’s a huge achievement for an institution to receive one so for the institute to receive 2 in one year is significant. This success is testament to the high-quality research and innovative concepts that we are producing.”

More about the award
The Wellcome Career Development Award provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders. Using the funding, they will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.