UK-based charity the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research (DHT) has announced grants totalling more than £720,000 for research projects that address bipolar disorder, cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, motor-neuron disease, rabies and schizophrenia.

The projects, to be launched this year at seven leading universities across the UK, are designed to further the understanding and treatment of a broad range of diseases while at the same time developing methods to reduce the number of animals used in research, the DHT noted.

Specifically, they aim to

•    Improve understanding of nerve-muscle interaction in motor-neuron disease (Cranfield University)

•    Develop and test devices for use in the treatment of cardiovascular disease (Dundee University)

•    Develop a plant-based product to help prevent rabies (St. George’s, University of London)

•    Improve understanding of brain activity in schizophrenia (Nottingham University)     

•    Enhance gene-therapy methods in cystic fibrosis (Imperial College, London)     

•    Improve understanding of pharmacological mechanisms in bipolar disorder (Royal Holloway, University of London)                           

•    Develop humane techniques using MEG (magnetoencephalography) scanning (Aston University)

The project durations range from a one-year pilot (Cranfield University) to three years (Dundee, St. George’s, Nottingham, Imperial, Royal Holloway).