UK infectious disease research funding 'neglecting key areas'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A new British study has highlighted flaws and oversights in the way infectious disease research funding is allocated in the UK.

The University College, Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine paper revealed that studies into diseases that result in high rates of death and disability do not currently receive enough support.

“Funding programmes for infectious disease research in the UK is overlooking some of the world's most dangerous conditions, according to a study.“

Of the 2.6 billion pounds invested in this area between 1997 and 2010, only 254 million pounds went towards gastrointestinal diseases, despite these being estimated to account for 22.2 percent of deaths due to infectious disease in 2004.

Similarly, antimicrobial resistance and tropical diseases such as trachoma were also shown to receive relatively low levels of investment from UK funding bodies.

The study's senior author Professor Rifat Atun, of Imperial College London, said: "Prioritisation of research funding, especially from public sources, must follow transparent criteria to ensure funding is fair and in line with the current and emerging problems faced by the UK and the global community."

UK organisations that aim to enhance the country's status as a centre for disease research include the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, which invested 13 million pounds towards creating a new national stem cell resource earlier this week.

See all the latest jobs in Science
Return to news