Funding awarded to Swansea University researchers

Two Swansea University researchers, who work on hydration in older people and multiple sclerosis respectively, have been given awards by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, allowing them to share and develop their work with fellow experts. The purpose of the awards is to support researchers in the early stage of their career.

Alecia Cousins, who won a travel scholarship of £1,000, is looking at how hydration levels in older people relate to their cognitive performance and their cardiovascular health. Older people are at high risk of dehydration, so understanding how it affects their health is essential. Alecia Cousins used her scholarship to attend a major scientific conference in Boston, where she presented her research to fellow experts.

Rhian Evans, who was given a discretionary award of £600, researches multiple sclerosis (MS), which sees the body’s own immune system attack and kill brain cells. She is exploring how this process occurs, with the aim of identifying targets for treatments. Rhian Evans’ award helped fund a research visit to a group of MS experts in Belfast, led by world renowned researcher Dr Denise Fitzgerald.

Swansea University reports the awards were given by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, following a competition open to Swansea University researchers who are in the early stages of their career.

Alecia Cousins of Swansea University College of Human and Health Sciences said “I am very grateful to the Welsh Livery Company for supporting this research into hydration in older people. The award enabled me to share my research with other experts in the field. International collaboration is crucial in tackling disease, which is why it is important to go and show other researchers what we are doing here in Swansea.”

Rhian Evans from Swansea University Medical School said “Multiple Sclerosis affects 2 million people worldwide. I am investigating how the immune cells cause brain death, knowledge which can potentially lead to new treatments. Travelling to Belfast to work with world-leading experts helps me take my research forward. I’d like to thank the Welsh Livery Company for making the opportunity possible.”

Jenny Aubrey from the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales said “One of the Livery’s aims is to encourage and support students to progress with a specific project. The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales raises the grant money through holding dinners, concerts and other charitable events. Alecia and Rhian’s research is essential, and their enthusiasm for their subjects is clear. We are pleased to be able to support their efforts to build links with fellow experts in their fields.”

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