Charity stumps up £30,000 in summer research grants including support for University of Hertfordshire husband and wife scientists

A husband and wife are among 14 university researchers to be awarded a place on a ‘summer studentshi

A husband and wife are among 14 university researchers to be awarded a place on a ‘summer studentship’ programme, a scheme which allows students to extend their studies by gaining practical laboratory experience. Dr David Chau and Dr Victoria Hutter, from the University of Hertfordshire, have been awarded the studentships by the Hitchin based Dr Hadwen Trust (DHT), the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity. - Credit: Archant

Husband and wife scientists based at the University of Hertfordshire are among 14 researchers backed by a Hitchin-based charity’s summer studentship programme.

The work of Dr David Chau and Dr Victoria Hutter is being supported by the Dr Hadwen Trust, the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity, which said this week that it was unusual for any single institution to receive more than one summer studentship, but the granting of the awards to the married couple was a pure coincidence.

Dr Chau said: “Victoria and I submitted very different project applications and were stunned, and delighted, that both were approved.

“We are very grateful.”

Dr Chau’s project is looking at the development of 3D mini organs from rapeseed while Dr Hutter is working to find out more about how the immune system in the lungs responds to long term treatment with inhaled medicines – research which has traditionally involved animals.

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The charity has set aside £27,160 to the 14 studentships, with each recipient getting about £2,000 for the eight-week project.

Group head of operations Dr Kay Miller said: “The work these students will be doing will increase their understanding of devastating diseases while using alternatives to animal-based research.”

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“Over the last five years, we have funded almost £3.5 million worth of animal-replacement research projects across the UK.

“Our funding focus this year is to embed the importance of animal-replacement technology into the minds of scientists at the beginning of their research careers.”

Other projects being supported include research into childhood brain cancer and a study of the causes of Tourette syndrome. Find out more at

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