The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills supports research into Ebola through the UK Research Councils who support a number of research projects addressing different aspects of the disease. This includes work on vaccines, treatments and interventions, and finding a cure.
Current Medical Research Council (MRC) funded research includes a £2.8m grant funding jointly by the MRC, the Wellcome Trust and DFID to allow a team led by the University of Oxford to test the safety of a candidate vaccine alongside similar trials in the US.
The MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, at Imperial College London, is an official WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling. Researchers there have been providing advice to the WHO regarding the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and contributed to a study reviewing data since the beginning of the outbreak in December 2013 to determine the scale of the epidemic, better understand the spread of the disease, and explore what it will take to reverse the trend of infections.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is supporting one £3.6m study which aims to improve our understanding of the cultural and political dimension to inform interventions. In addition researchers funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are using the Diamond Light Source to investigate emerging viruses are making an Ebola protein for therapeutic antibodies. The Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron and is also funded by STFC.
The UK is also a member of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) which aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other neglected diseases, including Ebola. In December 2014 the second phase of the partnership, EDCTP2 was launched aiming to contribute over 1billion euros over the next 10 years. Further information can be found at: http://www.edctp.org/