The Kennedy Trust is delighted to welcome two new Fellows onto its prestigious Senior Research Fellowship scheme. Following a highly competitive recruitment process, Dr Sinisa Savic at the University of Leeds and Dr Elizabeth Rosser at University College London have been awarded five-year fellowships of up c.£2.5M each.

Drs Savic and Rosser will be joining the Trust’s current Fellows Dr John Grainger (University of Manchester), Dr Rebecca Gentek (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Adam Croft (University of Birmingham), who have all achieved substantial success with the support of the Trust.

Dr Savic is Associate Clinical Professor at University of Leeds, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine. The focus of Dr Savic’s research is to understand the role of somatic mutations (non-inherited acquired mutations) in disease pathotypes, and their influence on  response to treatment. Dr Savic’s research concept has been developed from his previous work on acquired systemic autoinflammatory disorders and the role of somatic mutations restricted to the cells of myeloid linage.

On receiving the award, Dr Savic said “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this generous support from the Trust. I would also like to thank to my colleagues and students from Leeds, as well as my patients who have helped me to generate valuable body of research to date. The fellowship will allow me to consolidate my previous research and drive advances in this under researched area of inflammatory biology.”

Dr Rosser has previously been the recipient of two competitive fellowships (Versus Arthritis, Medical Research Foundation) to carry out her work in the Centre for Rheumatology, UCL and Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology Versus Arthritis at UCL, UCLH and GOSH. Her research will investigate the challenging question of how the gut-microbiota and dietary-derived metabolites impact B cell function in paediatric and adolescent rheumatic disease. As part of her Kennedy Senior Fellowship, she will build on this work to identify which metabolites are supporting the pathogenic function of B cells in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).

Dr Rosser said “I am delighted to be awarded a Senior Fellowship from the Kennedy Trust investigating novel pathogenic mechanisms in JIA, especially in an area of research we know is important to our patient populations – understanding if there is an interaction between the diet, gut-microbiota and the development of inflammatory immune responses.”

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, Chairman of the Trust’s Board of Trustees, added “it is a privilege to welcome two such outstanding young researchers to the Kennedy Trust family. Sinisa and Elizabeth have demonstrated exceptional promise and we are delighted to support them at this exciting stage in their research careers.”

For more information about the Kennedy Trust’s Senior Research Fellowship Scheme, please click here.