Northumbria University has been selected along with Newcastle University as part of €2.7 million project aimed at improving quality of life for an ageing population.

The RISE-WELL project is a European-wide consortium with seven partners. It will train the next generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers in the area of ageing in relation to quality of life and longevity. Receiving the award, and being part of the consortium, further cements the North East of England as one of the leading world centres for research in this area.

RISE-WELL brings together the work of Dr Annette Pantall from the Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Dr Kianoush Nazarpour from the School of Engineering at Newcastle University and Professor Dilek Onkal and Dr Valerie Egdell from the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University. As the North East of England cohort, they have received funding for three PhD studentship programmes.

Dr. Pantall said: “We are delighted to be part of this study where we want to focus our work on the mobility changes of the ageing process.”

Professor Onkal emphasised the importance of the grant for Northumbria University in terms of the social impact the study will have, explaining: “This research will provide us with invaluable insights on supporting and enhancing mental well-being in later life”.

The study will be overseen by Dr Alan Chan, an alumnus of Newcastle University, but now based in Leiden, The Netherlands. Research will also bring in Professor Eline Slagboom from Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), who is head of Molecular Epidemiology within the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences at LUMC. She previously collaborated with the Newcastle group as part of the Leiden Longevity Study.

Other consortium members besides LUMC and the North East of England team are TECO Biosciences, Percuros B.V., Innoso B.V. and the Technical University of Zvolen. The coordination is through LUMC and headed up by Professor Mark van Buchem from the Department of Radiology of LUMC.

Funding for the project is from the H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (ITN) program.