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Tammy Tong, Senior Fellow and Senior Nutritional Epidemiologist at Oxford Population Health, has been awarded a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship.

Dr Tong’s research programme, which will initially run for four years, will assess how dietary proteins and associated indicators, including circulating proteins found in the blood, may influence the development of common age-related diseases such as different subtypes of stroke, hip fractures and vascular dementia. Understanding the relationships between both dietary and blood proteins and these diseases may help to identify future prevention and treatment strategies.

Her previous research at Oxford Population Health has found that people on plant-based diets, who have lower intakes of some components of dietary protein, had lower risk of ischaemic heart disease but higher risks of haemorrhagic stroke and hip fractures compared to omnivores.

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships provides long-term support for talented people in universities, businesses, and other research and innovation environments. The aim of the scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business.

Dr Tong said ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide the support and resources to develop a programme of work that will contribute to identifying possible prevention strategies against some major diseases related to bone and vascular health in older ages, and to build exciting new collaborations while doing so.’

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI Chief Executive, said ‘UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with long-term support and training, giving them the freedom to explore adventurous new ideas, and to build dynamic careers that break down the boundaries between sectors and disciplines. The fellows announced today illustrate how this scheme empowers talented researchers and innovators to build the diverse and connected research and innovation system we need to shorten the distance between discovery and prosperity across the UK.’

Dr Tong is the only researcher from the University of Oxford to be awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in Round 7 of this scheme. Her Fellowship will commence in February 2024.