A research team whose work "promises to revolutionise" understanding of conditions like arthritis, asthma and psoriasis has received a grant of almost £1.5 million.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) awarded the money to scientists at the University of Dundee to aid their research into inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The team, headed by leading scientist Professor Sir Philip Cohen, is already said to have made significant findings in relation to drug treatments for the conditions, and university bosses said the the grant will allow Sir Philip to develop the research over the next five years.
Sir Philip said his relatively recent decision to switch to this area of research was now starting to pay off, adding: "About six years ago I decided to change the field of my research to try and understand how the innate immune system not only defends the human body against infection by bacteria and viruses, but also how the deregulation of this system can lead to chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, colitis, lupus, psoriasis and sepsis."
"Getting to grips with the complex field of immunology, with which I was previously unfamiliar, has been a huge learning experience, and I am still learning.
"However, over the past few years my decision to enter this field has started to pay off and my team are now making interesting discoveries that promise to revolutionise our understanding of this area.
"In particular, we have discovered key mechanisms that prevent the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and which have identified attractive new targets for the development of drugs to treat these diseases."
Sir Philip, who was awarded the money by the MRC's infections and immunity board, is working alongside Dundee's drug discovery unit in the College of Life Sciences.
He said the council's long-term support has been key to allowing his research to develop, particularly into this new field.
In April, Sir Philip stood down as director of the MRC's protein phosphorylation unit at the University of Dundee to concentrate on his own research.