Friday 20 December 2013


Congratulations to Katherine "Katie" Crossland on steering her way successfully through her PhD viva.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Prof Ian Pavord Christmas Lecture, Freeman Hospital, 18th December 2013

Respiratory Academic Meeting Christmas Lecture will be given tomorrow, Wednesday 18 December at 9.10am, by Ian Pavord, the new Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Oxford.

Ian is an international authority on eosinophilic inflammation, especially as it applies to asthma. While some of the content will be clinical, there will undoubtedly be data of significant relevance to anyone interested in inflammation.

The talk is at the lecture theatre in the Institute of Transplantation at Freeman Hospital, and will be preceded at 8.45 by a short talk from Carlos Echevarria, a local clinical research fellow and PhD student.

INE Talk, Functional Genomics and PTP, Andy Cope, KCL

"Functional genomic studies of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP)N22/lyp in mouse and man".

Andy Cope (Arthritis Research UK Chair of Rheumatology at King's College London)

INE speaker on the 8th of January,
2 pm at the Beehive, room 2.21.

Thursday 12 December 2013

More Publications from MRG this Month

Predictors of access to care in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus: evidence from the UK JSLE Cohort Study
Eve M. D. Smith; Helen E. Foster; William K. Gray; David Taylor-Robinson; Michael W. Beresford;
Rheumatology 2013; doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket402


pGALS – paediatric Gait Arms Legs and Spine: a simple examination of the musculoskeletal system

Foster, H.E.  and Jandial, S.

Pediatric Rheumatology 2013, 11:44


Improving the peer review process in orthopaedic journals

Sprowson, A.P., Rankin, K.S., McNamara, I., Costa, M.L. and Rangan, A.

Bone Joint Res 2013; 2:245-247


No evidence of an association between mitochondrial DNA variants and osteoarthritis in 7393 cases and 5122 controls.

Hudson, G., Panoutsopoulou, K., Wilson, I., Southam, L., Rayner, N.W., Arden, N., Birrell, F., Carluke, I., Carr, A., Chapman, K., Deloukas, P., Doherty, M., McCaskie, A., Ollier, W.E.R., Ralston, S.H., Reed, M.R., Spector, T.D., Valdes, A.M., Wallis, G.A., Wilkinson, J.M., Zeggini, E., Samuels, D.C., Loughlin, J., Chinnery, P.F., arcOGEN Consortium

Ann Rheum Dis,2013; 72:136-139/ doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201932


A computer simulation approach for assessing therapeutic intervention points to prevent cytokine-induced cartilage breakdown.

CJ Proctor, C Macdonald, JM Milner, AD Rowan, TE Cawston (doi 10.1002/art.38297)  Arthritis &  Rheumatism


Another Paper Accepted

Lendrem, D. W., & Lendrem, B. C. (2013).

The Development Speed Paradox: can increasing development speed reduce R&D productivity? Drug Discov Today. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2013.09.002


Congratulations: Madhushika Ratnayake

And congratulations to Madhushika “Madhu” Ratnayake on her PhD viva!


Welcome: New Starters This Month!

Katie Crossland has started as a 1yr JGWP postdoc post with Desa & Cat

David Wilkinson has started as a 1yr JGWP postdoc post with Drew         

Andrew Skelton has been appointed as the MRG Bioinformatician with David


Prof John Isaacs gives the Sir Michael Perrin Lecture at the RCP, London, 2013

On 18th November Professor John Isaacs was invited to give the Sir Michael Perrin Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians (London).  The title of his talk was: Biosimilars – what are they and are they safe?


Wednesday 11 December 2013

Newcastle-Manchester Research Day

Newcastle-Manchester Research Day, 12th December 2013

Jury’s Inn Newcastle, St James Gate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AD


Meeting Program

11:15 arrival of the Manchester group

12:00-13:00 lunch



13:00-13:15 Mike Briggs (Newcastle) – Welcome

13:15-13:55 Louise Kung (Manchester) – ER stress and OA

13:55-14:35 Mitra Forouhan (Manchester) – Role of ATF6 in pathobiology of MCDS

14:35-15:15 Lorna Mullan (Manchester) – Therapy avenues in MCDS

15:15-15:55 Peter Bell (Newcastle) –V156D matrilin-1 mouse model

15:55-16:15 coffee break


16:15-16:55 Sarah Edwards (Manchester) – Type VI collagen and ER stress

16:55-17:35 Kasia Pirog (Newcastle) – Xbp1 signalling in MED

17:35-18:00 Mike Briggs (Newcastle) – The role of ATF4 and ATF6 signalling in MED/future avenues

18:00-18:15 Mike Briggs/Ray Boot-Handford (Manchester) – Summary and closing remarks

19:00-20:00 drinks at Town Wall


20:00 dinner at The Forth Hotel, NE1 5DW


Christmas Tea Thu 12th Dec 10-11:30 Common Room 2nd Floor Leech





Friday 6 December 2013

INE Seminar: Dendritic Cells in Type 2 Inflammation

'Dendritic cells: central players in orchestration of Type 2 inflammation'.

Andrew MacDonald, University of Manchester
Thursday 12 December.
Research Beehive, INE talk at 5 pm

Andrew MacDonald completed his PhD studying immunity to helminth parasites at the University of Edinburgh in 1998. After several years in the U.S., first at Cornell University and then at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to the UK in 2002 to the University of Edinburgh where he established his lab through successive MRC Career Development and Senior Fellowships at the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research.  In January 2013 he took up the position of Professor of Immunology at the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR).  His research addresses some outstanding fundamental questions about activation and modulation of immunity by a specialized type of innate cell - dendritic cells. 

Thursday 5 December 2013

ICM Research Seminar, Friday 6 December 2013, 12noon



Institute Guest Seminar


Guest Speaker: Dr John Connolly

[Director, A-Star Programme in Translational Research on Infectious Disease]

[Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Proteos, Singapore]


Venue: Lecture theatre E, ground floor, Dental School

Date and time:  Friday 6 December 2013 at 12noon


Dr Connolly will discuss:


“Systems Based Approach to Monitoring Vaccine Responses.”


Following vaccination, cellular communication, trafficking and polarization contribute to the development of the complex adaptive immune phenomenon we call protection.  As with any complex behaviour, early perturbations in the innate immune response to vaccination lead to substantial differences in the development of adaptive immune memory.  The ability to simultaneously monitor changes in multiple functional parameters holds both greater discriminatory and instructive power when compared to monitoring a single event. We have established an integrated, systems-based approach for high throughput monitoring of cellular responses (B-cell and T-cell) before and after vaccination.  Preclinical analysis of a model pandemic influenza vaccine, demonstrates that the magnitude, quality and breadth of cellular responses are determined, in large part, by the nature of TLR and NLR signalling during vaccination.  In addition to highlighting the important role of innate immune recognition in vaccination, these studies underscore the power of this systems based approach in rational vaccine design.



Dr. Connolly is a Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB).  Additionally, Dr. Connolly serves as Program Director for the A*Star Program in Translational Research in Infectious Disease, a multi-disciplinary centre focused on vaccine development.  An Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University, he serves on the Board of Governors for the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School and studied human dendritic cell biology under Dr. Michael Fanger.  During this time he was involved in the development of immunotherapeutic preclinical models and clinical trials for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). He moved to the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, a fully translational research institute focused on rationally designed vaccines against cancer and infectious disease.  Dr. Connolly served as the Director of Research Initiatives for the Baylor Research Institute, leading a large integrated translational research resource and multi-institutional programs that involved a number of international sites.  During his tenure at Baylor, Dr. Connolly was the central core facility director of the NIAID Centres for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense, an NIH funded consortium of basic, translational research and clinical trials focused on vaccine design.  Dr. Connolly is the past President of the Board of Directors of The American Cancer Society in N. Texas


Key words:  translational immunology, systems immunology, vaccine development


Chair:  Professor John Isaacs








The Early Arthritis Clinic at the Freeman

Specialist nurse Lesley Tiffin, and consultants Alice Lorenzi and Ben Thompson.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

ICM Research Seminar, Wednesday 4 December 2013, 1.00pm


Institute Research Student Seminars

Speakers: PhD students Paul Milne (Haematology), Christopher Fox (Transplantation) and Emma Woodward (Dermatology)

Venue: Seminar room L2.5, 2nd floor, Leech Building, Medical School

Date and time:  Wednesday 4 December 2013 at 1.00pm


Paul Milne will present:


"Total Mononuclear Cell Profiling in Haematological Malignancies."


The development of multi-parameter flow cytometry protocols to completely define the mononuclear cellular components of haematological malignancies and immunodeficiencies.


Key words:  Leukaemia, Mononuclear Cells, Flow Cytometry


Christopher Fox will talk about:


"Screening of Cathepsin B and D expression in an apoptotic acute model of kidney IRI."


The project aims to investigate if the cathepsin B or D play a role in apoptosis during renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI). Following IRI the kidney undergoes 4 phases of regeneration, with apoptosis and necrosis as first stage.  In this study we screened the expression of cathepsins along different ischemic times in order to assess if cathepsins expression correlates with the rate of apoptosis in a mouse model of IRI.


Key words:  Kidney, Cathepsin, Apoptosis, Ischemia reperfusion injury


Emma Woodward will discuss:


"Investigating the pathogenesis of chloracne."


To understand the role of cathepsins and autophagy in regulating epidermal homeostasis

and toxicity following AhR activation by dioxin in skin.


Key words: Autophagy, Cathepsin D, Aryl hydrocarbon receptor


Chair:  Sadaf Atarod, PhD student (Haematology)








Monday 2 December 2013

RACE: Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence

On Friday, 29th November 2013, Newcastle hosted the opening Internal Science Meeting for the new Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence (RACE).

Professors Iain MacInnes, John Isaacs and Chris Buckley led the three teams from Glasgow, Newcastle and Birmingham in a discussion of the science and processes by which researchers would leverage the full benefits of the Centre.

In a lively meeting that bodes well for the future of the Centre the three teams identified key collaborations and PhD projects essential to the success of the Centre.

The next meeting is likely to be hosted by the team in Birmingham early in 2014..