Tuesday 25 February 2014

Tolerance and Inflammation



Institute Research Seminar


Guest speakers: Professor Andrew Mellor & Dr Lei Huang

[Leader, Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance Programme, GRU Cancer Center
Bradley-Turner & GRA Eminent Scholar in Molecular Immunogenetics, Georgia, USA


Venue: Dental lecture theatre E, ground floor, Dental School

Date and time:  Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 4.00pm


Professor Mellor and Dr Huang will discuss:


"Pivotal pathways controlling the balance between tolerance and immunity

at sites of inflammation".


Tissue inflammation increases the risk of autoimmunity by breaking tolerance. Paradoxically, inflammation associated with tumours and some infections promotes tolerance. Dr Andrew Mellor and Lei Huang will describe their current research to evaluate host responses to DNA nanoparticles and murine leukemia virus as models to elucidate pivotal pathways that promote tolerance at sites of inflammation.


Key words:  Tolerance, inflammation   



Professor Mellor holds the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Chair in Immunogenetics in the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. He earned his BA and MA at the University of Cambridge, completing the latter in 1978. He was awarded his PhD by the University of London in 1979. He did post-doctoral work at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, followed by study with Dr. R.A. Flavell at the Biogen Research Corp. in Boston.




Professor Mellor and Dr Huang will be visiting ICM from 24 - 28 February 2014

Please contact Jenna Ho on ext 6227 or by email at jenna.ho@ncl.ac.uk if you would like

a meeting to be arranged.


*   Refreshments will be available in the Dental Bites café after the meeting   *


Chair:  Professor S Yeaman





Wednesday 19 February 2014

REMINDER - MRG Lab Meeting

This is just to remind you that the MRG Lab Meeting will take place on Friday 21st February 2014 at 9.00am in the Baddiley Clark Lecture Theatre.




Simon Partridge - PhD Student (PI - Mark Birch)




Dennis Lendrem - (Project Manager for John Isaacs) Title of Talk "Torching the Haystack: Modelling Drug Development"


Kenny Rankin - Title of Talk "Evaluation of MT1-MMP as a novel biomarker in osteosarcoma"


Heather Bromby - PhD Student (PI - David Young) Title of Talk "Analysis of Post-translational Modifications of Ubiquitin-specific Protease 4 (USP4)"






Tuesday 18 February 2014

COPD and Menorrhagia Double Billing




Institute Research Student Seminars

Speakers:  Jodie Birch, PhD student (Transplantation)

and Sourima Shivhare, PhD student (Reproductive & Vascular Biology)


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

Date and time:  Wednesday 19 February at 1.00pm


Jodie Birch will present:


“Ageing Airways: Contributions to COPD?”


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive respiratory condition caused by cigarette smoking. Accelerated lung ageing and cellular senescence are believed to contribute to COPD pathogenesis. Airway epithelial cells (AECs) line the airways of the lung and likely encounter numerous senescence-inducing insults. We have investigated the expression of a number of senescence-associated markers in the small and large AECs of patients with COPD and also evaluated telomere length and the presence of DNA damage foci at telomeres.


Key words:  COPD, airways, senescence, telomeres




Sourima Shivhare will speak on:


“Menstrual cycle distribution of uterine natural killer cells is altered in Menorrhagia”.


Menorrhagia affects 30% of women, is the reason for >50% hysterectomies and significantly interferes with quality of life. Altered endometrial vascular maturation is seen in menorrhagia and recurrent miscarriage, the latter with increased uterine natural killer (uNK) cells. This study compared endometrial leukocyte populations in controls and women with menorrhagia.


Keywords: Menorrhagia, uNKs, leukocyte



Chair:  Helen Lawrence, PhD student (Reproductive & Vascular Biology)










Tuesday 11 February 2014

ICM students' seminar, Wednesday 12 February 2014, 1.00pm, Room L2.2, 2nd floor, Leech Bldg, Medical School




Institute Research Student Seminars


Speakers:  Sadaf Atarod, PhD student (Haematology)

and Salah Abohelaika, PhD student (Pharmacology & Toxicology)


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

Date and time:  Wednesday 12 February 2014 at 1.00pm


Sadaf Atarod will present:


“MicroRNAs in Graft-Versus-Host Disease”.


Identifying and investigating the role of microRNAs in graft-versus-host disease

at the molecular level.


Key words:  microRNA, graft-versus-host disease and allogeneic transplantation


Salah Abohelaika will speak on:


“The impact of dietary vitamin K on the pharmacological activity of FXa inhibitor rivaroxaban

in man”.


The impact of dietary vitamin K on anticoagulation response to warfarin is well established. However, the impact of diet on the pharmacological activity of newer oral anticoagulants is unknown. The impact of dietary vitamin K was evaluated in a group of healthy volunteers with adequate diet and a group of elderly medically stable patients with perceived poor diet. Clotting times and clotting protein activity was measured for each individual over a range of rivaroxaban concentrations ex-vivo. Dietary vitamin K status was established through the use of a validated dietary questionnaire.


Keywords:  Novel oral anticoagulants, Rivaroxaban, Vitamin K, Diet, Anticoagulation



Chair:  Laura Corbett, PhD student (Liver)








Thursday 6 February 2014

TODAY: Prof. Sara Rankin "Pharmacological strategies to mobilize stem cells from bone marrow'

TODAY at 5pm (refreshments available from 4.30pmin room 2.21 of the Research Beehive, Newcastle University 


Prof. Sara Rankin  (Imperial College, London) will be speaking on:


"Pharmacological strategies to mobilize stem cells from bone marrow."



Wednesday 5 February 2014

Social Media, Game Mechanics and Behavioural Economics

Institute Research Seminar


Guest speaker: Dr Adam Wootton

[CEO, Zumfun, New York, Greater New York city area, USA] 


Venue: Baddiley-Clarke seminar room, IH&S

Date and time:  Monday 10 February 2014 at 12noon


Dr Wootton will talk about:


"Social Media, Game Mechanics and Behavioural Economics - untapped tools in health?"

Why doesn't anyone read my emails? Why social media, game mechanics and behavioural economics have made attention transient and long talk titles remain unread

(and why this talk needs two titles!).





Speaker Bio: Dr Adam Wootton is the founder of ZumFun, a New York based start-up business building educational apps and games for children.  He completed a BSc and a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sydney followed by a Masters in Quantitative Finance from the University of London.  Prior to launching his start-up business, he was the Director of Social Media and Games at Towers Watson, a global consultancy based in New York.






Chair:  Professor Michael Trenell

CD4+ T cell Gene Expression; LINCs around SOX9; OA susceptibility and 12q23 within CHST11

The MRG Lab Meeting will take place in the Seminar Room of the Baddiley Clark Building on Friday 7th February 2014 at 9.00 am.
Marzena Ciechomska (Post Doc – PI Jaap van Laar)
Arthur Pratt (Intermediate Clinical Fellow) Title of Talk - "Does CD4+ T cell Gene Expression Predict Methotrexate Efficacy in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis".
Matt Barter (Post Doc – PI David Young) Title of Talk - "Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (LINCs) around the SOX9 locus in chondrocyte biology".
Louise Reynard (Research Fellow - PI John Loughlin) - "Functional analysis of the osteoarthritis susceptibility residing at chromosome 12q23 within CHST11".

Tuesday 4 February 2014

ICM students' seminar, Wednesday 5 February 2014, 1.00pm, Room L2.5, 2nd floor, Leech Bldg, Medical School



Institute Research Student Seminars

Speakers:  Dr Amy Anderson, Research Associate (Musculoskeletal), Alison Heggie, PhD student (Diabetes) and Emily Mavin, PhD student (Haematology)


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

Date and time:  Wednesday 5 February 2014 at 1.00pm


Dr Amy Anderson will present:


“A Diagnostic Gene Signature for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis”.


We have recently identified a transcriptional signature in circulating CD4+ T-cells which predicted rheumatoid arthritis progression amongst patients attending an early arthritis clinic. The signature contained an over-representation of Stat3 regulated genes, whose expression in turn correlated with serum IL-6. The aim of this project was to investigate Stat3 signalling amongst immune cell subsets of an independent early arthritis patient cohort.


Key words: CD4+ T cells, rheumatoid arthritis, Stat3, IL-6


Alison Heggie will discuss:


“DIRECT T2DM Progression: Identifying biomarkers of glycaemic deterioration and loss of beta-cell function in newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes".


Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly prevalent disease, with variable rates of deterioration in beta cell function and glycaemic control over time.  At present we do not have any method of predicting how quickly individual patients will progress, and national protocols are used to guide treatment.  This European multicentre trial is the major part of my PhD, and aims to identify biomarkers for predicting rates of glycaemic deterioration, with the eventual aim of better stratification of treatment.


Key words: Type 2 diabetes, beta cell dysfunction, patient stratification


Emily Mavin will speak on:


"Regulatory T cells in Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation”


Regulatory T cells (Treg) are known to prevent GVHD in experimental models of HSCT, and clinical trials using Treg have shown promising results. This work demonstrates one possible mechanism of Treg action is modulation of moDC function, resulting in a less severe GVH response in our unique in vitro model of GVHD.


Keywords:  Treg, moDC, GvHD


Chair:  Rachel Williams, PhD student (Oral & Dental Sciences)