Monday 30 November 2015

Newcastle identified as a Centre of Excellence by EULAR 2015-2020

We are pleased to announce that once again Newcastle has been identified as a Centre of Excellence by the European League Against Rheumatism.

EULAR | Centres of excellence
Centres of Excellence in Rheumatology. EULAR collates a register of the top research centres in European rheumatology with a three-fold goal: to develop a group of ...

New Publication

MRG researchers first to describe a new mechanism as to how, in osteoarthritis, DNA polymorphisms associated with the disease could be functioning - by altering your epigenome.

Methylation quantitative trait locus analysis of osteoarthritis links epigenetics with genetic risk.
Rushton MD et al., Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Oct 13. pii: ddv433. [Epub ahead of print]

New Publication

Members of MRG involved in the identification of new microRNAs important in osteoarthritic cartilage:

Detecting new microRNAs in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes identifies miR-3085 as a human, chondrocyte-selective, microRNA. Crowe et al., Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Oct 20. pii: S1063-4584(15)01351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.10.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Fw: ICM Research Seminar Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 13.00pm Dental Lecture Theatre F


ICM Research Seminar


Speakers:  Hannah Sinclair, PhD Student (Prof J Newton, Dr V Kunadian)

Kat Cheung, PhD Student (Prof D Young, Dr M Barter, Dr C Proctor)

Dr David Hill, NC3Rs Fellow


Venue: Dental Lecture Theatre F, Dental School

Date and Time:  Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 13.00 pm – 14.00 pm


Hannah Sinclair will discuss:

"Shedding Light (And Sound) On the Pattern of Coronary Artery Disease in Older Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome"


Kat Cheung will discuss:

“ChIP-seq analysis of histone modifications in chondrogenesis”


Dr David Hill will discuss:

“Role of the 3Rs in Cancer Research.”


Chair:  Marco Silipo



Wednesday 18 November 2015

Congratulations Ramsay

Ramsay Refaie has received a 1 year fellowship from ARUK which will allow him to continue his work on biomarkers for joint replacement infection and upgrade his project from an MD to a PhD.

Welcome to the 'New' Starters

Oliver Etherington (Research Technician – Supervisors John Isaacs and Amy Anderson) Start Date 10.8.15

Ayotomide Isinkaye (Clinical Research Fellow – Supervisor Fai Ng) will be working with us until March 2016

Silvia Lecci (PhD Student – Supervisors David Young and Drew Rowan) Start Date 28.9.15

Sarah Rice (Research Associate – Supervisors John Loughlin and Louise Reynard) Start Date 5.10.15

Dongxing Zhu (Research Associate – Supervisors John Loughlin and Louise Reynard) Start Date 5.10.15

Ramsay Refaie (Clinical Research Fellow – Supervisor Cat Hilkens) Start Date 20.10.15

Rachel Banks will be joining MRG as our ICM Lab Technician on the 30th November 2015

Also a big hello to Clinical Research Fellow Nadia Howard-Tripp working with Fai on Sjogren's Syndrome and to Research Nurse Helen Hanson who is working with John Isaacs on extending engagement in research as part of the Newcastle Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre.

Congratulations to Shane and Sandy

Congratulations to Shane Walsh (Supervisors – Kenny Dalgarno and Mark Birch) who had a successful VIVA on Friday 7th August 2015.

Congratulations to Sandy Tse (Supervisor – Drew Rowan) who had a successful MPhil VIVA on Friday 11th September 2015.

Further Publications

Why is it hard to terminate failing projects in pharmaceutical R&D?  Peck RW, Lendrem DW, Grant I, Lendrem BC, Isaacs JD.  Nat Rev Drug Discov, 2015 14, 1-2.

Gain-of-function STAT1 mutations impair STAT3 activity in patients with Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis (CMC).  Zheng J, Veerdonk FL, Crossland KL, Smeekens SP, Chan CM, Shehri TA, Abinun M, Gennery AR, Mann J, Lendrem DW, Netea MG, Rowan AD, Lilic D.  Eur J Immunol. 2015 Aug 10. doi: 10.1002/eji.201445344. [Epub ahead of print]

A concept mapping study evaluating the UK’s first NHS generic fatigue clinic.  Katie L Hackett, Rebecca L Lambson, Victoria Strassheim, Zoe Gotts, Vincent Deary and Julia L Newton.  Health Expectations.  August 2015. doi: 10.1111/hex.12405.

Lost in Space: Design of Experiments and Scientific Exploration in a Hogarth Universe. 2015 Lendrem DW, Lendrem BC, Woods D, Rowland-Jones R, Burke M, Chatfield M, Isaacs JD, Owen MR. Drug Discov Today.  Drug Discovery Today, 20 (11), 1365–1371

Hurdles in therapy with regulatory T cells.  Piotr Trzonkowski, Rosa Bacchetta, Manuela Battaglia, David Berglund, Nathalie Cools, Edward K. Geissler, Silvia Gregori, S. Marieke van Ham, Catharien Hilkens, James A. Hutchinson, Giovanna Lombardi, J. Alejandro Madrigal, Natalia Marek-Trzonkowska, Eva M. Martinez-Caceres, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Silvia Sanchez-Ramon, Aurore Saudemont and Birgit Sawitzki.  Science Translational Medicine.  9th September 2015.  Vol 7, Issue 304, pp 304-318

Teaching Examples for the Design of Experiments: Geographical Sensitivity and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 2015 Lendrem DW, Lendrem BC, Rowland-Jones R, D'Agostino F, Linsley M, Owen MR, Isaacs JD.  Pharm Stats. In press.  November, 2015 DOI: 10.1002/pst.1723

What do they need to know: achieving consensus on paediatric musculoskeletal content for medical students?  Sharmila Jandial, Jane Stewart and Helen E Foster.  BMC Medical Education (2015) 15:171.  DOI 10.1186/s12909-015-0449-4

Tribbles and arthritis: what are the links? Rowan AD, Litherland GJ.   Biochem Soc Trans 2015:43(5);1051-6

Friday 6 November 2015

Another Eclectic Mix: Hepatocytes, scaffolding studies and bile acid receptor signalling.

ICM Research Seminar

Speakers:  Alistair Leitch, PhD Student (Prof M Wright)
Hannah Swinburne, PhD Student (Prof C McNeil, Dr N Keegan, Dr C Johnson)
Rachel Etherington, PhD Student (Prof J Kirby)
Venue: Dental Lecture Theatre F, Dental School
Date and Time:  Wednesday 11th November  2015 13.00 pm – 14.00 pm
Alistair Leitch will discuss:
"B-13 Progenitor-Derived Hepatocytes (B-13/H cells) Model Lipid Dysregulation in Response to Drugs and Chemicals"
Hannah Swinburne will discuss:
"Aequorin as a scaffold for peptide aptamers."
Rachel Etherington will discuss:
"Modulation of the immune response in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis by bile acid receptor signalling."
Chair: Dr Timothy Hardy

Tuesday 3 November 2015

PAR2 Receptors, Biosensors and Doing Daily Life


ICM Research Seminar
Speakers:  Adrian Falconer, PhD Student (Prof Drew Rowan)
Dr Carl Dale, Research Associate,
Lizzie Dutton PhD Student (Prof Michael Trenell/Dr Katie Brittan)
Venue: Dental Lecture Theatre F, Dental School
Date and Time:  Wednesday 4Th November 2015 13.00 pm – 14.00 pm
Adrian Falconer will discuss:
"Investigating the activation and disarming of Protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2)"
Carl Dale will discuss:
"The Development of Point-of-Care Biosensors"
Lizzie Dutton will discuss:
"This is marvellous!" 
Experiences of using a diary-interview method to explore daily-routines with people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment.
Chair: Nishanthi Thalayasingam,

Monday 2 November 2015

Cresta Fatigue Clinic in the Mail on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday features the Cresta Clinic to combat long-term fatigue via


Read more from Katie Hackett and colleagues at the Cresta Clinic.