Monday 25 July 2016

MHRA presentation on Medical Apps

The regulation of medical apps - a presentation from the MHRA.

Translational research increasingly leads to the production of apps, aimed either at patients or clinicians.

What are the regulatory considerations?

Speaker: Valerie Field, Interim Group Manager, Devices, MHRA
Venue: David Shaw Lecture Theatre, Medical School
Time: 12.30pm
Date: Tuesday 26 July

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Latest Papers

Heterozygous STAT1 gain-of-function mutations underlie an unexpectedly broad clinical phenotype: an international survey of 274 patients from 167 kindreds.  Julie Toubiana, MD1,2,3,4, Satoshi Okada, PhD5,6, Julia Hiller, MD7,8,*, Matias Oleastro, MD9,*, Macarena Lagos Gomez, MD10,*, Juan Carlos Aldave Becerra, MD11,*, Marie Ouaché-Chardin, MD12,*, Fanny Fouyssac, MD13,*, Katta Mohan Girisha, MD14,¥, Amos Etzioni, MD15,¥, Joris Van Montfrans, MD16,¥, Yildiz Camcioglu, MD17,¥, Leigh Ann Kerns, MD18,¥,, Bernd Belohradsky, MD19, ¥, Stéphane Blanche, MD2,4,¥, Aziz Bousfiha, MD20,¥, Carlos Rodriguez-Gallego, MD21,¥, Isabelle Meyts22,¥, Kai Kisand, MD23,¥, Janine Reichenbach, MD24,¥, Ellen D Renner, MD19,#, Sergio Rosenzweig, MD25,#, Bodo Grimbacher, MD26,# , Frank L van de Veerdonk, MD27,#, Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, M7,8,#, Capucine Picard, MD2,3,4,28,#, Laszlo Marodi, MD29,#, Tomohiro Morio, MD30,#, Masao Kobayashi, MD6,#, Desa Lilic, MD31,#,  Joshua D Milner, MD32,#, Steven Holland, MD25,#, Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD2,3,5,33,@ and Anne Puel, PhD2,3,5,34,@ , on behalf of the International STAT1-GOF study group† European Journal of Immunology

Reduced TCR-dependent activation through citrullination of a T-cell epitope enhances Th17 development by disruption of the STAT3/5  balance.  Christopher Tibbitt, Jane Falconer, Jeroen Stoop, Willem van Eden, John H.Robinson and Catharien M.U. Hilkens European Journal of Immunology

Drug breakthrough offers hope to arthritis sufferers: qualitative analysis of medical research in UK newspapers.  Hanson, H., O'Brien, N., Whybrow, P., Isaacs, J.D. and Rapley, T. Health Expectations. (2016), doi: 10.1111/hex.12460

Trends in paediatric rheumatology referral times and disease activity indices over a ten-year period among children and young people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: results from the childhood arthritis prospective Study.  Flora McErlane, Helen E. Foster, Roberto Carrasco, Eileen M. Baildam, S.E. Alice Chieng, Joyce E. Davidson, Yiannis Ioannou, Lucy R. Wedderburn, Wendy Thomson and Kimme L. Hyrich.  Rheumatology (2106) 55:1223-1234.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

MRG Lab Meeting - 22.7.16

The MRG Lab Meeting will be taking place on Friday 22nd July 2016 at 9.00am in the Baddiley Clark Seminar Room.
Sarah Rice (Research Associate - Supervisors - John Loughlin and Louise Reynard)
Joe Willet (Research Associate - Supervisor - Sophie Hambleton) Title of Talk "Investigating the molecular mechanisms of a novel form of Omenn’s syndrome"
Dimitra Tsompani (PhD Student - Supervisors - David Young and Drew Rowan) Title of Talk "The Role of Histone Deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) in Chondrogeneisis and in Osteoarthritis"
Matt Wood (PhD Student - Supervisor – Cat Hilkens) "Do synovial dendritic cells contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?"

Friday 15 July 2016


And in other news...

Dipika Asher has just completed her second year at Newcastle. Started MRG on         13th June 2016 and finished on 24th June 2016.  Dipika was shadowing Sarah Rice and under the supervision of John Loughlin.

Eleanor Wheeler has just completed her first year at Sheffield.  Started MRG on 20th June 2016 and will be finishing on 5th August 2016.  Eleanor is working with Maria Tselepi and under the supervision of John Loughlin.


Good luck Belinda!

Belinda Njumo has completed her 2 month period in MRG as a part-time volunteer Researcher under the supervision of Drew Rowan.  Belinda will be starting her PhD in October 2016 so we wish her well for the future.

Latest Grants

Dennis Lendrem was awarded a BBSRC Strategic Training Award to develop a Virtual Experimentation Simulation Program for Biological and Biotechnological Researchers with Tom Howard (Biological Sciences) and Matt Linsley (Maths&Stats).

David Young has been awarded a Programme grant from The Dunhill Medical Trust - MicroRNAs are key mediators of cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis: in vivo, in vitro and in silico studies - 5 years - £998,965.
Investigators: David Young, Daryl Shanley, Ian Clark (UEA) and Tamas Dalmay (UEA)               

Congratulations to Helen and Desa

Helen Hanson (Senior Research Nurse for John Isaacs) has just won the annual NUTH Nursing and Midwifery prize for Research and Audit.

Dr Desa Lilic has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Immunology.


A warm welcome to our new starters:

Alvin Lakmudin - MRes Student (Supervisor David Young) Start Date 16.2.16

Edith Sorrano - Post Doc (Supervisor John Isaacs) Start Date 9.5.16.  

Sindhu Gunasekaran - MRes Student (Supervisor David Young) Start Date 9.5.16

Friday 8 July 2016

Paediatric Musculoskeletal Matters Video

Check out the latest animation from Helen Foster and the Paediatric Musculoskeletal Matters Team! 

Share with your friends!
Find out how experts at Newcastle University, UK, are helping clinicians around the world to diagnose arthritis in children and raising awareness of musculos...


Tuesday 5 July 2016

Dr Mary Brennan, MD

I am delighted to let you know that Dr Mary Brennan (Cruikshank) passed her MD viva today and defended her thesis with no corrections to be made.  I am sure you will join me in saying many congratulations to Mary.  I would also like to thank all of you who have supported Mary during her ARUK Fellowship and her time in Newcastle. She is now a consultant paediatric rheumatologist in Edinburgh.

Message from Professor Helen Foster

Rheumatology Research Nurse Wins Awards

Helen Hanson, a Senior Research Nurse at the Freeman Hospital's Rheumatology Department, has won two awards and was finalist for another, in recognition of her concerted efforts to increase staff and patient awareness, involvement and recruitment into research studies.

The 13th Bright Ideas in Health Awards, held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, acknowledges the recent ideas and innovations developed by our region's frontline NHS staff to help make the NHS better. Helen was a finalist in the 'Quality Improvement Impact' category.

Helen went on to win the both the Trust Nursing and Midwifery Research and Audit Prize and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East North Cumbria - Research Practitioner of the Year. The NIHR prize recognises those involved in research delivery, who have been innovative in the way they work to deliver NIHR Portfolio studies. Both prizes acknowledge the high quality, qualitative research she has produced, exploring the experiences of both patients and staff when patients decide whether or not to participate in research.

Helen explains: "The research was initiated to understand what taking part in research is like for patients and staff. The project is funded by Arthritis Research UK and we are using the results in an ongoing study introducing changes in practice to engage more staff and patients in research. Ultimately, we hope this will raise patient and staff awareness of research, enable more patients to participate in studies and increase our capacity to conduct high quality research."

Most trials of methods to increase research recruitment have focussed on a single intervention aimed at patients, such as giving trial information as a DVD instead of on paper. The majority of these trials have proved unsuccessful. Based on this literature and on the findings from her qualitative research, Helen has designed a package of interventions aimed at the whole clinical team, including medical staff, nurses, allied health professionals, health care assistants, clerical and admin staff. This package includes the popular series of education sessions called "HEAR about Research" - 30 minute events where researchers share their work and findings in layman terms.

Helen continues: "These sessions have been really well received and we will be measuring the impact of all of our interventions via a large survey as well as focus groups and interviews."

Helen's NIHR Research Practitioner Award also recognised her founding and facilitation of a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group called PIMS (Public Involvement in Musculoskeletal Services). The form she developed to record the group's input into each research project has been adopted by other PPI groups across Newcastle Trust. The group works with staff to improve the quality and responsiveness of current services, as well helping to shape future research projects.