Tuesday 11 December 2018

Dr Arthur Pratt - Wednesday 12th December - Dental Lecture Theatre D - 1-2pm



PI Seminar Series



Dr Arthur Pratt - Intermediate Clinical Fellow/Hon Consult


Dental Lecture Theatre D


Wednesday 12th December 2018


13:00 – 14:00


Dr Arthur Pratt will present:


"Molecular Profiling of Lymphocytes in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Pathobiology to Patient Benefit?"


Rheumatoid arthritis is a heterogeneous disease of immune dysregulation in which lymphocytes play an orchestrating role. It remains difficult to diagnose and, despite a proliferation of available treatments, highly variable in outcome. This reflects an incomplete understanding of pathogenesis and a paucity of clinically useful stratification tools. The Newcastle Early Arthritis Clinic facilitates observational research aiming to address these challenges, whilst optimising service delivery for patients. An overview of our work will be presented, including recent efforts to understand mechanisms of genetic risk and thereby prioritise candidate causal genes for further study.


Chair: Dr Catharien Hilkens



Monday 19 November 2018

Periprosthetic Joint Infection and Flow Cytometric Immunophenotyping of Salivary Glands in Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome



ICM Research in Progress Seminar

Monday 19th November


Lucy Walker

(Prof. C Harwood, Prof. D Deehan)

The use of Alpha defensin lateral flow test in revision surgery for Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can be a devastating complication of arthroplasty surgery. There is currently no test which confirms the presence or eradication of PJI with 100% reliability. An in-theatre lateral flow test using the biomarker alpha defensin was developed for diagnosing PJI and initial results were encouraging. We conducted a prospective observational study to assess the utility of the alpha defensin lateral flow (ADLF) test in diagnosing PJI and confirming eradication after surgical debridement. We found that the ADLF test had a high specificity and PPV for confirming eradication of infection but had poor diagnostic accuracy for PJI when used on intra-operative samples.


Julia Concetti

(Prof. D Mann, Dr. C Wilson, Prof. J Mann)

Discovering the tumour-suppressor function of the p50 subunit of NF-κB

Global p50 knock-out mice develop more liver tumours and exhibit increased inflammation. Here, we aim to elucidate the role of p50 in hepatocytes specifically, by using a similar liver cancer model in p50 hepatocyte knock- out mice.


Dr Paul Milne

(Prof. M Collin)

Flow Cytometric Immunophenotyping of Salivary Glands in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome

Primary Sjögren's Syndrome (PSS) is a common autoimmune disease of unknown aetiology.  It is characterised by inflammatory infiltration of exocrine glands, development of a sicca syndrome and a 20-fold increase in the risk of developing lymphoma.  Standard pathological evaluation is based on a lymphocyte 'focus score' but little is known about the composition of the lymphoid infiltrate or its relationship to disease markers such as autoantibodies and the risk of lymphoma. The aim of the study was to use flow cytometry to characterise the lymphoid infiltrate in more detail.


Chair: Prateek Saxena Dental Lecture Theatre D 1pm - 2pm



Wednesday 7 November 2018

Prof Katja Simon - Wednesday 7th November - Ridley 2 - 1.65 - 1 to 2pm



PI Seminar Series



Prof Katja Simon – The Kennedy Institute, University of Oxford


Ridley 2 – 1.65


Wednesday 7th November 2018


13:00 – 14:00


Prof Katja Simon will present:


"Autophagy in the immune system"


Autophagy is a conserved major cellular degradation process that delivers unwanted bulk cytoplasmic material to the lysosome. It takes place in every cell at all times at basic level, however, it can be induced to recycle material when nutrients are scarce. In addition unwanted organelles and macromolecules are turned over via autophagy once they have been labeled for degradation.

Our in vivo work has demonstrated that under physiological conditions autophagy determines cell fate: it prevents cell death and cellular ageing, and maintains the life span of long-lived cells in particular.

Our recent results also show that autophagy is key to normal differentiation of hematopoietic cells.

Cellular differentiation requires remodeling of the cytoplasm and change of metabolism. Autophagy's contribution to this process is the maintenance of mitochondrial quality and generation of ATP via fatty acid oxidation. We have also recently uncovered a novel pathway signaling for autophagy that relies on translation and is key to rejuvenation of the aging immune system. I will summarise our data on autophagy's impact on the immune system, with a particular emphasis on differentiation, maintenance and aging in mouse and human.


Chair: Prof Muzlifah Haniffa




Friday 19 October 2018

Monday 22nd October

Becky Zhu
(Prof. M Birch-Machin, Dr. K Anderson, Prof. M Catt, Prof. M Trenell)
The impact of sleep on metabolic health.
Sleep deprivation is very common in modern society and has been identified as a major modifiable risk factor for many metabolic diseases. Using data from the UK Biobank, a cross-sectional analysis was carried out to investigate the association between objective sleep duration and metabolic health.
Chair: Duaa Altuwairki Dental Lecture Theatre D 1pm - 2pm

Thursday 2 August 2018

RA-MAP joins IMID-Bio

As many will know the RA-MAP consortium has joined forces with other consortia to better understand immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

The IMID-BIO project brings together a number of consortia from across the UK.

This is the future of open collaborative research in science.

We are excited about this!

You can read the latest IMID-BIO newsletter here:

And follow them on twitter @imidbio

Thursday 8 February 2018

Ken Baker - Thursday 1st March - 12.15pm - MED.L2.6

This should be interesting 😊





VIVA Seminar


Speaker: Ken Baker

Supervisors: Prof John Isaacs, Dr Arthur Pratt, Dr Ben Thompson


Predictors of Drug-Free Remission in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Background  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease characterised by joint inflammation and systemic manifestations. Remission is achievable with disease- modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) prescribed in modern treat-to-target strategies, albeit with potential side effects, and inconvenient and expensive safety monitoring. Half of patients can maintain remission following DMARD cessation, though this cannot be reliably predicted. Clinicians and patients thus face a dilemma – when is it appropriate to stop DMARDs in RA remission?

Method Patients with established RA satisfying clinical and ultrasound remission criteria discontinued all DMARDs and were monitored for six months. The primary outcome was time-to-flare, defined as DAS28-CRP (disease activity score in 28 joints with C-reactive protein) ≥ 2.4. Baseline clinical and ultrasound measures, circulating cytokines, and peripheral CD4+ T cell gene expression were assessed for their ability to predict time-to- flare and flare/remission status by Cox regression and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

Results 23/44 (52%) eligible patients experienced an arthritis flare at a median (IQR) of 48 (31.5 – 86.5) days following DMARD cessation. A composite score incorporating five baseline variables (three genes, one cytokine and one clinical) differentiated future flare and drug- free remission with an area under the ROC curve of 0.96 (95% CI 0.92-1.00), sensitivity of

0.91 (0.78 – 1.00) and specificity of 0.95 (0.84 – 1.00). Longitudinal analysis identified increased concentrations of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, and upregulation of a

proliferative gene set by CD4+ T cells at the onset of flare.

Conclusions This study provides proof-of-concept evidence for the existence of biomarkers of drug-free remission in RA, and offers insights to the pathophysiology of arthritis flare. If validated, these biomarkers may help guide DMARD withdrawal, with consequent minimisation of medication side effects and healthcare costs.


Thursday 1st March, 12.15pm

Room L2.6, 2nd Floor William Leech Building

Monday 29 January 2018

ICM Research Seminar - Wednesday 31st January - Dental Lecture Theatre F - 1pm

This could be interesting... 





ICM Research Seminar

Wednesday 31st January


Khalil Elgendy

(Prof John Mathers, Dr Fiona Malcomson)

DNA methylation as a biomarker of colorectal cancer risk: evaluation of surrogate tissues

This research project aims to investigate the relationship between DNA methylation in different tissues (longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches) in context of colorectal cancer (CRC) risk which may have an impact on development of more informative biomarkers for assessment of CRC risk and potential use as surrogate outcomes in studies of CRC prevention.


Dr Peter Vegh

(Prof Muzlifah Haniffa)

Application of single-cell RNA analysis in immunology

Modern sequencing technologies allow us to individually measure the transcriptomes of thousands of cells from the same sample. As the transcriptome is a good reflection of cell type and function, we employ this approach to examine the composition of human tissues, with a particular focus on the immune system. This presentation describes the workflow and illustrates its use in our study of healthy human skin. Our aim is to map and catalogue cell heterogeneity, an important step to understanding the immune system.


Chair: Carl Dale

Dental Lecture Theatre F, Medical School 1pm - 2pm




Monday 15 January 2018

Mass spectrometry and proteomics: All you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Matthias Trost, the new Professor of Proteomics, would like to invite all institute PGR students, post-docs and PIs to attend a lecture series on the basics in mass spectrometry and proteomics that he is presenting as part of the Faculty's PGR Development Programme



The lectures cover what Matthias considers the absolute basics in mass spec and proteomics, including the newest methods developed in the last years. The aim would be that this basic knowledge will help you designing better experiments and understand possibilities as well as limitations of proteomics.


PGR students should register attendance in the usual manner (https://workshops.ncl.ac.uk/) so that the session appears in your eportfolio. Post-docs and PIs do not need to register.


Mon Jan 22nd 2018, 15:00               (Mass spec basics 1 – basic of mass measurement, ionisation techniques) Dental Lecture Theatre E

Mon Jan 29th 2018, 15:00                (Mass spec basics 2 – mass analysers, detectors, tandem mass spectrometry) RB Green Lecture Theatre, Dental School

Mon Feb 5th  2018, 15:00                (Mass spec basics 3 – fragmentation techniques, hybrid instruments) Dental Lecture Theatre E

Mon Feb 12th 2018, 15:00               (Proteomics basics 1 – what is proteomics?, sample preparation, experimental design) Dental Lecture Theatre F

Mon Feb 19th 2018, 15:00               (Proteomics basics 2 – search engines, databases, FDR, data analysis, data visualisation, quantification techniques) Dental Lecture Theatre C

Mon Feb 26th 2018, 15:00               (Proteomics basics 3 – fractionation techniques, phosphorylation and other PTMs) Dental Lecture Theatre E


Immunology North East Meeting

We are very excited to announce our first seminar of 2018 which will be on Thursday the 18th January at 4pm in the Research Beehive room 2.22 at Newcastle University. Tea and coffee will be provided from 3:30pm.


We are delighted to welcome:


Professor Adrian Hayday PhD FRS, F MedSci

Glendinning Professor of Immunobiology, King's College London & co-Lead, Clinical Academic Grouping, Genetics Rheumatology Infection Immunology & Dermatology King's Health Partners & Senior Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute, London


Talk title:

In search of natural tissue-immunosurveillance: the roles of epithelial butyrophilins




Adrian Hayday trained as a biochemist, did his PhD studies in tumour virology, and pursued post-doctoral training at MIT where he characterised chromosome translocation breakpoints in human B cell lymphomas, and helped identify gamma delta (gd) T cells by being the first to describe gd TCR genes. On the Faculty at Yale University, he helped show that gd T cells occupy a distinct niche in lymphocyte biology, including disproportionate association with tissues rather than with lymphoid organs, and rapid responses to tissue-'stress'. At a time when tumour immune surveillance was not widely accepted, his lab showed that mice lacking gd T cells are more susceptible to carcinogens. His group returned to London in 1998 to establish the Peter Gorer Dept of Immunobiology at King's College London, then joined the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) as a joint appointee in 2009. In recent years, his group has developed a strong programme in human immunology, including clinical trials applying gd T cells in immunotherapy. Amongst many honours, in 1997 he became the first biologist to win the William Clyde DeVane Medal, Yale College's prestigious prize for scholarship, and he was awarded a FRS in 2016.





Recent publications: