Friday, 18 December 2015

Double success for Regenerative Medicine partners

Two members of the Research Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine have received new grants through Keele’s partnership in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine.

Dr Yvonne Reinwald (Left) & Dr Ying Yang (Right)
Dr Ying Yang has been awarded £29,999 fund for her project on Development of a novel assay to predict stemness potency and osteogenic potential in the bone marrow derived stem cells of individual donors. This project is investigating a facile technique to offer information for better cell-therapy.

Dr Yvonne Reinwald together with Prof Alicia El Haj, Dr Ying Yang, and Dr Pierre Bagnaninchi at Edinburgh University received £35,999 for a project of Online monitoring of mechanical properties of three-dimensional tissue engineered constructs for quality assessment. This project aims to develop a new real-time and non-destructive modality for living objectives before for clinical application.

The EPSRC Centre is a long-term collaboration between Loughborough, Keele and Nottingham universities, and a set of hospital and industrial partners in the Midlands. It has supported a range of cutting-edge research and training projects over the last five years.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Invited Talk at Groningen University

Dr. Ed Chadwick was recently invited to give a talk at the Centre for Human Movement Sciences, Groningen University, the Netherlands.

Ed is the Theme Lead for Rehabilitation Research at ISTM. His research aims to understand and restore upper limb function in neuromuscular disorders such as spinal cord injury and stroke. One of his main tools is computer modelling, which allows him to investigate pathologies and design interventions in silico.

His invited talk focused on his modelling work, and the role it can play in understanding movement and designing assistive devices. He described the state of the art in shoulder modelling, and gave two examples of innovative use of modelling by his group: estimation of dynamic shoulder stability, and design of neuroprosthetic systems for spinal cord injury.

The audience of about 100 people consisted of medical students, biomedical engineers and human movement scientists. His talk was very well received, and was described as informative and entertaining.

Dr. Ed Chadwick (left) and Dr. Alessio Murgia 
in front of the Martinitoren in Groningen

While in Groningen, Ed had the opportunity to visit the laboratories at the Centre for Human Movement Sciences, meet several researchers, and discuss plans for collaboration with his host, Dr. Alessio Murgia. He also had a tour of the historic city of Groningen, including the Martinitoren, a 500-year old church steeple and Groningen’s tallest building.

Monday, 7 December 2015

ISTM PhD student recognised in national Parkinson’s research competition

‘Blazing Neurons’ by George Joseph
This remarkable image, taken by Keele postgraduate research student, George Joseph, has been recognised in ‘Picturing Parkinson’s’, a national competition held by Parkinson’s UK to celebrate the beauty and art in the research they fund.

George, ISTM & School of Computing and Mathematics, was shortlisted for his image ‘Blazing Neurons’, which depicts the complexity of developing brain cells. His research investigates the environmental elements that contribute to growing stem cells for therapeutic treatments for people with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s UK funded researcher George said: "I’m extremely flattered to be recognised by Parkinson’s UK and excited to share my research in a different way. I’m very lucky as not everyone gets to go to work and see amazing things like this on a daily basis.”

The annual competition is held in memory of scientist Dr Jonathan Stevens, who had Parkinson’s and passed away at the age of 34 in 2013. 127,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in the UK – and there is currently no cure. Parkinson’s UK has invested more than £70million in ground-breaking Parkinson’s research to improve treatments and find a cure.

Parkinson’s UK Director of Research Dr Arthur Roach said of the winners: “Irish writer Jonathan Swift once said vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others – this is what our Parkinson’s researchers are doing each day in the lab, discovering new scientific breakthroughs and taking us closer to a cure.

“It’s great that our researchers unpick the complexities of Parkinson’s science and provide images that give us a different perspective on how we’re working to develop new and better treatments. They prove that science is beautiful.”

George's supervisory team is Theo Kyriacou, Rose fricker and Paul Roach, with funding support from the EPSRC CDT in regenerative medicine.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Czech visitors check in to ISTM

The Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine welcomed visitors from the Czech Republic for collaborative work on Select Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry. As one of the leading centres for applications of trace gas analysis, ISTM has worked in long term collaboration with the J Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, part of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.

Prof Patrik Španel, who chairs the Board at the J Heyrovský Institute and is also Keele’s Professor of Chemical Physics, was accompanied by postdoctoral scientists Dr Kristýna Sovová, a chemist, and Dr Violet Shestivska, a biologist, who are both interested in the use of SIFT-MS technology in the monitoring of cell growth. They conducted a series of discussions and experiments during their visit and were accompanied by ISTM's Prof David Smith.

Dr Violet Shestivska, Dr Kristýna Sovová, Prof Patrik Španel and Prof David Smith FRS in the SIFT-MS laboratory at the Guy Hilton Research Centre (Mark Smith)