MICA: The Newcastle Proximity Laboratory

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Northern Institute for Cancer Research

Abstract

The introduction of new scientific methods has shown that many diseases are much more heterogeneous than originally believed and that differences between cases can have a marked influence on the way that patients respond favourably to treatment. This has led to the concept of "stratified" medicine in which treatment is adjusted to meet the needs of individual patients. This approach ensures that treatment is only given to patients who are likely to respond and has both clinical and economic benefits, as unnecessary toxicity will be avoided and expensive new therapies are conserved.

The introduction of stratified medicine requires the development of diagnostic techniques which can be used in clinical practice. In order for a new test to be adopted it has to be validated using "real-life" samples and adapted so that it can be used reliably in routine clinical laboratories. For many tests this requires input from experts in Cellular Pathology. However, in recent years, due largely to service pressures, many clinical and non-clinical specialists in this discipline have been unable to dedicate time to maintaining their knowledge in Molecular Pathology or to undertake research themselves.

Our bid responds to the three areas for need identified by the MRC in order to ensure that the development of new diagnostic tests keeps pace with the demands of stratified medicine; restoration of the proximity between clinical and research activity; development of a clear path between discovery science and clinical application and addressing the training needs of laboratory staff.

PROXIMITY
We will establish a "Proximity Laboratory" in a busy NHS service department, which is adjacent to the University Medical Faculty, involving both University and clinical staff. Three satellite laboratories will be established in the Medical School and the Transplant Institute (Freeman Hospital), to provide a well-equipped training and research environment close to the discovery laboratories.

PATH
Initial projects undertaken in the Proximity Laboratory will build on current expertise in treatment stratification in the fields of liver, inflammatory bowel and mitochondrial disease and childhood cancer. An advisory panel will be established to assist research teams in the development of new diagnostic approaches and 2-4 projects per year will be selected for support to generate pilot data to underpin applications for validation by funding programmes such as those operated by the NIHR or MRC. Funding by the Proximity Laboratory will generally be for 1-2 years and monitored to prevent stagnation. Links with the Newcastle Diagnostic Evaluation Co-operative (DEC) will assist with the adoption of promising new diagnostic approaches by commercial partners, thereby helping to ensure the maximum impact on clinical practice.

In addition to the support given to biomedical projects the Proximity Laboratory will also promote research activity in the fields of biomedical engineering and computing science. Biomedical engineering projects will focus on the need to improve methods for handling small samples in response to a trend towards the use of minimally invasive biopsy techniques and will involve collaboration with groups based in our established nanotechnology laboratory (NanoLAB) and Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies Group. Collaborations will also be established with computer scientists in the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) research group in Newcastle University in order to develop new ways to present complex datasets in a way accessible for clinical application.

PEOPLE
Training in Molecular Pathology will be offered through a range of distance learning opportunities, up to the level of a Master's degree. In addition undergraduates will be encouraged to enter the speciality by offering bursaries for intercalated degrees. This approach will both increase capacity and help to augment the skills of existing staff

Technical Summary

Building on strengths in discovery science we will provide world-class training to a new generation of molecular pathologists, producing a step-change in the delivery of precision medicine. We will prioritise the development of in vitro diagnostics in chronic and rare diseases, ensuring pull-through to industry and clinical practice using well established links with the Newcastle NIHR DEC and our recent Proximity to Discovery Award. Our technical focus will be solving challenges posed by multiparameter analysis of microbiopsies, working with engineers in the Newcastle nanoLAB and Diagnostics & Therapeutic Technologies group. We will develop methods for the data analysis, interpretation and integration of results into clinically useful formats through collaboration with our Interdisciplinary Computing & Complex BioSystems research group and provide high quality samples for research partners using our established Biobank. Our main base will be in an NHS Pathology Department, ensuring close interaction with clinical pathologists. Building on experience gained with developing our Wellcome Trust Translational Medicine & Therapeutics Programme we will extend our e-learning Masters in Translational Medicine & Therapeutics to include a strand on Molecular Pathology, linked to the development of intercalated degrees for medical students to promote capacity building. We shall sit within infrastructure at Newcastle that includes the NIHR BRC in Ageing & Age-Related Chronic Disease, the NIHR BRU in Lewy Body Dementia, the MRC Centre for Brain Ageing & Vitality, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease, an NIHR Bioresource in Rare Diseases and an NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation & Transplantation. Programme Grant awards support research into stratified medicine and the biology of liver, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular diseases and cancer, ensuring a supply of novel approaches for further development.

Planned Impact

Work conducted by the Newcastle node will have commercial value and patient benefit and provide training to develop a skilled workforce in Molecular Pathology.

COMMERCIAL VALUE AND PATIENT BENEFIT

The main purpose of the Proximity Laboratory is to facilitate the development of novel tests for use in stratified medicine. With improved knowledge of the molecular basis of many diseases there has been a sharp rise in the number of therapies directed at specific, molecularly defined, subgroups. This fragmentation of disease classification has led to a rise in the cost of treatment to compensate for a fall in the size of the target patient group. In order to ensure future financial sustainability it is essential that targeted therapies are only given to the group who will benefit. Precision in prescribing also has health benefits as patients are not exposed to unnecessary and potentially toxic therapy.

The development of fully validated assays for use as a companion diagnostic for an expensive new therapy will have a considerable market value, as long as there is an actionable outcome. Deploying new assays requires considerable investment in terms of quality control and product support. Under the current system these can only be efficiently provided by commercialisation. The node will work closely with commercial partners to maximise the chance that new assays will be made available for exploitation whilst ensuring a reasonable return for the associated intellectual property for further investment in research activity. In addition, the activity of the node is also expected to lead to new methods of sample handling. With the introduction of improved methods for treatment stratification there is an urgent need to ensure that successful biopsies are obtained in as many patients as possible. There is also a drive towards reducing sample size in order to reduce collateral damage to normal tissues- for example in neurosurgery. This leads to need to improve techniques for manipulating small samples in such a way as to minimise wastage. The outcome of collaborative research in the node with biomedical engineers is likely to lead to new approaches with commercial value in the medical sector and beyond- for example in animal based research and veterinary practice.

The introduction of a range of 'omics approaches to accurate disease stratification poses a considerable challenge for presenting data with rapid clinical utility. Teams using the Proximity Laboratory will have access to computer scientists based in the University's Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems research group and have the opportunity to develop novel ways of presenting data which make them easy to interpret for the non-specialist, and therefore of greatly enhanced value in clinical practice.

The link between the development of new assays for treatment stratification or methods for sample handling in the Proximity Laboratory and commercial development is unlikely to be direct therefore the timescale in most cases is expected to be 3-5 years. The timescale is expected to be much shorter in the case of software development where further validation by, for example, the DEC or via downstream funding is less likely to be necessary.

TRAINING OF A SKILLED WORKFORCE

The existence of a well-trained workforce will be essential for the development of the UK as a base for innovation in molecular pathology. The Proximity Laboratory will provide a focus for a range of training initiatives aimed at promoting molecular pathology as a career choice for undergraduates and for improving the skills of trainees and established members of staff. There will also be opportunities for non-clinically qualified staff based in the NHS and the University to be exposed to new approaches and techniques to add to their portfolio.
 
Description Confidence in Concept- The Development of a Near Infrared Sensor for the Intraoperative Identification of Tumour Margins.
Amount £37,222 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2016 
End 01/2018
 
Description Newcastle/Genentech collaboration
Amount £0 (GBP)
Funding ID Contract in final stages of negotiation contract amount is commercially sensitive information 
Organisation Genentech 
Sector Private
Country United States of America
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Collaboration agreement with Reece Innovation Centre Limited 
Organisation Reece Innovation Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Node's Bioengineering strand will work with Reece to: ? - Miniaturise existing near infrared (NIR) sensing technology into a hand held device suitable for direct, real time intraoperative tumour margin detection; and ? - Conjugate a uPAR-specific antibody to a NIR-responsive fluorophore to produce a human carcinoma cell specific "contrast reagent"; and ? - Use the miniaturised NIR sensor in combination with the contrast reagent to selectively identify human colorectal carcinoma cells in culture and in histological preparations.
Collaborator Contribution Reece Innovation will provide £31,500 in-kind funding.
Impact The partnership with Reece began in February 2017 and is still in the early stages of development.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with Belfast/CRUK Accelerator Award 
Organisation Queen's University of Belfast
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Queen's University Belfast, CRUK Accelerator programme and the Node jointly funded two students from Newcastle to complete a MSc in Belfast. The Node contributed £41,532 in fees and stipends for one student.
Collaborator Contribution CRUK Accelerator and Queen's University contributed £41,532 in fees and stipends for the other student.
Impact The two student's have completed their MSc courses with excellent marks and are considering applying to complete a PhD in pathology.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Leica-supply of human tissue collaboration 
Organisation Leica UK Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Trust will undertake to engage patients and facilitate donation of excess human tissues such as tonsillectomy samples to its Biobank, with proper recording of consent. The tissues will be processed by a defined protocol to a uniform high standard. Histopathological sections will be examined by a consultant pathologist who will authorize release of the human tissue to the Biobank. The Trust will audit the process and arrange for cost recovery when tissue is supplied to industry. The direct arrangement between an NHS Trust and Industrial partners will facilitate good governance, ensure high quality and avoid risks associated with third party suppliers. The MICA is currently in draft form but an agreement from both parties is expected.
Collaborator Contribution Leica will receive the human tissue blocks and will handle the tissue under their HTA licence. The tissue will be used for quality control of existing products and for the development of new molecular pathology products.
Impact The MICA is currently in draft form but the potential collaboration with Leica has led to the set up on a Biobank in the RVI Cellular Pathology department which will supply tissue to industry.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Node Proximity Lab Work- Bone Cancer Research Trust 
Organisation Bone Cancer Research Trust
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Node Proximity Lab completed work on the following project for a University researcher- - Preclinical evaluation of an MT1-MMP activated theranostic for Ewing's and steosarcoma
Collaborator Contribution The Bone Cancer Trust funded the research.
Impact The foundation stage research work carried out by the Proximity Lab can lead to new antibodies and diagnostic tests for stratified healthcare.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Node Proximity Lab Work- CCLG 
Organisation Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Node Proximity Lab completed work on a project for a University researcher-Characterisation of paediatric Hodgkin lymphoma: Pilot project to evaluate platforms to study HRS cells and the tumour microenvironment.
Collaborator Contribution The research was funded by the CCLG.
Impact The foundation stage research work carried out by the Proximity Lab can lead to new antibodies and diagnostic tests for stratified healthcare.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Node Proximity Lab Work-CRUK 
Organisation Cancer Research UK (CRUK)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Node Proximity Laboratory completed work for University researchers on the following projects: - Construction of neuroblastoma TMA for the CCLG tumour bank - Claspin mouse antibody optimisation
Collaborator Contribution The researchers were funded by CRUK.
Impact The foundation stage research work carried out by the Proximity Lab can lead to new antibodies and diagnostic tests for stratified healthcare.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Node Proximity Lab Work-Wellcome Trust 
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Ltd
Department Wellcome Trust Bloomsbury Centre; Wellcome Trust
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Node Proximity Laboratory completed work on the following items for a University researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust. -Optimisation of AXL and SIGLE antibodies to perform multiplex staining with CD123 and CD3. - The changes in DNA and RNA in familial tumours. - 3D reconstruction of Basal Cell Carcinomas - Integrative Genomic Profiling of inherited Cutaneous tumours.
Collaborator Contribution The researcher was funded from a Wellcome trust grant.
Impact The foundation stage research work carried out by the Proximity Lab can lead to new antibodies and diagnostic tests for stratified healthcare.
Start Year 2016
 
Description CM Path Industry Day-October 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Node attended a part funded a CM Path Industry Day in October 2016. The programme for the day involved presentations around molecular diagnostics, the pharmaceutical industry and the adoption of new technologies in the NHS.
It was well attended by industrial representatives and healthcare professionals. The event has led to plans for future activity between the Node and CM Path.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ncri.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CM-Path-Industry-Engagement-Day-5th-October-2016.p...
 
Description Diagnosis Matters Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN) working with Voice North held a 'Diagnosis Matters' PPI outreach event. The event supported engagement between the NENC population and a variety of very significant initiatives bringing innovative practice and technologies into the Healthcare system.

Professor Andy Hall presented The Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node alongside two other significant initiatives -The National Institute of Health Research 'Diagnostic Evidence Collaborative', led by Professor John Simpson and The NHS England Genomics Medicine Centre and 100,000 Genomes, led by Dr Paul Brennan.

The presentations covered the practicalities, myths, technologies, consent, ethics, commercial involvement in technology development and some theory around how ailments and conditions are identified and treatments decided upon.

Common to all of the presentations and discussions was the virtuous circle of clinical practice informing and enabling research, the pull-through of that research into practice and the dissemination of the innovations and best practice as quickly as possible to help as many patients as possible.

Plans are now being formulated to build on the success of this event with potential to take the speakers to a series of other regional events to enable further dissemination of the message.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description EPSRC- Healthcare technologies event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The EPSRC visited the Newcastle University to host a Healthcare Technologies event. The event included a presentation from the EPSRC Healthcare Team on their strategy and recent activities as well as showcase sessions from Newcastle University on current research.
The Node's bioengineering strand lead completed a presentation on his current research around developing a sensor to detect tumour margins in collaboration with Reece Innovation.
The event has let to further discussions with the ESPRC and the possibility they will use the Node's bioengineering research as a case study on industry collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists Training Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Then Node part funded and arranged the FRC Path Trainee day. The training day is held for local pathology trainees 3 times per year. The day included presentations of the Node, molecular pathology of infection and molecular pathology in everyday practice.

The event encouraged the trainees to investigate careers is molecular pathology and provoked interest in the Node's MSc programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Global Business Development event-Roche 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The Node was asked to present at a meeting of the Global Diagnostics Business Development team hosted by Roche. The event was arranged to show case the vibrant UK Life Science sector to senior and influential global delegates.
The event included presentations from the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN), National Institute Health and Care Excellence (NICE), NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives (DEC) and the Molecular Pathology Nodes.
The event helped to cement at high level the UK life sciences model and prompted possible future collaboration opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Informed Consent (CCB Meeting) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The National Cancer Research Institute's (NCRI) Confederation of Cancer Biobanks and the MRC Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node held a meeting entitled "Informed Consent in a Digital Age".

The aim of the meeting was to bring together patients, the wider public and professional groups in order to tease apart the key issues involved in obtaining consent to use human samples in research.

A series of presentations covered a broad range of related topics including; a brief background to the concepts underlying so called "fully informed" consent; the 'why' and 'how' consent is taken and the theme of appropriate timing to take consent; the experience of making contact with donor's families to request permission to obtain human tissue and; a powerful presentation from the point of view of a live organ donor.
Others included the position of the regulator - the Human Tissue Authority and the importance of sample-based research; the value of modern technology to support consent and; an overview of a computer-based model of dynamic consent to enable donors to access the level of information that they require to make an "appropriately" informed decision about giving consent.

The event was an opportunity for the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node to demonstrate its ability to attract a wide audience from across the UK to debate and reaffirm the importance of human tissue collection, storage and analysis to the work of the Node and NCRI. 65 people attended in total.

Useful contacts were made with colleagues from Oxford University and a follow up conference call was held to explore the potential to work together on paediatric Biobanking proposals
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Internatial Congress of the IAP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Node's training strand lead (Dr Dina Tiniakos) was asked to attend the European Congress of Pathology in Cologne. The scientific programme focused on the central role of pathology and its current clinical applications, translational research, near-future innovations and the longer perspectives of paradigm shifts (integrated 'omics' care).

The congress also provided a unique occasion for updating knowledge in pathology through up-to-date teaching courses highlighting news and views in diagnostic pathology.

Dina was also selected to orally present one of the Node's scientific posters ' Evaluation of centrilobular fibrosis in post-transplant liver: Preliminary results' which provoked in depth discussion and promoted the Node to an international audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.esp-congress.org/
 
Description International Academy of Pathology and Pathology Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Node had a stand at the summer meeting of the Pathology Society at Nottingham to promote the Node MSc programme. This provided a networking opportunity to promote the programme to over 400 pathologists and scientists. As a result there was a wider increase of enquiries into the Node and MSc. This also led to a joint PhD studentship with King's University Belfast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meet the Scientist Event-National Pathology Week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Node had a stand at a 'Meet the Scientist' event for National Pathology Week at the Centre foe Life. There was several hands-on activities to deliver, while telling the general public all about pathology and the role as a pathologist. Each activity had a short introductory sign, indicating how the activities flow from cells to tissues to organs, as well as associated equipment and information cards.

As the Node activities were so well received the Node plans to take part in 2017's Pathology week to increase public engagement with a younger audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meeting with Histoindex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Histoindex are a Singapore based company who have developed a novel technology for assessing tissue fibrosis in unstained slides using photonics
Collaborations with various research centres, including Newcastle, have produced evidence that the method can produce robust quantitative data which correlates well with traditional morphological assessment by an experienced histopathologist.

The meeting with Histoindex has led to a strengthening of the existing relationship between Histoindex and the Fibrosis department at Newcastle University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Molecular Diagnostics at Newcastle-Node Industry Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Node was asked to take part in the Newcastle University NAHP Industry Month with a day-long event to showcase Node-related work. The title for the event was 'Molecular Diagnostics at Newcastle' and it was held on the 2nd March 2017.

The purpose of the event was to bring industry together with the Node research community to identify potential collaboration opportunities around molecular diagnostics and image analysis.

The day involved presentations on current Node research (both biomedical and image analysis) as well as a slot on Tissue Access and the new CePa biobank which the Node will collaborate with.

Excellent feedback was received for the event which included attendees from an array of industries as well as key business development managers from the Trust and University. The event has led to several possible collaboration opportunities with potential industry partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NCRI Cancer Conference Liverpool 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Node had a stand at the NCRI Conference in Liverpool to promote the Node Clinical Sciences and Pathology MSc Programme. As a result there was a wider awareness of the programme and several enquiries were received from potential students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NCRI Confederation of Cancer Biobanks- Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CCB and CM-Path held a joint meeting in Glasgow on 17 October, on "working together" to maximise opportunities. The CCB has always shared best practice in a climate of mutual support. This is as important as ever in the rapidly changing biobanking landscape. The programme presentations from representatives of the CM-Path initiative, Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node, BBMRI-ERIC and the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre.

A pre-meeting for this event also took place in Glasgow between the Node Project Director and Project Manager in which the agenda was set and the launch of the CRUK directory was discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.biobankinguk.org/working-together-collaboration-in-the-cancer-biobanking-landscape/?mc_c...
 
Description Newcastle Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative 'Adopting MedTech' Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Node participated in a 'soft launch' at the Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative's (DEC) 'Adopting MedTech' event at the Centre for Life. The industry-focussed event presented an opportunity to talk about the Node within the unique regional context of the North East, the only region with both a MRC Node and NIHR DEC. Presenting a coherent 'offer' to industry is often cited as an unmet challenge and this event was aimed at addressing this.

The Node had a well-supported stand in the networking area with colleagues from Cellular Pathology and BioEngineering on-hand to meet with delegates to discuss the Node and take contact details; there was a Q&A Panel where the Node was represented by Professor Phil Sloan - the Node Pathology Lead, and the Node was included in the conference programme including a biography of Professor Sloan and a section of the Node and its objectives. The event was well attended with over 100 local and national delegates.

The outcome was the collection of contact details which are being followed up, including a specific request for sample access from a key industrial partner and a telephone interview to discuss collaborative research opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Node Director's event - 10th January 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In January 2017, the Newcastle Node hosted a Node Director's event at the Centre for Life. The event was attended by the Node Directors and Project Managers from Glasgow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Leicester. It was also attended by a representative from the MRC and CM Path.

The event aimed to build on the existing Node network by allowing the Node's to share their achievements and challenges through the first year of the project. There was also the discussions around Node sustainability and business planning beyond the current MRC grant award.

The event prompted discussions into joint funding applications and has led to another Newcastle Node Director's event being arranged for November 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Node Project Managers Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Manchester Molecular Pathology Node hosted the first meeting of the MRC/EPSRC Molecular Pathology Node Manaagers' at Manchester University. All 6 Nodes were represented. Each presented an overview of their work strands, research themes and partners. The event provided an excellent oppotunity to agree how the network of Nodes will complement each other and work together. The outcome has been the establishment and further development of collaborative opportunities between the Newcastle and Manchester Node on both tissue sample access and training.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description OK to Ask-PPI event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact A Public & Patient Involvement event, which included 14 patient representatives from the Perspective group & the Cancer Research group, was held on the 15th August in the Maggie's Centre. This was also attended by a small group of NHS staff, the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node and a HTA Regulatory Manager.
The agenda for this meeting was to gain patient perspectives' on the benefits to healthcare for collaboration between NHS and commercial partners' in particular regarding the supply of tissue from the NHS to commercial companies on a cost recovery basis. The public provided a positive response to the proposal which has led to the creation of a Node supported Biobank in the Cellular Pathology Department of the RVI in Newcastle.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Proximity to Discovery Dermatology/Rheumatology workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Amy Peasland, Newcastle Biobank Central Biobank Manager, presented an overview of the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node at a workshop of potential industry partners during the Dermatology and Rheumatology MRC Proximity to Discovery (PtD) programme. The event was aimed at showcasing the excellent biomedical resources and facilities available in Newcastle and specifically considered issues such as combining basic research and clinical investigation in order to explore translational science; stratified medicine; training of the next generation of researchers and; collaborative working between industry and academia.

The workshop was held within a programme which encompassed themed lectures and a variety of specialist clinics and open discussions with patients and clinical staff on unmet clinical needs. The Node was positioned within the context of biobanking and sample access opportunities and contact was established with key industrial representatives from GSK, AbbVie, Roche, Lily, Novartis and Nascient. The PtD week was organised by the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University during their 'Industry Month' of activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stratified Medicine Network event, 'Re-engineering of clinical pathways to facilitate implementation of personalised medicine' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Node sent two representatives the stratified medicine networking event which was well attended by NHS representatives, academics, patients, industry and members of the general public. Some of the talks at the event provoked discussion into the fact that individualised treatment will require substantial re-modelling of established care pathways and the role that NHS England must play in leading this.

Valuable contributions from patients pointed out that 'personalised medicine' means a lot more than understanding the genetic basis of their condition. Being valued and cared for as an individual is extremely important, and so from their point of view improvements to medical record systems to allow clinical staff from different organisations, such as different Trusts and GP practices was as important as improvements to diagnostics and treatments, as was being cared for by experienced staff who were familiar with appropriate best practices for patients such as themselves. It was noticed that gaining as much useful healthcare information from other patients with similar conditions as they obtained from healthcare professionals.

Following on from this event the Node agreed to attend further stratified medicine networking events to engage with the public and patients.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description UK Stratified Medicine Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The UK Stratified Medicine Conference was organised by the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform Programme Coordination Group consisting of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, Department of Health, Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Network, MHRA, MRC, NICE, NIHR, NHS England, UK Trade and Investment, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments.

The aim was of the group is to help ensure that, through coordinated action, the UK has the right environment to capture the patient and economic benefits offered by stratified medicine. Participation was an opportunity for the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node to showcase its involvement in facilitating the development of novel approaches to treatment stratification and training opportunities for staff involved in molecular pathology.

Useful contacts were made with other partners involved in the evolving funding landscape, such as the Precision Medicine Catapult and other Molecular Pathology Nodes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015