19 Dec, 2015
On Wednesday 25th November we had our first HSL Research and Innovations Symposium. It was held at the Wellcome Collection which is a stone’s throw from our new lab and was attended by 120 staff and researchers.
The meeting was opened by Prof. Bryan Williams who is Head of the NIHR Programme at UCL. He welcomed the opportunity to work with HSL in the future as it will lead to the translation of their basic research into new diagnostics and improved patient care.
The morning session was dedicated to Infection and Immunology. From the Royal Free Hospital Professor Hans Stauss gave an update on Immunotherapy and the opportunity of developing new drug targets. Dr Robin Smith showed the wide variety of research projects supported through the microbiology department. From UCLH Professor Peter Chiodini described some of the new research in malaria supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation whose aim is not to reduce but to eradicate malaria. Dr Eleni Nastouli provided an update on diagnosis and screening for viral infections.
The afternoon session focused on some recent advances in medicine and was chaired by Prof. Stephen Powis who is Medical Director at the Royal Free Hospital and also on the Board of HSL Pathology. Dr Marie Scully gave a fascinating overview on a rare disorder Thrombotic Thromobocytopenic Purpura (TTP) in which she has pioneered new approaches to diagnosis and treatment that have led to greatly improved patient outcomes. Dr Lisa Levett gave an insight into the recent advances for screening for Down’s syndrome by testing the very small amount of free fetal DNA in the mothers blood. HSL has recently opened a new laboratory for Non Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) using the Harmony test at 307 Euston Road which is the only centre in the UK providing this testing.
Two histopathologists from UCLH, Professor Marco Novelli and Dr. Manuel-Rodriguez-Justo, provided an update on molecular analysis of colonic cancer and showed the relevance of this approach in providing precision personalised medicine. Finally Dr. Devi Nair gave an update on the new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lipid disorders and demonstrated the practical relevance of this in the clinical setting.
In his closing remarks Professor Michael Patton (Medical Director, HSL) said “This meeting has demonstrated the importance of working in partnership to develop new approaches to pathology through translational research”.