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Dr Luca Biasiolli, based in OCMR, is studying whether a new type of MRI scan offers a more accurate and easier way to identify the potentially dangerous plaques that cause stroke. Her research is supported by the British Heart Foundation. A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Most occur as a consequence of plaque – a condition called atherosclerosis – building up in arteries in the neck. If a piece of this plaque breaks off, it can lead to a clot forming in the brain and cause a stroke.
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Our focus is on finding the causes of metabolic and endocrine disease and capitalising on these discoveries to yield new treatments. We are world leaders in both large-scale genetic studies and global clinical trials, taking an international approach to advance our understanding and treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. From target discovery for type 2 diabetes and probing the biochemistry of fat, through to understanding islet physiology and transplantation, investigating liver disease and unravelling the mechanisms behind rare endocrine tumours, our research truly spans the bed to bedside journey.
We aim to better understand, diagnose and treat heart and vascular disease through our extensive cutting edge research programmes. We have a particular focus on understanding disease mechanisms and on new approaches to stratifying patients. Our expertise encompasses genetic studies to identify causative and risk genes, cardiovascular physiology and cellular biology to understand health and disease, the development and application of advanced imaging, experimental medicine and clinical trials.
We seek to understand the causes of diseases of the blood and other malignancies, from a molecular to systems level, with a focus on blood cancers, rare inherited conditions and the tumour microenvironment. We use and develop innovative techniques to drive research in this area, and are committed to bringing about change in clinical diagnosis and practice. Our pathologists discovered many of the biomarkers now used routinely in clinical practice, translate laboratory findings into clinical tests and are developing digital pathology initiatives.
Building on critical findings from our research streams, we are initiating new drug discovery programmes. Many of our researchers are engaged in target discovery and target validation research – elucidating molecular pathways that can be manipulated for disease modification.
With an ageing population, it’s critical that we better understand diseases associated with old age. We have particular strengths in acute stroke research, with a two pronged approach encompassing molecular and clinical aspects to better understand the factors influencing stroke recovery.
We have world-class clinical imaging facilities aimed at better understanding, diagnosing and treating disease. Our clinical studies feedback into molecular research, taking learnings from the clinical setting to ask further questions in model systems. We have particular strengths in cardiovascular imaging and our facilities integrate clinical care with the latest research.
Using a range of imaging modalities, our researchers can probe – at the molecular level – the events that underpin cellular health and dysfunction.
We are committed to translating our innovative research into clinical benefit. From new methods of diagnosing chronic conditions, to finding the latest treatments for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke and rare diseases, our department is involved in hundreds of clinical studies every year.
Employing a range of genetic techniques, we probe the fundamental causes of disease. Our expertise spans identification of causative genes in rare inherited diseases, through to elucidating complex gene regulatory pathways and exploration of susceptibility to common disease through genome-wide association studies. We use cutting edge techniques to manipulate the genome to determine how particular genes work and study how variants in regulatory DNA may contribute to common disease. An important overall aim is to improve the management of human genetic diseases.
We have cutting edge expertise in a range of statistical and mathematical modelling techniques that allow us to interrogate large data sets – from the ‘big data’ of genomics through to magnetic resonance imaging and clinical trials. We are also home to the Medical Research Council WIMM Centre for Computational Biology – a hub for accelerating progress in genomics analysis and single cell biology.
We seek to bridge the ‘innovation gap’ between ‘basic’ research in the laboratory and tangible benefits for patients. Our researchers aim to develop novel approaches to treating disease and we have particular strengths in evaluating technologies such as antibody therapy and gene therapy, and using new techniques for target discovery. Many of our researchers collaborate with biotech and industry partners to accelerate progress along the drug discovery pipeline and assess these new treatments in the clinic.
A raft of cellular and molecular biology techniques underpin much of the work we do to elucidate the mechanisms of disease. We use established techniques to answer new questions and also develop our own novel and unique methodologies to drive further innovation.
We use state of the art techniques to interrogate the intricacies of our body’s response to pathogens, cancer and non-communicable diseases. We have particular strengths in T cell signaling, the innate immune system and therapeutic antibody development – particularly in oncology and against pathogens. We have forged strong links with clinical medicine to accelerate translation of laboratory studies into therapeutic strategies.
Our research is focused on both blood cancers (myeloid and lymphoid malignancies) and solid tumours, such as breast, colorectal, endocrine and lung cancers, with a number of drug discovery efforts and clinical trials taking place within the department. By understanding the basic biology and underlying disease mechanisms we aim to find effective new biomarkers and treatment approaches.
Understanding the fundamental biology that drives embryonic development and tissue maintenance provides the basis of much of our research into blood diseases, the cardiovascular system and rare genetic conditions.