Congratulations to Professor Mike Dixon, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre clinical researcher and a world-leading expert in treating breast cancer, who has recently been awarded Health Champion at Edinburgh Local Hero Awards.
Based at the Western General Hospital, Professor Dixon has worked as a specialist surgeon for more than two decades. He also leads a research team dedicated to understanding why the most common form of breast cancer becomes resistant to drugs, which helps give sufferers the best chance of survival possible.
Full story: Edinburgh Evening News
To support molecular pathology, the MRC and EPSRC have supported six nodes led by the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham. Each node brings researchers, clinicians and industry together to develop molecular diagnostic tools, to enable stratification, in disease areas such as cancer, respiratory diseases, digestive disease, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus.
The six nodes are collaborating with 20 industrial partners, including leading diagnostic and instrumentation companies and innovative technology and data SMEs.
Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive at the MRC, said "These new tools are critical for selecting the right treatment for the right patient. Being able to precisely target a treatment means maximum benefit for the patient - they receive a treatment that works for them and with fewer unpleasant side-effects. But it also delivers economic benefit because money and time are not wasted on ineffective treatments."
The Edinburgh-St Andrews Consortium will bring molecular diagnostics into mainstream medicine by use of modern genome technologies and information across a range of diseases. The consortium will integrate state-of-the-art genomic and epigenomic methods for diagnosis of acutely ill children and will develop 'liquid biopsies' for managing cancer through analysis of circulating tumour DNA. The node provides funding for a Masters by Research in Molecular Pathology which will provide full support for student(s) to undertake a one year Masters Course.
Dr Arran Turnbull, with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Team in the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, was awarded £5,000 in the best new product/service category at the Edinburgh BioQuarter Innovation Competition awards ceremony held on 9 June.
The annual innovation competition encourages entrants from NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh to share their business, product or service ideas for the improvement of human or animal health.
Dr Turnbull won the award for his work in developing a test to identify a group of breast cancer patients with a higher risk of disease recurrence or poor prognosis, with the aim of improving their treatment and reducing the risk of recurrence. He not only receives £5,000 prize money and support from the BioQuarter Commercialisation Team, but also expert advice from the award sponsors on intellectual property (Marks & Clerk), company growth (MBM Commercial) and taxation and finance (Springfords) to develop his work further.
“This is the fifth year that Edinburgh BioQuarter has run the competition and we continue to be impressed by the number of ideas and the level of innovation shown by all entrants. This year’s calibre of entries has been very high indeed…I believe this just goes to demonstrate the strength and depth of biomedical innovation within the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian and the commitment that our clinicians and academics have to make a difference in improving people’s lives.”
Dr Mike Capaldi, Commercialisation Director of the Edinburgh BioQuarter