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Collaborations and Networks

The collaborations and networks below provide regionally focused Centres of Excellence within particular specialist fields.

Newly developing Collaborations and Networks :

MMS (Midlands Mass Spectrometry) –

Of the institutions in the Midlands Innovation consortium, many have research portfolios that are underpinned by the need for access to biological mass spectrometry (including proteomics, metabolite analysis, protein structural analysis and lipid analysis). We bring together the key academic researchers and facility managers across Midlands Innovation to build a biological mass spectrometry community, share best practice and provide a platform for collaborative rather than competitive bids, strengthening submissions to research councils for funding. With complementary facilities available across Midlands Innovation we will drive equipment sharing and knowledge transfer, developing teaching resources and training opportunities that will be utilised by all.

Building on initial (near) monthly meetings we will hold regular working group and annual user meetings to strengthen collaboration and to ensure knowledge of what instrumentation and expertise is available. This group is also responsible for encouraging joint grant applications and providing support to bids across Midlands Innovation.

Key representatives:

• Aston University - Andy Pitt - Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Chemical Biology
• University of Birmingham - Andrew Lees - Deputy Head of Infrastructure and Facilities
• Keele University - Sarah Hart - ISTM Research theme: Healthcare Technologies
• Loughborough University - Liam Heaney - Lecturer in Exercise Metabolomics
• University of Nottingham - Dave Barrett - Professor in Analytical Bioscience, Faculty of Science
• University of Warwick - Alex Jones - Director of the Proteomics Research Technology Platform (Chair)

MMIN (The Midlands Medical Imaging Network) –

The Midlands Medical Imaging Network aims to bring together inter-disciplinary expertise from across the region in the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of medical imaging data in health and pathology. MMIN members have world leading expertise in techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) as well as the bioinformatics and computational approaches that are needed to exploit the rich data sets that are acquired.

Key representatives:

• Aston University: Professor Klaus Kessler
• Aston University: Professor Amanda Wood
• University of Birmingham: Dr Andrew Bagshaw (Chair,
• University of Birmingham: Birmingham Children’s Hospital: Professor Andrew Peet
• University of Birmingham: Professor Ole Jensen
• Keele University: Professor Melissa Mather
• University of Leicester: Professor Gerry McCann (Cardiovascular Lead)
• University of Leicester: Dr Emma Chung
• Loughborough University: Professor Jonathan Folland

• Loughborough University: Professor Eran Edirisinghe
• University of Nottingham: Professor Richard Bowtell
• University of Nottingham: Professor Dorothee Auer
• Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham: Dr Nigel Davies
• University of Warwick: Professor Theo Arvanitis
• University of Warwick: Dr Joanna Collingwood
• University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and
Warwickshire: Professor Charles Hutchinson

MCVRN (Midlands Cardiovascular Research Network) –

The MCVRN was formed out of a common desire of partner universities to combine our expertise in cardiovascular research from fundamental discovery science to experimental medicine, and pre-clinical and human physiology to clinical and health improvement research. The partners are the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. Together, we will promote research on key issues in cardiovascular science that impact on human health and well being. The network aims to be a platform to share expertise, resources and best-practice, and to build collaborations across the region that reflect our unique capabilities. We want to take advantage of our world-leading strengths in experimental and clinical cardiovascular research with a view to making best use of our large, diverse but stable population. Our co-operation will help us to achieve understanding of major health issues of our time, and to translate cutting-edge discoveries to clinical practice.

Key representatives:

• Aston University - Asif Ahmed, Francisco Leyva
• University of Birmingham - Paulus Kirchhof, Gerard Nash
• Keele University - Mamas Mamas
• University of Leicester - Andre Ng
• Loughborough University - Richard Ferguson
• University of Nottingham - Chris Denning
• University of Warwick - Francesco Cappuccio, Victor Zammit

mimicMIMIC (The MIdlands MICrobiology and Resistance Network) –

Interested in establishing an AMR focused cross-Midlands network of universities, together with the East Midlands NHS pathology service (EMPATH), and the interdisciplinary industry, academia and clinical interest group (EMIDRN). The aim is to consolidate our existing excellence and complementarity to establish this network as a “Centre of Excellence” in AMR research which has been highlighted by Midlands Health Innovations as one of the Midland’s key capabilities.

Key representatives:

• Aston University - Jonathan Cox
• Birmingham City University - David Lee
• University of Birmingham - Laura Piddock, Ian Henderson
• University of Leicester - Marco Oggioni, Julie Morrissey (Chairs)
• Loughborough University - Danish Malik, Sourav Ghosh
• University of Nottingham - Paul Williams, Dov Stekel
• University of Warwick - Emma Denham, Chris Dowson
• EMPATH (NHS Leicester Pathology service) - Debbie Modha, David Jenkins
• EMPATH (NHS Leicester-Nottingham Pathology service); EMIDRN (East Midlands Infectious Disease Research Network) - Matthew Diggle
• BSAC (British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy) - Tracey Guise, Michael Corley

MOTH (Midlands Ophthalmic Technology Hub) –

The Ophthalmic Technology Institute aims to be a world leading centre for ophthalmic medical devices, diagnostic instrumentation and treatments for eye disease by bringing together the Midlands expertise in ophthalmology, optometry and biomedical engineering. The Institute will establish the infrastructure in the Midlands region to conduct more cutting edge research through a specialised CTU and to establish/engage with regional ophthalmic technology SMEs.

Key representatives:

• Aston University: Prof James Wolffsohn, Prof Leon Davies, Dr Nicola Logan, Dr Flors Vinuela-Navarro
• Birmingham Children’s Hospital: Mr Joe Abbott, Mr Manoj Parulekar
• Leicester Royal Infirmary: Prof Martin Rubinstein
• University of Birmingham: Dr Haider Bhatt, Prof Alastair Denniston, Dr Liying Low, Dr Graham Wallace, Dr Saaez Rauz, Dr Sai Kolli
• University Hospitals Birmingham: Dr Susie Mollan, Dr Imran Masood, Richard Williams
• University of Leicester: Mr John Sandford-Smith
• University of Loughborough: Prof Pablo Ruiz
• University of Nottingham: Prof Paul McGraw
• University of Warwick: Prof Norman Waugh
• Medical Device Testing and Evaluation Centre

Established Collaborations and Networks :

BINERI (Biomedical Informatics Network for Education, Research and Industry) –

Aligning institutional research areas and health data activity. BINERI-Leicester and BINERI-Nottingham have been established and they are pushing for BINERI-Birmingham to be established. The ambition is to create a joint BINERI-EM badge.

• University of Leicester
• University of Nottingham
• (University of Birmingham – invited)

BRCs (Biomedical Research Centre) –

The Leicester/Loughborough, Nottingham and Birmingham BRCs are working together collaboratively to deliver improved regional impact.

• University of Leicester
• Loughborough University
• University of Nottingham
• University of Birmingham

CLAHRCs (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) –

East/West Midlands CLAHRCs, funded by the NIHR, undertake high-quality applied health research focused on patient needs and support the translation of research evidence into practice in the NHS.

• University of Birmingham
• Keele University
• University of Leicester
• Loughborough University
• University of Nottingham
• University of Warwick

COMPARE (The Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors) –

Developing novel methods for visualising single membrane proteins and to use these to identify new approaches for prevention and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

• University of Birmingham
• University of Nottingham

EMBER (East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node) –

An MRC and EPSRC funded Molecular Pathology Node hosted at the University of Leicester partnering with University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and Industry.

• University of Leicester
• Loughborough University

Inflammatory Respiratory Disease TRC (Translational Research Collaboration) –

This NIHR funded TRC carries out translational research in joint and related inflammatory diseases.

• University of Leicester
• University of Nottingham

MUnChIES (Midlands Universities Child & Infant Eating Studies) –

Munchies is a collaborative group of academics and clinicians from the Midlands of the UK, who share an interest in children's eating behaviour. The group consists of clinical and research specialists with over 150 years of combined experience researching children's eating behaviour and working with children and families in healthcare settings.

• Aston University
• DeMontfort University
• Loughborough University
• University of Birmingham
• The Birmingham Food Refusal Service

M4 network (Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting) –

Originated in Birmingham in 2014, the M4 meetings create an exciting forum to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration around Microbiology.

• University of Birmingham
• University of Leicester
• University of Nottingham
• University of Warwick

NIHR Global Health Research Programme –
Supports specialist academic departments based at UK-based universities and research institutes to deliver world-class applied global health research to improve the health needs of patients and the public in low and middle-income countries across the globe and build research capacity. Universities in the region are delivering:

• NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery, University of Birmingham
• NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Improving Health in Slums, University of Warwick
• NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care, University of Birmingham
• NIHR Global Health Research Group on Psychosis Outcomes: the Warwick India-Canada Network, University of Warwick

RePHILL (Resuscitation with Pre-Hospital Blood Products) –

A multi-centre randomised controlled trial of pre-hospital blood product administration versus standard care for traumatic haemorrhage, funded by NIHR’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme.

• University of Birmingham
• University of Warwick

“The Cell Biology Club” –

• University of Leicester - Andrew Fry
• University of Nottingham - Bill Wigston
• University of Warwick - Mohan Balasubramanian

Trauma Management HTC (Healthcare Technology Cooperative) –

One of eight HTCs funded by the NIHR to act as a centre of expertise that focus in clinical areas of high morbidity and unmet need for NHS patients.

• University of Birmingham
• Loughborough University

Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research –

Europe’s largest research centre focusing on preventing miscarriage, with an unrivalled track record in miscarriage research, and will allow 24,000 women every year to access treatment and support, and to take part in cutting edge clinical studies. By sharing information, hospitals will be able to work together to carry out more effective research: combining the partners’ clinical data linkage expertise, the Centre is building the ground-breaking Tommy’s Net, a platform that will help to collect and store information from many different centres.

• University of Birmingham
• University of Warwick
• Imperial College London, working together with their NHS Trusts.

UK AMR Network –

A series of EPSRC funded projects under the ‘Bridging the Gaps’ call including:

• Aston University: Aston Multidisciplinary Research into Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR4AMR)
• Loughborough University: Antimicrobial Resistance Bridging the Gaps Network
• University of Nottingham: Systems-level approaches to antimicrobial resistance
• University of Warwick: Warwick Antimicrobial Interdisciplinary Centre (WAMIC)