Dr Miller Miller, a Reader in Biochemical Medicine at the University of Warwick, has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the British Sleep Society. She is a leader of the 'Sleep, Health and Society' research programme, an international programme of the research and teaching of sleep and cardiovascular disease and underlying biochemical mechanisms. (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/hscience/mhwellbeing/sleep/)
Professor Siobhan Quenby meets Duchess of Cambridge during visit to London miscarriage research centre
Professor Siobhan Quenby joined scientists in meeting Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research to mark #BabyLossAwarenessWeek
Professor Debra Bick, Deputy Pro Dean for Research at Warwick Medical School has been awarded an OBE for services to midwifery. Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam, Honorary Professor at WMS, who has also been awarded an OBE.
Cryopreserving proteins with polymers
Proteins are used as medicines, catalysts and many other application areas, but require careful storage conditions. Cryopreservation (freezing) is a widely used method to bank proteins but it is often necessary to add solvents (or other excipients) to protect them. The GibsonGroup have published an investigation into using polymers which control ice crystal growth, to protect proteins during freezing, which are now being investigated to help store and transport protein therapies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2020.110036
Warwick Medical School spinout - NanoSyrinx
NanoSyrinx is the first company to engineer ‘nanosyringes’, a selective non-viral peptide and protein delivery system identified in an undisclosed organism. The company will focus on direct cytosolic delivery of genome editing enzymes and therapeutic proteins in vivo, with key applications in the cell and gene therapy space.
CEO Dr Joe Healey, who joined from the Waterfield Lab to lead the company, said, “We believe that our nanosyringe platform will unlock new approaches for the treatment of many intractable diseases and will be of value to a wide range of potential partners and customers. The company is delighted with the early progress made in both in vivo active pharmaceutical delivery and ex vivo cell engineering applications.”
Dr Nick Waterfield commented, “We are pleased with the traction the company has made, with both academics and industry leaders across a range of applications. In particular, our academic collaborations have provided excellent opportunities for us to build out a synthetic biology platform and validate compatibility with a range of payloads, including pro-apoptotic peptides, reporter proteins, and larger functional proteins (such as DNA modifying enzymes and toxins). We will also be exploring a diverse range of other payloads. The team would welcome discussions with the right partners as we move to the next phase“.
NanoSyrinx’s initial focus will be on the development of its ex vivo gene editing nanosyringe concept, having already engaged with a number of leaders in the cell therapy field.
Read more here
Diagnostic tool for Coronavirus being developed by University of Warwick makes significant step forward
Scientists at the University of Warwick have demonstrated that a potential diagnostic tool for detecting COVID-19 using sugars will work with a virus rather than just its proteins, a significant step in making it a viable test in future.
Prior's Court is working with WMG to help recruit two specialist Digital Healthcare apprentice staff. The new Digital Healthcare Apprentices will study towards a Bachelor of Science Undergraduate degree in Digital Healthcare Science drawing on the expertise of WMG and WMS.
Efforts to stem the impact of COVID-19 in low to middle income countries could be creating a health time bomb in their slum communities by deepening existing inequalities, according to an international team of health researchers led by WMS.
People who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea could be at increased risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19 according to a new study from WMS.
Rapid low cost SARS-COV-2 diagnostics using glycosylated nanoparticles
Current diagnostic strategies for SARS-COV-2 rely on centralised infrastructure using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) methods. The GibsonGroup have discovered that the SARS-COV-2 spike protein binds a sialic acids (a type of glycan other respiratory viruses also target) and show this can be used to detect it. The glycan is installed onto gold nanoparticles, which are then used in a hijacked ‘pregnancy test’ allowing quick detection without any infrastructure. This publication proves the principle including detection of a model virus system. https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c00855
Improved method to prepare glycosylated nanoparticles
Glycans (aka sugars) are crucial in infection and cell-cell signalling, but the incorporation of complex glycans into nanomaterials is not always easy. The GibsonGroup have developed a method to enable direct capture of glycans onto nanoparticles, removing complex chemical-synthesis steps which will enable the rapid investigation of their use in diagnostics, in particular. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.0c00465
Replacing solvents with polymers to cryopreserve stem cells
The GibsonGroup report the use of their (patent pending) macromolecular cryoprotectants for the cryopreservation of stem (stromal) cells. With this technology the amount of DMSO was reduced required for cryopreservation was reduced from 10 wt % to just 2.5 wt %. These findings are important for regenerative medicine applications where high-quality frozen cells are crucial, and the reduced DMSO may reduce toxicity and improve stem cell manufacturing processes.
Re-engineering Cellular Interfaces with Synthetic Macromolecules using Metabolic Glycan Labelling
In this viewpoint article, to celebrate 100 years of polymer science, the GibsonGroup have reviewed the emerging field of engineering cell surfaces with polymers. Protein-polymer conjugates are now clinically used, but cell-polymer conjugates are still emerging. This article reviews how chemists can exploit glycan (sugar) metabolic processing to introduce ‘handles’ to cell surfaces to allow attachment of polymers, or nanomaterials, and the many potential applications this technology may have. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00317
Evaluating the efficiency of new macromolecular cryoprotectants for cells
Frozen cells are crucial in all biomedical research, as well as to deliver cell based therapies (e.g. CAR-T cells) to patients.The GibsonGroup have published a study showing how to avoid false positives when testing innovative polymer-based cryoprotectants, which is crucial to help their translation from the lab to clinic. The work was led by recently appointed Wellcome-Trust translational fellow Dr Kathryn Murray. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.biomac.0c00591
University of Warwick partners in project forming part of UK Government’s support for global communities impacted by COVID-19
Researchers at WMS are part of an international research team that have been awarded funding by the UK Government to investigate remote primary healthcare consulting for people with long term conditions in Tanzania and Nigeria.
WMS and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust are investigating whether a new dual testing method can improve the diagnostic accuracy for patients with suspected significant bowel disease (SBD) - without the need for a colonoscopy.
Reset ethics: supporting ethical decision-making in non-Covid health services during and after the pandemic
Researchers at WMS are involved in a new project that will examine the issues of resetting NHS services following the suspension of all but essential services during lockdown.
Researchers from the Institute of Digital Healthcare at WMG and WMS have identified known risk factors for mortality in adult patients discharged from hospital with diabetes.
Customers buying home testing kits for COVID were often misled by third-party websites, new study finds
Home-testing kits sold online in the UK and US in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic were provided with incomplete and in some cases, misleading information on how accurate they were, a new UK study by WMS and the University of Birmingham has found.
More effective measures to prevent infection spreading within households are a vital part of preventing a second wave of COVID-19, say researchers at WMS and the University of Birmingham.
Congratulations to Dr Harbinder Sandhu winner of the 2020 iPain Hero of Hope Award for the Healthcare Provider category. The awards recognise outstanding commitment to assisting and advocating for people with chronic pain diseases.
A new study by WMS researchers has found that mindfulness could help trainee GPs to build their resilience and reduce burnout, helping to reduce the number of newly qualified GPs leaving the profession.
A diet rich in plant-based foods can include a limited amount of animal products and still improve blood pressure, new research by WMS demonstrates.
Surveying the building blocks of childhood: new Centre for Early Life to be launched at University of Warwick
The first building blocks of our lives are to be explored by a new research centre at the University of Warwick, starting from before we are even conceived right up to the age of five years old.