Calponin-homology domain mediated bending of membrane associated actin filaments
This paper was the result of a collaboration between Saravanan Palani (now at IISC Bangalore), Darius Köster and Mohan Balasubramanian. Here we show that the extended CH domain of IQGAP proteins such as Rng2 or IQGAP1 can bend usually straight actin filaments into tight rings when tethered to a lipid membrane. That observation was quite unexpected as no other protein is known to do this! It was a control experiment that allowed us to make this fascinating observation… read more here
NanoSyrinx raises £6.2m
NanoSyrinx, a spin-out from the Waterfield Lab at Warwick Medical School founded by Dr Joe Healey and Dr Nick Waterfield, announced on Monday that it had successfully raised a further £6.2M in seed financing. This builds on an initial fundraising in early 2020, and the company will use the funds to continue developing its platform – a novel biologic drug delivery system utilising genetically encoded “nanosyringes” – toward pre-clinical proof of concept over the next two years.
Further details here
A protein involved in making cells move offers a clue to how certain types of cancer metastasize and develop into secondary tumours, according to new research from WMS.
Our 2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremony took place on 9 July, celebrating the fantastic achievements of our MB ChB students. During the event we awarded prizes to those who have excelled during their degree, both academically and by representing the Warwick Doctor values.
As media report that the UK is currently experiencing a heatwave, Dr Raquel Nunes, senior research fellow at Warwick Medical School, comments that efforts to support vulnerable people during extreme heat should focus on those who lack independence or have pre-existing health issues.
Dr Lucy Hammond, Principle Fellow of Advance HE
Congratulations to Dr Lucy Hammond, who has recently achieved recognition as a Principal Fellow of Advance HE. Principal Fellowships are awarded to highly experienced and/or senior staff with wide-ranging academic or academic-related strategic leadership responsibilities in connection with key aspects of teaching and supporting learning.
We’re delighted that WMS has received the 2021 ASPIRE-to-Excellence award for Student Engagement. ASPIRE awards recognise medical, dental and veterinary schools internationally for their excellence in education.
WMS is to receive a share of new national investment in doctoral training, supporting postgraduate students to engage in interdisciplinary research to help understand, diagnose and intervene in human disease.
World-leading study begins into robotic surgery for knee replacement with major £1.6 million funding grant
A major national study will pitch human skill against machine precision as it compares the benefits of knee replacement surgery performed using a robot to a surgeon using traditional methods.
The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) has honoured Professor Gavin Perkins, Director of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, in its selection of “Giants” in the field of Resuscitation Science for 2021.
Early migrations of Siberians to America tracked using bacterial population structures
International team used the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori as a biomarker for ancient human migrations
DNA sequences catalogued at University of Warwick in EnteroBase, a public genomes database, demonstrate that a migration of Siberians to the Americas occurred approximately 12,000 years ago
Project began in 2000s but new statistical techniques allowed researchers to reconstruct and date the migrations of Siberian Helicobacter pylori
Early migrations of humans to the Americas from Siberia around 12,000 years ago have been traced using the bacteria they carried by an international team including scientists at the University of Warwick.
Warwick Medical School has had great success this year at the WATE Awards (Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence), winning three and making a clean sweep of the team category.
Congratulations to Helen Nolan
Congratulations to Helen Nolan for her research publication in leading medical education journal Medical Education. Read it here: Medical Educators’ views and experiences of trigger warnings in teaching sensitive content
Limited data on the uptake of contraception prior to and during crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic could mean unforeseen issues for sexual and reproductive health services, research from Warwick Medical School concludes.
Impact of the protein corona on nanoparticles
The Gibsongroup are developing nanoparticles for biosensing, diagnostics, and delivery applications. A key challenge is how particles perform in ‘perfect’ conditions verses ‘real world’ when proteins found in blood can ’stick’ to the surface and compromise performance.
In their latest paper they show how nano-rods, with glycans on their surface, do indeed get ‘fouled’ by proteins, but show how this does not prevent their use in biosensing, and that in fact the release of serum proteins can be used to generate signal.
Read the paper here
Cryopreserving blood cells with polymers
The cryopreservation of cells and tissues is crucial in biomedical research and in modern medicine. Red blood cells are crucial and are currently stored in glycerol. In the latest work from the GibsonGroup they show that an unconventional cryopreservation mixture, including synthetic polymers, can be used to protect red blood cells during freezing and results in high recovery, even with larger volumes. Crucially, this mixture is very easy to wash-out post-thaw.
Read the paper here
Medics training to become general practitioners reported a significant positive improvement in their mental wellbeing after participating in a specially-designed mindfulness programme, a study from Warwick Medical School researchers shows.
Congratulations to Manjula Patel
Manjula Patel has been awarded a PhD in Health and Social Studies for their PhD on ‘Compassionate Communities Approaches to End of Life Care as a Therapeutic Landscape’. Manjula was supervised by Anne-Marie Slowther and Gillian Hundt in the Division of Health Sciences.
Parents with young adolescents aged 11 – 15 years are being invited to help trial a new online programme that aims to help parents or carers support the wellbeing of adolescents.
Warwick Medical School authors, Dr Helen Atherton, Dr Jo Parsons and Dr Carol Bryce looked at the rate of missed GP appointments in the UK. Their findings are published in the BJGP and Jo Parsons is also interviewed in a podcast discussing some of the findings and implications of this work.
Missed general practice appointments have considerable time and cost implications for the NHS, and leaves patients with unmet health needs, and potentially delayed diagnoses or medical treatment. This systematic review, entitled ‘Which patients miss appointments with general practice and the reasons why’ updated work conducted in 2003, and aimed to examine the rate of missed booked appointments, which patients are more likely to miss appointments, and some reasons for this. Findings of this review has potential implications for practices in targeting interventions to patients that are at increased likelihood of missing appointments, and in attempting to overcome common reasons that appointments are missed.
More information can be found on the GP Online webpages here.
T cells discriminate between healthy and infected cells with remarkable sensitivity when mounting an immune response, which is hypothesized to depend on T cells combining stimuli from multiple antigen‐presenting cell interactions into a more potent response. To quantify the capacity for T cells to accomplish this, we have developed an antigen receptor that is optically tunable within cell conjugates, providing control over the duration, and intensity of intracellular T‐cell signalling.
Ethnicity-specific BMI cutoffs for obesity based on type 2 diabetes risk in England: a population-based cohort study
Researchers from four leading institutions (University of Warwick, Oxford University, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the UCL Institute of Health Informatics) came together in partnership with the Ethnic Health Forum to create this population-based cohort study using linked primary care and secondary care electronic records from England.
This study’s findings come at a critical time, given the increased focus on health inequalities affecting millions of people from minority ethnic communities as well as the link between obesity and COVID-19 (a condition also adversely affecting UK BAME people).
Read the press release here
Read the article here
Unravelling the role of proline in cryopreserving cell monolayers
The cryopreservation of cells as adherent monolayers is very challenging, compared to in suspension The GibsonGroup's latest work explores the role of proline in ‘preparing’ cells for cryopreservation, observing they slow growth rates, and enable more cells to recover from cryopreservation compared to without proline. Read the paper here
Small ice binding peptides from phage display
The GibsonGroup have collaborated with Prof Harm Anton Klok at EPFL, and the Sosso Lab at Warwick to discover new, small, ice binding peptides. The team used phage display to screen billions of possible sequences, to identify a 14 amino acid cyclic peptide than can bind ice crystals. The peptide was a potent ice growth inhibitor and the use of the as a ‘CryoTag’ to purify proteins via ice-binding was demonstrated. This will help develop new cryoprotectants and an understand of how proteins can recognise ice, in a large excess of water.
Biomimetic Polymer Particles to Control Ice Growth
The GibsonGroup have reported a surprising result that larger (several hundred nanometres) polymer nanoparticles can stop ice recrystallisation, and in some cases bind to the ice - a feature commonly associated with ice binding proteins from extremophiles. The team used a technique termed polymerization-induced self-assembly to produce the particles, which is appealing as they can be made at scale and are highly tunable, compared to producing proteins. These materials will be explored as part of the team's cryobiology research.