Sponsored by NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria

The Bright Idea...

Limbal Stem Cell Therapy

It is a well-known fact that visual loss is universally feared, with concerns of losing sight being almost double that of contracting heart disease (63% vs 37% of those between the ages of 50 and 64). The cornea is the clear window at the front of the eye and its clarity is vital for the transmission of light to the back of the eye, enabling visual perception. Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD) is a clinical entity which causes chronic inflammation, scarring, persistent epithelial defects and neovascularisation of the cornea, and ultimately it is painful and causes blindness, with patients requiring long term follow up for intensive treatment. A novel approach to the treatment of LSCD has been developed by The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in conjunction with Newcastle University, which can successfully reverse LCSD in the treated eye, to significantly and positively impact upon the quality of life of the patient.

The Innovators...

Professor Francisco C Figueiredo, MD, PhD, FRCOphth,
Professor of Ophthalmology
Newcastle University and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Majlinda Lako, PhD, Professor of Stem Cell Sciences, Institute of Genetic Medicine
International Centre for Life, Newcastle University

Professor Anne Dickinson, PhD, Professor of Marrow Transplant Biology, Haematological Sciences and Director
Newcastle Cellular Therapies Facilities, Newcastle University

Russell Watkins, Assistant Director Business Innovation and Improvement
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Finn Willingham, Newcastle Therapeutics Project Manager
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University

NHS Blood and Transplant, Bristol University, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, Flinders University, Australia

The Bright Idea...

National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre

Atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS) is an inherited kidney disease, for which until recently there was no cure. The disease often results in end stage kidney failure and patients can face a lifetime of dialysis as a result, with a kidney transplant not being an option since the disease would typically recur in the new kidney. A collaborative team formed by scientists at Newcastle University and clinicians at the Freeman Hospital Renal Unit, undertook ground breaking genetic research which has ultimately resulted in the development of a treatment which prevents the patients from being confined to a lifetime on dialysis, effectively revolutionising patient care. Patients have always been a critical part of this research, and their time and donation of blood samples has allowed the team to successfully define the basis of the disease.

The Innovators...

Jalibani Ndebele, National aHUS Service Manager
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Professor David Kavanagh, Professor of Complement Therapeutics, Honorary Consultant Nephrologist
Professor Neil Sheerin, Professor of Nephrology
Dr. Sally Johnson, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist
Edwin Wong, Consultant Nephrologist
Angela Watt and Jo Stout, Specialist Nurses
Helen Nicholl, Senior Medical Secretary
National Renal Complement Centre

In collaboration with:
Newcastle University, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Renal and Paediatrics Directorate and Northern Genetics Service

The Bright Idea...

Delivery of Research Awareness to Service Users, Carers and Staff

Publicising and promoting research to staff within the Trust and keeping them informed about how they can get involved, has always been an important aspect of the work being carried out by the R and D Team at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. However, it was recognised that there is a gap in the delivery of this information, in that service users and carers were not being provided with the same opportunities to engage in research when compared with staff, since they do not normally receive the same bespoke presentations at clinical meetings or receive updates via the staff bulletin. In response to this, the team developed a research awareness course, which informs service users and carers regarding the reasons for research and the different types of research being carried out, highlighting opportunities for involvement.

The Innovators…

Laura Jackson, Patient and Public Involvement Volunteer
Jess Williams, Recovery Expert by Experience
Sarah Daniel, Research Manager
Jacqueline Harvey, Research Secretary
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

In collaboration with:
Joanne King, Operations Manager, Arch Recovery College