News in 2017

  • Substantial investment to tackle challenges of African vector-borne plant diseases 5 October 2017 The University of Bristol has been awarded £2 million to lead a major new project that aims to tackle the devastation caused by vector-borne plant diseases in Africa.
  • Bristol to lead national PhD training programme to tackle antimicrobial resistance 28 September 2017 In response to the urgent and global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the Medical Research Foundation (MRF), the charitable foundation of the Medical Research Council, has invested £2.85M in delivering the UK’s first nationwide PhD training programme to focus on this major health challenge.
  • Interventions for reducing hepatitis C infection in people who inject drugs 26 September 2017 The first global review to quantify the impact of needle syringe programmes (NSP) and opioid substitution treatment (OST) in reducing the risk of becoming infected with the hepatitis C virus is published in Cochrane Library Drug and Alcohol Review Group and the journal Addiction. The study, has implications for millions of people who are 'at risk' from infection.
  • New study aims to find the best moisturiser for treating eczema in children 22 September 2017 Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham and Southampton have been awarded £1.4 million by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme to discover which is the best emollient (moisturiser) for treating childhood eczema.
  • Study investigating effectiveness of The Lightning Process® programme to treat children with mild or moderate CFS or ME finds symptoms improve 21 September 2017 The first trial to investigate The Lightning Process® (LP) has been published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. In this trial, the effectiveness of LP in addition to specialist medical care was compared to specialist medical care alone in children with mild or moderate chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, CFS/ME).
  • Surprising discovery - how the African tsetse fly really drinks your blood 21 September 2017 Researchers at the University of Bristol have been taking a close-up look at the biting mouthparts of the African tsetse fly as part of ongoing work on the animal diseases it carries.
  • RCGP Research Paper of the Year award for CAPC-led study on urinary infections in children 18 September 2017 Research that helps GPs identify urinary tract infections in young children has been awarded a 2017 Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research Paper of the Year award.
  • How are antimicrobials used around the world in food-producing animals? 4 September 2017 A new study led by academics at the Bristol Veterinary School has reviewed the literature on the use of antimicrobials (AM) in livestock practice together with the views of stakeholders. The study found that although there are some barriers to change, there is a clear awareness of the issue among the livestock sectors and a willingness to modify AM use.
  • Steroids not effective for chest infections in adults who don’t have asthma or other chronic lung disease 22 August 2017 Oral steroids should not be used for treating acute lower respiratory tract infection (or ‘chest infections’) in adults who don’t have asthma or other chronic lung disease, as they do not reduce the duration or severity of symptoms, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA [22 August].
  • Bristol scientists to study oral bacteria that cause heart valve infection 21 August 2017 Scientists at the University of Bristol are investigating how bacteria in our mouth can cause a heart problem, called infective endocarditis. Although uncommon, infective endocarditis is a serious condition that can often be fatal.
  • University of Bristol team develop a new test to assist GP antibiotic prescribing 3 August 2017 A research team at the University of Bristol has won a prestigious international award for a technology that could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
  • WUN Strategic Research Workshop 1 August 2017 The World Universities Network Global Africa Group launched its inaugural Strategic Research Workshop, hosted by the University of Ghana in a two-day event that brought together over sixty researchers from twelve WUN partner universities and ten other universities from four continents.
  • Structure of newly discovered antibiotics finally pinned down 1 August 2017 Chemists from the University of Bristol have revised the structure of baulamycins A and B by combining chemical synthesis, computational modelling and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
  • Adrenal gland activity change under severe stress causing abnormal release of glucocorticoid stress hormones 27 July 2017 To respond to stress optimally, the body needs to produce glucocorticoid hormones, such as cortisol, extremely quickly. New research by scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter has revealed the molecular network that enables rapid glucocorticoid production within the adrenal glands, and has shown how the behaviour of this network can be altered under severe stress.
  • Transforming UK Translation commitments 27 July 2017 The Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, and the Wellcome Trust, have outlined a series of commitments to ensure that translation is recognised and celebrated as an integral part of academic research.
  • How can diagnostics deliver a more effective use of antibiotics in animals? 12 July 2017 Are there better ways to diagnose animals in need of antibiotics on livestock farms? How will farmers and veterinarians use novel diagnostics in the fight against animal disease? These are some questions a consortium of seven academics – including two veterinarians from the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences - will address thanks to a £1.75 million grant to understand how better diagnostics can encourage responsible antibiotic use in animals.
  • New trial for prosthetic hip joint infection 28 June 2017 The first ever randomised trial to investigate why some patients develop infections after their hip or knee replacement surgery, and which type of surgical revision treatment is best is being run by the University of Bristol and members of the public are being asked to consider taking part.
  • Preventing progression in diabetic kidney disease 13 June 2017 Glitazones are drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes because they improve insulin resistance and reduce progression of associated kidney disease. But how do they work? The EBI’s Clinical Primer scheme for early-career clinicians has allowed a Bristol-based clinician, Dr Caroline Platt, to explore this question.
  • Informatics service support for health and biomedical research at the University of Bristol 13 June 2017 The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research (EBI), through its Wellcome Trust ISSF Award, and match funded by the University of Bristol, invested in two posts that are openly available to help support all health and biomedical researchers across the University in their informatics needs.
  • Novel targeting of disease causing cells could transform treatment of autoimmune diseases 24 May 2017 There is a problem with the traditional treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Steroid therapy doesn’t always work, and immunosuppressant drugs can have toxic side effects. Bristol researchers, with the help of an award from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, are working to overcome this using novel ways of targeting disease causing cells.
  • Achievements of the Chronic Kidney Disease HIT in 2016-17 23 May 2017 One in ten people live with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is a long-term condition that can increase the risk of heart disease or a sudden deterioration in kidney function, also known as acute kidney injury. The Chronic Kidney Disease Health Integration Team (CKD HIT) is a team of clinical staff and patients, working together to improve patient outcomes and care pathways for patients with kidney disease.
  • Bristol Bones and Joints highlights for 2016-17 23 May 2017 The Bones and Joints HIT covers three disease areas: osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and inflammatory rheumatological disorders, underpinned by three themes of patient self-management, patient and public involvement and information technology.
  • Bristol Immunisation Group’s highlights for 2016-17 23 May 2017 The Bristol Immunisation Group brings public health, clinical and academic experts together to improve the local performance and resilience of the national immunisation programmes. We also work to develop and deliver improvements through innovation and research.
  • Successes of the Sexual Health Improvement for Population and Patients HIT in 2016-17 23 May 2017 The Sexual Health Improvement for Population and Patients Health Integration Team (SHIPP HIT) works to promote evidence based sexual health improvement. Our focus of the last 12 months has been to support the commissioning of a new integrated sexual health service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). We have provided commissioners with cost effective evidence based advice that has underpinned the procurement process. In November 2016 the contract to provide the new service was awarded to Unity Sexual Health, a coalition involving Bristol Sexual Health Centre, the specialist service provided by University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, and all major third sector providers.
  • Respiratory Infection HIT round up for 2016-17 23 May 2017 Respiratory tract infections place considerable pressure on health care services. Children play a major role in spreading these infections. However, parents often don’t have the information to know when and how best to access health services for common illnesses. A vicious cycle is created of increasing patient demand, higher antibiotic use and a reduction in antibiotic effectiveness.
  • Cystic fibrosis study offers new understanding of silent changes in genes 17 May 2017 Researchers studying the root cause of cystic fibrosis have made a major advance in our understanding of silent gene changes with implications for the complexity of cystic fibrosis.
  • Gene that affects cell power supply may hold key to bowel disease 17 May 2017 A key gene that helps to explain an underlying cause of incurable bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease has been identified by scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Bristol.
  • Life expectancy for people with HIV has increased by 10 years in the US and Europe since introduction of antiretroviral therapy 11 May 2017 Life expectancy of 20-year-olds starting treatment for HIV has increased by around a decade in the EU and North America since the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in the mid-1990s, according to a study published in The Lancet HIV. These increases are among treated individuals, and are in addition to dramatic life expectancy improvements that occurred after the introduction of antiretroviral therapy compared with untreated individuals.
  • NIHR i4i Award 10 May 2017 The aim of this research is to establish whether the AmBeR system can be used to improve the management of children with rare but potentially devastating Urea Cycle Defects. Working with colleagues at UWE and an industry partner Breath Dx, we will trial this entirely novel device to assess its utility as a near to patient ammonia measuring device in collaboration with clinical services in Bristol, Great Ormond St, Guy's Hospital and Birmingham Children's Hospital.
  • Clinical trial discovers new way to prevent children with arthritis and eye disease losing their sight 5 May 2017 A new drug combination that could help thousands of children with arthritis and prevent them from serious complications, including blindness, has been discovered by researchers and thanks to a trial funded by Arthritis Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
  • Lab mice may not be effective models for immunology research 3 May 2017 Laboratory mice may not be effective models for studying immune responses to disease. The research, published in Nature Communications, reveals limitations of laboratory mice as immunological models.
  • Cost-effectiveness of Hep C treatments in low & middle income countries 28 April 2017 Health Economics at Bristol (HEB) team members are working in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of new direct acting anti-viral (DAA) treatments for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Cambodia and Pakistan.
  • Antibiotics not effective for clinically infected eczema in children 23 March 2017 Estimates suggest that 40 per cent of eczema flares are treated with topical antibiotics, but findings from a study involving academics from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, suggest there is no meaningful benefit from the use of either oral or topical antibiotics for milder clinically infected eczema in children.
  • New EBI Director from 1 August 2017 17 March 2017 following an open, internal, competitive appointment process, Professor Rachael Gooberman-Hill has been appointed to the role of Director of Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, which she will commence on 1 August 2017.
  • Kidney Research UK grant 14 March 2017 Awarded to Prof Richard Coward and Prof Craig McArdle
  • Meningitis Research Foundation grant 14 March 2017 Prof Adam Finn and Dr Jenny Oliver (Co Investigators) have received an award of £29,737
  • Early career training and support 9 March 2017 The Faculties of Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences have a dynamic postgraduate community enrolled in taught or research-based programmes. Postgrads receive their training in internationally renowned research groups which span the biomedical science disciplines of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience through to the disciplines associated with population health which include life course epidemiology, genomics, primary care and public health with a particular emphasis on methodology.
  • Lassoing from the mouth to the heart 8 March 2017 Infective endocarditis occurs when bacteria cause unwanted blood clots to form on heart valves. Untreated it is fatal; even treated mortality rates are ~ 30%. There are over 2,000 cases diagnosed in the UK annually, and cases are rising.
  • £7.5M boost for Health Research 8 March 2017 The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (EBI) has been awarded the Wellcome Trust’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF), designed to support biomedical research and related activities in the UK over the next five years. The ISSF award of £3.75M is being matched by the University. It is the third and largest ISSF award for the EBI and recognises the successful work the Institute has delivered during the previous five years.
  • Online forecast maps warns sheep farmers about risk of Nematodirosis in lambs 1 March 2017 With spring fast approaching the parasite Nematodirus is a deadly threat to the lives of lambing flocks. An online risk forecast could help UK sheep farmers assess the risk of outbreaks of the parasite in their lambs and take action before it is too late. The forecast maps will be updated daily to track changes in risk throughout the spring and early summer and include treatment and management advice.
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