Events7 November 2016
Workshop in Chandigarh, India on tackling the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
This workshop seeks to identify specific challenges of addressing AMR within India, increase awareness and facilitate research networks.
PROTEUS' Dr Bethany Mills will travel to India to attend the 4 day workshop and present her work around the use of 'smart probes' for real-time optical imaging of bacteria for rapid and accurate diagnosis of infection in the clinic.
Beth will discuss with fellow participants the potential to identify Gram and AMR status in real-time and the possibility to inform subsequent treatment strategies, promoting appropriate antimicrobial use.
The workshop will also explore the various molecular mechanisms that lead to the emergence of AMR, methods for drug design against resistant strains as well as formulating policy recommendations for addressing AMR as a broader, socioeconomic and public health issue by engaging relevant stakeholders and domain experts.
PROTEUS are committed to recruiting the very best researchers to work with us.
We invite you look through our opportunities page and contact us if you would like to join us for brilliant science and fun along the way!
News & Views
Researchers Meet at The University of Edinburgh to Form New Collaborations in Image-Guided Therapies
The EPSRC Image-Guided Therapies (IGT) Network Meeting brought researchers together to discuss their research and strengthen existing links between academics, clinicians and industry.
Professor Sebastien Ourselin, (University College London), welcomed the network members and emphasized the network’s aim which is to break down silos between researchers and share research ideas and outcomes.
A number of academics presented their work and encouraged attendees to ask questions and look for opportunities to understand and address the relevant scientific challenges together.
Prof Daniel Elson (Imperial College London) was particularly interested in the use of PROTEUS smart probes (fluorescent molecules that can target and identify bacteria and biological processes) and the imaging technique fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to distinguish between different agents of disease.
Prof Elson found the research to be relevant and highly informative to his own research and praised the network for organizing the meeting and allowing space and time for discussion.
Fraser Stewart, a PhD student from University of Dundee, described a therapeutic capsule that uses ultrasound imaging to improve treatment of Crohn’s Disease. He spoke to many interested network members during the meeting who were keen to follow his progress in the Sonopill Project.
Other researchers were enthusiastic to discuss their work during the meeting in an effort to drive their research forward.
This meeting has given me the opportunity to talk to researchers outside of my specific area of research who I wouldn’t normally meet with – it’s been great for networking’
Elly Martin (Postdoctoral Researcher University College London)
Professor Adrian Podoleanu, (University of Kent) was also pleased to have been part of the meeting and discuss his research in optical coherence tomography with fellow scientists and look for ways in which to work together.
Tim Devling (iThera Medical) spoke to PROTEUS’ Dr Philip Emanuel about moving smart probes and PROTEUS imaging technology into clinic. Tim expressed his satisfaction in hearing about this new development from laboratory to clinic.
‘We have been waiting for this technology to move into clinic for a long time - now it has and that is a really big leap forward’
Dr Bethany Mills has been awarded the Women in Molecular Imaging Network Scholar Award at the World Molecular Imaging Congress today.
Beth's research looking at how scarring of lung tissue can be identified using PROTEUS technology has been recognised and highly praised by the Women in Molecular Imaging Network Interest Group.
Beth will be honoured at an Award Luncheon today and receive a prize of $350. PROTEUS team members are incredibly proud of Beth's achievement and hope she enjoys her well deserved award and continues to deliver excellent science in the future.
Dr Annya Symth, PROTEUS' Clinical Study Manager talks us through PROTEUS' first clinical study and explains the challenges that lie ahead.
What are your responsibilities in PROTEUS?
I am responsible for managing the design, set-up and running of the clinical studies that test both the optical Smartprobes and the evolving technology. This includes designing and developing the clinical protocols alongside the lead clinicians, obtaining the necessary approvals and working closely with the Sponsor and clinical staff to ensure the study runs smoothly. I’ve also renewed my research passport to help our clinical team in the hospital to carry out the research, if it’s needed. It’s a great chance to meet the patients involved and to make sure the studies we design in our office actually work well in a clinical environment.
The process of bringing PROTEUS into commercial use is incredibly complex - can you walk us through the protocol?
The ultimate aim of the PROTEUS project is to develop technology that is accessible to clinicians worldwide, but this is a few years off. Right now we are running small, local studies to test the individual components of the technology, but we’ll eventually conduct a large regulated clinical trial to obtain valuable data about the functionality of the final imaging platform prior to potential commercialisation.
What stage of this process are PROTEUS at now?
The PROTEUS project is about halfway through its journey-we are now at the stage of our first clinical study that’s due to start in July 2016. The end goal of the project, in June 2018, is to test the fully functioning Smartprobe delivery, imaging and sensing system for the first time in humans.
Why is this clinical study important?
So far we have tested and evaluated our imaging system in animal lungs and now we are at the stage of moving the technology into humans. We want to develop a novel approach to address the unmet needs of identifying and measuring pulmonary fibroproliferative pathway.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced bringing PROTEUS to its first clinical study?
The biggest challenge to date, and I honestly don’t think it’s a challenge in the true sense of the word, is to ensure that those involved in working with us and approving the Versicolour device and Smartprobes for clinical use are a fully integrated part of this journey, and appreciate the low risk nature of the technology. We’ve already demonstrated that the Smartprobe and device are safe for clinical use, but the novel approach that we’re using and the state-of-the-art technology will always challenge existing perceptions which are based around more conventional research tools that are currently in use.
What challenges lie ahead?
A potential challenge that I can see in the future is the integration of the sensors to our technology. In saying that, the team have come a long way so far and are well capable of jumping any possible technical hurdles.
Interview conducted by Kate Boyd Crotty and Jessica Davis, Science Communication Mater Students
Healthcare innovations need world-leading research and skilled people to get off the ground. Cross discipline collaborations, including those funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are critical to success.