Newcastle University Single Cell Unit
Newcastle University Single Cell Unit (NUSCU) is an MRC and university funded core facility initiative with a mission statement to provide a comprehensive solution to researchers wanting to perform single cell analysis at the genomic, transcriptomic and protein level. NUSCU is an integrated facility buttressed by five cores: genomics, flow cytometry, bioimaging, high throughput/automation and bioinformatics that collectively provides cutting-edge instrumentation, expertise and technical support for all researchers within the Medical Faculty and beyond.
CEPA (Cellular Pathology) Biobank
From many of the interventions carried out by the Trust there can be surplus tissue that would normally be discarded but could be utilised to fulfil the many requests from researchers and commercial companies. CEPA also has REC approval which allows it access to the Trust’s extensive Diagnostic Archive, and tissue can be released from this archive with Pathologist approval if no longer required for diagnostic purposes. CEPA facilitates the supply of tissue, on a cost recovery basis, to support a broad range of research in an ethical manner, including the supply of tissue to commercial companies for quality control and method development purposes. Access to all tissue is overseen by a robust governance structure with well-defined policies and procedures to ensure fair, rapid and transparent access.
Genomics and Genetics
Clinical and laboratory services for genetic diseases are fully integrated in specialist facilities at the International Centre for Life. Clinicians working in the service use multiple diagnostic approaches to help patients understand their condition and make key decisions about their healthcare and the potential implications for their relatives.
This successful service delivery model is enhanced through close interaction with the Yorkshire and North East Genomic Laboratory Hub and other national centres, as well as good communication between genetic services and other relevant clinical specialties locally. Underpinning these services is a strong translational research theme conducted in collaboration with researchers in Newcastle University, particularly the Institute of Genetic Medicine and with the staff of the Faculty of Medical Sciences Genomics Core Facility (GCF). The GCF is a state-of-the-art laboratory experienced in service delivery for the academic, clinical and commercial sectors and resourced to operate at production scale, providing data for pilot projects through to large investment discovery research programmes.
The directorate of Integrated Laboratory Medicine in The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) is the largest clinical laboratory service in Europe and is based over three sites – the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), the Freeman Hospital and the Centre for Life – and carries out over 11 million tests each year.
NuTH has a significant reputation for high quality clinical services and care (described as “Outstanding” by the Care & Quality Commission) and is a world class centre for research and innovation. Newcastle Laboratories undertake testing for NHS hospitals regionally and nationally, but also provide laboratory services to a wide range of non-NHS organisations including occupational health departments in local government, police forces and academic organisations as well as to independent social research agencies, Premiership football clubs, healthcare waste specialists and research laboratories.
All Laboratories hold full accreditation status with UKAS against ISO15189:2012, and are dedicated to providing a high quality, cost effective service to across the Trust, as well as general practitioners, community services and other NHS Trusts, both regionally and nationally.
The CEPA Biobank was created in 2016 and is now embedded in the Integrated Laboratory Medicine Directorate. There is a focus on the collection of high-quality liquid and solid human tissue samples linked to data from the hospital laboratories. The Biobank operates mostly on a ‘collect to order’ basis and has been set up to provide human samples to UK industry and researchers.
A new Proximity Laboratory was constructed within the Cellular Pathology space of Integrated Laboratory Medicine that was funded by the EPSRC/MRC Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node. The laboratory has established collaborations with industrial partners and researchers in Newcastle University. The acquisition of a Vectra has enabled the Node to undertake complex multiplexing. Clinical trial work is also supported, and several major externally funded projects are currently active.
Centre for In Vivo Imaging
The Centre for In Vivo Imaging (CIVI) focuses on three major techniques to image tissue within organs – these include; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and fluorescence techniques (IVIS). These are continually evolving techniques which convey huge flexibility. By combining expertise in the basic science, which underpins the technology with biomedical drive for application, they can tailor each modality to a myriad of biomedical targets. This is through the innovative development of tracer molecules or scanning sequences.
Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node
The Medical Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node, one of six centres in the UK, has been established to bring together researchers, clinicians and industry to drive forward advances in precision medicine and develop the next generation of Molecular Pathologist. The innovative ‘Proximity Laboratory’ enables diverse cohorts to work together in a state of the art, ISO accredited lab within the busy Cellular Pathology Department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary to collaborate on the discovery and adoption of ground-breaking scientific developments. To promote capacity building in Molecular Pathology a Master’s degree and fellowship scheme have been developed with the Trust’s highly skilled team of Consultant Pathologists to ensure the most relevant and up to date practices are disseminated.
MedConNecT North aims to bridge the gap between the NHS and the development of new technology.
We are passionate about the contribution clinical research can make to improve people’s lives, reduce health costs and benefit economic growth. We work collaboratively with NHS Trusts, primary care organisations and other qualified stakeholders and providers of health and social care services, the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (NIHR CRN NENC) can translate that passion into effective delivery of research studies.
MedConNecT North in collaboration with North East and North Cumbria Clinical Research Network (NENC CRN) and the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN NENC) provides free support to help medical technology companies; SMEs, National and International Companies, deliver high quality research in the NHS. The MedConNecT North team can provide access to world leading NHS consultants covering all medical specialities, whether this is to facilitate feedback on a technology or to act as a Chief Investigator for a clinical trial. The team can appropriately sign post to key individuals and organisations to facilitate study design, delivery of research and adoption into the NHS clinical pathway. In addition, MedConNecT North supports NHS staff to encourage, develop and drive medical technology innovation within their organisation.
NIHR Newcastle Medtech and In vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (MIC)
The NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC) was established in January 2018, building upon the success of the previous NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) Newcastle (2013 - 2017). The role of the NIHR Newcastle MIC is to deliver high quality, robust scientific evidence on the care pathway and economic benefits of in vitro diagnostic tests and diagnostic medical devices — i.e. how their adoption by the NHS would improve patient health and provide value for money in an affordable way.
The focus of the Newcastle MIC lies in three areas of important unmet clinical need: Infectious diseases, Stratified Medicine, and Ageing and long-term chronic conditions. This is supported through collaboration with external partners, such as other NIHR resources, commercial and academic organisations.
The evaluation methodologists working within the Newcastle MIC are uniquely placed to support commercial and academic technology developers. They have developed strong expertise in clinical, economic and stakeholder engagement research, and collaborate with colleagues in the NHS and Newcastle University when additional expertise and resources are needed. Together, they can plan, design and carry out the necessary research to provide the evidence required by NHS clinicians and commissioners for investing in the most promising new technologies, as well as informing key developmental decisions.
NICE External Assessment Centre (EAC)
The Medical Physics Directorate of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust includes one of five NICE External Assessment Centres (EACs) in the UK. The Newcastle EAC is commissioned by NICE to provide independent assessment of the evidence for innovative medical devices and associated economic analysis of the impact of such technology adoption in the NHS. Staff in the EAC also work with NICE to progress further research on promising technologies where current evidence is limited, including with the NICE Observational Data Unit and a research ethics advisory service from the EAC to the NICE Science Policy and Research (SP&R) team. Outputs from the EAC inform independent NICE Committees in production of NICE Guidance and deliver professional advice to the Interventional Procedures (IP) Programme regarding CE marking of medical technologies.
The evaluation group at the Freeman Hospital has been involved in the national programme of medical device assessment for over 40 years. Their current role as an External Assessment Centre (EAC) for NICE complements other activities in Medical Physics, including developing innovative medical devices. The Newcastle EAC combines skills in device evaluation, observational research and health economics with their device development knowledge, to offer an all-encompassing EAC to the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme (MTEP) at NICE, and a comprehensive range of skills in technology assessment to other customers.
The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria
The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is dedicated to improving healthcare and supporting wealth creation through partnership working and promotion of innovation across the NHS, academia and industry. Through the Innovation Pathway the development and commercialisation of innovative ideas is supported and provides a unique opportunity for SMEs to access and benefit from the healthcare sector.
The Innovation Pathway delivers a brokerage between the NHS, other healthcare organisations and industry, and facilitates the commercialisation and use of emerging innovations, as well as driving high technology research and development. By offering a range of specialist services to the NHS and industry, The Innovation Pathway North will create a seamless transition across the entire innovation pathway from conception through to early stage protection of any associated intellectual property, through to the trialling and regulatory approval of new products, and then on to the eventual adoption and dissemination of the innovative technology or service, helping NHS organisations and SMEs in the North East region to grow and expand their target sectors. The Innovation Pathway is now becoming the recognised vehicle for the delivery of innovation in the North East healthcare arena, aiming to improve the economy of the region by creating wealth and job opportunities as well as improving the health and wellbeing of the region as a whole.
NIHR Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO)
We are NIHRIO, the national horizon scanning facility located at Newcastle University. We use advanced horizon scanning tools, including our own advanced online search engine, to detect new and emerging technologies up to 10 years before they are publicly available. Once identified we track these technologies, from patent through to patient. As such, we are the gateway to NICE for pharma, producing technology briefings for new technologies we identify.
We are also passionate about patient involvement, coordinating an innovative patient and public knowledge exchange programme in collaboration with VOICE, a citizen involvement network.