Biostór Director Peadar Mac Gabhann presents VISICORT at Biobanking conference, London

The 7th annual BioBanking conference on took place on the 14th and 15th of June 2017 in Central London, UK. The meeting brought together Europe’s leading biorepositories, regulatory representatives and scientific pioneers to strengthen knowledge in biosample management and explore future advances in areas such as mobile bio-banking and cloud-based sample management. Understanding the ethical and regulatory framework as well as the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on collaborative science in Europe was a major focus of the conference. Biostór Ireland Director Peadar Mac Gabhann presented VISICORT as a case study: ‘Cloud-based Sample Management of Multi-Centre Clinical Trial in Corneal Transplant’.

Prof Pleyer, Charité presents VISICORT at DOG 2017 conference, Berlin

The 115th Deutsche Ophthalmologishe Gesellschaft (DOG) conference was held in Berlin from 28 September – 1 October 2017. Here, Prof Uwe Pleyer of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin co-chaired the ‘Germany goes to Europe: European Research Consortia with German participation’ session. VISICORT was presented by Prof Pleyer during this session which highlighted five projects funded by the European Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Malcolm Walkinshaw, SynthSys, Edinburgh

Malcolm WALKINSHAW

Dr Malcolm Walkinshaw, of SynthSys, Edinburgh joins the VISICORT project.

Dr Walkinshaw obtained his PhD in physical chemistry at Edinburgh University. After post-doc positions in Purdue and Gottingen he joined the Swiss company Sandoz (now Novartis) where he built and led a successful 25 person strong ‘Drug Discovery Group’ which made important contributions to understanding the mode of action of immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporin. On taking up the Chair of Structural Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh he founded the ‘Structural Biochemistry Group’ which later became part of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology. In 2007 with funding from the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC he founded the Centre for Translational and Chemical Biology which continues to provide world-class facilities for protein production. One major research theme has been around the enzymes of the glycolytic pathway as potential anti-parasitic drug targets. This work has led to the development of potent nanomolar inhibitors that kill trypanosomal parasites quickly and can cure mice infected with Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite that causes sleeping sickness.  Walkinshaw has published over 250 papers and has over 9000 citations.

SynthSys, University of Edinburgh (SYNT), The Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology is a research centre of the University of Edinburgh, UK which is composed of a multi-disciplinary team of experimentalists (molecular biologists, biochemists, chemists) and modellers (mathematicians, computational modellers, and software developers) working together to gain a better understanding of the nature of various biological systems. One component of SynthSys is the Kinetic Parameter Facility (KPF). This facility is a core experimental resource containing state-of-the-art equipment which is used to generate kinetic parameter data that is subsequently used to feed into mathematical models. Among the different experimental strategies, quantitative proteomics is a largely employed approach.

The main quantitative proteomics expertise developed in the lab is based on a label-free LC-MS/MS strategy which can be used with a wide variety of biological samples including tissue or fluid for biomarker discovery. In contrast to other quantitative proteomics approaches, the label-free quantitation enables a large-scale experimental design. Therefore, it allows for the comparison of large sample groups under various conditions.

SynthSys has an established collaboration with FIOS for large-scale data analysis and also has an on-going collaboration with research groups with specific clinical interests such the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology and Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems. Over the past 5 years, SynthSys has successfully performed a wide variety of diverse quantitative proteomics studies.

 

VISICORT will present at EU-MSC2 meeting in Leiden in September

Hosted by Leiden University Medical Center, the EU MSC2 2017 meeting in Leiden, NL on September 12th and 13th will assemble twelve EU-funded, mesenchymal stromal cell-focussed consortia. Projects to be presented include: REDDSTARREACHRETHRIM, Stellar, MERLINNephstromSCIENCEVISICORT and Adipoa-2AUTOSTEMBOOSTB4, SEPCELL, RESSTORE, and RESPINE. This two day, interactive meeting will be held at the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden. Three overarching aspects of the EU-MSC2 meeting include: mechanisms of action and potency assays; an interactive panel discussion on product development, and product development and market authorisation in a changing regulatory landscape.

The objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Enhance knowledge-sharing between EU research groups working in the mesenchymal stromal cell biology domain
  • Engage with European Commission Project Officers and other stakeholders from International Society of Cellular Therapy, stem cell ethicists and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • Assemble trans-disciplinary research groups working across the global health spectrum but with a common focus of mesenchymal stromal cell biology
  • Bring up-and-coming researchers together for networking purposes, and to explore future consortium building and international funding application opportunities

Expected impacts and outcomes:

  • Provide opportunities to develop new mesenchymal stromal cell networks
  • Disseminate the findings and challenges between MSC-focussed consortia
  • Improve the communication potential of research, outcomes and the value of the research
  • Explore potential for new commercial technologies
  • Collectively enhance the quality and impact of planned clinical trials

These EU-funded projects are:

  • Improving the quality of life for European citizens
  • Progressing the clinical translation of MSC research and developments

For more information, please visit EU MSC2 2017.
Register via Eventbrite by August 14 2017.
Read the EU-MSC2 2015 meeting report here.

VISICORT at the 7th International Biobanking Summit

Biostór Ireland’s Peadar Mac Gabhann presented the VISICORT Biorepository at the 7th International Biobanking Summit in London on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Paul Lohan presents on MSC cell therapy in high risk cornea transplantation

VISICORT researcher Dr Paul Lohan presented his work on MSC cell therapy in high risk cornea transplantation at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) seminar which took place in the Biomedical Sciences Building NUI Galway on Thursday 8th June. The seminar was attended by research scientists and principal investigators.

VISICORT partners involved in exciting new stem cell project

VISICORT partners NUI Galway, Orbsen, and Pintail are involved in NEPHSTROM, a new European project, which was launched last week. NEPHSTROM involves eleven partners from Ireland, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, and has received €6 million funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding programme. NEPHSTROM will evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of a next-generation cell therapy discovered by Galway-based Orbsen Therapeutics, to combat diabetic kidney disease. Find out more about the project at www.nephstrom.eu.

EU MSC2 2015: Contributing to MSC Knowledge-Sharing, Research & Development

Our sister project REDDSTAR and Leiden University Medical Center are co-organizing EU MSC2 2015, a meeting in Leiden, NL on September 7th and 8th to bring together nine EU-funded, mesenchymal stromal cell-focussed consortia. Projects include: REDDSTAR, REACH, RETHRIM, Stellar, MERLIN, Nephstrom, SCIENCE, VISICORT and Adipoa-2. This two day, interactive meeting will be held at the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden.

The objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Enhance knowledge-sharing between EU research groups working in the mesenchymal stromal cell biology domain
  • Engage with European Commission Project Officers and other stakeholders from International Society of Cellular Therapy, stem cell ethicists and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • Assemble trans-disciplinary research groups working across the global health spectrum but with a common focus of mesenchymal stromal cell biology
  • Bring up-and-coming researchers together for networking purposes, and to explore future consortium building and international funding application opportunities

 

Expected impacts and outcomes:

  • Provide opportunities to develop new mesenchymal stromal cell networks
  • Disseminate the findings and challenges between MSC-focussed consortia
  • Improve the communication potential of research, outcomes and the value of the research
  • Explore potential for new commercial technologies
  • Collectively enhance the quality and impact of planned clinical trials

These EU projects are:

  • Boosting human capital: 20-30 positions created
  • Improving the quality of life for European citizens
  • Progressing the clinical translation of MSC research and developments

 

For more information, please visit EU MSC2 2015 and register via Eventbrite.

For queries: LeidenRM@gmail.com

Danielle Nicholson, Orbsen Therapeutics, NUI Galway and Brigitte Wieles, Project Manager LUMC

VISICORT meets in Berlin

The VISICORT project marked the end of the first year of its work with a plenary meeting  at the Charité Campus Virchow Klinikum in Berlin on Friday, May 29. Following an overview of the management of the project, scientists involved in the project’s preclinical workpackages reported on the research carried out in the six months since the last plenary. The meeting also heard updates on recruitment for VISICORT’s clinical trial, and the development of the sample tracking system that will allow researchers to manage the movement of thousands of samples between clinical sites, storage facilities, and research laboratories. An afternoon breakout session, held in Charité’s Eye Clinic Laboratory, provided training in sampling protocols for the clinical researchers involved in the project. The meeting concluded with a discussion on dissemination and exploitation of the project’s results.

Biostor ships VISICORT sampling kits

In a major step forward for the project, the first VISICORT sampling kits were shipped to clinical centres in Dublin and Aarhus this week from partner Biostor. Managing, sourcing and assembling the final sampling kits has involved  a huge effort from Niall, Peadar and all the team at Biostor.

Niall biostor