BIA Member Webinar: MRC Molecular Pathology Nodes: People, Proximity and Path

The MRC and EPSRC have supported six molecular pathology nodes led by the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham. Each node brings researchers, clinicians and industry together to develop molecular diagnostic tools, to enable stratification, in disease areas such as cancer, respiratory diseases, digestive disease, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus. The six nodes are collaborating with 20 industrial partners, including leading diagnostic and instrumentation companies and innovative technology and data SMEs.

Dr Aarti Parmar will provide a brief overview of the six Nodes and the background to why they were set up by the MRC. We will then hear from the coordinators of two of these Nodes; Professor Brightling will present the Breathomics Pathology node (EMBER) and Dr Oien will present the Glasgow Pathology Node (GMP), both discussing what their particular Node is focussing on and what diagnostics they are developing.


Dr Aarti Parmar

Research & Enterprise Executive

University of Leicester

Professor Christopher Brightling


East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node (EMBER)

Christopher Brightling is a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator, Respiratory Theme Lead for Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Institute for Lung Health, Leicester, UK. He is Coordinator for the European Union Consortium AirPROM, MRC/ABPI COPD (COPDMAP) Consortium and the MRC Molecular Pathology Node EMBER. He is founding Director of the European Respiratory Society Clinical Research Collaborations and Director of the NIHR Translational Research Collaboration.
As a well-respected expert in the immunopathogenesis of airway diseases, particularly asthma, chronic cough and COPD, his current projects include understanding the role of biomarkers in the clinical management of airways disease; interactions between the host and the airway ecology in airways disease; development of new therapies in airways disease; understanding the interactions between mast cells and airway smooth muscle cells in the development of the asthmatic phenotype and migration and remodeling of airway smooth muscle in asthma and COPD.
Professor Brightling has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles. Professor Brightling is Associate Editor of the prestigious CHEST and Clinical Science journals and is member of the American College of Chest Physicians’ Cough Guidelines, the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Guidelines and the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Severe Asthma guidelines.

Dr Karin Oien


Glasgow Molecular Pathology Node

Dr Karin Oien, BSc, MBChB, PhD, FRCPath, FHEA is Reader in Pathology in the Institute of Cancer Sciences in the University of Glasgow. Dr Oien is also Honorary Consultant in Liver and Gastro-intestinal Pathology, based in the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. Dr Oien’s research focusses on molecular pathology and stratified medicine for cancer. She has a long-standing interest in cancer of unknown primary (CUP) and has contributed to national and international CUP guidelines and the UK national CUP-ONE clinical trial, funded by Cancer Research UK (CR-UK), for which Dr Harpreet Wasan is chief investigator. She is also part of the Glasgow team working on pancreatico-biliary cancer, with Professors Andrew Biankin, Jeff Evans, Owen Sansom and colleagues leading in the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre and Beatson Institute. Dr Oien has led the Glasgow clinical hub contribution to the CR-UK Stratified Medicine Programme (SMP). She currently leads the Glasgow Molecular Pathology (GMP) Node, within the new Molecular Pathology network funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Most recently, Dr Oien has been appointed Chair of the new Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CM-Path) initiative funded by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).


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