Research News

The UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP)

Thursday, 25 May 2017 15:27

The UKPRP is a partnership of charity and public funders focused on improving population health, and reducing health inequalities, through the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The UKPRP will extend the existing academic networks in prevention research by enabling public health specialists to join with other experts such as engineers, architects, computer scientists, and social scientists. These more innovative and diverse research teams should have the capability to drive the broad systems-level changes that will be required. The ambition is to invest the £40 - £50 million over 6-7 years in research that delivers impact through working closely with policy makers, providers and the beneficiaries of new interventions, products or strategies. This document sets out the vision and objectives for the UKPRP. It includes outline information on the research funding that UKPRP will provide; further details will be included in the calls for applications, which will be published in June 2017.

Updated Charter - Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel

Thursday, 25 May 2017 15:23

Further to Prof Hart's recent article, the Panel's Charter has been updated.

Coeliac UK seeking new Chair of their Research Strategy Board

Friday, 19 May 2017 12:51

The Chair of the Research Strategy Board will need to provide the charity with expert insight and fulfil governance requirements for the review and development of the Charity's Research Strategy, which will underpin its £5M Research Fund within its 2020 Strategy. The Chair will report to the Board of Governors.

Even if you don't have the direct experience, but you think you have something to bring to the Charity, please do think about applying. If you would like to discuss the role further you can talk to Heidi Urwin, the Charity's Research Manager or Sarah Sleet the CEO.

The next few years are looking very exciting for research in coeliac disease and if you become the Chair of our Research Strategy Board, you will help shape our future funding of research.

The role is unpaid.

Deadline for applications: 19 June 2017, 12 noon.

Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel

Friday, 12 May 2017 11:05

Professor Ailsa Hart

The Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel represents a group of multi-disciplinary members (gastroenterologists, nurses, dieticians and scientists) with expertise and interest in the gut microbiota and its role in health and disease. The Group is under the auspices of the British Society of Gastroenterology Research Committee.

The group was formed in 2013 and has now grown to over 40 members who meet twice a year, arrange meetings and workshops on key topics related to the microbiota and publish articles in high impact journals, as well as writing articles to enhance understanding with the public. As the Group has grown, it is now dividing into themed groups, but maintains the over-arching meetings to ensure continuity and sharing of expertise and interest.

The goals of the group are: to increase awareness and understanding among clinicians of the gut microbiota and its impact on health; be a 'go-to' address for clinicians (GPs, gastroenterologists, nurses and allied health professionals) for defining what is currently reliably known in this field; and drive scientific and academic interest in the gut microbiota in gastrointestinal and liver disease.

In particular, the group aims to:

  • To map the science and reach consensus on what is known and what is not yet known
  • To draft consensus statements on areas of interest for UK GPs
  • To identify gaps in knowledge and research foci
  • To identify research and development areas in this field that would advance understanding and lead to patient benefit

The group has been successful in achieving several publications for the clinical and scientific audience, as well as the public. The group published a major scientific review in GUT, "The gut microbiota and host health: A new clinical frontier" (Marchesi et al. GUT 2016; 65:330-339), which is in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. In this article, the group outlines: the current understanding of the gut microbiota; dietary modulation of the microbiota; assesses the role of probiotics, prebiotics and polyphenols; and describes obesity-related diseases, liver disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer and the microbiota.

The article "The ecologist will see you now" outlines for the public some of the fascinating facts about the microbiota "we're not individuals, we're ecosystems full of bacteria and understanding how these microbes interact with our bodies is set to transform medicine".

The Group has contributed to two successful BSG Research Workshops: "The Microbiome, Dysbiosis and GI Disease" 11 April 2014 and "Faecal Microbiota Transplantation: Bench, Bedside, Courtroom?" 11 September 2015.

The Group is now focussing on a review for primary care professionals, explaining the current understanding of the gut microbiota's impact on gut disorders and is aiming to disseminate information about the group to ensure it represents a broad and relevant range of expertise. It is also aiming to make a significant contribution to the governance of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in the UK by setting up a registry of groups conducting FMT in the UK.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure chairing this Group over the last three years.

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