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Oxford and Oracle partner to speed identification of COVID-19 variants

The fast spread of the highly infectious Delta variant underscores the need for faster identification of COVID-19 mutations. Uniting governments and medical communities in this challenge, the University of Oxford and Oracle’s Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS) is now being used by organizations on nearly every continent. Institutions using the platform include: the University of Montreal Hospital Centre Research Centre, the Institute of Public Health Research of Chile, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research – New South Wales Pathology, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. GPAS is also now part of the Public Health England New Variant Assessment Platform.

Finding our Way - An NHS Tribute Garden

‘Finding Our Way – An NHS Tribute Garden’ is a celebration of the incredible efforts of the thousands of people who fought – and are still fighting - the COVID-19 pandemic on our behalf. Designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and presented by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University.

T-cell ‘training grounds’ behind robust immune system response seen in adenovirus vaccines

Writing in the journal Nature Immunology, they detail an investigation into one of the key features of adenovirus vaccines – their ability to generate strong and sustained populations of the ‘killer’ T-cell element of the immune system.

Immunology and AI drug discovery partnership agreed with Sensyne Health

The University has signed an agreement with Sensyne Health to conduct a multi-omics drug discovery research project in asthma. The project will be led by Dr Timothy Hinks at his team at the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s Respiratory Medicine Unit.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMMUNITY OF RECOVERED COVID-19 PATIENTS

Two vital research programmes taking place at the University of Oxford may hold the key to understanding the immunity of recovered Covid-19 patients. The data will also be used by Professor Sarah Walker at the University of Oxford who is working with the Office for National Statistics on the COVID-19 Infection Survey.

Prof Sarah Walker receives OBE

Prof Walker, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, was recognised for services to academia and the COVID-19 response and will receive an OBE.

Evaluation of LamPORE rapid tests for Covid-19 show high levels of diagnostic sensitivity

Scientists from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine have today published their evaluation of LamPORE, a novel diagnostic platform for detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA. It combines loop-mediated isothermal amplification with nanopore sequencing. This technology has the potential to analyse thousands of samples per day on a single instrument.

Two new Wellcome Investigator Awards at the MRC WIMM

Many congratulations to Prof Anne Goriely and Prof Alison Simmons, who have both been awarded Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards.

New NDM Professors

The Medical Sciences Divisional Panel has conferred the title of Professor on six members of NDM's academic staff.

TGU, University of Oxford Awarded the IBD Stress Test QuickFire Challenge

Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS announced on 11th July that the Translational Gastroenterology Unit, University of Oxford, has been selected as the awardee in the IBD Stress Test QuickFire Challenge.

Eight Oxford researchers elected Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Eight Oxford scientists are amongst 50 of the UK's world-leading researchers elected to join the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences this year.

The silent epidemic killing more people than HIV, malaria or TB

Viral hepatitis is on the rise. Tackling hepatitis B in Africa is key to fighting back. “HIV has been an acute pandemic with resources thrown at it.

Professor Peter Ratcliffe recieves Knighthood in New Years Honours

For services to Clinical Medicine, Peter Radcliffe, Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, and Fellow of Magdalen College recieved a Knighthood in the New Year Honours.

Mortality risks associated with emergency admissions during weekends and public holidays

An analysis of antibiotic use at the John Radcliffe hospital has shown that some Doctors use up to 30% less antibiotics without risk to patients. However they may admit more patients when the diagnosis is unclear - a ‘hold and observe’ strategy as opposed to ‘prescribe antibiotics and discharge’.

Online tool allows patients with ulcerative colitis to manage condition

Following a successful clinical trial, Dr Alissa Walsh, the main researcher, who works with Professor Simon Travis, has spoken about the online tool that allows people with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to manage their own condition and reduce hospital visits. This is now being rolled out to more patients in Oxford who suffer from ulcerative colitis.

World Asthma Day Research Update

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that is on the increase. 5.4 million people receive asthma medications in the UK each year. That is 1:12 adults and 1:11 children. Asthma is treatable and it is frustrating that despite the amount of treatment prescribed, one patient with asthma has an attack every ten seconds, and approximately 17% of asthma patients find it a disease difficult to.

New potential treatment target for inflammatory bowel disease patients

Oxford Researchers have identified a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel diseases. The findings are of particular importance to the 40% of patients who don’t respond to anti-TNF therapy, the current treatment option available. Professor Simon Travis co-led this study.

Consensus statement: Virus taxonomy in the age of metagenomics

Although viral sequences are important in traditional taxonomy, information used for virus classification typically requires information on their biological properties, such as host range, pathogenicity and virion structure as well as genetic relationships. In his recent Consensus statement, Professor Peter Simmonds proposes sequence-only classification, enabling much of the viral diversity observed in metagenomic sequence datasets to be incorporated into official virus taxonomy.

Graduate Study Prize Winners 2016

The NDM Graduate Prize winners for 2016 are Emma Davenport, Symon Kariuki, Sarah McCuaig, Manuel Rivas and Joshua Tan. The winners were awarded a £500 prize. This year’s winners have worked across many research areas including malaria vaccine work, behavioural studies and software development.

Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe wins Lasker research awards

Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe has won one of the most prestigious prizes in medicine. The Lasker Awards recognise contributions that have allowed major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease. Professor Ratcliffe is to receive the prizes for his work understanding the mechanisms by which cells sense and signal hypoxia (low oxygen levels), an important component of many human diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and anaemia.

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