he new Manchester Molecular Pathology Innovation Centre (MMPathIC) will employ and train scientists in the use of this emerging technique which examines of molecules within organs, tissues or bodily fluids for markers that assist in diagnosis, predicting outcome, identifying treatment and assessing the earliest therapeutic responses of serious disease in individual patients.
Using expertise already in place within the University and local NHS partners, MMPathIC will focus initially on inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriasis.
MMPathIC will also work with the NHS and industrial partners to turn newly discovered molecules into “biomarker tests” that will be disseminated into the NHS to improve outcomes for patients and create new jobs in the biomedical field.
Scientists in MMPathIC will also work with Manchester colleagues in the Manchester Cancer Research Centre to share ongoing advances that will assist in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
MMPathIC will be led by Professor Tony Freemont from the University’s Institute of Inflammation and Repair. He said: “This is an area of pathology which is fast developing and offers significant benefits to both patients and clinicians. In Manchester we’re well placed to take advantage of molecular pathology with the research expertise and the close support of NHS and industry partners, to turn the experimental work into practical solutions.”
The project will last for an initial four years with funding coming from the University, Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and NHS and industry partners. By the end of the four year period, the team of researchers will have tested six biomarkers for their potential to indicate disease and will be working to roll these out across the NHS.
MMPathIC will also develop training programmes to ensure that there are trained professionals in the future who can continue to develop molecular pathology as a discipline. These will range from CPD courses for those currently working in the NHS and industry, through postgraduate education, to placements for sixth form students.
Professor Freemont said: “This funding will allow us to develop our knowledge of these serious illnesses, train the next generation of specialists and we hope to improve the way in which millions of individuals are diagnosed and treated.”