Latest activity and updates from the MAHSC Domains: October 2020

Research Test Tubes

Domains within Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), part of Health Innovation Manchester, are continuing to drive world-leading research to benefit citizens in Greater Manchester.

MAHSC, which was first designated to support health research in 2009, was officially designated by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS England and NHS Improvement from 1 April 2020 up to 2025.

MAHSC brings together The University of Manchester, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group) and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) in a partnership working to drive health research and benefit our citizens across six domains.

The domains provide expert horizon scanning and strategic oversight that enable disruptive innovations to be tested and prioritised such as prevention and early detection of disease, new diagnostic tests and treatments and personalised care for patients.

Read the latest updates from each domain below.

Cancer Domain

  • Research stories from high profile academics have been published in The University of Manchester’s flagship Cancer Beacon publication: Cancer Futures.
  • 30 scientists from the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Institute volunteered a combined total of over 3660 hours to the Lighthouse Laboratory at Alderley Park to help accelerate the UK effort for COVID-19 testing.
  • Manchester researchers were successful in securing funding from three CRUK Accelerator Awards, bringing in over £4 million in research funding to Manchester.

Cardiovascular and Diabetes Domain

  • The domain has funded six Pump-Priming projects with a focus more towards clinical research. For the first time, HEIs beyond University of Manchester have been encouraged to apply and projects have been awarded to colleagues at both University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, the Domain Showcase Event was very successful, enabling new collaborative links to be made.
  • Professor Bernard Keavney, Domain Academic Lead and Consultant Cardiologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Maya Buch (IIIR Domain) were appointed members of the BHF/NIHR Panel that has established national “flagship projects” focused on the cardiovascular effects of COVID.

Inflammation and Repair Domain

  • The domain has funded six Pump-Priming projects including projects focusing on back pain patient stratification, metabolomic analysis of synovial fluid and tissue in osteoarthritis, and identifying the barriers to exercise and engagement with physical activity among non-English-speaking patients with osteoarthritis or chronic musculoskeletal pain.
  • Manchester researchers play a leading role in breakthrough COVID-19 drug research. The peer-reviewed results of the RECOVERY trial indicate that the low-cost drug, dexamethasone, ‘significantly lowers’ death rates in patients hospitalised with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19. Read More

Mental Health

  • A listening exercise to aligning research priorities to the needs of Greater Manchester was carried out and discovered five themes; Move towards holistic approach; People focused, not service-driven; wider social issues can impact on our mental health; proactive, preventative approaches; and improve access to and communication of research.
  • Leading (with NHS England) a National Quality Improvement Project which aims to prevent suicide by working with individual STPs, with a focus on suicide prevention during COVID-19.

Neuroscience Domain

  • An interdisciplinary group of clinicians and academics, led by Dr Matt Gittins a lecturer in biostatistics, has been awarded pump-priming funding from a Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership Award – Access to Expertise (A2E). The funding enables a novel collaboration between stroke and neurosurgery at University of Manchester and SRFT, within the MAHSC neuroscience domain.
  • Dr Emma Patchwood won the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation’s OPSYRIS 2020 Rising Star Award for her psychological research in stroke.
  • Virtual Domain launch event to take place 13 November 2020. Read more and register to attend.

Women and Children

  • ARCO – A prospective study to identify rates of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the peritoneum and lower genital tract of patients having surgery – published at
  • Members of the domain have also participated in national/international studies including PANCOVID, RECOVERY trial and TOMMY’s CV19.
  • Virtual Domain event to take place 4 November 2020. Read more and register to attend.

MAHSC seminar series

The MAHSC Seminar Series has been showcase the great discovery and clinical science being undertaken within Manchester and its impact on the health of the local population.

The series has given a local platform to the nationally and internationally renowned scientists of MAHSC to share their work with clinical/non-clinical and university colleagues, but also crucially members of the wider community seeking insight into innovations in the delivery of healthcare.

Topics discussed in the series include the immunological response to COVID-19, diagnostic approaches to COVID-19 and mathematical modelling of the virus. Watch past seminars here

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