Latest Research Developments

£15 Million initiative puts Scotland at the forefront of Gene led healthcare

A major investment in gene sequencing technology was announced in January 2015. The investment will enable scientists and clinicians to access equipment that can decode the entire genetic make-up of a person for less than £750. The University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh announced a new partnership with Illumina, the global leader in sequencing and genomics, in the £15 million project. The investment will establish The Scottish Genomes Partnership, which will install 15 state-of-the-art HiSeq X sequencing instruments divided between two hubs within the Universities.

As a result of this investment, researchers will be able to study the genomes of both healthy and sick people on a large scale and faster than before. Linking genetic data with clinical information will enable more precise, molecular diagnoses for patients in the Scottish NHS, leading to more personalised treatment and safer selection of drug therapies for cancer patients. It will also bring new understanding of the causes of both rare and common diseases, opening the door to the development of new treatments. Charitable donations to the Beatson Pebble Appeal will help to drive this genomics revolution forward, helping the University to retain and recruit world leaders and ensuring that we use the most cutting-edge equipment and technology.

Beatson Pebble Appeal helps Developing Clinical Trials

Clinical trials allow scientists to find out if a new treatment/procedure is safe, and if it is more effective than what is currently available. The Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) is one of the major research strengths of cancer research in Glasgow. Charitable donations from the Beatson Pebble Appeal are helping us to create an electronic system to capture clinical trials data, which will allow us to replace paper systems and make us competitive with other CTU’s. It will also allow us to integrate these data-sets with other strategic initiatives, for example in cancer genomics. The ultimate aim is to enhance our understanding of drug actions and host response in order to facilitate more efficient drug discovery and development programmes in the future, thereby improving the success rates in developing new therapeutic strategies for patients.

Breakthrough in Pancreatic Cancer Research

In February 2016 Prof. Andrew Biankin, Regius Professor of Surgery and Director of the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, and Prof. Sean Grimmond, Chair of Medial Genomics, published ground-breaking pancreatic cancer research discoveries. Working with an international team, the research shows that pancreatic cancer can be split into four unique types, that differentiate tumours by their gene arrangements - a discovery that they hope will lead to more effective treatments for patients. This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in the past 50 years in pancreatic cancer research, which is currently the 4th most common cause of cancer death.