East Midlands Centre to bring innovative pathology testing to breathless patients

Posted by ap507 at Sep 30, 2015 03:15 PM |
University of Leicester, Loughborough University and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust experts lead development of the East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node, launching on Friday 2 October

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 30 September

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images.

Researchers from the University of Leicester are leading the establishment of a new Centre to develop breath analysis tests that could help in the rapid diagnosis and treatment for a range of conditions, including cancers, respiratory infections and diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node (EMBER) has been established with a £2.5 million grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop breath-based systems for molecular pathology.

The Centre will be launching on Friday 2 October 2015 from 12.30-16.30 at College Court Conference Centre and Hotel, Knighton Road, Leicester.

Precision Medicine subdivides patients with a shared disease into groups based on, for instance, their risk of the disease progressing or how they respond to treatment. Identification of these different groups can help predict the most effective and safe intervention for individual patients. In addition, by understanding the underlying mechanisms that cause these differences, researchers can develop new interventions for those groups whose needs are currently not well met.

The air we breathe out contains a cocktail of volatile organic compounds that give a snapshot of the biological processes taking place in the lungs and beyond. EMBER will help develop breath analysis tests and these could give an instant diagnosis and help doctors pick the best treatments for a range of conditions.

EMBER draws upon expertise in clinical research, analytical chemistry, data management and mathematical modelling of complex data across the East Midlands from University of Leicester, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Loughborough University together with industry to develop rapid, near patient non-invasive approaches to diagnosis, phenotyping and stratification. The consortium hopes to establish a multidisciplinary world-class centre that is driving the discovery, development, validation and adoption of non-invasive technologies to characterise disease signatures based upon the molecular analysis of breath.

Professor Chris Brightling, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and NIHR Senior Investigator at the University of Leicester’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, said: “EMBER brings us an exciting opportunity to develop new breath tests to understand the types of diseases that one has and the right treatments for them. This is applicable to all patients and it has particular advantages in the elderly and children where other tests such as blood tests are more challenging.’’

EMBER aims to translate such technology with broad applicability in adults and children to enhance the benefits of stratified medicine.

EMBER’s innovation will provide novel breathomic applications for near-patient testing to direct stratified medicine with consequent patient, economic and research benefits.

The launch event on 2 October will gather stakeholders under the consortia and key industry partners to disseminate the Centre’s plans for future research to be conducted through MRC and EPSRC funding.


Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Amisha Singapuri on amisha.singapuri@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

About The University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Leicester is consistently one of the UK's most socially inclusive universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education. Leicester is a three-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education and is the only University to win seven consecutive awards from the Times Higher. Leicester is ranked among the top one per-cent of universities in the world by the THE World University Rankings.

About the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk


Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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