A new focus on infectious disease studies got underway this month with a MAHSC-backed meeting attended by over 80 Greater Manchester researchers.
The network meeting, supported by the Inflammation and Repair Domain, was called to consider ways in which infectious disease research can be developed and identify opportunities for collaborative funding applications. Infection is one of the domain’s key areas of focus.
The initiative is being led by Jeremy Derrick, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester and Paul Dark, Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Honorary NHS Consultant, The University of Manchester and Salford Royal Foundation Trust.
‘Infectious diseases are an area of concern, particularly with the rise in antimicrobial resistance’ said Professor Derrick. ‘This initiative, together with last year’s Faculty restructure, which brought together basic scientists and clinical academics, presents the right set of circumstances for Manchester to build on the research it is already doing in this area.
‘There is a clear benefit to the region in encouraging researchers and clinicians to work together to develop new approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases.’
Examples of current infectious disease research in Greater Manchester were presented through talks and posters at the 6th September meeting.
‘We looked at the interface between biological research and its clinical applications’ said Professor Dark. ‘Already we can see that there are opportunities in analytical methodology, characterisation of genomic sequencing, epidemiology and ‘Big Data’, to better address infectious diseases.
‘The meeting identified several actions which will help develop the work of the network. I was encouraged by attendees’ enthusiasm and look forward to collaborations that will advance our understanding.’
Next steps for the infectious diseases network include:
- Improvement of communication between network members
- Developing a seminar series with external speakers
- Auditing current regional research strengths in infectious diseases
- Applications for external research funding
- Teaching, education and training initiatives for students and researchers
- Strengthening links with industry
The group is open to all interested researchers and more information is available by emailing Prof Jeremy Derrick