Welcome to our newsletter, containing the latest news from the Quadram Institute.
The newsletter provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the institute. The newsletter also covers recent scientific highlights and achievements from our researchers, along with news of some of the exciting new projects we are launching.
Download Spring 2020 newsletter
Spring 2020 edition
In this issue, we bring you breaking news of some of the ways in which Quadram Institute researchers have joined colleagues across the Norwich Research Park and in the wider global scientific community in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We also highlight some of the other collaborations that are helping us tackle global challenges in food and health. We currently have we have people from 45 nations working together to improve human health and discover how food and the gut microbiome can help us all live healthier lives.
As well as welcoming researchers and clinicians from across the world, we’re working across borders to help enhance global health. Epitomising this approach, QI researchers are part of consortia of leading experts brought together to uncover the survival secrets of Salmonella, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These projects are characterised by their use of cutting-edge genomics techniques and we continue to lead the development of new platforms with the release of TraDIS-Xpress.
This issue highlights recent research breakthroughs at the Quadram Institute (QI) that could have positive impacts on public health. Working with clinicians our researchers have shown how the latest sequencing technologies can aid in diagnostics and surveillance. Coupling these techniques with ‘Big Data’ analytical approaches will be vital to addressing 21st century population health challenges, and the QI aims to be a leader in this area.
Big Data in the NHS was the topic of a roundtable discussion I attended with Patricia Hart at the policy development think tank Reform. This roundtable was sponsored by QI and explored how universities and industry can work with government to realise potential applications of Big Data. The event was chaired by Baroness Blackwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and included senior policy-makers, public service practioners, academics and industry leaders.
We continue to build our team and are pleased to welcome Professor Cynthia Whitchurch to the QI. Cynthia is settng up a research group investigating bacterial lifestyles, and how these make them more infectious or resistant to antimicrobials. Cynthia joins us from the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research led to the discovery that extracellular DNA is required for bioﬁlm development.
This is an exciting time, as 300 scientists and support staff have moved into our new building. These researchers will be studying food, microbes and the gut to get a better understanding of how these interact to influence our health.
This move brings excellent science and research programmes strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, under the same roof as a major new endoscopy unit and the Clinical Research Facility of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This is a unique partnership in a fantastic new building and presents us with huge opportunities to improve our understanding of the impact of food on health, and particularly how this influences healthy ageing for the UK population.