Functional Genomics Workshop
10-12 February

An international audience of investigators and collaborators gathered in the Governors’ Hall at St Thomas’ Hospital Campus on the 10th February for a three-day Functional Genomics workshop organised by the BRC and supported by Be The Cure (BTCURE),

The workshop was organised to explore the advances that have been made in the understanding of the functional impact of genetic variation in immune mediated inflammatory diseases.

Over the course of three days delegates heard talks on topics such the genetics of the immune response, autoimmunity, and whole organism models for gene function. In addition, a number of researchers presented short abstract presentations followed by a discussion with attendees.

Day one ended with a talk from one of the world’s leading geneticists, Professor Manolis Dermitzakis. His work explores the genetic and molecular basis of Human disease and his talk addressed the topic of population and personal genomics.

The event closed with a talk from John Todd, Professor of Medical Genetics at Cambridge University. Professor Todd, who is known for his pioneering work on genome-wide genetic studies, shared an update on his current work in translating basic genetic and immunological knowledge to treatment and prevention of type 1 diabetes.

Over the course of the workshop, delegates also heard from Professors Andrew Cope, who was also the Chair of the organising committee, Frank Nestle, Stephen McMahon and Richard Trembath from the BRC.

Translational Bioinformatics Workshop 
22-26 February

The BRC’s annual Translation Bioinformatics Workshop has been growing year-on-year since it was inaugurated in 2014 and this year’s event was the biggest yet.

The Workshop has been designed to give PhD students and post-doctoral researchers a solid conceptual framework of the application of genomics/bioinformatics in translational research and the methodological skills required to start analysing genomics data.

Key note speakers included: Professor Soren Brunak (Founder of the Centre for Biological Sequence Analysis) and Professor Tim Hubbard (Head of the Department of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, King’s College London).

The event’s Director, Dr Emanuele de Rinaldis, said: “Thanks to the BRC’s fruitful and long-running collaboration with Kings College London and colleagues at the GSTT BRC Translation Bionformatics Platform, we were able to bring together an exceptional panel of experts for this event.

“Delegates came from as far afield as South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Qatar as well as Canada, USA, Germany and a large UK contingent. It is a great tribute to the expertise we have that our peers travelled so far to deepen their understanding of the bioinformatics in translational research.”

Advanced Cell Therapy Symposium
14-15 March

Cell-based therapies have been showing a great deal of promise in recent years and the NIHR BRC at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London has been at the forefront of some of this work.

The Advanced Cell Therapy Symposium was organised to bring together the world’s leading researchers in this fast-moving field in to discuss topics such as the latest progress in cell-based therapies for the treatment of cancer, regulation of unwanted immune responses to self and transplant antigens and immunomodulation for tissue repair.

The Symposium’s organising committee was chaired by the co-leads of the BRC’s Experimental Medicine and Novel therapeutics Cluster, Professors Mark Peakman and Giovanna Lombardi.

Professor Mark Peakman, said: “This Symposium was an important opportunity for colleagues researching different forms of cell therapy to come together, share ideas and collaborate with their peers. It was also an excellent way for students to learn about this exciting area of research from world-leading scientists.

“Our mission at the BRC is to make sure that state-of-the-art science leads to world-class treatments for patients. This organisational impetus, combined with our leading position in a number of areas of research, made us the ideal institution to organise this important event.”