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News

There's always something new to read about the Faculty, whether it's a new discovery by one of our academics, an award won by one of our students, or an upcoming event.

Most press releases will specify media contacts, but if in doubt, please get in touch with our Media Relations Officer, Michael Addelman, at michael.addelman@manchester.ac.uk or on +44 (0)161 275 2111.

Latest news

New agreement on detection and diagnosis of health conditions across Greater Manchester
(22 September 2022)

Greater Manchester’s capacity to detect and diagnose cancers – and other health conditions which disproportionally affect the city region’s population – has been accelerated through a new strategic partnership.

Guidelines on breast cancer surgery need revision, find researchers
(21 September 2022)

Current international breast cancer surgery guidelines need urgent revision, according to a meta-analysis of 68 studies comprising 112,140 patients by University of Manchester researchers.

Child neurodevelopment and autism research unit launches in South Asia
(21 September 2022)

A £6.95 million Global Health Research Unit on Neurodevelopment and Autism for children in South Asia is to launch with the help of University of Manchester expertise.

Burnout in doctors impacts patient safety finds new international study
(21 September 2022)

Doctors across hospitals and general practice who are experiencing burnout are twice as likely to be involved in a patient safety incident and three times as likely to leave their job, according to a new research paper that included 239,246 doctors from across America, Europe and the UK.

Major “levelling up” report launches in Rochdale
(21 September 2022)

Senior academics, policy makers, local government officials and business people have gathered in Rochdale for the launch of a major new report written by experts from The University of Manchester.

Honey has sweet potential for wound healing, argue scientists
(20 September 2022)

Honey has exceptional antimicrobial and tissue-regenerative properties which should be exploited to the full to help wounds heal, say scientists from The university of Manchester.

Leading brain cancer expert appointed as inaugural brain tumour charity neuro-oncology chair in Manchester
(20 September 2022)

Professor Petra Hamerlik, one of the world’s leading experts in neuro-oncology, has joined The University of Manchester to develop translational brain tumour research as the first-ever The Brain Tumour Charity Chair of Translational Neuro-Oncology.

New drug therapy for young children with severe eczema
(20 September 2022)

A biologic therapy for very young children with a moderate to severe form of a common skin condition has been shown to be safe and effective in an international trial which involved University of Manchester clinical scientists working within the Clinical Trials Facility at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The study of the drug, dupilumab, in inadequately  controlled eczema is the first large-scale randomised double-blind trial of a monoclonal antibody (a lab-made protein that binds to certain targets in the body) for any skin disease, in patients aged six months to six years. 

The  international clinical study involved University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) clinical scientists, and was sponsored by the biotech company, Regeneron Pharmaceutical.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition with prevalence of 20 per cent or higher in children younger than six years.

It is characterised by an itchy red rash particularly on the face and the bends of the elbows and knees, as well as an increased risk of skin infection.

The study, published in The Lancet [SA(MUNF1] showed that the drug greatly improved the severity of the condition, reducing skin itching and pain within two weeks.

It also significantly improved patients’ sleep, and the quality of life of patients and their parents.

Doctors expect that the international study of 162 patients will ensure this treatment is approved for British children in the near future, following its adoption in the United States in June this year.

Lead Investigator for Manchester, Dr Peter Arkwright, Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester and Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), has been investigating the use of dupilumab in children with severe eczema – also known as atopic dermatitis – at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at RMCH since August 2015.

Although the therapy is already licensed in the UK for adults and children aged six to 18, researchers see the positive results for young children as ‘the icing on the cake’.

The patients in the trial were enrolled from 31 hospitals, clinics, and academic institutions in Europe and North America from June 2020, to February 2021.

A total of 83 patients were given an injection of dupilumab under the skin, and 79 a placebo every four weeks as well as continuing on standard therapy with low-potency steroid cream for 16 weeks.  Independent assessors scored the level of inflammation.

They found:

  • 28 per cent of patients receiving dupilumab achieved a global skin score of 0 or one indicating clear or almost clear skin at week 16.
  • 53 per cent of the patients experienced a 75 per cent improvement from the baseline in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) – standardized evaluation tool – at week 16.
  • Conjunctivitis, an eye condition also known as ‘red’ or ‘pink’ eye, was slightly more frequent with dupilumab than placebo (five per cent vs 0 per cent), however no dupilumab-related adverse events were serious or led to treatment discontinuation.

Dr Arkwright said: “Young children and infants who have moderate-to-severe eczema have a substantially reduced quality of life. It is also incredibly stressful for their families, particularly as children’s sleep is so disturbed.

“The fact that infants and young children with moderate-to-severe eczema are inadequately controlled with creams means they have a high unmet medical need.

“We are delighted that dupilumab has provided clinically meaningful improvement, with minimal side effects.

“These pivotal trial results strongly support the global approval of dupilumab in infants and children with eczema. It will revolutionise clinical practice worldwide.”

The paper will appear here

Creative Manchester appoints new research leads
(8 September 2022)

Since becoming a research platform at The University of Manchester, Creative Manchester has witnessed immense growth, nurturing exciting research and delivering outstanding workshops and events. The platform’s research is centred on three key themes: Creative Industries and Innovation; Creative and Civic Futures; and Creativity, Health and Wellbeing. 

The newly appointed Creative Manchester Research Leads will support and grow strong multidisciplinary communities around each key theme, and provide strategic direction to each area.

The research leads will work closely with Creative Manchester Director, Professor John McAuliffe, who said of their appointment, “I am delighted to welcome Claudia, Stephen, and Jenna to the Creative Manchester team. They bring with them a huge amount of knowledge and expertise, and I am looking forward to working closely with each of them across the three Creative Manchester research themes.

The new research leads took up their appointment on 1 September 2022, each of whom will be leading their respective research theme:

  • Dr Claudia E Henninger – Creative Industries and Innovation
  • Dr Stephen Hicks – Creativity, Health and Wellbeing
  • Dr Jenna C Ashton – Creative and Civic Futures

Dr Claudia E Henninger is a Reader Lecturer in Fashion Marketing Management, holding interest in sustainability and the circular economy within a fashion context. She has been published in internationally leading journals, such as the European Journal of Marketing and the International Journal of Management Reviews, and has disseminated her work at various leading conferences. Claudia is also an Executive Member of the Sustainable Fashion Consumption Network and the Chair of the Academy of Marketing’s SIG Sustainability.

Dr Stephen Hicks is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. He is also a member of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives and, until recently, was the Senior Postgraduate Tutor for the Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work. He is currently the Manchester lead on the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and School for Social Care funded project, LOASCA, which is working with eight co-researchers to examine social care workers’ assessments of the welfare needs of older LGBTQ+ people. Stephen has also carried out research into community belonging and questions of place with colleagues from Sociology, Anthropology, and Architecture, and has written extensively on LGBTQ+ parenting.

Dr Jenna C. Ashton is an artist and Lecturer in Heritage Studies in the Institute for Cultural Practices. Jenna's research contributes to evolving creative and community methods within heritage and cultural studies for addressing social and ecological (in)justice. Her work is often site-specific, highlighting experiences and knowledge(s) of place, and she has over 15 years’ experience in community collaboration and co-production. Jenna also holds advisory and trustee roles in the UK and internationally, and is currently leading the project, ‘Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry’ (AHRC UK Climate Resilience Programme (2020-2022)), is a Co-Investigator on ‘Creative Adaptive Solutions for Treescapes of Rivers’ (NERC Future of UK Treescapes programme (2021-2024)), and is part of The University of Manchester’s Cottonopolis Collective (AHRC-NERC Hidden Histories of Environmental Science funded project, Cottonopolis).   

Parkinson’s breakthrough can diagnose disease from skin swabs in 3 minutes
(7 September 2022)

A new method to detect Parkinson’s disease has been determined by analysing sebum with mass spectrometry.

Psoriasis diagnoses in primary care delayed by up to five years
(1 September 2022)

Psoriasis may be underdiagnosed in UK primary care settings, according to research led by researchers from The University of Manchester.

Scientists unlock potential for a small cell lung cancer blood test
(24 August 2022)

Doctors could one day diagnose and characterise early stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with a simple blood test thanks to a transatlantic study led by CRUK Manchester Institute Cancer Biomarker Centre researchers at the University of Manchester with a team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York published in Nature Cancer.

Researchers urge caution over increasing non-medical clinical roles in GP practices
(23 August 2022)

The employment of non-medical staff with clinical roles in primary care has been linked to negative impacts on patient satisfaction in a study by University of Manchester researchers.

Study suggests A&E staff give lower priority to patients from deprived areas
(22 August 2022)

Healthcare professionals may be unconsciously assigning lower clinical priority to patients from poorer areas compared to patients who live in more affluent areas, a study of English Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments by The University of Manchester has suggested.

Researcher wins award for film raising awareness of Deaf people affected by dementia.
(9 August 2022)

A gallery of “breath-taking” images and videos which shine a light on crucial dementia research have been released today by Alzheimer’s Society’s first ever research image competition which was won by a University of Manchester researcher.

Ukrainian celebrity backs psychologists helping families affected by war
(3 August 2022)

A popular Ukrainian celebrity has joined forces with University of Manchester psychologists to encourage families affected by the war to access the widely shared psychological support leaflets they created.

Viral role in Alzheimer's Disease discovered
(2 August 2022)

Researchers from Oxford’s Institute of Population Ageing, Tufts University and the University of Manchester have discovered that common viruses appear to play a role in some cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

NHS must learn to love smart IV pumps to avoid drug errors
(1 August 2022)

Hospitals must start using “smart” intravenous (IV) infusion technology to its full potential if they are to prevent dangerous drug errors, University of Manchester researchers have found.

£2bn cost of mental ill health in the North of England
(25 July 2022)

A report out today (Monday, July 25) by the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and northern National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaborations (NIHR ARCs), with contributions from University of Manchester researchers, shows that a parallel pandemic of mental ill health has hit the North of England with a £2bn cost to the country at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic

Pictures speak louder than words: pioneering psychosis therapy trial launches
(21 July 2022)

A clinical trial of a pioneering therapy which helps people with psychosis and schizophrenia to control frightening and intrusive images is launching in Manchester.

Leading scientists use Genomics England data set to propose updated global guidelines to improve rare disease diagnosis
(19 July 2022)

An international group of leading scientists publish recommendations for updating existing standards for determining the disease-causing potential of genomic variants, harnessing insights from Genomics England rare disease participants

“I can't believe a service like this exists” – GM student mental health service is hailed a success
(11 July 2022)

The Department for Education has announced that the model piloted in the GM will be rolled out across the country

Ten organisations account for half of all animal research in Great Britain in 2021
(30 June 2022)

Today, 30 June 2022, Understanding Animal Research (UAR) has published a list of the ten organisations that carry out the highest number of animal procedures – those used in medical, veterinary, and scientific research – in Great Britain. These statistics are freely available on the organisations’ websites as part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and openness around the use of animals in research.

Speech-friendly face mask could end frustration of muffled chat
(28 June 2022)

A new face mask designed by Manchester researchers is promising to end the stress and anxiety talkers and listeners experience when they cover up.

Interrupting the treatment of vulnerable people on immune-suppressing medicines, doubles their antibody response to COVID-19 booster vaccination
(27 June 2022)

A major clinical trial, led by experts at the University of Nottingham working in partnership with  Universities and NHS hospitals including the University of Manchester , has found that by interrupting the treatment of vulnerable people on long-term immune suppressing medicines for two weeks after a COVID-19 booster vaccination, their antibody response to the jab is doubled.

Trial of new treatment to prevent prisoner suicide launches
(27 June 2022)

A new talking therapy for men in prison who struggle with suicidal thoughts and feelings is being launched in the UK.

Local authority austerity associated with poor health
(23 June 2022)

Local government spending cuts are associated with worse multimorbidity and health-related quality of life according to a study by University of Manchester health economists.

COPD patients respond equally well to COVID-19 vaccine
(22 June 2022)

A study which tested the immune response of COPD patients to COVID-19 vaccination has shown they respond in a similar way to healthy people.

Digital psychosis monitoring system trial launches
(21 June 2022)

A groundbreaking smartphone app for remote digital data collection which aims to predict if an individual will relapse into psychosis is to be trialled across the UK in a £12.5 million study.

Three fifths of UK Medical Certificates of Stillbirth have major errors, study finds
(21 June 2022)

The accuracy of reporting the causes of stillbirth has been called into question, following an analysis of 1,120 Medical Certificates of Stillbirth (MCS) from across the UK.