By restricting funding to the north of England, we help ensure that the region is an attractive choice for leading haematologists and promising registrars. Whilst we fund research solely in the north of England, these projects ultimately help patients worldwide.
To apply for a research grant, please get it touch with us at [email protected].
We invested £310,000 into a new Cytometer machine. The machine allows accurate counting, measurement of cell properties and classification, it can also detect rare particles.
It is the largest one off grant we have ever agreed to, but will be of huge benefit to the research team, and therefore, huge benefit to our patients.
The purchase ensures that the our researchers at Newcastle University have all the equipment they need to enable them to continue with their progress, helping not only our patients, but patients across the world.
Newcastle is already one of the safest places to be for blood cancer patients. It’s investment in equipment like this which will help use achieve the ultimate goal of being the safest in the world.
“Thanks to Bright Red we now have one of the best flow sorters in the country. This allows us to separate out and purify different white cells from the blood, including stem cells and leukaemia cells. The new machine is faster, more sensitive and safer than anything we have used before.”
“The funding from Bright Red will really boost our output of high calibre science. In the recent Research Excellence Framework, our work was rated four-star, the highest rating but we continually need to refine our technology and push boundaries if we are to make contributions that really matter to curing blood cancers and improving the lives of patients.” Prof Matt Collin
Bright Red funds new next generation DNA sequencing technologies
Use of next generation sequencing to extend genetic analysis in acute myeloid leukaemia.
Bright Red agreed to the funding of a £16,000 net generation sequencing analysis in acute myeloid leukaemia.
Cancer cells very often have abnormalities of chromosomes and genes as part of the malignant process (these genetic abnormalities are nothing to do with inheritance, but are restricted to the cancer cells). In leukaemias such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), detecting these genetic abnormalities in the bone marrow cells can be very useful in identifying which type of leukaemia a patient has, how aggressive it may be and which treatment regime will be most effective. Samples from almost all new acute leukaemias arising in the North East are sent to the NHS Northern Genetics Service to test for these chromosome and gene abnormalities. Among the tests carried out are screening of the FLT3 and NPM1 genes, since mutations in FLT3 can identify patients with high-risk disease needing aggressive treatments, while NPM1 mutations are associated with better survival on standard treatment.
Recent studies have identified over 20 other genes which are recurrently mutated in AML cells.
“This Bright Red funded project used new next generation DNA sequencing technologies to allow simultaneous detection of mutations in all of the genes frequently affected in AML in one single test. The extra information generated for haematologists will allow them to determine the best therapy for each AML patient in the North East.” – Gavin Cuthbert
Bright Red funded clinician Tom Creasy and his colleagues have recently had their research study published in the journal ‘Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer.
The study looked at a very high risk genetic subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – low hypodiploidy – where the leukaemic cells have lost a number of chromosomes. It can be difficult to identify because the chromosomes can “double-up” and can be mistaken for a different subtype (which has a much better prognosis).
Because of the high risk nature and need for bone marrow transplant, accurate diagnosis is critical. Tom and his colleagues used a technique called SNP array to design a machine-learning classifer to accurately diagnose this. In simple terms, the classifier looks at the relative content of specific chromosomes within a sample to create a genetic signature and correctly identify the subtype to ensure correct treatment is given. The article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22956
Tom was recently appointed as a consultant haematologist at the Freeman Hospital, a well-deserved promotion. When asked about his new role, Tom said he was excited to pursue the skillset and interest he has developed during his PhD in the genetic basis of blood cancers.
Bright Red Clinical Research Training Fellowship
This award enables trainees in haematology or allied specialties to undertake clinical or laboratory research for one year. It is intended that applicants will register for a research degree and seek competitive funding at a national level to complete their studies.
Research costs up to £15,000 and salary according to nationally approved salary scales are provided. PhD fees are not funded. Usually one Fellowship will be offered annually.
Bright Red Joint PhD Studentship
This studentship provides 50% funding for a 3 year PhD. Eligible costs include stipend at national minimum rate set by the Research Councils UK (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk ) and research costs of £15,000 per annum.
PhD fees are not included. Usually one studentship will be offered annually.
Miscellaneous Research Grants
At the discretion of the Trustees, small grants of £30,000 or less may be awarded to applicants at either of the funding rounds. Eligible costs include: items of equipment, salary bridging for up to 6 months, start up grants for new investigators, research costs for pilot studies of less than 12 months duration, sustainability grants for equipment maintenance, publication charges, conference costs.