The Management Board of the CRMD met on 8th November 2021 to plan the Centre activities for the academic and financial year 2021/22.


I am pleased to announce that a new investment in support of pump-priming projects has been approved. The guidelines for applications will be made available to all the CRMD members.


The Management Board also welcome the request made by our members to host monthly online meetings where data, project ideas and other initiatives relevant to the Centre activities can be discussed informally. The date of the meeting will be changed every month to give more colleagues the opportunity to join. The first meeting will be on 15th December at 1:00pm GMT and a MS Teams Link will be circulated to all members. External guests who want to learn about our research and enterprise activities can request the link by contacting us at


We would like to announce the Spring Away Day 2022 that will be held on 23 May 2022. We are considering various venues that can make the day productive as well as enjoyable.


A warm welcome to three new PhD students:

  • Grace Cooksley whose PhD focusses on novel biomaterials for intraocular
  • Esra Hassan who will focus on dementia
  • Aryako Rahimi who will focus on biochemical signalling controlling adult stem cell renewal and differentiation

Congratulations to our members for their recent achievements:

  • Dr Guan Wang and Dr Andrew Hesketh who published an open access, peer-reviewed paper entitled ‘Cross-platform transcriptomic profiling of the response to recombinant human erythropoietin’ in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. This research generated a robust set of genes relevant to the biology of erythropoietin (EPO), potentially informing therapeutic strategies targeting EPO and its signalling pathways for tackling nephrology and immune diseases as well as for anti blood doping

Wang, G., Kitaoka, T., Crawford, A., Mao, Q., Hesketh, A., Guppy, F., Ash, G. I., Liu, J., Gerstein, M. & Pitsiladis, Y., 4 Nov 2021, In: Scientific Reports. 11, 21705 .

You can download Guan’s paper following the link below

Dr Wang also contributed to a short article by invitation from the European Society of Endocrinology to their Young Endocrinologists and Scientists Newsletter, entitled “Endocrinology and hormone doping in sports”, published on 5th November 2021 page5

The article calls for prospective, integrative research across disciplines to determine mechanisms of action of hormones to fight against doping and to manage long-term adverse health effects in athletes and in general populations.


  • Dr Simon Otter who published a review paper entitled ‘Foot and Ankle Characteristics in Gout: A Systematic Review’

K Bendell, B Agalliu, S Otter. American Journal of Orthopedic Research and Reviews 2021, 4:28



Congratulations also to Prof Andrew Lloyd and Dr Susi Sandeman who achieved an extension of their research contract with Cupervision for a project developing novel contact lenses.


We are all very keen to learn about the progress of the research performed by members of our Centre on serious clinical conditions.

  • Dr Nicholas Dowell is currently developing a technique to determine the altered permeability of the blood brain barrier in patients living with dementia, stroke, HIV and multiple sclerosis. The acquisition scheme has been successfully optimized and the work is currently focussing on the image processing pipelines and perfecting the mathematical modelling of the data
  • Dr Samira Bouyagoub is currently working on a project entitled: A quantitative MRI study of the motor system degeneration in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and in the spinal cord. This project will involve using the latest MR analysis software to compare the MRI imaging biomarkers between patients and healthy controls and infer the structural changes in the spinal cord of patients with ALS using the extracted tissue parameters. We also aim to use these parameters to better understand the mechanisms by which the motor system degenerates in the disease tissues and determine their relationship with measures of patients’ clinical

We look forward to seeing the outcomes of these two exciting projects. On behalf of the Management Board

Prof Matteo Santin, Director

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