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Health, Disease and Survival The Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Dr Beverley Wilkinson Department of Biological.

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Presentation on theme: "Health, Disease and Survival The Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Dr Beverley Wilkinson Department of Biological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health, Disease and Survival The Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Dr Beverley Wilkinson Department of Biological Sciences University of Essex

2 Health in the Headlines Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute ‘Jade Goody has Cervical Cancer’ ‘Patrick Swayze dies of pancreatic cancer aged 57’ ‘Obesity-related heart disease ‘will increase considerably’ by 2020’ ‘My battle with Alzheimer’s, by fantasy writer Terry Pratchett ’ ‘Obese children show signs of heart disease’ ‘Sara Payne Paralysed after stroke’

3  The global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases  Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke are the three leading causes of death today  An ageing population will push the numbers of people suffering dementia up significantly in coming years Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute World’s Biggest Killers

4 ‘Immune therapy Alzheimer's hope’ But there is hope…… ‘Wonder drug hope for heart patients’ ‘Cancer cell study breakthrough ‘ ‘Personalised cancer blood test hope’ ‘ Cancer patient cured with his own immune system’ ‘Stem cells could save stroke victims’ Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute ‘Scientists come up with an electronic sticking plaster to treat skin cancer’

5 Who are we?  Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex  University scientists and clinicians from hospital trusts What do we do?  Patient-focused, biomedical and health related research  Working to discover new therapies and interventions that improve health and increase our chances of survival: Artificial Blood Alzheimer’s Disease Cancer Cardiac rehabilitation Childhood Obesity Heart Disease Infectious Diseases Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute (EBSI) Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute

6 ‘Scientists Make Important Discovery in Gene Regulation’ EBSI in the Headlines ‘ True Blood is a Breakthrough for Uni’ ‘Fewer than half of children now get enough physical activity to produce health benefits’ ‘Paracetamol protects against kidney failure after muscle injury’ Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute ‘Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Affluent Children Examined’ ‘British children’s fitness levels falling twice as fast as international average’' ‘ Reports outline cancer study findings from University of Essex’ ‘Scientists' breakthrough for breast cancer care’

7 EBSI - Selected Studies  Dementia  Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease  Biomarkers of Breast Cancer  Artificial Blood Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute

8  Dementia is characterised by an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities.  Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.  One of the hallmarks is the build up of ‘amyloid’ proteins into ‘plaques’ between nerve cells in the brain.  These amyloid plaques contribute to nerve cell damage in the brain.  Currently no drug therapies exist to control the formation of amyloid plaques. Dementia - Alzheimer’s Disease Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute

9  Childhood obesity linked to an increased risk for heart disease in later life.  EBSI is tackling childhood obesity by developing new ways to monitor and test children’s fitness.  The East of England Healthy Hearts Study looks at levels of fitness in local children.  Child fitness levels are declining.  "The measurement of obesity alone may not be sufficient to keep an eye on children's future health. We need some form of monitoring of fitness” Dr Gavin Sandercock (Lead Researcher) Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute

10 Cancer Biomarkers Biomarkers of Breast Cancer  Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases in the Western world  Cancer biomarkers - molecules found only in cancer cells  Used for diagnostic purposes to detect cancer cells. Cells carrying this marker can be targeted and destroyed  EBSI researchers have discovered that a protein called BORIS, found in blood cells of breast cancer patients, has good potential to be an early biomarker of breast cancer Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute BORIS in breast tumour tissue

11  Must have a long shelf life and be free of viruses  Designing safe products is difficult because haemoglobin is toxic outside the red blood cell  EBSI Researchers have created an engineered form of haemoglobin that is less toxic  ‘There is a ticking time bomb with blood supplies. Partly it is due to an ageing population. There will be fewer people who can give blood, but more people who need it’ Professor Chris Cooper Artificial Blood Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute

12 It is hoped that these studies will eventually lead to real patient benefits:  improvements in health  new therapies/interventions  greater rates of patient survival Further information on our fundraising activities: Dr. Beverley Wilkinson Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute Future Benefits Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute website:


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