Genome and gene editing

PHG Foundation have been invited to give evidence to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee (STC) Inquiry on Genomics and Genome Editing, following their submission to the inquiry of written evidence. Philippa Brice gives a breakdown of the policy impetus needed to harness the health benefits of genomics. In the US, the National Academies have said gene editing of human embryos that will be used for pregnancy should be permitted for medical purposes.
Harnessing the health benefits of genomics
US National Academies back embryo modification

Your DNA your say

Dr Anna Middleton talks about the international research project she is leading, which explores the ethical and moral questions around genetic research. The project, Your DNA your Say, takes the form of a film survey experience. Open to all, the survey gives people the opportunity to find out more about the ethical issues DNA and Big Data raise and to have a voice in future policy that will affect us all. The film-survey is available here
Your DNA your say

Personalised healthcare

In the news, Intrabeam Radiotherapy system is recommended by NICE as a treatment for people with early breast cancer, but with emphasis on the need to continue to collect data on effectiveness and reoccurrence rates. A team from the Novo Nordisk Foundation centre for biosustainability have developed a fast and cheap method for profiling antibiotic resistant genes in the gut which could allow clinicians to prescribe a personalised antibiotic treatment.
NICE recommend targeted radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer
Profiling the gut resistome for personalised antibiotic treatment

Healthcare futures

A team from the Salk Institute have created a potentially viable pig/human hybrid embryo, and a new virtual reality app developed by Kings College Hospital aims to reduce anxiety among children who must undergo an MRI scan.
Salk institute team create a potentially viable pig / human hybrid embryo
Nothing to fear with virtual reality

Genomics in mainstream medicine

Genomics is now important in every area of clinical medicine. Find out how genomics is relevant to different areas of medicine with these factsheets tailored to the needs of each specialty. 
Click here

New project: Circulating tumour DNA technology use in cancer management

Could circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) technologies be the future of cancer management? We have launched a new project to investigate and to ensure future services are implemented effectively and efficiently.
Learn more

Precision diagnosis in ovarian cancer

A report on the findings of the Genetic Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (GTEOC) research study and the implementation of the NHS GTEOC service within the East Anglia region has been produced by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and PHG Foundation. The GTEOC study found a novel approach to testing BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations in woman with ovarian cancer in East Anglia could increase precision diagnosis and enable more targeted treatments for patients or risk-reducing options in unaffected family members. The new report highlights the benefits of the GTEOC approach for other service providers who may consider implementing this within their own region.
Improving access to genetic testing in epithelial ovarian cancer
Study offers new pathway to increase precision diagnosis in ovarian cancer

Rare disease strategy

Following APPG on Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed conditions launching an inquiry into why the Department of England has not yet developed or coordinated a plan for the commitments outlined in the UK strategy for Rare Diseases, we give our thoughts and think NHS England approach is coming up short.
Implementation of the UK strategy for Rare Diseases in England: response from PHG Foundation

Personalised healthcare

Leila Luheshi considers whether this could be the year that ‘patient benefits from genomic medicine’ is no longer newsworthy and becomes just business as normal. In the news, a new collaborative study identifies rare mutations and disease causing genetic variants through the linkage of sequencing data from participants and their electronic health records, and a new global partnership has received a cash injection of 15 million Euros from the European Commission to enable more personalised therapies in multiple sclerosis.
Will 2017 be the year when genomic medicine becomes business as usual?
Cash injection to enable personalised therapies for multiple sclerosis
Combining health records and genome sequencing for precision medicine

Healthcare futures

Researchers at the Scripps Institute California have created semi-synthetic bacteria by adding new synthetic base pairs into its DNA. In microbiome news, a team from Washington say they have developed a system that aims to characterise and quantify changes in the microbiome and how they might link to disease, while the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has announced the formation of a new company, Microbiotica Ltd, which aims to commercialise bacteriotherapies.
Synthetic expansion of the genetic alphabet
Microbiome as complex as previously thought
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute create spinout Microbiotica Ltd

Latest news from the Clinical Research Network (CRN)
Patients more likely to survive in research-active hospitals
A CRN supported study has found that bowel cancer patients are more likely to survive in research-active hospitals. Even patients who are not involved in trials benefit from being in hospitals where a large amount of clinical research is taking place.
 Find out more.
Research activity league table launches - how research active is you local trust?
The 2016 NIHR Research Activity League Table shows all NHS trusts in England are delivering clinical research. How much clinical research does your local NHS trust do?
 Find out more.
Award winners
Congratulations to the winners of the NIHR sponsored Clinical Research Nurse award at the 2016 Nursing Times Awards  - find out moreAlso just announced the winner of the NIHR Clinical Research Network ‘Cancer Research Excellence in Surgical Trials’ (CREST) Award 2016.
 Find out more.
Can robots improve stroke recovery?
Loss of arm or hand function affects up to 85 per cent of people who have had a stroke. A study supported by the Network is determining whether robot assisted rehabilitation improves arm and hand function after a stroke.
 Find out more.
The great medicine taste test
Why aren’t children’s medicines more palatable? One of the reasons is that there is no scale to measure whether a medicine tastes OK to children or not - that’s where a new clinical research study comes in.
 Find out more.
 Our free online research course is live!
 'Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research' our free online course has launched for the third time. The popular four week course helps people from all backgrounds understand more about research. 
 Find out more.
   Highlights from across the Network:
  • First recruits to North Thames global studies - read more
  • 2000 Join Dementia Research in West - read more
  • Manchester study recruits 500th patient - read more
  • Insight: Dermatology/Collaborating with the life-sciences industry - read more
Our new website
The Clinical Research Network website has moved to a new and improved NIHR website.Please visit and take a look around.

Personalised healthcare: making the most of genomics

Genomics is a fundamental component of personalised medicine, and getting related policy right is essential to the successful delivery of better health. Whether your professional activity lies in business or bioinformatics, patient care or patent law – if you are interested in personalised healthcare and policy join us on 29 November for a day of scientific update and policy discussion.

Book today to secure your place


Digital health and data

This month, PHG Foundation responds to the Government consultation on the National Data Guardian for Health and Care’s Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. In our response we welcome the publication of the review but argue that the solution is not to seek to build public trust by extending the scope of opt-outs to encompass all purposes beyond direct care. Meanwhile, Sobia Raza is positive about Bob Watcher’s review of digital usage in the NHS.

PHG Foundation responds to data security consultation

It’s time to get on with IT in healthcare  

Healthcare futures

Sobia Raza explores the potential of portable diagnostic bioassays to improve the personalisation and quality of treatment, while, Rebecca Burbidge gives an overview of implantable biosensors, and asks whether the future is continuous monitoring?

Democratising diagnostics – the future is portable Implantable biosensors – is the future continuous monitoring?


Genomic medicine

In our blog, Leila Luheshi looks at two important papers on large genomic datasets and the lessons they offer for both global and national health policy makers, and Philippa Brice gives a round-up of the current super-sized genome projects. In our guest blog, Prof John A Sayer highlights some of the ways genomic medicine is transforming the medical specialty of nephrology.

Contextualising our genomes – finding patients like you

Rise of the super-sized genome projects

How genomic medicine is modernising nephrology


Science and health policy

A new PHG Foundation report urges a considered approach to using technologies such as whole genome sequencing to test for high risk cancer gene mutations in people with no family history of the disease. In the blog, Leila Luheshi asks who is thinking about long term radical health service change, while Stefano Gortana considers the outlook for UK science after Brexit and Philippa Brice explores the new direction for health and life sciences following the appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister. In the news, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) set out proposals to end its imposed ban on the introduction of stem cells into animal embryos in medical research.

Are genetic testing criteria redundant in the light of next generation sequencing technologies?

Who is playing the long game?

A gloomy outlook for UK science after Brexit

A new direction for life sciences and health in the UK

NIH proposes funding human / animal hybrid research  

Childhood obesity

Following the launch of the government’s strategy for Childhood Obesity, PHG Foundation’s Director Hilary Burton says that the real emphasis must be on enabling individuals to make sure they can become active participants in managing their own health. Louise Cameron looks at how personalised nutritional and lifestyle advice, guided by genomics and other biomarkers could be used to help obesity in childhood.

Creating an effective childhood obesity strategy

Childhood obesity and new technologies  

Personalised medicine

PHG Foundation chairman Dr Ron Zimmern considers the place of precision medicine in population health interventions in a conversation with Dr Muin Khoury and Dr Sandro Galea, and Philippa Brice highlights the essential human factor that personalised medicine must address after visiting the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo. In the news, genetic difference between patients could account for why the effectiveness of the type 2 diabetes drug metformin can differ between patients, and NHS England sets out its vision for personalised medicine.

A commentary on Khoury & Galea Will Precision Medicine Improve Population Health

Precision Public Health: a conversation

NHS innovation: personalised medicine and the human factor

A blueprint for the future of personalised medicine?

NHS England sets out its vision for personalised medicine  

Infectious disease genomics

In a special guest blog, Prof Mark Pallen introduces a new cloud-based resource to support national and international data sharing among microbiologists, and in a follow up blog Sobia Raza highlights its benefits for microbiology services. Meanwhile, ahead of the addition of an important new section on the Zika virus in the Health Needs Assessment Toolkit for Congenital Disorders, PHG Foundation fellow, Prof Lavinia Schuler Faccini brings us up to date on what is known about the disease and its spread.

Introducing the Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB)

CLIMB – a timely resource for microbial genomics

One year of Zika in Brazil: what have we learned?  

Innovations in healthcare

A gene editing toolbox has been developed which can edit multiple genes at once whilst minimising unwanted effects. In the emerging bioelectronics field, GSK and google parent company Alphabet have partnered to develop miniaturised, precision electrical therapies for the treatment of chronic conditions, and scientists have developed miniscule wireless sensors that can be implanted into the body to monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time. Plus more…

An inducible, multi target, gene-editing toolbox

GSK and Verily team up on innovative bioelectronic medicines

Dust-sized implants could monitor your internal health

Chemotherapy nanorobots hit tumours where it hurts

Google and UCLH to develop AI to improve cancer therapies  

Biomedical research

A free online tool to help people make sense of research articles was launched, and this month a record funding totalling £816 million was announced for the next five years of health research.

Is the research good?

Cambridge nets £114 million of funding from the NIHR for health research  

Pharmacogenomics: a tool for precision medicine

If you are interested in finding out about how precision medicine is set to revolutionise medical practice, do not miss Royal Society of Medicine’s event on 7 November. For more information and booking, click here.

The July 2016 PHG Foundation Newsletter covers a range of topics.


Data sharing

Following the release of the long-awaited data sharing report from the National Data Guardian, Alison Hall considers whether the opt-out model will build the much needed public trust in NHS data handling. In a follow up blog, Sobia Raza and Alison Hall welcome the security elements of the review but stress the need for investment in resources for safe and effective data sharing.

Review of data security, consent and opt-outs

Health data security: a question of cost 

Call for a full conversation with the public on sharing health data


Healthcare futures

Is the future looking bright for stem cell therapies, asks Louise Cameron in her overview of the technology and the complex regulatory environment surrounding it.

Stem cell therapies – balancing risks and benefits  


Genomic medicine

As France sets out its ambitious plans to establish a major genome sequencing project for integrated provision of genomic tests and analyses within healthcare systems, Philippa Brice looks at the project in more detail alongside the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project. In the news, a Cambridge start-up which runs an online market place for clinical genetic testing secures a new partnership with a leading laboratory to investigate genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

Laying the foundations for genomic medicine in France

Cambridge start-up expands its genetic test offering


Science and health policy

A UK based study finds non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can form an effective element in a publicly funded national Down’s syndrome screening pathway. In China, the first trial of CRISPR modified cells on human subjects is approved by the advisory board of West China Hospital in Chengdu. Study backs NIPT for Down’s syndrome screening pathway

First CRISPR based immune therapy human trial to be launched in China


Personalised cancer medicine

A new nanotechnology based approach for delivering more effectively combination cancer drugs has been devised and Australia has launched a new Genomics Innovation Hub intended to harness the power of genomic data to pave the way for personalised cancer treatments.

Nanomedicine could help push through combination cancer drugs

Australian genomics hub to pioneer personalised medicine  


Infectious disease genomics

Nanoparticles have also been utilised by engineers to develop a reprogrammable mRNA vaccine, which the researchers say could be used to fight a range of infectious diseases. In other news, a new study has found bacterial genome sequencing can be used effectively across borders to track the spread of gonorrhoeae infection.

‘Revolutionary’ MRNA based programmable vaccines

Genomics tracking gonorrhoea across borders  


Innovations in healthcare

News that Glaxo Smith Kline have launched a health app paired with a patient study to provide the pharmaceutical company with information on how people cope with rheumatoid arthritis coincides with the revelation that the ubiquitous Pokemon Go could be the most successful, albeit unintentional, health app ever.

Glaxo Smith Kine launches new mobile app based study  


Biomedical research

Researchers have found that a newly developed powdered food supplement can affect how the gut microbiome works, potentially resulting in reduced cravings for highly calorific foods. Whilst, an international study of type 2 diabetes has found little evidence that rare diabetes associated variants contribute significantly to disease risk.

Gut microbiome supplement could reduce food cravings

Genetics of diabetes remains complex


Click here to visit the PHG Foundation website.

Contact Us

University of Liverpool

Block A: Waterhouse Buildings

1-5 Brownlow Street

Liverpool L69 3GL


Follow us