Projects

BTRC’s research strategy from the outset was to build the foundations of a research programme, starting with the basics of a tissue bank, a data registry and several small seed-funded projects and PhD posts, though to the creation of a dedicated neuro-oncology laboratory. The focus of all these projects has been to research metabolic pathways and translate these discoveries into clinical treatments as soon as possible, while working in parallel on developing new neurosurgical techniques to improve the safety and effectiveness of surgery.

Below are some of the research projects funded by BTRC which have been completed or are currently in progress.

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John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory – Phase III

Phase 3 – Unraveling the mechanism and in vivo testing of altered metabolic pathways in Glioma

Continuation from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015 (extended to March 2016)

£265,000

Extension April 1 2016- March 30 2017 (ongoing)

Principle Investigator: Nelofer Syed

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Combiz and Nabil post docs

John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory – Phase II

Dissecting the altered metabolic pathways of Gliomas to identify therapeutic strategies

2 years from July 1 2012-June 30th 2014 (extended to December 2014) for 2 post-doctoral fellowships and a laboratory manager (completed)

£435,716,84

Principle Investigator: Nel Syed

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John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory – Phase I

Phase 1 – the setting up of the John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-oncology Laboratory:

2-year post-doctoral fellowship from 1st November 2008-31st October 2010 (extended to July 2012 (completed)

£308,942.90

Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Kevin O’Neill, Nel Syed (post-doc)

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George Pickard Neurosurgical Fellowship (funded by the George Pickard Fellowship Fund)

2-year MD fellowship from February 2012-January 2014 (completed)
£177,743.75

This post has been extended until September 2016 (to date) and upgraded to a PhD studentship, and it is hoped that it will become a permanent fellowship at Imperial NHS Trust at Charing Cross Hospital (ongoing)

£ 73,3790 (2014-15) + £72,973.78 (2015-16)

Investigator: Kevin O’Neill, Mo Awad (fellow 2012-13), Babar Vaqas (fellow 2013-current)

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REALTIME INTRAOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS OF BRAIN TUMOURS

The use of Raman Spectrography and Mass Spectography (iKnife) to characterise Brain Tumours

2-year project June 2014-June 2016: this project has now been developed into a clinical trial, which it is hoped will be adopted nationally (ongoing)

£20,500

Investigators: Babar Vaqas, Kevin O’Neill

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Predicting synergistic drugs for recurrent GBM; finding better treatments, faster

Predicting synergistic drugs for recurrent GBM

1-year post-doctoral fellowship for a computational biologist from April 2016 to March 2017 (ongoing)

£44,539.01

Investigators: Dr Michael Johnson DPhil (Oxon) FRACP FRCP, Dr Matthew Williams PhD MRCP, Mr Kevin O’Neill MD FRCS, Dr Nelofer Syed PhD

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Identifying biomarkers of transformation of low-grade astrocytoma using whole genome sequencing

Identifying biomarkers of transformation of low-grade astrocytoma using whole genome sequencing

£74,834 (matched funding with NIHR Imperial BRC) Co-funded by the Alexander Jones Foundation in memory of Alexander Jones

Duration 9 months July 2013-March 2014, subsequently extended until August 2014 at no cost (completed)

Additional 6-month extension Sepember 2015-March 2016 (ongoing)
£63,676.34

Investigators: Michael Johnson, Kevin O’Neill, Federico Roncaroli, Adam Waldman

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Quantitative diffusion imaging for early treatment response & progression evaluation in adult high grade gliomas

3-year multi-centre project from October 2014-September 2017 (ongoing)

£37,485.00 co-funded with The Brain Tumour Charity

Investigators: Dr Adam Waldman (PI), Dr Alan Jackson, Dr Stephen Price, Dr Jeremy Rees, Prof Sebastian Brandner, Dr Dow Mu Koh, Dr Rolf Jager, Dr Naomi Fersht, Dr Sarah Jefferies, Mr David Peterson, Dr Frank Saran, Prof Jonathan Gillard

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Novel therapeutics development for glioblastoma multiforme through modulation of mitochondria

Development of novel therapeutic agents for glioblastoma multiforme through modulation of mitochondrial ion channels and cell death

2-year post-doctoral fellowship January 2015-December 2016 (ongoing)

£129,811.00

Investigator Dr Kambiz Alavian, Aurelia Millet (post-doc)

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Preclinical investigation of the anti-cancer ADI drug in human glioblastoma

Therapy combinations against intracranial human glioblastoma in mice

1 year Research Associate from 17 May 2016-16 May 2017 (ongoing)

£96,996.05

Investigators:Amin Hajitou, Nelofer Syed, Antonio Trabalza (researcher)

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Targeting pre-clinical imaging & therapy to the angiogenic blood vessels & tumour cells of glioma

Targeting pre-clinical imaging and therapy to the angiogenic blood vessels and tumour cells of glioma in mice

1-year research technician project from March 2012-March 2013 (completed)
£66,495.91
Extension: 2-year PhD studentship from June 2013-May 2015 (completed)
£76,308.84
Extension to May 2016 (completed)
£37,136.00

Investigators: Dr Amin Hajitou, Dr Nel Syed , Justyna Pryzstal, (PhD student)

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Corrado Grassini Fellowship: Metabolomics in brain tumours

Metabolomics in brain tumours
3-year PhD fellowship from October 2012-October 2015 (completed)
£75,000
Investigators: Nel Syed, Kevin O’Neill, Julia Langer (PhD student)

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retirement party xxx at schoolvvv adresss

“Magic Wand Appeal” funded by the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea’s Appeal

Purchase of a Sonowand neurosurgical device
1-year fundraising campaign from May 2012-April 2013, Machine purchased in November 2013 (completed). NB as a result of this campaign, Imperial NHS Trust matched funds with the purchase of a second Sonowand machine
£175,000
Investigator: Kevin O’Neill

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lab pic proteomic analysis gbm

A proteomic comparison of glioblastoma with good & poor prognoses

A proteomic comparison of glioblastoma with good and poor prognoses
24-month project from October 2012 (extended to June 2015) for researcher and materials
£77,434
Investigators: Prof Gerry Thomas and William Mathieson

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Mechanisms of malignant transformation of astrocytic brain tumours

Understanding the changes of tumour infiltrating microglia upon exposure to steroids
1-year study July 2007-June 2008 funding post-doctoral fellow and research technician (completed)
£52,004
Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Federico Turkheimer, Emilie Croisier, Karolina Janczar, Bob Homapour, Sally Davidson, Poonam Singh, Monika Hayrapet, Kevin O’Neill, James van Dellen

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Oishik BsC Med student

Metabonomic profile in supratentorial low-grade & anaplastic astrocytomas

Determination of the Metabonomic profile in supratentorial low-grade and anaplastic astrocytomas
3-year PhD studentship from Sept 2006-2009
£40,000
Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Kevin O’Neill, Bob Homapour (PhD student)

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Alex in the tissue culture lab

Extent & profile of Microglial Infiltrate in astrocytomas

Determination of the extent and profile of Microglial Infiltrate in low-grade and anaplastic astrocytomas
3-year PhD position from 2005-2008
£30,000
Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Kevin O’Neill, Karolina Janczar (PhD student)

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Alex, Richard and Wing in the office

Creation of Imperial College Brain Tumour Registry

2-year funding for research nurse September 2005-2007
£30,000
Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Kevin O’Neill, Sally Davidson (nurse)

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dna anaysis

Expression of stem cell factor & its receptor in meningiomas

Expression of stem cell factor and its receptor (kit) in conventional and atypical meningiomas
1-year studentship July 2005-June 2006
£15,000
Investigator: Dr Federico Roncaroli, Kevin O’Neill

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Microglia in Gemistocytic Astrocytomas

3-month studentship at Mayo Clinic July-September 2004
£2,000
Investigators: Prof Manuel Graeber, Prof Scheithauer, Fatemeh Geranmeyeh (student)

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Julianna in the tissue bank

Creation of Imperial College Brain Tumour Tissue Bank

Creation of the first brain tumour tissue bank at Imperial College’s Hammersmith Hospital in July 2003 (ongoing)
£20,000 (co-funded with Dr Richard Banate)
This was the first investment by BTRC to establish and facilitate the Imperial College Neuro-oncology Research Group, it still exists and collects tissue from brain tumour patients at Charing Cross Hospital, and is administered under the licence of Imperial NHS Trust Tissue Bank.

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