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UOA 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies

University of the West of England, Bristol

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

1. Introduction


Research in Biomedical Science has demonstrated a significant improvement in all performance criteria since the last RAE return evidenced by a major increase in the quality of research publications, many in the top journals with international impact, a significant increase in research awards (£1.7M, previous; £7.8M, current), research income per FTE (£13k pa previous; £69.4k pa current) postgraduate student numbers (29 FTE previous; 87 FTE current) and post-doctoral researchers (9 FTE previous; 36 FTE current). This has been achieved through strategic investment in staff and state-of-the-art facilities and more cohesive and focussed research groups and confirms the existence of a thriving research culture within which research of the highest standard is being undertaken. Grants recently obtained (£1.8M) ensure the sustainability of the research.
Key achievements include: Leading the network steering committee of a 50 partner EC network of excellence, receiving €12M; coordinating and leading a EC Framework V demonstration project in pre-natal testing, awarded €2.35M; EC funding through the Framework VI projects ‘Special Non-Invasive Advances in Fetal and Neonatal Evaluation Network’ (SAFE) and ‘SEN-SIT-IV’; Home Office and DTI funding of £3.1M for developments in biosensor technology and diagnostics, NERC funding of £300K for two Environment and Human Health Programmes and a £365K BBSRC New Investigators Award.

2. Research structure


Research across the University is strategically managed through designated University Research Centres that provide common facilities and resources for clustering researchers with recognised expertise to achieve critical mass in specific areas and enabling constructive overlap. In recognition of the substantial growth in biomedical research, two Research Centres were established in 2000; The Centre for Research in Biomedicine (CRIB) to support an academic emphasis towards the biomedical sciences and the Centre for Research in Analytical Materials and Sensor Science (CRAMSS) to promote applied and translational biomedical research. This reorganisation was supported by substantial University investment of £6.5M including a £1.6M SRIF grant for the development of the Bristol Genomics Research Institute (BGRI). This investment has allowed the attainment of substantial external awards (highlighted above) which has facilitated the development of the successful research effort in biomedical science. These Research Centres are administered through the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and their outputs form the basis of the return to Unit of Assessment 12.

2.(i) Research Management
Both Research Centres are led by directors with international reputations and extensive experience of managing research in their own fields; this provides a highly supportive framework for research, with focussed programmes where motivation of and support for younger researchers are given high priority. While each centre is an entity within its own right, academic members of staff may be a member of more than one centre and this is encouraged. This provides a basis for interaction between different disciplines and encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing scientific problems. This multi-disciplinary approach together with the close relationships with end users will be evidenced throughout the submission. Each Research Centre has an advisory board, composed of external members from academia, the NHS and industrial stakeholders, who inform the planning and direction of the research.
    The research requirements and strategy of the Research Centres are promoted and informed through the Faculty Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee composed of research leaders, representative post-doctoral and post-graduate researchers and representatives from the Faculty Executive and the University Research, Business and Innovation Group (RBI). The Faculty Executive has responsibility for the overall research strategy of the Faculty, resource allocation, staff development, attainment of strategic targets, and enhancement of the Faculty’s research profile within the University and in the broader research and user community.

2.1 Research Groups

The Research Centres outlined above provide an integrated multidisciplinary research environment. Each has identified research strengths resulting in investment priorities that have elaborated mechanisms for improving research bidding and success rate.
These have been formulated into two main theme-based research groupings:

(1) Cellular and Molecular Medicine (2) Diagnostics and Human Health.

The research is described under these headings, submitted staff are highlighted in bold and [numbered] references identify relevant RA2 publication output numbers.

2.1(i) Cellular and Molecular Medicine
This is the major research grouping for researchers within the Centre for Research in Biomedicine (CRIB). Seven academic staff (Avent, Jackson, Mcleod, Varadi, Ladomery, Rhodes, Donaldson) and over the assessment period, 22 PDRA /PGRA (12 externally funded) and 55 PGRS (24 externally funded) bring together expertise in genomics, cell signalling, inflammation, molecular biology, pathology, gene regulation and cell biology to the study of blood functional genomics, cellular and molecular immunology, cancer and type 2 diabetes. The primary aim of this group is to understand fundamental biomedical cellular and molecular processes and identify potential markers and targets that can be developed into novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.


Cellular and molecular medicine has benefited from strategic investment and SRIF funding for the purpose-built BGRI that contains state-of-the-art facilities for post-genomic research. Outputs include - 170 peer-reviewed publications; 7 patents; research funding from The Wellcome Trust, EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, BHF, EC (FW V, VI) DTI, DoH, the NHS, AICR, Royal Society, Welsh Assembly Government, National Blood Service and industry (e.g. Astra Zeneca, Lonza).

Highlights
Major investment in post-genomic technology has been exploited to study erythrocyte molecular biology, haemopoietic stem cell biology and the study of human polymorphic variation. This has resulted in the development of novel molecular diagnostics, particularly in the field of transfusion medicine (Avent [2]) and stem cell biology in leukaemia (Donaldson [1-4]). The concept and development of genetic blood typing has been promoted worldwide by the EC BloodGen project (€2.35M) led by Avent in conjunction with research and commercial organisations in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Czech Republic. The outcome of BloodGen is the introduction of a commercially available CE-marked gene chip that can be used to genotype all blood donors worldwide. We chair the network steering committee of a 50 partner EC network of excellence (Avent), receiving €12M funding through the Framework VI programme; Special Non-Invasive Advances in Fetal and Neonatal Evaluation Network (SAFE), the SAFER consortium (Avent, patent pending).


McLeod has informed the EC priority areas of ageing and replacement of animal toxicology testing to generate in vitro models of ageing (Im-Agin-E EC FW V)([1,2]), and toxicology (SENS-IT-IV EC FW VI £200K). Immune paradigms have been utilised in the translation of interdisciplinary research (UCL and Nottingham) towards generating computer intrusion detection models supported by an EPSRC Adventure fund (McLeod [4]). Jackson has identified a lipid modifying enzyme and phospholipid metabolites that regulate inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS; endotoxin) in leukocytes (Jackson [2,3,4]) that are being developed as potential novel immunomodulators in sepsis and other inflammatory diseases (funded by industry, Welsh Assembly Government). He has also demonstrated the leukocyte signalling responses to specific LPS structures from Burkholderia cepacia that will help explain host responses to this organism in cystic fibrosis patients (Jackson [1]). The expertise in endotoxin-host response research has led to successful funding from industry (Lonza,) and NERC on potential health impacts of environmental endotoxin.


Ladomery has described one of the first uses of RNA interference-mediated gene knock-down ex vivo reported in the world, applied to the study of the tumour suppressor gene WT1 (Ladomery [2]); and has assigned, for the first time, a post-transcriptional function to WT1 (Ladomery [1,3] as well as its first reported mRNA target (Ladomery [4]) (funded by AICR). Varadi’s work has provided the first experimental evidence demonstrating the importance of insulin vesicle mobilisation for the sustained, second phase of insulin secretion (Varadi [1,2]). Her work also revealed that release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores in response to glucose stimulation is essential to trigger insulin exocytosis (Varadi [3]) and that mitochondrial morphology is regulated by cytoplasmic dynein-dependent transport of the dynamin-related protein to these organelles (Varadi [4]). These outputs have helped secure a BBSRC New Investigators Award (£365K), a Wellcome Trust project grant (£183K) and funding from industry (AstraZeneca).

Rhodes has shown the successful use of cell lines for quality assurance (QA) of immunohistochemistry at international level, providing true QA thresholds within the histopathology services (Rhodes [1-4]). The culmination of this work has been the close association with the European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to produce commercial CE marked HER2 and hormonal receptor QA reference materials.

2.1(ii) Diagnostics and Human Health
This is the major research grouping for researchers within the Centre for Research in Analytical Materials and Sensor Science (CRAMSS). Six members of staff (Ratcliffe, Salisbury, Hart, Greenman, Luxton, McCalley and Purcell and Cowell (both Cat B) with, over the assessment period, 14 PDRAs (11 externally funded) and 35 PGRS (18 externally funded) collaborate to bring together expertise in biosensors, immunosensors, oral microbiology, chemical separations, volatile organic carbon detection, immunohistochemistry and genetically modified bioluminescent bacteria. They provide an extensive range of research applications from classical clinical diagnostics, to instrumentation, to the detection of toxicity to man. This group demonstrates the close interaction between researchers in CRAMSS and CRIB, the NHS/user community, and government and EC funding initiatives for multidisciplinary end-user applied research. Outputs include 146 original papers; 8 patent applications; research funding from EC FPV, Defra LINK, DTI Technology Programme, DSTL, Home Office, BBSRC, EPSRC, KTP, Welcome Trust, AstraZeneca, Randox Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, ECACC and a number of SMEs.

Highlights:
Salisbury [1-4] has developed bioluminescent bacterial constructs expressing lux genes for use in several biomedical applications. These include drug sensitivity to evaluate the efficacy of chemotherapy in Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia (patent pending, BBSRC funded), research which has resulted in a DTI grant (£500K) for translation into a biosensor; the evaluation of rapid surface treatments to reduce bacterial load (EC FPV project ‘BugDeath’, with Bristol University and research and commercial organisations in Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, UK and France). The outputs from this work have led to the recent NERC award on virulence changes in E.coli O157. The further development of these models is being utilised in a human decontamination project based on electrochemically activated water (Home Office funded) (Salisbury & Greenman). An innovative model for evaluating the efficacy of wound dressing has been developed for the SME InSense by Greenman [1,3]. Biofilm model systems have been developed (Greenman [2,4]) to screen chemicals for cariostatic activity (GSK funded) and anti-malodour chemicals (Johnson & Johnson funded). An international workshop characterising organoleptic methodology for halitosis, led by Greenman, has assisted in setting both European and US standards for a malodour scale. Ratcliffe [1-4] has developed volatile organic chemical (VOC) analyses for clinical diagnoses. This has led to a Wellcome Trust University Translation Award (£350K) (with Bristol Royal Infirmary) to develop VOC analyses for diarrhoea diagnoses.


Luxton [1-4] has developed magneto-immunoassays and a solid state, reagentless, hand-held instrumentation based on paramagnetic particles as labels for detecting biological binding reactions, directly funded by Randox Laboratories over 7 years including 2 EPSRC CASE awards and 2 KTPs leading to immunoassay commercial development (4 patents pending). Hart and Cowell [2,3] developed water-based screen printing inks allowing the direct incorporation of enzymes, without denaturation, reducing the number of steps in manufacturing biosensors for clinical use (EPSRC CASE).


The rapid detection of compounds and microoganisms toxic to man is of major government importance. Two major Defra LINK funded projects (£1.5M), coordinated by Hart [1,4] and Luxton, have developed automated biosensors systems for organophosphate pesticides and mycotoxins in conjunction with sensor and instrumentation SMEs, major food producers and an international food Research & Technology Organisation. The Home Office is currently funding further developments for the organophosphates (£1M). A £1.6M DTI R&D grant under the Micro and NanoTechnology initiative is researching micro biosensor technology to continuously monitor cell function and viability when challenged with pharmaceutical compounds (Hart, Luxton, Jackson, Purcell). This UWE-coordinated project is in conjunction with Cardiff University, AstraZeneca, QinetiQ, NPL and 3 SMEs. BBSRC-funded collaboration between Cardiff University and Purcell and Jackson is employing surface acoustic standing waves to aggregate liver cells to form 3D in vitro liver models. McCalley’s [1-4] separation science research for the pharmaceutical industry (AstraZeneca) has been important in improving chromatography where overloading of a key pharmaceutical compound may effect peak shape and mask the presence of other, possibly toxic compounds. His fundamental work on peptide chromatography has been important in the development of proteome analyses.


3. Research Culture, Promotion and Infrastructure

3(i) University Support For Research
The University promotes an active research culture to facilitate high quality research and knowledge transfer. Funding through Faculty research budgets provides initiatives to support these research aims including; staff development and attraction of research-active staff; resource targeting to promote novel and productive collaborative research; exploitation of research expertise and knowledge transfer; support for infrastructure developments. This culture has stimulated intellectual property protection, spin-off companies and research-focused consultancies.


Engagement of the public in our science is an important University policy promoted by the Science Communication Unit and facilitated by opening the research laboratories and having presentations to the public at several open days. The University is committed to acting as a Research Sponsor under the Research Governance Framework of the Department of Health (DoH).

3(ii) Support and Training for Research Students
The School of Applied Sciences Graduate School, the first to be established at UWE, fully supports all postgraduates with dedicated facilities in designated postgraduate rooms. Students are embedded within a Research Centre and attached to a reseach group that provides an important environment for mentoring and fostering research skills. In addition, the Research Centres provide weekly seminars where research students and staff present updates on their work and have presentations by invited external researchers. All research students undertake a 60-credit Research, Training and Professional Development module, informed by Research Council requirements and emphasizing transferable and multidisciplinary skills. UWE’s generic skills programme was identified by the QAA as an example of good practice in its Special Review of Postgraduate Research Degree programmes.


Through these supportive facilities we have achieved a high success rate for our PhD completions which has enabled us to obtain BBSRC Doctoral Training Accounts, the first for a modern University. Nearly all our PhD graduates successfully take up research posts in academia (including prestigious European and North American Institutions), healthcare or industry.

3(iii) Research Infrastructure
The investment in research infrastructure has been significant with £3.0M investment in the BGRI, providing refurbished laboratory facilities and equipment including LC-QTOF, MALDI-TOF, DIGE and micro-array equipment. While this facility is extensively used by CRIB it is also available to staff from other Research Centres providing sharing of the expertise base. The major part of the funding for this development came from a SRIF grant of £1.6M.


In addition, a complete refurbishment and consolidation of research laboratories occurred in 2004/5 highlighting the investment in research infrastructure (£3.6M). The laboratory facilities for CRAMSS have been fully refurbished and aligned with the tissue culture facilities available in CRIB to bring together aspects of in vitro toxicology and sensor science. Additional equipment such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Magneto Force Microscopy (MFM) have been installed together with clean room facilities and semi-automated screen-printing equipment for biosensor development.

3(iv) Relationship with Research and Public Service Users
Engagement of the end-user and especially the healthcare-related industry and government bodies has been a particular strength of the Research Centres and groupings returned in this Unit of Assessment. Sustainability of industrial links is promoted by RBI and Faculty Research Directors (Cowell, Luxton) who provide dedicated support to academic staff for facilitating collaborative relationships, preparing proposals, negotiating contracts and protecting and exploiting the University’s IP. UWE was one of the few institutions to gain maximum funding in the early phases of HEIF, reflecting an extensive range of existing knowledge transfer and exchange relationships across the University and across both commercial and community sectors. The success of these relationships is evidenced through successful engagement with industrial and government funded research and a growing portfolio of patents. This has supported several Knowledge Transfer Partnership CASE PhD studentships and of particular note, 5 EPSRC CASE studentships have been secured (Luxton, Hart). Moreover, staff are members of six DTI-sponsored Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTN) and a DoH funded BioMedical Health Technology Cooperative.

Close relationships with NHS Trusts are supported through a strong number of Visiting Research Professors and membership of NHS Trust Research Committees (McLeod). Additionally, within North Bristol NHS Trust there is close involvement with the Bristol Urological Institute in joint research projects (Luxton, Ratcliffe, Rhodes, Salisbury) which has resulted in joint RA, PhD studentships and technician posts. Joint research projects with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Bristol (Varadi) have led to four recent publications. Jackson acts as consultant to Lonza on endotoxin and an advisor on endotoxin to NHS trusts (eg S. Wales Central Sterile Supply Units). Avent has joint projects with the National Blood Service [2] and United Bristol Healthcare Trust (UBHT) on prenatal screening programmes.

Key courses in Continuing Professional Development, exploiting state-of-the-art technology in biomedical science at UWE have been utilised by staff in the NHS, and the number of these courses is significantly expanding. CRIB is also hosting EC-funded workshops in proteomics.

3(v) Support for Interdisciplinary or Collaborative Research
Collaborative and interdisciplinary research accounts for the outstanding success of knowledge creation and transfer in the Unit which is seen as enhancing the relevance of the research for all the users. The collaboration between the Research Centres (CRIB and CRAMSS) and research groupings spanning these Centres strongly encourages interdisciplinary biomedical research. Examples include Luxton [1,4], Salisbury [2,3,4], Ratcliffe [1,2].
We have over 40 active international collaborative links in 20 countries. Senior research staff routinely foster links between their established external collaborators and new/junior staff; new appointees are actively encouraged to maintain their existing external research links and RBI assists with developing industrial collaborations. Highly productive external links have been established through these policies as evidenced above.

3(vi) Government Policy Initiatives and How our Research has Informed National and International Policy and Clinical or Professional Practice
The University and the Research Centres respond to government policy initiatives and objectives with successful applications to many such programmes (e.g. the Government Environment and Health policy, the Foresight programme on sensors, and the Home Office anti-terrorism initiative (CBRN) programmes). Staff provide expertise to inform policy and professional practice, e.g. the FDA on blood genetic screening (Avent); UK NHS, American Society of Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists guidelines for hormonal receptor and HER2 testing in breast cancer (Rhodes). Luxton is on the SEMTA advisory board to develop National Occupational Standards for testing new drugs. Research by Greenman [2] has informed guidelines for products used in the management of oral malodour by the American Dental Association.

4. Staffing Policy

4(i) Staffing Policies Underpinning the Current and Future Research Plans
Research careers of established staff are supported through funding and competitive bursary opportunities. Sustainability of the research environment has been enhanced through recognition of external esteem in promotion of staff; Avent, Hart, Greenman were awarded Professorships and McCalley, McLeod, Salisbury and Rhodes achieved Reader status in this assessment period.

The appointment of Visiting Professors and Visiting Researchers serves to strengthen strategic alliances; Professor Marcus Drake, consultant urologist and Director of the Bristol Urological Centre, provides a strong clinical link with the research in CRIB and CRAMSS (Ratcliffe, Rhodes, Salisbury). Professor Peter Soothill, consultant fetal medicine specialist at UBHT NHS Trust, Bristol and Professor Marion Scott, Head of R&D at the National Blood Service collaborating with Avent; Professor Roy Jones, Director of the charity Research Into Care of The Elderly collaborating with McLeod; Professor Jill Hows, consultant in transplantation at University of Bristol, supporting work of Donaldson; Professor Palleschi, University of Rome and Professor Mascini, University of Florence, supporting research with Cowell and Hart.

Departure of category B staff (Purcell, Cowell) has led to the active recruitment of new research-active staff - Jackson as Professor in Molecular Immunology, Varadi as Reader in Clinical Biochemistry, Ladomery as Senior Lecturer in Molecular Genetics, Rhodes as Senior Lecturer in Cellular Pathology. Development of biomedical research and establishment of CRIB initiated by Purcell has been continued and strengthened by the appointment of these staff (Jackson is a Director of CRIB (with Avent) and new research-active staff (Donaldson)). Cowell, Research Director, has been replaced by the strategic employment of Luxton in this role.

HEFCE Capability funding (£1.5M) has been strategically utilised to invest, build and help sustain the research environment with PhD studentships and postdoctoral appointments for new and established key staff members.

4(ii) New Researchers
New staff are given formal mentoring, reduced teaching and administrative loads, encouraged to participate in existing research programmes, and offered start-up research funds including PhD bursaries. This successful policy has helped the progress of several new researchers appointed during this period and the vibrancy of research in this unit is evidenced by 5 of the 13 submitted staff being new appointments (Varadi, Ladomery, Jackson, Donaldson, Rhodes) and has identified recently-appointed staff who are expected to make a substantial future contribution (Davenport, Conway).

5. Research Strategy

5 (i) Main Objectives and Activities in Research Over the Next Five Years
Our main objectives in the next period are to maintain and extend the productive research evidenced by the groups returned in this Unit. In particular, we wish to continue to build on the excellent interdisciplinary and collaborative links both between groups in the Research Centres and with our growing portfolio of external collaborators and end users. Key objectives include:
• Responding to UK government and European initiatives that require interdisciplinary research teams e.g. multi-disciplinary capacity building ‘Environment and Human Health programme’; UKCRC Translational Infection Research Initiative (together with UBHT and other regional NHS partners, led by Jackson).
• Building on the increase in Research Council funding seen during the assessment period (highest success rate in application to Research Councils of all modern Universities – THES 28/08/07) exploiting our strength of interdisciplinary research and utilising Research Council follow-on initiatives.
• Further developing collaborative ventures with NHS partners (e.g. exploitation of genetic screening in the UBHT; application of diagnostic biosensors with Bristol Urological Institute).
• Maintaining and enhancing the research degree culture to increase the number of postgraduate research degree students supported by Research Councils, charities, industry and government.
• Maintaining a balanced portfolio to ensure the relevance of our work to industry, healthcare and society at large.

5 (ii) Major Changes
Recent University restructuring has consolidated nine Faculties into five - the Faculties of Applied Sciences and Health & Social Care merged into the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in September 2007. This will strengthen links between the biomedical sciences and healthcare practitioners and provide new opportunities for the development of collaborative and multidisciplinary research e.g. EC FP7 under the Health Theme area 1.3 optimising the delivery of Health to European Citizens.


The restructuring also sees the development of Research Institutes. One of these will be the ‘Institute for Bio-sensing Technology’ which builds upon the interaction between CRAMSS, CRIB and the Faculty of Environment and Technology. This Institute will provide technology and expertise from biomarkers at the genetic level to whole body visual recognition systems. The Institute has infrastructure support from the South West RDA and input from related research groups in the South West and has formed close links with the pharmaceutical and bio-tech industries and university departments in New Jersey, USA.

5 (iii) Awards or Grants Relevant to Research Not Included in RA4
Grants recently awarded or those held jointly but administered mainly through other institutions include:

Varadi - May 2007 BBSRC New Investigators Award £365K; June 2007 Wellcome Trust project £183K
Salisbury – May 2007 DTI Technology Programme, Sensors & Imaging for Medical Application. £540K with Randox Laboratories and Frimley Park NHS Trust; April 2007 NERC Environment and Human Health programme £150K with Bristol University
Ladomery – April 2006, Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship £169K held by Bristol University.
Jackson – Jan 2006 Welsh Assembly Government £60K held by Cardiff University; May 2007 industry project (Lonza) £80K; April 2007 NERC Environment and Human Health programme £150K with Cranfield University
Hart, Ratcliffe – 3 EPSRC CASE awards granted through the Intersect Faraday Partnership with Gwent Electronic Materials, Quest International and the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

6. Esteem indicators

6 (i) Keynote Research Papers at Major or International Conferences
Submitted staff have given many invited keynote papers and chaired sessions at major international conferences. Selected recent examples include:
Avent - ISBT congress, Cape Town (2006), American Association of Blood Banks, Miami (2006) and Anaheim (2007); Jackson - International Endotoxin and Innate Immune Society, San Antonio (2006); Rhodes - The American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA , USA (2006); Luxton - Oak Ridge Conference (American Association of Clinical Chemists) California (2006); Varadi - 42nd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Copenhagen (2006); Greenman - International Society for Breath Odour Research (ISBOR), Royal College of Surgeons, London (2004); McCalley - HPLC Pittsburgh Conference, Chicago 2007; Hart - Scientific Organising Committee, and Chairman, for two International meetings held in Morocco (Marrakech 2003, Agadir 2005). McLeod - session Chair 2nd Conference on Basic Biology and Clinical Impact of Immunosenescence, Cordoba, Spain (2005).

6 (ii) Impact of Research on Government Policy and National or International Practice Development
Research by Avent has contributed to Mass-scale RHD non-invasive prenatal diagnosis which is a stated aim of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). ISBT workshops on red cell genotyping have utilised protocols described by Avent [2]. Rhodes is a member of the writing party and provision of evidence base for the NHS Breast Screening Programmes and has informed UK and US guidelines for hormonal receptor and HER2 testing. McCalley’s collaborative work on HPLC with US separation scientists has been adopted by the US Pharmacopeia as a standard method for the assessment of the performance of HPLC columns used for the analysis of drugs.

6 (iii) Awards and Membership of Distinguished Committees
McCalley - received a top cited author award from Elsevier Science for the greatest numbers of citations of papers in the Journal of Chromatography A between the years 2001-2006.
Avent –Chair network steering committee, SAFE network of excellence, Chair of red cell membrane special interest group, BBTS.
McLeod - elected member of the Executive and Hon General Secretary, British Society for Research in Ageing (2003-2007)
Rhodes – elected member of European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Pathobiology Group
Varadi – BBSRC New Investigators Award (2007)

6 (iv) Service on Government, National or International Bodies and Professional Advisory Bodies
Greenman - elected President of the International Society for Breath Odour Research (ISBOR);
Avent - Scientific advisor for Progenika Biopharma AG, Expert panel reviewer for INSERM, Expert grant reviewer for the Scottish Parliament, member Scientific committee of European Hematology Organisation congress 2008; McLeod is a consultant member of the National Collaboration for Ageing Research and as part of the British Society for Research in Aging Executive informed the founding of the British Council of Ageing, launched 2006 at the House of Lords; Rhodes served on the working party for the NHS Breast Screening Publication No 58 (2005), on the American Society of Clinical Oncologists and College of American Pathologists expert panel to develop an Assessment on HER2 Testing (2006) and the EORTC & United States NCI Joint Working Party on Standardisation and Quality Control for Immunocytochemistry.

6 (v) Editorial Activities
Avent – Editorial board member of the Open Hematology Journal and Open Hematology Reviews
Greenman - Advisory Editorial Board of Oral Diseases and Journal of Breath Research.
Jackson – Editorial board member International Journal of Endotoxin Research.
Ratcliffe – Editor, Volatile Analyses for Clinical Diagnoses.

6 (vi) Indicators of Esteem from the User Community
Avent - invited chapter in the encyclopaedia of the human genome on blood groups.
Jackson – consultant and advisor on endotoxin to the pharmaceutical industry (Lonza, Merck); Welsh Assembly Government on endotoxin in water for dialysis and steam sterilizers.
Rhodes - acts as a consultant and advisor to ECACC and US National Institute of Standards and Technology, respectively on the production of standard reference materials for HER2 testing in breast cancer.
McCalley - consultant on US NIH project "Software for the Improved use of the column in Reversed-Phase HPLC".

6 (vii) International Research Collaborations
Greenman - contractual research links with J&J laboratories, New Jersey, US, joint publications with researchers from USA, Israel, Jordan and UK;
Avent - EC-funded projects Bloodgen (8 partners); SAFE (50 partners) and SAFER (8 partners); long standing collaboration with the New York Blood Center; Sanquin blood foundation, Amsterdam.
Jackson – collaborator and visiting scientist at Dartmouth Medical School, USA .
McLeod - steering group for EC Framework V concerted network ‘ImAginE’
Ladomery – collaborates with groups at the Universities of Virginia, USA; Lund, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; and Barcelona, Spain (Ladomery [3])
Salisbury – collaborates with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University, USA
Rhodes – joint publications with researchers in the United States, Italy and France [1-4]
Hart - Joint publications with researchers from the Universities of Barcelona and Hassan II, Morocco.