Scotland is set to consolidate its status as one of the world's leading industrial disease research centres with the opening of an important new facility at the University of Glasgow.
The Glasgow Molecular Pathology Node will work with other leading Scottish research institutions - including the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, the Precision Medicine Catapult, the Scottish Genomes Partnership and the International Cancer Genome Consortium - to help develop treatments s patients according to their own physiology, rather than a blanket treatment approach.
The research centre, which has been made possible with a £3.4 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in conjunction with the Medical Research Council, will specialise in a discipline known as precision medicine, in which patients, including those suffering from industrial disease, have their genes, lifestyle and environment accounted for in a very calculated way; this contrasts with the more generalised diagnostic tests typical to less refined methodologies.
It is hoped that the University of Glasgow centre, which will be situated in the Laboratory Medicine Building at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, will not only provide more accurate diagnoses, but will also help develop better treatments for many industrial illnesses, including cancers such as mesothelioma.
"We now understand more about abnormalities in DNA and other molecules which occur in disease," commented Professor Anna Dominiczak, Glasgow University's vice-principal and head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences.
"This so-called ‘molecular pathology' is revealing significant variation in diseases which by standard classifications, for example by a pathologist using a microscope, have been indistinguishable."
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