Translational Research at Manchester 2022: Progress your Translational Research with the Support of our Network
On the 16th of November Translation Manchester hosted its annual event, Translational Research at Manchester 2022 at the Pendulum hotel. The event, funded by Wellcome’s Translational Partnership Award, focussed on how the Translation Manchester Research Network (TMRN) can support researchers at Manchester to progress their research towards a healthcare outcome.
With over 280 registrations and 42 trade stands from TMRN partners as well as a selection of three minute lightning talks, the breadth of support available to researchers at all stages of their translational journey was highlighted. There was plenty of opportunity for networking, discussions and making those all-important connections – all evidenced by the general level of noise coming from the exhibition rooms! A poster session with posters from early career researchers at the University gave a taste of the great research yet to come from our rising stars who competed for prizes awarded in the final drinks reception. Examples of successful translational research projects from previous Translation Manchester awardees also highlighted the importance of the support provided by the partners of the TMRN and by the Translation Manchester team. A comprehensive funding workshop highlighted internal and external funding opportunities and tips to write successful funding applications directly from major translational funders such as MRC, EPSRC, NIHR and LifeArc. The pitfalls and challenges involved in translational research, illustrated in part through some humorous real world examples, highlighted the importance of making the right connections and networks – which the TMRN can help you do!
Read the following sections to find out more about the content of each session, download the slides from the speakers and watch back some of the talks.
Welcome and Introduction to Research & Innovation at the University of Manchester
The event was opened by Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President / Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University and principal investigator of the Translational Partnership Award which funds Translation Manchester. Prof Georghiou set the scene for how important translation and innovation are for the University and Manchester and for the Greater Manchester region in general. Professor Graham Lord, Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health then described the crucial links that the University has with the local NHS/NIHR infrastructure and health innovation system, which uniquely position Manchester as a great place to undertake translational research. Professor Nigel Hooper, Associate Vice-President for Research, closed the first session by summarising how Translation Manchester and the TMRN can support this environment.
Session One and Two
Insights from Past Awardees and Lightning talks from Partners
Two stimulating sessions chaired by Dr Claudia Lindner and Professor Curtis Dobson rounded off the exciting morning of the Translational Research at Manchester 2022 event. These two sessions featured the successes of previous Translation Manchester awardees with presentations highlighting the importance not only of the pump priming of translational research, but particularly of the support provided by the TMRN and the Translation Manchester team.
Both sessions were closed by lightning talks from TMRN partners which highlighted the support available to translational researchers at the University and beyond, and featured the unique opportunities granted by the vast Manchester Translational Ecosystem made possible by our own One Manchester Approach. The lightning talks were a fantastic opportunity to stimulate discussions for the networking sessions in the exhibition rooms where the TMRN partners has stands to further explain the support they can provide. A slide pack with the presentations from all partners and videos from the talks are available at the links below.
|Session 1||Session 2|
|Manchester Biogel – Dammy Olayanju||TDDU – Katharina Edkins|
|Clinical Trial Sponsorships – Mohammed Zubair||Biostatistics Collaboration Unit – Andy Vail|
|Bioxydyn – John Waterton||DITA – Annie Yarwood|
|Pankhurst – Niels Peek||Research Design services – Sarah Rhodes|
|Renal Biobank – Durga Kanigicherla||Bionow – David Holmes|
|Complex Wounds – Faith Phiri||CRUK Commercial partnerships – Martyn Bottomley|
|NCARC – Darren Green||Innovation Factory – Duncan Henderson|
Look at some pictures of the sessions and the trade stands exhibition.
Translational Funding Workshop
Opportunities, tips and challenges of securing and managing translational funding
Chaired by Sam Butterworth, Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester and Academic lead for the UKRI MRC Impact Accelerator Award, this informative workshop provided an overview of internal and external funding opportunities to allow progression of research in the translational pathway.
The session was opened by our own Translational Research Manager Dr Alessandro Faroni talking on behalf of the Translation Manchester team who announced details and timelines for the Translation Manchester funding calls coming in 2023. This was followed by a presentation from Joanne Summers from the Knowledge Exchange and Partnerships team, highlighting other internal opportunities and mechanisms to fund translational research projects and industry collaborations as well as featuring enlightening case studies. Our guest speakers from the major funders supporting healthcare innovation (LifeArc, Laura Stennett; EPSRC, Katherine Freeman; MRC, Sophie Liddell; NIHR, Juliana Callaghan) closed the workshop by providing an overview of the schemes available from each funder, as well as giving tips and suggestions on how to write successful funding applications. In particular the funders mapped their opportunities based on the stage of translational research to guide researchers on what path to follow to secure funding depending on the technology readiness level of their innovation.
The second part of the funding workshop featured talks from experienced speakers bringing their own take on the challenges of undertaking and supporting translational research. With longstanding experience in both industry and academic setting, Sue Bright (independent consultant) enlightened the audience with examples of translational research pitfalls, explaining the importance of good communication and networking for achieving translational successes. In an inspiring talk, our own Professor Alberto Saiani, walked the audience through his personal journey of developing innovative bio-gels at the University and creating a spin out company to commercialise them, highlighting the challenges as well as the rewards at each stage.
Watch the Translation Funding Workshop (Part B)
Keynote and Poster Awards
Keynote Presentation and Drink Reception with Canapés and prize award
Professor Nigel Hooper, Associate Vice-President for Research and Co-I of the TPA, chaired the last session of the day featuring our inspiring keynote speaker, Professor Robert Bristow (MD PhD FRCPC), Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), University Professor of Cancer Studies, and Chief Academic Officer at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. Prof Bristow, who has pioneered the Team Science approach at MRCR, explained the importance of team science, and highlighted the power of networks for translational research, through successful case studies from his own experience at MCRC. His inspiring keynote presentation will undoubtedly promote the adoption of the team science approach across different areas of translational research throughout the University.
Download Keynote Slides
Watch Keynote Address by Prof Rob Bristow
The event was closed by Professor Nigel Hooper with the all-important prize-giving ceremony at a drinks and canapés reception. Awards were given out to:
Best poster (PDRA / clinical fellow): Elizabeth Dapre
Runner up poster (PDRA / clinical fellow): Hannah Harrison
Best poster (PhD): Emily McMahon
Runner up poster (PhD): Olivia Johnstone
People’s choice poster prize: Sebastian Bate
Best stand from TMRN partner: Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre
Most stands visited: Ruth Forman
Congratulations to all the winners!
Photos from poster session, keynote address and award ceremony can be seen below: