Research Activities

We specialise in the development and application of nucleic acid, immunochemical or biochemical based assays, and will undertake collaborative or contract research projects using these techniques in any area of human animal or plant pathogen scientific investigation. We can provide a complete and cost effective service, from initial project design to a presentation of the final report.

For a discussion of any potential research proposals please call us or e-mail Dr David Burnett (d.burnett@micropathology.com).

We collaborate in a variety of research programs with colleagues at universities and hospitals and number of academic research students and fellows undertake joint research projects with our company staff on a regular basis. We also have experience in performing diagnostic testing for clinical trials in compliance with the EU Clinical Trials Directive (2001/20/EC).

Examples of our recent and current research projects are listed below:

  1. Dr Eleanor Pinnock and Professor Colin Fink are collaborators in a multi-centre EU funded grant co-ordinated by Professor Mike Levin (Imperial College and St Mary’s Hospital Paediatrics, London). This is a large-scale study aiming to identify genes and pathways that are determinants of susceptibility and severity in life-threatening diseases of childhood. Our laboratory will be involved in molecular diagnoses of children recruited to the study with serious invasive bacterial disease. We will also utilise next-generation sequencing technology as part of an analysis of the relationship between a specific virulence factor in Neisseria meningitidis and its partner protein within the human host.
  2. The company is providing financial support and diagnostic expertise for Professor J Simon Kroll, and Dr Jethro Herberg, Imperial College Research Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College London and St Mary’s Hospital in a project looking at acute respiratory infections and host responses in children admitted to hospital. The assays for respiratory pathogens have been developed and refined by Dr Edward Sumner working at Micropathology Ltd.
  3. The company is providing a Clinical Research Fellowship for financial support for Dr Elizabeth Powell at Imperial College and St Mary’s Hospital Department of Paediatrics, jointly supervised by Professor J Simon Kroll (Imperial College & St Mary’s Hospital ) and Professor Colin Fink (Micropathology Ltd and University of Warwick) in a project looking at the development of the microbiome (bacterial colonisation) in the new born and following these children for the first two years of life.
  4. Micropathology Ltd is performing hepatitis B surface antigen quantitation for the clinical trials unit of Quest Diagnostics as part of a clinical trial concerning hepatitis B infection.
  5. Dr Sarah Ball is collaborating with Dr Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy (Lord Cranbrook) in a project to chart the genetic changes taking place in the Far East swiftlet populations that produce edible nests. This is believed to be the first time that ‘domestication’ with hybridisation of wild type populations has been followed in detail for any animal population as selection for nest building in specially built nest buildings takes place. In the wild, these populations build nest in caves, but over harvesting has severely depleted the wild populations.
  6. Professor Colin Fink and Dr James Barnett are collaborating with Dr Leopold Georgi of the Technical University of Berlin and others in the EU in an EU H2020 PoC-ID Grant Agreement No 634415. The aim of the grant is a proof principle for the creation of sophisticated electronic near patient testing devices for the rapid diagnosis of infectious disease. The two organisms to be used for the initial study are Respiratory Syncytial Virus in nasopharyngeal aspirates /swabs and Enterovirus in whole blood specimens.