enteric newsletter Spring 2013

Published: 09 June 2013

Healthcare Technology Co-operative

National Insitute for Health Research

Newsletter Spring 2013

About us:

One of eight national health care technology co-operatives (HTCs) funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the NIHR Enteric HTC at Barts Health NHS Trust aims to be the premier centre for facilitating innovative  technology in bowel and gastrointestinal disorders for the NHS and beyond. 

We are based in the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation (NCBRSI) and are building on the success of the pilot HTC, Enteric.

Contact us

Tel: 020 7882 2378      

Email:  info@enteric.org.uk www.enteric.htc.nihr.ac.uk

NIHR Enteric HTC


2 Newark Street

London E1 2AT


HM The Queen opens the National Centre

Her Majesty The Queen formally opened the £3 million National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation (NCBRSI) on 27 February 2013. The Centre is based at Barts and The London School of Medicine, part of Queen Mary College, University of London. NCBRSI is supported by the charity Bowel & Cancer Research, which raised more than £2.5 million towards the cost of setting up the Centre. Other funding came from the Wolfson Foundation and Barts and The London Charity.

On arrival, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London who introduced the royal party to Professor Norman Williams, Director of the Centre and President of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Professor Mike Curtis, Director of Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute, where the Centre is based.  Professor Williams gave a presentation to the royal couple on the setting up of the Centre, explaining how he and his colleagues had recognised a need for a multidisciplinary approach to bowel problems if progress was to be achieved in the understanding and treatment of this area of medicine.  

Professor Charles Knowles, Co-director of NIHR Enteric HTC, then led the royal party on a tour of the laboratories, starting with an overview of the state-of-the-art human tissue laboratory, the first of its kind in the world which facilitates research with living human tissues.  At the conclusion of the visit the Queen unveiled a plaque and was the first to sign the Centre’s visitors’ book.  

NIHR Enteric HTC exists to bring new techniques and technologies for the treatment and management of disorders of the GI tract and bowel function into general use.  To do this we need your involvement.  Contact us if:

NIHR Enteric HTC Core Team

Clinical Co-Directors: Professor Norman Williams & Professor Charles Knowles

Director of Technology: Dr Michael Grahn

Business Development Manager: Antonio Quadrucci

Administrator: Sue Taylor

Professor Shaheen Hamdy

We are pleased to welcome Professor Shaheen Hamdy to the Enteric Steering Committee.  Professor Hamdy is currently Professor of Neurogastroenterology based in the Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Faculty of Medical and Human  Sciences, University of Manchester.  His research interests  include neural mechanisms within the gastrointestinal system,  with a particular focus on neuroplasticity and functional  recovery following brain injury using human swallowing as an experimental model. 

He has a particular focus on aspects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and has utilised a number of complimentary imaging modalities including PET and fMRI.  His most recent work has examined therapeutic interventions in driving cortical plasticity and recovery after cerebral injury in association with collaborators in the North West and London, with a particular interest in medical device based neurostimulation. This latter interest has also led to the foundation of a MedTech spin out company, Phagenesis Ltd, for which he acts as chief scientific officer.  His research has attracted external grant income from MRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR RfPB and AMRC organisations. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed research papers and contributed to eight books.


The PPI Initiative 

Following the successful launch last December of the PPI initiative (Patient and Public Involvement), Bowel & Cancer Research can report a promising response.  55 participants have expressed interest to date.  They are being offered the opportunity to be involved at Level 1, communication by email, telephone or post, within one of five projects.

1. Obesity: This project is looking into ways of treating obesity by using medication to alter hormone levels in the brain, which improve the feeling of ‘fullness’ following eating. This may reduce the need for people to have operations for obesity.

2. Life after Bowel Cancer: This project involves a proposal to set up a formal programme for patients who have suffered bowel cancer to try to improve their quality of life, confront fears and provide support to them and their families. 

3. Chronic constipation: This trial aims to recruit a large number of patients from all over the UK to help accurately decide how best to treat patients who have severe, debilitating constipation. It will help determine which treatments are best for which patients and in which order these should be performed.

4. Parkinson’s disease and the bowel: This project seeks to discover whether there is a link between constipation in earlier life and the development of the neurological condition Parkinson’s Disease in old age.  It will explore whether telescopic examination of the bowel (colonoscopy) would be able to help predict those who may be at risk of Parkinson’s disease later in life.

5. Mode DX – Stool testing kit for Bowel Cancer: This project will investigate opinion on a kit for testing stool samples for blood, which can be purchased in shops and which may indicate increased risk of bowel cancer. This would be aimed at patients who are too young for the national screening programme.