A new clinical research centre in Wrexham is opening its doors to the public this week.
The North Wales Clinical Research Centre (NWCRC), which is part of Betsi Cadwaladr Unviersity Health Board’s Research and Development department, provides NHS staff facilities to be able to undertake world leading research.
It has been equipped with state of the art laboratories and cutting edge equipment, such as fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometre, tissue culture and molecular instruments, which can be used to earlier diagnose, screen and monitor patients with various conditions such as cancer, diabetes, chronic disease, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.
On Wednesday 14th November members of the public are being invited to visit the new centre on the Wrexham Technology Park to take a look at the facilities including the laboratories and clinical research suites.
There will also be the chance to speak to staff about the medical research which is being undertaken in Wrexham and across North Wales and have a tour of the site.
Leading Oncology Consultant, Dr Pasquale Innominato, based in Bangor is one of the specialists conducting research through the centre. He obtained a grant to conduct a pilot study in collaboration with the NWCRC and the Department of BioEngineering at Warwick University, which is observing how doctors can identify signs of deterioration in cancer patients earlier.
Specifically, his team are looking at blood test data and patients participating in the study are asked to use wearable ‘biosensors’ that have been developed for the study by the Warwick University engineers. The sensors are designed to detect subtle signs if a patients’ health is deteriorating during their treatment for cancer.
“I will be using the North Wales Clinical Research Centre to be able to analyse the results of the biosensors,” explained Dr Innominato.
“It’s fantastic because it’s well equipped, but also when I am there I can talk to other colleagues who are in similar areas of research, network with them. You can discuss your research with your peers and gain new insights.
“This project is really exciting because by joining this pilot study, we are helping in the development of new technologies that have the potential to really help cancer patients in the future.”
Professor Iqbal Shergill, Consultant Urological Surgeon, based at Wrexham is undertaking several basic science and clinical trials at the NWCRC involving patients with kidney stones, bladder and prostate cancer.
Professor Shergill said: “The newly established NWCRC provides an exciting opportunity for undertaking clinical research in North Wales.
“We will be able to collaborate with local and national academics and work with pharmaceutical companies to provide better care and diagnostic services for our patients”.
The NWCRC is aiming to become a centre of excellence for clinical research at a local, national and international level and is already working in collaboration with Glyndwr University in Wrexham, Bangor University, Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) and the Life Sciences Hub Wales.
Professor Stephen Hughes, academic and scientific director of the NWCRC said, “It’s amazing to finally have the centre open. With this facility we now have a clinical research centre with fantastic equipment that allows the opportunity for our staff to be able to conduct cutting edge clinical research.
“Crucially, undertaking clinical research will benefit the people of North Wales at a national level and beyond. The aim of the research centre is to primarily provide a world class facility for our patients and members of the public, ensuring that North Wales is actively involved in undertaking cutting-edge clinical research.
“We have worked hard to get this facility open and we are looking forward to welcoming the public to the centre to see what we have happening.
“By having a research active Health Board, in turn will attract the very best clinicians and allied health professionals to the area, and will hopefully provide an opportunity for expansion and create new jobs”
Members of the public can visit the North Wales Clinical Research Centre at Unit 5, Gwenfro, Wrexham Technology Park,, LL137YP between 2-4pm and 5-7pm on Wednesday 14th November.
You can out more about the centre here.