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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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Research - Collaborations

Our strategic collaborations

Good science is never conducted in vacuum. Scientific collaboration is a large part of successful research, and without collaboration, scientists can miss out on good ideas. 

Our members are involved in a huge variety of linked research initiatives. Below we have highlighted pan-University interdisciplinary programmes relating to global infectious diseases research, which have garnered strategic support through Cambridge Infectious Diseases IRC, and which span multiple departments and involve collaborations with partners outside of the University.

If you would like to identify potential collaborators or researchers with expertise in a particular area or technique, please search the Researcher Directory or contact the  

Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis

Since 2010, the University has developed a close working relationship with the Government of India Departments of Science and Technology (DST) and Biotechnology (DBT) in India.

In 2014, discussions focussed on anti-microbial resistance (AMR). Four senior Cambridge academics joined the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at a UK-India round table on AMR in Bangalore, organised by the British Deputy High Commission. Following discussions with DST/DBT and the Indian Minister of Science & Technology, researchers from the Infectious Diseases Strategic Research Initiative submitted a bid with the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (Chennai) in response to a joint MRC-DBT Centre Partnership call in AMR. In 2015, it was announced that the Cambridge–Chennai bid had been successful, winning funding for a joint centre in AMR tuberculosis research.

A multidisciplinary team of international researchers, led by Professor Sharon Peacock (CID) and Dr Soumya Swaminathan, and including Professors Lalita Ramakrishnan (CID), Ken Smith (CID), Tom Blundell (CID) and Andres Floto (CID), will focus on developing new diagnostic tools and treatments to address the sharp rise in cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

 

Wellcome Trust- Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research (WT-CCGHR)

The Wellcome Trust- Cambridge Centre for Global Heath Research promotes research excellence to meet global health challenges, by supporting researchers and research institutions in low and middle-income countries, through equitable collaborations and partnerships.

Integral to the Centre’s work is partnership with overseas institutions, researchers and students. The Centre aims to develop a network of leading international health professionals able to inform research and contribute to policy and health practice based on evidence at the national, regional and international level.

This collaborative effort  was launched at a Cambridge Infectious Diseases Annual Symposium in 2013 after a successful consortia bid led by Professor David Dunne, Dept Pathology (CID), and other partners, including six CID CoIs. 

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Centre for Pathogen Evolution

Located in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, the Centre for Pathogen Evolution conducts highly translational scientific research focused on improving our understanding and ability to predict pathogen evolution in humans and other animals. As part of this work a global database of antigenic information is curated, and working with computational, mathematical and laboratory tools for pathogen surveillance and evaluation, the centre provides essential support to WHO activities in influenza vaccine strain selection, and emergency response for time-critical public health questions.

A collaborative effort led by Prof. Derek Smith (CID), with early support in 2012 from Dr. Colin Russell (CID) and the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Coordinator (Anna Davies).

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Industrial collaborations

Research Services Division (RSD) provides a comprehensive service for Cambridge academics wishing to apply for or find funding. RSD can also help you to find industrial collaborators – there are currently around 700 industrially funded research collaborations underway in the University. In addition, RSD runs a range of events to showcase University research and to build interactions between researchers.

Cambridge Enterprise can provide advice on patenting and licensing your research discoveries, undertaking private consultancy and launching a spinout company.

 

Advancing disease understanding and drug discovery in infectious diseases
Collaboration between Shionogi and Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge


Since joining the Milner Therapeutics Consortium in 2016, Shionogi have developed a strong relationship with the Cambridge academic community working in infectious diseases, a significant area of focus for the company. Shionogi have been involved in a number of joint funding bids to the UK research councils and have provided resources to support projects themselves. For example, a project with Dr Martin Welch from the Department of Biochemistry is focussing on improving the therapeutic potential of antibody-mediated inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogen which is found in many patients in hospital intensive care units who either die of- or with- infections caused by this organism. It is also frequently associated with chronic airway infections in cystic fibrosis patients. The mechanism of infection is through the Type III Secretion (T3S) system which is therefore a target for intervention to suppress virulence of the P. aeruginosa pathogen. The protein PcrV has been shown to be critical to virulence via the T3S system and antibodies against PcrV improve survival in mouse respiratory infections. Humanised monoclonal antibodies against PcrV to treat humans exist but there are still many challenges to them reaching their full potential. There are usually a number of microbial species present in an infection in addition to P. aeruginosa and it is also possible that inhibition of the T3S system may inadvertently increase antimicrobial resistance. The aims of this project are to better understand i) the molecular mechanisms underpinning anti-PcrV antibody action, ii) how to quantify antibody action and iii) the wider consequences of inhibiting PcrV function on other cell processes. Knowledge, antibodies and assays are being shared between the two partners and a senior research scientist from Shionogi is working alongside academic scientists in the Welch lab to enable efficient transfer of knowledge and technical skills back in-house to Shionogi in Japan.