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Research Bulletin - March 2022 (Issue 73)


The body of scientific and clinical knowledge about COVID-19 is recognised in Scotland’s Strategic Framework Update with new insights and findings continually guiding decisions and future approaches to managing and treating the disease. Just this month, GenOMICC, the world’s largest study of the genetics of critical COVID-19, identified 16 new genetic variants associated with COVID-19, including some related to blood clotting, immune response and intensity of inflammation. 

Beyond COVID-19 research, the Chief Scientist Office and Life Arc have awarded £300,000 to researchers at The University of Edinburgh to research new treatments in motor neurone disease (MND), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), malignant pleural mesothelioma and more. Also this month a UK-wide Shared Commitment to Public Involvement has been launched. NHS Research Scotland alongside the Chief Scientist Office, have worked with the Health Research Authority, the National Institute for Health Research and a host of organisations across the UK to bring about changes which will drive up standards in health and social care research.

Also this month, a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) companion for people with dementia has been developed in collaboration with NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia; the NHS Research Scotland H.E.A.R.T. Patient Day is now open for registration. Applications to join the Pain Research Steering Committee are sought, and a range of studies funded by Chief Scientist Office have published including reports on endocrine tumour models and hereditary endocrine disorders; short stay emergency medical admissions for children and young people; and work on small vessel disease

We hope you find this issue useful and as always, your ideas, feedback and contributions are welcome.
GenOMICC Study identifies new COVID variants
Work on whole genome sequencing carried out at the University of Edinburgh, led by Professor Kenneth Bailie, has identified 16 new genetic variants associated with severe COVID-19. Read more
Driving Scottish research in rare diseases
LifeArc and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) have jointly awarded a total of £300,000 to researchers at The University of Edinburgh to progress exciting research towards helping people living with rare and complex health conditions. Read more
Taking Heart - feature piece with Holyrood 
NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Cardiovascular lead Professor Lis Neubeck speaks to Holyrood on pandemic recovery, bringing patients into focus and encouraging more health professionals into cardiovascular research. Read more
Shared Commitment to Public Involvement 
NHS Research Scotland and the Chief Scientist Office have come together with members of the public, patients, funders, regulators and research organisations to sign up to a new shared commitment to improve public involvement in research. Read more
H.E.A.R.T. Patient Day opens registration
The NHS Research Scotland H.E.A.R.T. Patient Day is for for patients living with heart disease to come and talk with other patients along with key health policy makers, medical and nursing researchers. Register here
Storytelling AI companion for people with dementia
An artificial intelligence (AI) companion for people with dementia, aiming to aid memory recollection, boost confidence and combat depression, is being developed in research involving the University of Strathclyde and NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia. Read more
Ophthalmology Trainee Research Award announced
Congratulations to Dr Chloe Shipton from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde who has been awarded the Ophthalmology Trainee Research Award (OTRA) to develop a one-year research project within her post. R
ead more
SPaRC / NRS Pain Steering Committee seeks pain psychologist
A vacancy has arisen for a pain psychologist to join the Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) / NRS Pain Steering Committee, with an application deadline of 22 April. Read more
Research published - Flow of Zero Day Admissions
The FLAMINGO (FLow of AdMissioNs in children and younG
peOple) study, looking at short stay emergency medical admissions for children and young people, has been carried out by a team from Aberdeen University. 
Read more
Research Published - Endocrine disorders
Dr Paul Newey of Dundee University has published two reports on the generation of stem-cell based endocrine tumour models and hereditary endocrine disorders, which can be read here - Paper 1 and Paper 2
Research Published - Symptoms of small vessel disease
A team from the University of Edinburgh have produced a report on identifying unrecognised symptoms of disease of the small blood vessels in the brain, a common cause of dementia and stroke. Read more
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NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a partnership of Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scottish Government. NHS Research Scotland Central Management Team is hosted by Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (Ltd).

Registered Number: SC 236303. Registered address: The Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Fourth Floor East, Agamemnon St, Clydebank, G81 4DY 

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