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NSMI conference manager is fired up for fundraising challenge

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STOKIE superhero Spencer Smith will don his fire kit for the challenge of a lifetime in 2018. The conference manager at the North Staffs Medical Institute, who also works as a retained firefighter, is set to run an incredible marathon and a half in his full gear to raise money for four charities. But even that isn’t enough of a challenge for the 43-year-old, who last year raised £800 when…

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In their own words: NSMI-funded scientists on their groundbreaking work

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North Staffordshire researchers undertake innovative brain injury study involving surgeons and scientists In a new study started in 2017, a North Staffordshire research team has succeeded in keeping adult human brain tissue alive in a dish outside of the body, using samples of tissue donated by living patients undergoing surgery for a brain condition called ‘Chiari malformation’. Clinical lead for the study, consultant neurosurgeon Mr Nikolaos Tzerakis explained: “The Chiari…

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North Staffordshire scientists invent new home test for diabetics

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A North Staffs research team hopes to save patients time and the NHS millions with a new home testing kit for diabetics. The scientists, led by Clinical Biochemist Dr Chris Duff, want to end the need for Britain’s four million patients with diabetes to visit a clinic for routine haemoglobin testing every four months. Their DIY version of the HbA1c test will be similar to the finger prick kit some…

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Keele student showcase highlights the future of medical research

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Student doctors had the chance to present their research to leading academics in a showcase event at Keele University. The ASPIRE Research Showcase – supported by the North Staffordshire Medical Institute and led by Professor Divya Chari – is designed to give the medical researchers of the future the chance to show off their ideas and develop their presentation skills. This year’s event on Wednesday, November 22nd featured talks and…

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Sunshine vitamin D holds the key to beat childhood asthma, North Staffs scientists claim

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A North Staffordshire research team hopes to prove spending time in the sunshine is the key to improving childhood asthma. The experts, led by consultant paediatrician Dr Will Carroll, believe many asthma attacks in children can be linked to a deficiency in vitamin D – a substance produced by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. Their preliminary research has found asthmatic youngsters are hospitalised more often in less…

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Heart surgery safer thanks to £250,000 North Staffs research project

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North Staffordshire scientists are making heart surgery safer with a groundbreaking £250,000 study. The research team, led by Professor Mamas Mamas, hopes to revolutionise the way patient health records are used by the NHS to prevent complications after coronary stent procedures. Patients often have a stent – a short wire-mesh tube – inserted to treat angina or following a heart attack. It works by stretching open a narrowed or blocked…

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Understanding Grief – an Interview with Linda Machin

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By Meg Jorsh Grief affects all of us at some point in our lives. When a loved one dies we may feel crushed, overwhelmed. Then it fades to a quiet pain that hides behind everything we do until we finally learn to live with it. But for some of us, relief never comes. The waves of sadness continue to mount, so that everyday life seems tiny by comparison. For these…

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Physics star Jim Al-Khalili is a quantum hit at the North Staffs Medical Institute

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Jim Al-Khalili reveals the baffling world of quantum biology

By Meg Jorsh TV physicist Jim Al-Khalili revealed the baffling world of quantum biology in a talk at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute. The BBC star – best known for his Radio 4 show The Life Scientific – joked if the insanely complex subject did not give his listeners a headache, he would not have been doing his job. Professor Al-Khalili spoke to a sold-out audience of 150 at the…

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Success at NSMI Research Awards Presentation Evening

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More than £100,000 was handed to top local researchers at the annual North Staffordshire Medical Institute awards evening. The money will be used to fund groundbreaking studies into a range of health conditions, including childhood asthma and sleep apnoea, lung disease and brain injuries. Experts in prostate and bladder cancer, bowel disease and health literacy will also profit from the charity’s funding injection. Chairman Professor Shaughn O’Brien announced the projects…

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Safer cannabis use a myth, North Staffordshire research reveals

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The North Staffordshire Medical Institute supports research in a wide range of fields – including substance misuse. We spoke to expert Dr Roger Bloor about his study of cannabis vaporisers. If you believed the manufacturers, you might think that vaporisers were a safe way of using cannabis. The smoke-free inhalers are sold as a harmless way of getting high without lighting up. They do allow users to avoid some of the…

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