Institute of Translational Medicine & Therapeutics

The NIHR Imperial BRC Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) is the cornerstone of our approach to translation of pre-clinical research projects into therapies, techniques and medical products. The aim of ITMAT is to accelerate fundamental discoveries into improvements in human health and economic benefits. ITMAT is a virtual centre built on a number of core technology platforms across Imperial College London and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. ITMAT includes genomics platforms, imaging technologies and health informatics, along with the NIHR Wellcome Trust Imperial Clinical Research Facility (ICRF), and one of the largest tissue collections in Europe. ITMAT supports translational medicine through the following;

Health Informatics
We integrate multimodal clinical and ‘omics data to describe phenotypic variations and increase our understanding of patient biology and diversity. Our systems approach facilitates new knowledge of the causes and development of chronic human diseases, resulting in improved treatments, preventive approaches, patient stratification and personalised therapy. As part of ITMAT, the Data Science Institute offers powerful new tools and expertise to help clinical analyse, interpret and visualize large datasets. Routinely-collected clinical electronic data is being used collaboratively across 5 BRCs to answer research questions in Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), renal transplantation, viral hepatitis, critical care and ovarian cancer.

ITMAT Data Science Group
With BRC funding, ITMAT provides a talent pool of expertise in bioinformatics. This is composed of six domain data scientists (bioinformatics, genomics, software engineering, biostatistics, and imaging). The group is headed by Professor Robert Glen from the Department of Surgery and Cancer and co-led by Dr Elsa Angelini. The focus of the Data Science Group is to enable scientific discovery through the curation and sharing of data, advanced applications of computational methods, development of novel algorithms and software, implementation of analytical pipelines, and maintenance of existing software tools. In addition to having expertise in state of the art data analytics, the group has expertise in the use of high-performance computing (HPC) at Imperial.

ITMAT provides the resources and infrastructure to support tissue biobanking across the Trust, including through;

  • The NIHR BioResource initiative – a partnership between the BRCs in London, Cambridge and Oxford, and the Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in Leicester, aiming to increase the number of patients involved in research and appeal to the commercial sector.
  • The NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (NIHR HIC) – a collaboration between Imperial, UCLH, Oxford, Cambridge, and Guy’s, to share and re-use data collected in the course of routine patient care for collaborative, translational research.

Metabolic Phenotyping
With the capacity to analyse more than 50,000 biofluid and 5,000 tissue samples per year, the Imperial Clinical Phenotyping Centre applies Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) to discover new disease biomarkers for real-time diagnostics and monitoring, ultimately informing clinical decisions.

Genetics and Genomics
We apply genetics, genome biology, genome technologies, and genome informatics to better predict patient risk before a disease develops, and create novel preventative strategies and treatment methods for a range of hereditary diseases. The BRC-funded Genomics Facility delivers high throughput sequence data, as well as support.

With capacity and expertise in imaging technologies, we develop and apply novel diagnostic biomarkers and approaches to improve clinical decision making, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, and approaches for defining patient heterogeneity and improving patient management. We undertake first-in-man and deep phenotyping studies and co-ordinate studies using advanced imaging through the Clinical Imaging Facility.

Clinical Trials
With support from the NIHR and Wellcome Trust, the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Imperial Clinical Research Facility occupies 1200m2 of the ground floor of the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine building on our Hammersmith Hospital Campus.

ITMAT Projects Funded in March 2015 Call:

  1. Determining the intestinal metabolites that stimulate gut hormone release and suppress appetite, Gary Frost (Metabolic Medicine & Endocrinology)
  2. Metabonomic approaches to understanding mechanisms of severit during peanut allergic reactions, Paul Turner (Reproductive & Early Life Health)
  3. Improving clinical management of patients with septic shock using metabolic phenotyping, Anthony Gordon (Infection)
    Metabolic phenotyping to predict mortality and individualise treatment and transplant candidacy in patients with cirrhosis, Muireann Coen (Molecular Phenomics)
  4. Optimising metabonomics analysis to monitor ART efficacy in urine samples from HIV patients – transforming HIV out-patient management , Myra McClure (Infection)
  5. Metabonomic profiling for discovery of novel diagnostics in paediatric tuberculosis (TB) across two continents, Beate Kampmann (Reproductive & Early Life Health)
  6. Characterisation of pregnant host-vaginal microbiome interactions by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) based metabolic profiling of vaginal mucosa, David MacIntyre (Reproductive & Early Life Health)
  7. Predicting response to disease modifying treatments for multiple sclerosis using a dynamic multimodal “omics” approach, Paul Matthews (Brain Sciences)
  8. A radiomics feature classification approach to defining tumour aggressiveness in ovarian cancer, Eric Aboagye (Imaging)
  9. The use of metabonomics in the early detection of breast cancer, Justin Stebbing (Cancer)
  10. Using multi-platform metabolomic profiling data to enhance biomarker discovery for cardiometabolic traits, Paul Elliott (Informatics & Biobanking)
  11. A feasibility study to assess the effects of antiretroviral intensification with cenicriviroc for the management of HIV-associated cognitive impairment., Alan Winston (Infection)
  12. Optimising surgery through metrics of bone quality, Justin Cobb (Surgery & Technology)
ITMAT Projects Funded in August 2015 Call:

  1. Discovery of novel mutations underlying Mendelian diabetes, Jorge Ferrer (Genetics & Genomics)
  2. Why do statins cause diabetes?, Tricia Tan (Metabolic Medicine & Endocrinology)
  3. Patient journey phenotyping in paediatric critial illness to identify diagnostic and stratifying biomarkers of gut injury and dyshomeostasis, Elaine Holmes (Molecular Phenomics)
  4. Development of a structure elucidation engine for unknown metabolic biomarkers in clinical and epidemiological phenotyping studies, Jeremy Nicholson (Molecular Phenomics)
  5. [18F]FCH PET/CT as an early predictive response biomarker in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer patients on Abiraterone or Enzalutamide., Stephen Mangar (Cancer)
  6. Digistain: A New Biomarker for Breast Cancer, Charles Coombes (Cancer)
  7. Determining the effects of colonic content chirality on satiety, Kevin Murphy (Metabolic Medicine & Endocrinology)
  8. Development of a non-invasive test based on identification and validation of phospholipid biomarkers in patients with ovarian cancer, Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami (Cancer)
  9. Oxidative Biomarkers in Neonatal Encephalopathy and Response to N-Acetyl Cysteine Therapy, Sudhin Thayyil (Reproductive & Early Life Health)
  10. Defining the genomic landscape of high LDH multiple myeloma, Anastasios Karadimitris (Cancer)
  11. Ga68 PSMA PET/CT as a non-invasive surrogate marker of tissue prostate specific membrane antigen expression in prostate cancer patients, Tara Barwick (Imaging)
  12. Genetic characterisation of south Asian young-onset diabetes kindred’s with suspected monogenic diabetes, using whole genome sequencing, Shivani Misra (Genetics & Genomics)
  13. Methylation of SSTR2 in neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) as a predictor of tumour response to peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PPRT), Rohini Sharma (Cancer)
  14. Imaging the effects of baclofen in alcohol dependence (IMBAC), Anne Lingford-Hughes (Brain Sciences)
  15. Investigating causal pathways from maternal antenatal anxiety to adverse infant outcome: epigenetic modifications in the infant, Paul Ramchandani (Reproductive & Early Life Health)
  16. Exploring metabolic profiles associated with excretion of pollutants into breast milk in the Incinerators BioMonitoring Study (IBMS), Mireille Toledano (Molecular Phenomics)
  17. Oxygen-enhanced MRI of the lungs for the evaluation of pulmonary hypertension, Susan Copley (Imaging)
  18. Tailored non-invasive brain stimulation for rehabilitation of TBI using real-time fMRI, Ines Ribeiro Violante (Brain Sciences)