University receives further support to fund childhood arthritis research

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The donation funded the purchase of lab equipment which will enable highly efficient study of cells

The University’s Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children (EATC4Children), based at the Institute in the Park at Alder Hey, has received a further donation from the Parry Family Charitable Foundation to fund vital new lab equipment.

The Parry Family Charitable Foundation have previously donated, in 2019, a transfection system called a 4D-NucleofectorTM X Unit that enables the study of immune cells, stem cells, neurons, and cell lines; and in 2016, an EVOS XL Cell Imaging System which allows to obtain high-quality brightfield cell images. In total the Foundation has donated over £45,000 to the EATC4Children lab in the Institute In The Park.

Thanks to the new donation, the EATC4Children team has now purchased an imaging system called a ChemiDoc, which will allow the team to acquire high resolution and high-quality images of both nucleic acids and protein gels/membranes.

The work of the EATC4Children focuses on children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), JIA-associated uveitis, juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE), bone and bone health disorders and other related conditions. It is the first and only children’s research centre of its kind in the UK.
Researchers at the EATC4Children aim to better understand the role of the immune system in the development and progression of these autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and to identify potential new treatment targets and biomarkers. This could lead to more effective treatment with reduced unwanted side-effects as well as early and correct diagnosis, disease onset, individual course and outcome prediction.

Image of research equipment for Child Arthritis 

Dr Ana Carvalho Kok, Postdoctoral Scientist within the Wolfson Labs in the Institute in the Park, said: “The ChemiDoc will transform our ability to bioengineer regions of DNA to test their contribution to human disease, for example in jSLE. As target identification and functional testing are the first and essential steps towards understanding disease mechanisms and introducing new individualised treatments, the ChemiDoc system will allow us to further expand our efforts in finding disease and outcome specific molecular defects to improve the lives of children with systemic autoimmune and inflammatory disease”.

“Thank you to the trustees of the Parry Family Charitable Foundation for making this research possible.”

Find out more about the work of EATC4Children on their website, you can also support their research by making a donation to the EATC4Children fund.