Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

Nana-jane Chipampe

Biography

I studied my undergraduate degree at Durham University, and spent two years working and training within Histopathology departments. I completed the Health Care Professions Council and The Science Council registration portfolio, which provides evidence of my competence to work to a high degree of accuracy and precision as a Biomedical Scientist in a Clinical Pathology Accredited laboratory.

As a Registered Scientist, I ensure I maintain the highest standards of professional practice and act in the best interests of patients, the service and other professionals. Patients and service users’ confidentiality is always respected and professional integrity, standards and laws are in the best interest of patients at all times.

Working as a Locum Biomedical Scientist in the NHS for the past six years in various NHS Histopathology departments across the UK, I have demonstrated my ability to organize and assist in training laboratory staff across NHS laboratories to work competently and achieve personal career development plans.

Having worked, Tissue Culture laboratory at Leica Biosystems and at Manchester Childrens’ Hospital, I understand the importance of working in an environment where I contribute to patient focussed healthcare. I began to develop an interest in research and studied a Masters of Research at St Georges University of London Hospital Medical School.

I then decided to work within an academic and research focussed environment and joined the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University working with the Urology Solid Tumour Target Discovery group on a project researching ex vivo cultures of prostate tumours.

Research Project:

Urinary mitochondrial DNA mutations: Diagnostic biomarkers of bladder cancer recurrence
Principal Investigators: Professor Sir Doug Turnbull, Mr Rakesh Heer, Prof Craig Robson, Prof Rob Taylor

Project Details

I have now started a PhD entitled ‘Characterising mitochondrial biology in the ageing bladder’ which will involve urine and blood based mitochondrial DNA targeted deep sequencing from patients with bladder cancer.  Bladder cancer is the commonest urinary tract cancer accounting for over 10,000 new diagnoses each year in the UK. Currently there are no bladder urinary biomarkers in routine clinical use and current translational research is focused on the detection of tumour genomic DNA in either voided cells or urinary cell-­‐free DNA.

Contact: NICR – Paul O Gorman Building, 2nd floor
Sponsor/funder: NIHR

Outcomes: Currently my supervisor Mr Rakesh Heer leads the largest bladder cancer trial in the North East NCRN portfolio is looking at improving tumour clearance through better tumour visualisation during surgery. Direct patient involvement is essential for my project.

There are no bladder urinary biomarkers in routine clinical use and current translational research is focused on the detection of tumour genomic DNA in either voided cells or urinary cell-­‐free DNA. Also, unlike other approaches, benchmarking mtDNA mutations that are unique to the tumour provides excellent diagnostic specificity in surveillance for recurrence through lineage tracing.