2019 Research Grant Award
£27,293 for a 36 month project starting 1 January 2020 at Norwich Medical School, UEA.
Dr Yongping Bao
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a core technique used in molecular biology to analyse genetic material from living cells. It has a multitude of applications in research and medicine from detecting cancer genes in tumours to analysing the presence of pathogens in patient samples. Reliable and high throughput analysis of samples is key for successful experimental approach.
Big C’s grant award has funded the purchase of an Applied Biosystems (ABI) PCR machine called QuantStudio 3 to perform real-time, quantitative PCR analyses. This equipment will be located at the Bob Champion Research and Educational Building (BCRE) at University of East Anglia (UEA), and used on a daily basis by several groups investigating gene expression, genotyping and diagnosis of gut bacterial infections. This equipment will give us the capacity to perform large-scale quantification how human genes respond to chemicals in particular foods and anti-cancer drugs. We will examine the genes in relation to nutrients, bioactive compounds or drugs, and develop new treatments of prostate cancer and develop new therapies to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. We will also be able to develop a real-time PCR test for diagnosis of human parasite infections.
The data obtained around human gene responses to foodstuffs will contribute to the understanding of the importance of prevention of chronic diseases including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. This will help to form sound dietary advice to individuals at risk of cancer and lead to personalised nutrition, which could prevent cancer. In addition, the PCR System will be used to investigate gene expression in gut pathogenic and commensal bacteria and in human intestinal cells, thereby helping us to understand what is going on during infections of the gut and the influence of the gut microbiota on human health and/or disease. Finally, the PCR System will also allow us to obtain quantitative confirmation of gene expression data and form a basis for the development of new therapies to treat both chronic and infectious diseases.
In summary, this QuantStudio 3, PCR machine will support several ongoing projects in the BCRE Lab in Norwich Medical School, at UEA.