The urology research group is a collaboration between clinicians, clinical academics and scientists from across the Faculty of Medical Sciences which aims to improve the care of people with health problems affecting urinary and sexual function. We work by identifying important problems affecting patients, apply basic scientific techniques to research the problem and then test the usefulness of any resultant findings.
Current laboratory projects include molecular investigation of castrate-resistant prostate cancer particularly related to androgen receptor activity investigation of innate immunity against urinary infection using molecular measurement and in vitro functional assays and isolation, propagation and characterisation of adult stem cells from the urinary tract (Pickard).
We are also active in the design and development of novel clinical devices which involves technological innovation and initial product testing to demonstrate ‘proof of principle’ (Drinnan). We then assess clinical usefulness and, if positive, this leads to further development and ultimately manufacture and marketing with an industrial partner.
Linked to this innovation activity we have expertise in the health economic evaluation of new technology using mathematical modelling drawing on systematic evidence review (Pickard). A new area of interest for the group is in the development of decision support material for people with urological disease using both quantitative and qualitative methodology (Pickard).
We have an active clinical trials programme which concentrates on developing and running experimental intervention studies linked to local and national cancer and comprehensive research networks (Pickard). Through this work, we contribute to studies involving the testing of novel drugs, devices and screening strategies mainly in conjunction with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust but also involving neighbouring NHS organisations in North East England.