Research showcased at Houses of Parliament

Release Date: 26/03/2018

Research showcased at Houses of Parliament

A Research Associate at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital was invited to visit the Houses of Parliament to present a study.

Dr Charlotte Hulme, who is also a Research Fellow at Keele University, visited Parliament for the STEM for Britain event on Monday 12 March.

STEM for Britain aims to encourage, support and promote early-career research scientists and gives Members of Parliament an opportunity to see the latest work and developments in the Research industry.

Approximately 600 researchers submitted an abstract to present at the event but only 45 were chosen.

Charlotte showcased a poster which summarised the aims to improve the success rate of a cell therapy treatment in patients suffering with an articular cartilage defect, something that can impact people in their 20s and 30s - occasionally as a result of a sporting injury.

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) is the technique used to help patients. The procedure sees a sample of cartilage removed from the patient’s knee from which their own cells are then grown in a laboratory. These cells, known as chondrocytes, are returned into the patient’s defect area in a second surgical procedure.

Currently, the Oswestry-based hospital is the only site in the UK able to offer patients this treatment. This work was led by the late Professor James Richardson and is being continued by consultant orthopaedic surgeons Mr Pete Gallacher and Mr Paul Jermin.

Charlotte’s research examined why 20% of patients don’t demonstrate an improvement in symptoms after this treatment. She discovered that unresponsive patients had an inflammatory response to the treatment and also that a specific enzyme was present in unsuccessful patients.

Charlotte said: “The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only approved this treatment for use throughout the NHS a few months ago, so this research is very timely in further improving the procedure and success rate for patients.

“It’s great to know that the research I’m doing is important and it was a privilege to represent RJAH at STEM for Britain and present the research to MPs.”

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, said: “A huge congratulations to Charlotte for being invited to Parliament to present her research.

“The research that goes on at RJAH is ground breaking and really showcases how innovative we are as a hospital.”



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