North Wales & North West Urological Research Centre (NW2URC)

The North Wales and North West Urological Research Centre (NW2URC) was established by Mr Iqbal Shergill and Dr Stephen Fôn Hughes in January 2014. 

Collaboration between the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Department of Urology, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North Wales, and the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester has provided the opportunity to develop, undertake and promote urological research in the area. NW2URC have a research laboratory based at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North Wales. Here, postgraduate (PG) research students (clinicians and scientists) undertake their research involving urological patients. 

Recently, NW2URC has established collaboration with Mr Manit Arya and his medical team at the Department of Urology, University College London Hospitals, Dr Ian Barwick and his team at Life Sciences Hub Wales, and the British Urology Researchers in Surgical Training (BURST). Collaboration between BCUHB, UCHL, Life Sciences Hub Wales and the University of Chester will enhance research links between these establishments and promote medical research in the area and nationally.

Overview of Research

The number of patients in the UK having surgical interventions for the treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the kidneys, prostate, and bladder is increasing annually. As such, there have been an increasing number of patients developing disease recurrence and progression, as well as post-operative complications (e.g. infection and blood clots).

Post-operative complications result in patients requiring longer hospital stays, poor patient experience and outcomes, as well as carrying additional financial constraints for the healthcare provider (NHS). Minor improvements in the monitoring of these patients following treatment could possibly have financial benefits for the healthcare provider and health benefits for the nation.

 

Specifically, our current research interests are divided into the following areas: 

Clinical

  • Kidney stones and kidney cancer

  • Bladder cancer

  • Benign and malignant disorders of the prostate

  • Clinical outcome measures (e.g. acute kidney injury, infection, bleeding, oedema, blood clots) and their relationship with biological markers

 

Scientific

  • Leukocyte biology

  • Vascular endothelium

  • Inflammation

  • Cytokines & adhesion molecules

  • Biomarkers

 

Early indications are that our studies may lead to important intervention relating to both treatment and diagnosis in these patients. Currently only simple non-specific blood tests are available to predict clinical outcomes and post-operative complications. No biomarker profiles are available to forecast with confidence, post- operative complications or to predict cancer recurrence and progression. Our aim therefore, is to establish such profiles. 

Specifically, patients with cancer and benign conditions of the kidney, bladder and prostate will benefit as a result of increased ability in detecting recurrence and progression, allowing stricter surveillance follow-up programmes. Our research study promises to help patients (regionally and nationally) who have been diagnosed with various urological disorders, and will ultimately allow current NHS post-operative care protocols to be revised and improved; thus improving the patients’ health and well-being.

Our Research Group

Directors:

Mr Iqbal Shergill (Consultant Urological Surgeon, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Dr Stephen Fôn Hughes (Senior Lecturer & Programme Leader BSc Biomedical Science, University of Chester)

 

Clinical Staff:

Mr Basharat Jameel (Consultant Urological Surgeon, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Mr Manit Arya (Consultant Urological and Uro-oncology Surgeon, UCLH, London)

Mr Mohamed Abdulmajed (SPR, Urological Surgeon, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Mr Muhammad Iqbal (SpR, Urological Surgeon, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Dr Issam Hussien (SpR, Urology, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Dr Anish  Pushkaran  (SpR, Urology, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

Dr Victoria Stainer (FY2, BCUHB, Wrexham Maelor Hospital)

 

Academic Staff:

Dr Jon Power (Lecturer – Histology, University of Chester)

Dr Geraldine O'Connor (Lecturer - Immunology, University of Chester)

Dr Laurence Seabra (Lecturer - Molecular Biology, University of Chester)

Dr Sohail Mushtaq (Senior Lecturer – Clinical Biochemistry, University of Chester)

 

Research Students:

Miss Alyson Moyes (PhD student – Kidney stones, University of Chester)

Mr Peter Ella-Tongwiis (PhD student – Bladder Cancer, University of Chester)

Miss Rebecca Lamb (PhD student - Bladder Cancer, University of Chester)

Mr Jacob Mear (PhD student - Kidney Stones, University of Chester)

Mr Abhishek Kharawatkar (Prostate Cancer, University of Chester)