Delivering innovative new treatments to improve patient care is set to be accelerated following the announcement of the first joint appointment between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the Quadram Institute.
Dr Ngozi Elumogo has been appointed as a Senior Research Fellow in Translational Medicine, where she will promote collaborative working between researchers and clinicians and ensure that the most applicable research is being carried out for clinical practice.
Dr Elumogo said: “This is an exciting new collaborative role. I’ll be there to act as a bridge between clinicians and researchers and will be asking the appropriate clinical questions to scientists to ensure that clinical practice and patient care are at the forefront of our research work.”
A major focus of Dr Elumogo’s work will be to continue research on Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT), a treatment programme that restores healthy gut bacteria for treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection.
The transplant involves faecal material, or stool, collected from a healthy donor screened and confirmed free from infections by the NHS microbiology lab run by the Eastern Pathology Alliance. It is mixed with saline, filtered and infused via a fine tube placed into the small bowel through the nose. It can also be directly applied to the colon or large bowel via an endoscope.
Dr Elumogo said: “This treatment is effective because it restores healthy gut bacteria. It is a natural product which is very well tolerated with no significant side effects. Since the introduction of FMT, we have successfully treated 26 patients previously diagnosed with C.diff, and I’m very much looking forward to continuing the work we’ve started and also looking at investigating the effect of this treatment on other medical conditions.”
Dr Elumogo will be bringing years of experience to this collaborative research role, having spent the last 16 years as a Consultant Microbiologist both at NNUH and the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), with the last eight years as Director of Infection Prevention and Control at NNUH. Alongside her new role, Dr Elumogo has also been appointed as the Chief of Service for Laboratory Medicine and the Eastern Pathology Alliance (EPA).
Her role is part funded by the N&N Hospitals Charity.
The FMT service has been developed with Professor Arjan Narbad from the Quadram Institute, a microbiologist with over 25 years’ experience of working with microbes in the digestive tract and vast experience of developing ways of preventing the colonisation of dangerous bacteria In the gut.
The Quadram Institute will be at the forefront of combined research into food science, gut biology and health. The building will house a range of endoscopy and bowel cancer screening services run by NNUH, a Clinical Research Facility, and world-leading food and health scientists. Having clinical expertise alongside academic research will drive the translation of new knowledge into evidence-based strategies to maximise health and reduce the impact of disease and infection.
Mark Davies, Chief Executive at NNUH said: “I’m delighted that Dr Elumogo has been appointed into this new collaborative research role. Her expertise and years of experience will undoubtedly prove instrumental in the bringing together of clinicians and researchers, and I’d like to wish her all the best in the role.”
Professor Ian Charles, Director, Quadram Institute said: “Dr Elumogo’s appointment is the first of a number of pivotal joint appointments for the new Quadram Institute, bringing together clinical expertise with academic research. The FMT work is a good example of the innovation that’s made possible by interdisciplinary teams working together to deliver highly effective solutions to major health issues, benefitting patients and wider society.”