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Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre (SBDC)

The Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre aims to identify biomarkers that could be used to diagnose or inform treatment of diseases such as cancer and arthritis.

Led by Professor Tony Whetton and Dr Robert Graham, our researchers will help to industrialise the process of identifying biomarkers – proteins that indicate the presence of a disease or the likelihood that a patient will respond to a specific therapy for their disease.

Currently, many diseases are treated with a “trial and error” approach where doctors prescribe a drug which will be effective in some patients, but not in others.  Patients who do not respond (or stop responding) to the first drug tried will be moved to another drug, and if again they don’t respond they will be moved to another drug, until a drug is found which works for that individual patient.  The Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre aims to find protein markers in the blood that could be used to stop patients being given treatments which won’t improve their condition.  These markers will be developed to ensure doctors can prescribe the right treatment for the right patient as early as possible.

Our research will boost work led by the University of Manchester to identify new biomarkers for response to therapy in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Alzheimer's disease and psoriasis.

We will also build on research already carried out in the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, including discovering new markers for the earlier detection of ovarian cancer – crucial in starting early treatment to save lives.

Our facilities are located at CityLabs Manchester, close to biotechnology companies (with whom we collaborate), the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester.

"Without the knowledge of biomarkers, we won't be able to identify which people need treatment or who will benefit from certain medicines, so the Centre underpins everything we're doing in precision medicine in Manchester and beyond."

Professor Tony Whetton / Director of the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre