RCLS on National Heart Month

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RCLS on National Heart Month

Randox Clinical Laboratories Service (RCLS) has been built on 35 years of Randox Laboratories experience. The aim of our RCLS team is to meet the time sensitive, custom-made requirements of research and clinical projects. They specialize in biomarker and multiplex testing to provide full laboratory services to aid the project aims and timelines whilst saving time and money. Currently, there are four laboratories across the UK located in Liverpool, London, Holywood and the Randox Science Park in Antrim where knowledgeable and proficient teams are situated and are available accordingly to provide support and guidance.

Continuing with National Heart Month, RCLS would like to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of taking care of your hearts health. (WHO) highlighted Ischemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers. An estimated 17 million people die of cardiovascular disease particularly heart attacks and strokes every year.1

Lipoprotein (a) which is also known as Lp(a) consists of two protein molecules, apolipoprotein (a) or apo(a). It is a large lipoprotein particle made by the liver. The Apo(a) particle is a very sticky protein particle, thought to be involved in the clotting system and its addition can be likened to adding a patch of Velcro on to a normal LDL particle. 2 Having some cholesterol and Lp(a) in your blood is normal however, high levels of LDL cholesterol would increase your risk of having some serious heart implications.

It has been highlighted in recent research that blood levels of Lp(a) could be an important indication as it is currently the strongest inherited risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease and stroke. Globally, one in five people have high levels of Lp(a) greater than 50mg 3. As a result, gradually narrow the arteries, limiting blood supply to the brain, heart kidney, legs and can also increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

High Lp(a) can also be related to other common risks factors of cardiovascular diseases for example, smoking, diet, diabetes, high blood pressure and lack of exercise. Therefore, it is possible that those who appear “healthy” can have high Lp(a) in their genes and still be at high risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation strongly emphasized that the Lp(a) test would be advised if you have the following:

  • If there is a family who has history with cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart attack, circulation problems in the legs and/or narrowing of the aorta, at a young age. If someone in your family has high Lp(a), their children have a 50/50 chance inheriting it.
  • Stroke or heart attack are classical risk factors including high LDL-cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and smoking have been eliminated
  • High levels of LDL-cholesterol following treatment with statins or other LDL lowering medications

Randox Clinical Laboratory Services offer you our Lipoprotein (a) assay as well as our variety of analysers across all RCLS laboratories including our RX Series and Evidence Series as well as third party analysers ensuring the testing abilities are diverse. The Randox Lp(a) assay is one of the only methodologies on the market that detects the non-variable part of the Lp(a) molecule providing accurate and consistent results.

If you would like more information on RCLS please contact info@rcls.com

 

  1. https://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/resources/atlas/en/
  2. https://www.heartuk.org.uk/downloads/factsheets/lipoprotein-a.pdf
  3. https://www.lipoproteinafoundation.org/page/UnderstandLpa

 

 

 

 

 

 


Simple health checks, sophisticated science at Randox Health

What is health care? When we think of caring for our health, we think of going to the doctor when we feel ill. The healthcare cycle we’re accustomed to is one where we wait for symptoms to present themselves and then we visit a doctor, hoping to be prescribed medication to limit our symptoms.

Is this really health care? Are we really caring for our bodies in the best way possible by waiting for illness to manifest itself? What if we could properly look after our bodies by taking action early to stop illness in its tracks?

The key to this is identifying indicators of pre-illness, and the technology that allows you to do this is now available directly to you through Randox Health.

After investing over £220 million in the invention and production of revolutionary blood-science technology, a single Randox Health check will deliver a complete picture of your health – as it is now and crucially how it is likely to develop in the future.

Randox Health has proven that signs of disease or irregularity can be caught at their earliest stage. This means that, with early action, some cases of illness can even be prevented altogether. Our health checks include, but are not limited to, cancer surveillance, fertility monitoring, heart health, nutrition, digestive and diabetes health.

In other words, from one health check, you’ll receive up to 350 results and afterwards avail of expert advice from the Randox scientists or a Randox Health GP. Not only that, but a complete 12-month programme and repeat testing come as standard so you can have full confidence that you are really taking care of yourself.

Look out for our new ‘Health Made Simple’ blogs beginning next week, where we’ll be delving in to the sophisticated science and diagnostic tests that power each Randox Health check.

You’ll find out about our Everyman, Everywoman and our Signature health checks, as well as our Specialised testing options which focus on specific health issues.

Find out more and start your Randox Health journey today.

For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


We Are Randox | Parkinson’s disease documentary leads to Film Festival Award for R&D Scientist Carol Naughton

Behind the doors of Randox, ground breaking scientific research is happening.

From Alzheimer’s disease to gastro-intestinal disorders, bladder cancer to cardiovascular disease, diabetes to kidney injury, our team of R&D scientists work on pioneering research projects in the areas of health that matter most, and ultimately, they save lives.

This week, we spoke to Carol Naughton, R&D Scientist in our Randox Teoranta team in Donegal, who has recently been part of an award-winning film documentary which aims to let people into the minds, the labs and the projects of scientists working on pioneering health research like that which takes place in Randox.

The film project, called ‘Feats of Modest Valour’, focuses on the lives of three individuals with Parkinson’s disease, Brian, Tom and Milena, and on a team of scientists working to find a cure for the condition. Aiming to bridge the gap between scientists and the very people the research will have the most impact on, Carol explains how working with Parkinson’s disease sufferers was the most humbling experience of her life.

Here’s Carol’s story.

 

The opportunity to be involved with Feats of Modest Valour (FOMV) was a gradual one. It was towards the end of my PhD when my supervisor, Dr. Eilis Dowd was awarded a grant as part of an EU consortium called Horizon 2020, with a new initiative to cure Parkinson’s disease. One of the remits of being in receipt of this grant was a community outreach programme called Science on Screen, and because of this, the Feats of Modest Valour documentary was born. It was commissioned by the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) and the Galway UNESCO City of Film and Galway Film Centre.

Several projects were pitched to film makers to connect with the general public, and as a result of our pitch which revolved around the gene-environment interaction and increased susceptibility in Parkinson’s disease, ISHKA Films (Alice McDowell and Mia Mullarkey) production company decided to focus on our work. As part of the Horizon 2020 grant, the brain mattrain project is focussing on the development of a new biomedical device for Parkinson’s disease which will, for the first time, target the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease rather than purely addressing the motor symptoms.

One of the most appealing aspects of the project was the platform for engaging with the general public. There is so much fascinating research being performed for a host of diseases all over Ireland but yet there sometimes seems to be a disconnect between that and the very people who the research will have the most impact on.

This was something we were very interested in when we hosted a conference in Galway in 2014. For the NECTAR (Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration) conference, which brings together a unique audience of clinicians and scientists from all over the world to disseminate their research and results of clinical trials. We wanted to do something different, to broaden the scope of the conference, so we integrated a patient-oriented focus into the programme.  The founder of Cure Parkinson’s UK, Tom Isaacs (1968-2017), who was diagnosed with the disease when he was only 27, attended the event and spoke passionately about trying to bridge the gap between clinicians, scientists and patients.  Being part of FOMV gave us the opportunity to do this, to merge science and real life.

It helped therefore that I had been spending quite a lot of time with Brian and with people from the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland.  It has several branches all over the country so I spent quite a lot of time talking with them, organising charity walks, hosting information days and securing funding for speech and language therapists for them. Considering the wealth of knowledge that you can acquire throughout the course of a PhD, it is really rewarding being able to give something back.

When I look back, easily the best part about FOMV was spending time with people with Parkinson’s disease. It is quite easy to forget the bigger picture, the reason why you set out to do research in the first place. This was an opportunity for me to interact with people who were suffering with Parkinson’s disease and talk with them and explain to them about our research. The platform for relaying scientific research to the general public is definitely an under-utilised one. For the majority of research, people do not know what is going on. When the tailor for the documentary was first shown to people, the most common response you heard back was: “I can’t believe this is happening on our backdoor,” or “That was so easy to follow and to understand,” or “Why don’t more scientists do this to explain their research to us?”

Our documentary was recently submitted to a film festival in New York called the Imagine Science Films (ISF) festival, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The select jury included Nobel prize-winning scientist Professor Martin Chalfe, and award-winning science columnist for the New York Times, Professor Carl Zimmer.

We were absolutely delighted when FOMV won The Scientist Award, which is awarded to a film that portrays, accurately and importantly inventively, the life of a scientist. The goal of this award is to encourage more scientists to create films that let people into their minds, into their labs and into their lifestyle. In addition to the top science award, FOMV was also awarded runner up People’s Choice Award. This award is presented to the documentary that receives the most audience votes during the festival.

Being part of Feats of Modest Valour was definitely one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. I have met so many people who suffer with Parkinson’s disease and in the face of such a relentless disease, they have such incredible resolve to make the most of their lives. We tend to take so much for granted and forget to appreciate the little things. And while that sounds very clichéd, Milena, Brian and Tom are no longer in a position to do that. They live a completely clockwork existence based around the particular time when they take their medication. And even then, their days are more bad than good.

That’s why the title of the documentary ‘Feats of Modest Valour’ is based on a poem called ‘No signs of struggle,’ by an American poet named Robin Morgan, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease;

“You can spot it in the provocation of a button, an arm poking at a sleeve, a balancing act at a night-time curb while negotiating the dark. Feats of such modest valour, who would suspect them to be exercises in an intimate, fierce discipline, a metaphysics of being relentlessly aware.”

 

Make sure to tune in to RTE One on Sunday 12th of November, when ‘Feats of Modest Valour’ is on at 10.35pm.

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com

 


Senior R&D Scientist at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Dr Sarah Gildea, on her PhD in Equine Influenza Virus and what she loves the most about being home

Since the opening of Randox Teoranta back in 2010, our team of scientists, engineers and software developers has grown significantly.

Career opportunities at our state-of-the-art research, development and manufacturing centre is utilising the talented skill set of Donegal people and newcomers alike, while actively attracing the Donegal Diaspora back to the area.

Donegal graduates who are working away from home have the opportunity to return, or for those from further afield, they have the opportunity to experience the distinct Donegal lifestyle for the first time.

Senior R&D Scientist at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Dr Sarah Gildea, returned to her native Donegal to work in Randox Teoranta, after having worked in the Irish Equine Centre in Kildare.  She chatted to us about her PhD in Equine Influenza Virus and what she loves the most about being home.

Hi Sarah, can you tell us a little bit about your background and where you started your career? 

I’m originally from Ardara which is in the south west of Donegal and about half an hour away from Dungloe where Randox Teoranta is based. Once I graduated from the University of Limerick with a Bsc in Equine Science, I got a job in the Virology Unit of The Irish Equine Centre, which is in Kildare. I stayed there for 13 years and during that time I got the opportunity to complete my PhD in Equine Influenza Virus.

Why did you choose Randox Teoranta?

After travelling to Kildare each week I finally got the opportunity to return home to work last June when I was lucky enough to join the Randox Teoranta team here in Dungloe. Travelling to Kildare was beginning to take its toll on me – I wasn’t home until late Friday evening and then I was away again on Sunday so it was always a short trip home. Don’t get me wrong now, it’s great to travel and see different parts of the world that you wouldn’t get the opportunity to see otherwise, but being a bit of a home bird I had wanted to come home for a while. I never thought that I would get the opportunity to work at home in the field of science, especially veterinary science. So as you can imagine I was delighted when I heard that Randox was opening a new R&D site in Dungloe and was expanding their expertise to include a veterinary division. I thought it was such a rare opportunity to be given the chance to work in my area of expertise so close to where I grew up.

What’s the difference in terms of the facilities between Randox Teoranta and the Irish Equine Centre?

Coming from the Irish Equine Centre where I was involved in diagnosing diseases for race horse trainers and veteran surgeons from all around Ireland to Randox Teoranta where I am developing tests to supply the likes of Irish Equine Centre and like-minded companies had its advantages. I already had a broad knowledge of vet diagnostics and diseases but now instead of diagnosing diseases I am creating the innovative diagnostic tests that the Irish Equine Centre would use. It meant that I already had a good knowledge on the flaws of some of the current tests and my experience gave me a good insight for what’s important when developing new innovative diagnostic tests.

How important is it that companies like Randox invest in places like Dungloe?

By investing in science and engineering at Randox Teoranta I have not only been able to bring back my knowledge and experience to my home county, but also teach and educate those in the community who are interested in pursuing a career in science but don’t necessarily want to travel far from home.  Randox Teoranta not only allows me to give back to the community but also make huge savings on  travel expenses as I no longer have to commute long distances to work each day. But really the most important thing for me is being close to all my family and friends.

For more information about our Randox Teoranta Open Morning on Friday 23rd December please contact randoxpr@randox.com

Make sure to share on your social media platforms using the hashtag #TalentedTeoranta!


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