Professor Alastair Denniston

Professor Alastair Denniston, of the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and his team have been shortlisted for a prestigious award celebrating the best of innovation in healthcare around the region.

Along with collaborators from City University London and Moorfields Eye Hospital, the team have been given the nod in the 'Advanced Diagnostics, Genomics and Precision Medicine Award' category of the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN)’s third annual Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards.

"We believe that our innovation could significantly improve how we care for patients with sight-threatening inflammation, a serious condition known as ‘uveitis'," explained Professor Denniston.

"We have developed a way of using existing retinal scanners to measure the level of inflammation in the eye – all in a matter of seconds. For the patient it is like having a photograph. For the doctor it should give them the confidence to make better treatment decisions, moving from old-fashioned clinical estimates, to accurate precision medicine based on an advanced diagnostic tool.

"The second phase of the trial is being led by our brilliant doctoral researcher, Dr Xiao Liu, and we are very excited to see the results." 

Dr Christopher Parker, WMAHSN Managing Director, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Professor Denniston and his team have been shortlisted. This is the third year of our awards to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and organisations across the region in delivering better health and care. All of our shortlisted entrants are answering real challenges that face professionals, patients and carers every day.

"The quality of submissions has grown year on year, and so everyone who has made it through to the final should be rightly proud of this achievement. I wish the Professor Denniston's team the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating with all finalists when the winners are announced at the Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards ceremony on Friday 13 July.”  

The awards were established to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and organisations in developing better healthcare and increasing wealth for local people. The ceremony will provide an opportunity to celebrate achievements from across the West Midlands. Many entries were submitted across the six categories, which will now be assessed by a panel of experts to choose the eventual winner.

More than 250 people from across the West Midlands’ NHS, industry, academia, third sector and patient population will gather at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre on 13 July to see who will be successful in lifting the prize.