Birmingham Tissue Analytics

The Birmingham Tissue Analytics combines academic expertise and cutting-edge technologies in high resolution single cell imaging and digital histology to support acceleration of the development of novel, precision-based therapeutics within inflammation and cancer.

Why work with us?

We offer advanced spatial and informatics approaches to investigate disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets at a cellular level, leveraging the University of Birmingham’s academic excellence and high quality, deeply phenotyped tissue samples. With academic and industrial partners, we facilitate the development of targeted therapeutics for precision medicine applications delivering tissue based outcomes for both pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.

Implementation of GCP standards forms a key part of the delivery of our analytic capabilities. Pre-clinical collaborative research can be conducted to a standard suitable to progress to clinical trials, alongside development of novel and robust tissue-based clinical trial outcomes on which to base the success of novel therapeutics.

Within BTA, the Molecular Histology Facility (MHF) provides a high level digital spatial imaging service for academic-led research and industry contracts and aims to continue to innovate and develop, ensuring that the University delivers a cutting-edge tissue analytics service in line with scientific, clinical and industry priorities.

These capabilities enable researchers to build a thorough picture of cellular composition in both inflammatory diseases and cancer, identifying shared and distinct mechanisms and targets across diseases and delivering outcomes for novel early phase clinical trials that can accelerate successful development of precision-based therapeutics.

Who do we work with?

BTA brings together highly skilled specialist staff in tissue imaging and analysis to support both academic and industry-led projects with a wealth of experience in the inflammation and cancer space.

We link with a range of facilities across the Birmingham Health Partners network including Genomics Birmingham, the Clinical Immunology Service and University Hospitals Birmingham pathology. To deliver lab-based outcome measures for early phase clinical trials we work closely with the I-ACT (Inflammation and Advanced Therapy) Trials Team, based in the CRCTU.

BTA services are available to both internal and external academics in inflammation and cancer and industry professionals with interests in targeting inflammatory diseases or industry professionals in the digital pathology space. We are a preferred site for Nanostring as well as being a reference site for Visiopharm and a Key Opinion Leader for Akoya for digital imaging services.

Resources and Services

High level immunohistochemistry and imaging expertise:



Panel validation and tissue staining for target validation/localisation (to GCP or Good Laboratory Practice, GLP levels). We use the Leica Bond RX autostainer platform for IHC and multiplex staining and the Leica Aperio AT2 scanner for brightfield whole slide scanning and image hosting on a web based Leica Aperio eSlide manager platform.

Advanced GCP compliant multiplexed protein and spatial transcriptomic tissue imaging platforms



The Akoya Vectra Polaris 2.0 allows multispectral fluorescence and brightfield scanning – up to 7 colour deconvoluted whole slide scanning or 9 colour deconvoluted region of interest scanning. Additionally, The Akoya Mantra 2.0 acts as an optimisation platform for Phenoptics projects aimed for Polaris scanning and can be used to aid groups planning to stain for themselves but scan on the Polaris.


For deeper insight, the Nanostring nCounter can quantify up to 800 RNA targets without amplification from either extracted RNA including FFPE derived material using both off-the-shelf or custom panels available from Nanostring (including CE IVD marked clinical assays).


The Nanostring GeoMx gives the capability for digital spatial profiling of regions of interest in FFPE sections. These can be profiled for either an 84 plex, 1800 plex or whole transcriptome analysis RNA panels, or a selection of configurable antibody panels made of ~10 plex modules up to ~60 plex.

Digital image analysis

We offer advice on, access to and bioinformatics support for digital image analysis software packages including Visopharm and Inform (Akoya Biosciences).

Tissue assays

Accelerated design of complex biological assays aimed at target validation and patient stratification in pre-clinical studies and clinical trial outcomes including bespoke tissue explant and disaggregation-based project design and delivery (inflammatory disease only).


Maria Juarez, Nieves Diaz, Geoffrey I Johnston, Saba Nayar, et al., (2020) A phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study of oral seletalisib in primary Sjögren's syndrome. Rheumatology

Saba Nayar, Joana Campos, Charlotte G Smith, Valentina Iannizzotto., et al. (2019) Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase delta pathway: a novel therapeutic target for Sjögren's syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 78, 249-260.

Contact us

Email us:

0121 371 8230