The partnership with the University of Southampton started back in August 2011 when Wickham Laboratories approached Dr Willaime-Morawek (Stem Cells lecturer at the UoS) at a NC3R in Southampton. Wickham were interested in developing a cell-based assay for toxin activity testing and were curious to know if the Faculty of Medicine could assist with this. A collaboration to work together to train two of Wickham’s staff on cell culture was agreed as a result of several meetings held in early 2012. The project was carried out over a period of three months using the Faculty of Medicine facilities through a consultancy contract. In December 2013 another contract was signed in order to progress the project following the analysis of the results of a key paper on toxin activity testing which was the outcome of the ongoing partnership.
“This is the first time that Medicine has worked collaboratively with local industry in a consultancy role to offer training, advice and outstanding facilities to enhance the development of laboratory personnel. It is hoped this is the first of many mutually beneficial partnerships which will impact positively on research and innovation for both the University and the industry sector and act as an important source of revenue for the University.”
Dr Sandrine Willaime-Morawek