May 25, 2021, by Jason Feehily

NICCRAT-Delivering Impact Partnerships

Initiated in 2019 by Dr. Susanti, a former PhD student in the Molecular Pathology Research Group, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham and her supervisor Prof. Mohammad Ilyas, Nottingham-Indonesia Collaboration for Clinical Research and Training (NICCRAT) is established to foster the partnership between the University of Nottingham and several Indonesian academic and research institutions in the field of health and clinical sciences. There are now several research groups (PI and PhD students) within the School of Medicine and School of Life Sciences in UoN that are participating in NICCRAT. They are working alongside several institutions in Indonesia, such as Indonesia Institute of Sciences (a state-owned research body) and the medicals school of Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas YARSI, Universitas Riau, and Muhammadiyah University network. Adopting the ABGC (Academic, Business, Government and Community) concept of collaboration, NICCRAT also engaging with other stakeholders such as Indonesia Cancer Association (Non-profit organization), Bio Farma (state-owned biotech company), and policy makers including the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology as well as Indonesian Embassy in London.

In March 2019, NICCRAT have delivered inaugural training in precision medicine to around 60 academics and clinicians in Jogjakarta, Indonesia on March 2019, hosted by the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing of Universitas Gadjah Mada and funded by both the Indonesia Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEKDIKTI) through the BIMTEK (Bimbingan Teknik) scheme and the Asia Business Centre of University of Nottingham. Subsequently up to now, NICCRAT has delivered and enabled several capacity buildings in the field of molecular diagnostics and digital In September 2019, funded by Indonesia Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher education (RISTEKDIKTI) through Research and Innovation in Science and Technology Project (Riset-Pro) scheme, ten Indonesian delegates, led by Dr. Wien Kusharyoto from Research Centre of Biotechnology, Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI), were in Nottingham for the 4- weeks tailor made programme in molecular diagnostics. In December 2019, NICCRAT delivered the 1st Jogjakarta Gastrointestinal Pathology Masterclass in collaboration with Department of Anatomical Pathology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, attended by more than 80 pathologists from around Indonesia.

With support from other members of NICCRAT, Prof Ilyas has secured Newton Fund Institutional Link project in improving the clinical outcome of colorectal cancer in Indonesia through implementation of molecular diagnostics, with Dr. Susanna Hutajulu from Universitas Gadjah Mada. The project has enabled the participation in total of 110 Indonesian researcher, academics, and clinicians in the Nottingham Molecular and Image Analysis Training School in 2019 and 2020 as well as Nottingham Gastrointestinal Pathology Masterclass in 2021.

Due to her participation in development of many projects across Indonesia prior to COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Susanti who continues working as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof’s Ilyas group following her PhD completion was invited by the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology to join the National Consortium of COVID-19 Research and Innovation. In addition, Susanti was recruited to join a host of other experts as an instructor in a weekly online training programme which provides guidance for more than 1,000 health care professionals who are working on COVID-19 diagnostic testing across Indonesia.

As part of her involvement in the National COVID-19 consortium, Susanti engaged in the conception and the delivery of two main studies, in collaboration with a team in the Indonesia Institute of Sciences, led by Dr. Wien Kusharyoto, to develop a more robust point-of-care diagnostic test to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus and to utilise portable sequencing technology – Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) – to perform whole genome sequencing of the virus found in Indonesia. NICCRAT is being supported on the ONT project by Matthew Loose, Professor of Developmental and Computational Biology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and post-doctoral research fellow Dr Inswasti Cahyani.

Finally, NICCRAT group is now working together supporting Dr. Susanti who received the pre-seed funding from the Islamic Development Bank through the Science, Technology and Innovation-Transform Fund to establish a start-up company, PathGen Diagnostik Teknologi that is currently being incubated into Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI). The start-up is to develop and implement low-cost molecular diagnostic platform in Indonesia and beyond. PathGen is currently focusing on commercialization of colorectal cancer diagnostics kit, utilising in part the know-how license from the University of Nottingham.

Please contact Susanti Susanti for more information

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