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Dr Samar Betmouni

PositionDirector of Clinical Pathology and Deputy Director, Digital Health Enterprise Zone
LocationICT building, room 3.19
DepartmentSchool of Chemistry and Biosciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 233528
EmailS.Betmouni@bradford.ac.uk
Twitter@bradford_pathol

Research Interests (key words only)

Prion disease; pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease; digital pathology

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

MSc Cellular Pathology Laboratory Practice

Modules:

  • Applied & Diagnostic Pathology
  • Laboratory Practice & Management
  • Digital Pathology

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Leader MSc Cellular Pathology Laboratory Practice
  • Director of Clinical Pathology, Bradford Pathology

Biography

Dr Betmouni graduated from Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School, London in 1989, having previously obtained BSc from the same institution in 1986.

She completed junior hospital posts in Medicine, Surgery and Accident & Emergency, and went on to a Clinical Research Fellow post in dementia. The clinical interest and experience in dementia led Dr Betmouni to pursue a research career in basic neuroscience to investigate factors that cause dementia: in particular the natural history of development of pathological changes in the brain. Dr Betmouni completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford (1994-1997) looking at the development of inflammatory response in the brain in chronic neurodegenerative diseases associated with dementia. The results obtained during the course of the DPhil investigations led to the award of a Medical Research Grant on which Dr Betmouni was named post-doctoral scientist (Prof Hugh Perry’s Group, Universities of Oxford and Southampton).

Dr Betmouni’s interest in pathology next saw her take up the post of Clinical Lecturer in Histopathology (University of Sheffield Medical School) in 1999. During this time she trained as a histopathologist and later moved to Bristol in 2001 to embark on her training as a neuropathologist at Frenchay Hospital. During this period of training she continued her research in neurodegeneration. She became a Member and then Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2003 and 2008 respectively, and was appointed Consultant Senior Lecturer in Neuropathology at the University of Bristol in 2006. During this appointment, Dr Betmouni secured a Medical Research Council New Investigator Grant (2008-2011), which she transferred to the University of Bradford in 2010 on her appointment as Senior Research Fellow. During this period she has also worked as Consultant Neuropathologist at Hull Royal Infirmary.

In 2012, Dr Betmouni was appointed Director of Clinical Pathology and has been leading Bradford Pathology: a Faculty of Life Sciences initiative to establish a working (accredited) histopathology facility within the university. Bradford Pathology will provide education and training in the design and delivery of diagnostic histopathology services and conduct research into factors that can promote the uptake of digital technologies into the laboratory setting. We have recently embarked on a partnership with Philips Digital Pathology Solution to incorporate state of the art digital scanning and image management systems into our laboratory workflow. This system has huge potential in terms of facilitating remote expert opinion input and multi-disciplinary team meeting and scope for improving the service we can provide for patients awaiting biopsy results. In this context, Dr Betmouni is also interested in exploring means of integrating patients’ histopathology results into their electronic records.

Study History

1986 - BSc Pharmacology with Basic Medical Science - Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London

1989 - MBBS - University of London

1997 - D.Phil. "Early inflammatory responses in mouse scrapie" - Dept. Pharmacology, University of Oxford (Supervisor: Professor V. H. Perry)

Professional History

Pre-registration House Officer Rheumatology & Chest Medicine Aug 1989 - Jan 1990
Pre-registration House Officer  General Surgery Feb 1990 - July 1990
Senior House Officer  Endocrinology, Care of the Elderly, Dermatology Aug 1990 - July 1991
Senior House Officer Gastroenterology

Aug 1991 - Jan 1992

Clinical Research Fellow Dementia Feb 1992 - Jan 1993
Casualty Officer Accident & Emergency Feb 1993 - Mar 1994
D. Phil Student CNS Inflammation Group, Department of Pharmacology
University of Oxford 
Apr 1994 - Apr 1997
Post-doctoral Research Fellow CNS Inflammation Group, Department of Pharmacology
University of Oxford
Apr 1997 - Sep 1998
Post-doctoral Research Fellow

CNS Inflammation Group, School of Biological Science, University of Southampton

Sep 1998 - May 1999

Clinical Lecturer in Pathology  University of Sheffield Medical School June 1999 - Dec 2000
Specialist Registrar in Neuropathology North Bristol NHS Trust Jan 2001 - Apr 2006
Consultant Senior Lecturer in Neuropathology University of Bristol May 2006 - Mar 2010
Senior Research Fellow Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Bradford May 2010 - July 2012
Consultant Neuropathologist Department of Pathology, Hull Royal Infirmary June 2011 - Aug. 2013

Professional Activities

Society/Specialist Group Membership

  • Pathological Society
  • British Neuropathological Society
  • British Myology Society
  • Bradford Institute of Health Research
  • Member of Royal College of Pathologists (MRCPath)
    • 2003 - MRCPath I
    • 2005 - MRCPath II
  • Fellow of Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) - 2008

Committees

  • British Neuropathological Society (BNS) Committee – Elected Member (2007-2009)
  • BNS Representative on Animal Sciences Group (2007-2009)
  • RCPath Neuropathology Subcommittee (2010-2012)

Reviewing work- manuscripts/grant applications

  • Neuropathology Applied Neurobiology
  • Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
  • Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
  • Brain Pathology
  • Medical Research Council

Research Areas

  • Pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease
  • Digital pathology applications and implementations

Current Projects

  • Establishment of accredited pathology facilities in the Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Digital Pathology: uses in teaching and research
  • Implementation of diagnostic digital pathology

Research Collaborations

Industrial partnership with Philips Digital Pathology Solution (2014)

Networks/Roles

Alzheimer’s Research UK Yorkshire Network - member

Publications

Full papers in peer reviewed journals

  • Betmouni S., Perry V.H. and Gordon J.L. (1996) Evidence for an early inflammatory response in the central nervous system of mice with scrapie. Neuroscience74(1): 1-5
  • Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1999) Acute inflammatory response in the CNS following injection of prion brain homogenate or normal brain homogenate. Neuropathology Applied Neurobiology25: 20-28
  • Betmouni S., Deacon R.M.J., Rawlins J.N.P. and Perry V.H. (1999) Behavioural consequences of prion disease targeted to the hippocampus in a mouse model of scrapie. Psychobiology. 27(1): 63-71
  • Bolton S. J., Russelakis-Carnerio M., Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1999) Non-nuclear histone is upregulated in neurons and astrocytes in prion and Alzheimer’s disease but not in acute neurodegeneration. Neuropathology Applied Neurobiology 25: 425-432
  • Russelakis-Carneiro M., Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1999) Inflammatory response and retinal ganglion cell degeneration following intraocular injection of ME7. Neuropathology Applied Neurobiology. 25:196-206
  • Betmouni S., Clements J. and Perry V.H. (1999) Vacuolation in murine scrapie: an informative artefact. Current Biology 9(18): R677-R679
  • Cross S. S., Betmouni S., Burton J.L., Dube A. K., Feeley K. M., Holbrook M.R., Landers R.J., Lumb P.B. and Stephenson T.J. (2000) What levels of agreement can be made between histopathologists assigning cases to discrete nominal categories? - a study of the diagnosis of hyperplastic and adenomatous polyps. Modern Pathology13: 941-944
  • Walsh D. T., Betmouni S. and Perry V. H. (2001) Absence of detectable IL-1 production in murine prion disease, a model of chronic neurodegeneration Journal Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 60(2): 173-182
  • Fady J., Dawson K., Betmouni S., Moss T., and Smith P. (2005) The Bath Advanced Neurology Course 2003: Progressive neurological decline in pregnancy. Practical Neurology 5(3): 168-175
  • Chiti Z., Knutsen O.M., Betmouni S. and Greene J.R.T. (2006) Deficits in synaptic plasticity precede behavioural changes in murine prion disease. Neurobiology of Disease22: 363-373
  • Gray E., Thomas T.L., Betmouni S., Scolding N. and Love S. (2008) Elevated activity and microglial expression of myeloperoxidase in demyelinated cerebral cortex in multiple sclerosis. Brain Pathology18(1):86-95
  • Franklin S. L., Love S., Greene J.R.T. and Betmouni S. (2008) Loss of perineuronal net in ME7 prion disease. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology67(3):189-199
  • Gray E., Thomas T.L., Betmouni S., Scolding N. and Love, S. (2008) Elevated MMP-9 and degradation of perineuronal net in cerebrocortical multiple sclerosis plaques. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology67(9):888-899
  • Gray E., Thomas T.L., Betmouni S., Scolding N. and Love S. (2008) Elevated myeloperoxidase activity in white matter in multiple sclerosis. Neuroscience Letters444:195-198

Reviews

  • Perry V.H., Anthony D.C.C., Bolton S J. and Betmouni S. (1998) The contribution of inflammation to acute and chronic neurodegeneration. Res. Immunology 149(7-8): 721-725
  • Betmouni S. and Love S. (2004) Space occupying lesions of the CNS. Surgery 22(3): i-vi

Book chapters

  • Betmouni S. and Jones R.W. (1996) The elderly as the main group for therapy with anti-rheumatic drugs: Problems and strategies. In "Advances in Anti-Rheumatic Therapy", Rainsford, K. (Ed.) CRC press, pp 23-43
  • Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (2002) CNS inflammation and prion disease pathogenesis. In "Molecular and Cellular Pathology in Prion Diseases", Baker H. F. (Ed) Human Press Inc., pp163-179

Abstracts

  • Baker J.B.E. and Betmouni S. (1987) The calcium paradox: some consequences of changing sodium ion concentration. British Journal of Pharmacology. 92, 551P
  • Russelakis-Carneiro M., Betmouni S. and Perry V. H. (1998) Neuronal and inflammatory response in murine scrapie: a model for studying chronic neurodegenerative disease. Neurobiology of Aging 19 (4S), S299
  • Combrinck M., Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1998) Different sites of intracerebral injection with ME7 brain homogenate produce similar behavioural profiles and incubations times in murine scrapie. Symposium on Prion Diseases and Lentiviral Diseases, P22
  • Russelakis-Carneiro M., Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1998) The inflammatory response and evidence of retinal ganglion cell degeneration following intraocular injection of prion agent. Symposium on Prion Diseases and Lentiviral Diseases, Reykjavik, P23
  • Walsh D.T., Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1998) Absence of detectable IL-1 in murine scrapie – a chronic neurodegenerative disease. Symposium on Prion Diseases and Lentiviral Diseases, Reykjavik, P24
  • Greene J.R.T., Perry V.H. and Betmouni, S. (1998) Electrophysiological and morphological studies of subicular neurons in brain slices from mice infected with scrapie. Symposium on Prion Diseases and Lentiviral Diseases, Reykjavik, P29
  • Betmouni S., Clements, J. and Perry V.H. (1999) Significance of vacuolation in prion disease. British Neuroscience Association 15th National Meeting, Harrogate, S40.05
  • Betmouni S. and Perry V.H. (1999) Acute CNS inflammation in mouse prion disease. British Neuroscience Association 15th National Meeting, Harrogate, S18.03
  • Franklin S.L., Love S., Greene J.R.T. and Betmouni S. (2004) Early degradation of the dendritic perineuronal net in murine prion disease. FENS Abstract. Lisbon, Portugal
  • Chiti Z., Knutsen O.M., Betmouni S. and Greene J.R.T. (2004) A combined electrophysiological, neuropathological and behavioural study of ME7 Prion disease in mice. FENS Abstract. Lisbon, Portugal
  • Betmouni S.,Chiti Z., Franklin S., Knutsen O.M., Love S. and Greene J.R.T (2004) Pathogenesis of chronic neurodegenerative disease: insights from murine prion disease. 10th Wye College Symposium, 6-9th July 2004 (oral presentation)
  • Betmouni S., Chiti Z., Franklin S.L., Knutsen O.M., Love S. and Greene J.R.T (2004) Early pathogenesis in prion disease: An electroneuropathological approach. Joint Funders TSE Workshop. York, UK
  • Betmouni S., Chiti Z., Franklin S., Knutsen O.M., Love S. and Greene J.R.T (2005) Perineuronal net loss in murine prion disease and possible functional consequences. Proceedings of 106th Meeting of British Neuropathological Society, 12-14th January, London, 31:6 (oral presentation)
  • Knutsen, O.M., Greene, J.R.T. and Betmouni, S. (2005) Loss of parvalbumin immunoreactive interneurones early in murine Prion Disease. British Neuroscience Association 18th National Meeting, Brighton
  • Franklin, S., Love, S., Greene, JRT and Betmouni, S. (2006) Possible contribution of CNS inflammation to the pathogenesis of prion disease. Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology 32 (s1): ii-vi
  • Gray E., Thomas T.L., Scolding N.J., Betmouni, S. and Love, S. (2006) Matrix metalloprotease-2 and -9 activity in grey and white matter in multiple sclerosis. Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology; 32 (s1): ii-vi
  • Gray E., Thomas T.L., Scolding N.J, Betmouni S and Love S (2008) Elevated activity and microglial expression of myeloperoxidase in demyelinated cerebral cortex in multiple sclerosis Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology;34 (s1): 7
  • Santos E., Gordon D., Pavlovska G., Scolding N. and Betmouni S. (2008) Perineuronal net loss in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE); Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology;34 (s1):9
  • Thomas T.L. and Betmouni S. (2010) Hippocampal perineuronal net in Alzheimer's disease: an unusual pattern of staining.; Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology;36(s1):28
  • Gordon D., Greene J. R. T. and Betmouni S. (2010) The effect of matrix metalloprotease 3 (MMP3) on electrophysiology and perineuronal net integrity in ventral hippocampal slices; Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology;36 (s1):13
  • Betmouni S. (2014) Digital pathology – the next generation of virtual microscopy?; Anatomical Society; Skin and Bones Symposium, University of Bradford, 7-9 July

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

Yorkshire Alzheimer’s Disease Network, Annual Public Meeting, 2012
"Do you want to know more about dementia?"

In the News/Media

  • University of Bradford and Philips Bring leading Digital Pathology Research and Training to Students - Nov 2014

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