The ARISE programme

We invite haemoglobinopathy laboratories UK wide delivering Screening for Sickle Cell Disease for babies and infants using isoelectric focusing (IEF) to collaborate with us on the ARISE project. Contact the International team for more information.

The College has been a partner of the ARISE programme since it began in January 2019.  The official activities of the project resumed on February 1 2022 after being paused due to COVID, and will continue until October 2024. 

Funded by the EU, the aim of the project is to further establish an inter-agency and multidisciplinary staff exchange programme between researchers, early start investigators, and other relevant staff members of the project partners institutions. This will enable sharing and dissemination of best practices in Newborn Screening, diagnosis, and treatment of Sickle Cell, leading to sustainable improvement in overall disease outcome.

This evolving body of work currently involves 11 other partner institutions across the UK and Europe, such as Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, The Benzi Foundation in Italy, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The University of Illinois, Chicago, Strathmore University, Kenya, and Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Nigeria are 3 of 8 other organisations, and 9 affiliated entries outside the UK and Europe.

The programme comprises a General Assembly, which includes all members of the consortium, a Steering Committee, led by Fedele Bonifazi (Duccio) the Project Coordinator, and Professor Baba Inusa, Scientific Coordinator, and a Project Management Team. 8 work packages direct activities across the project. 

Principally the College is involved with Work Package 3 and has appointed Dr Wale Atoyebi Clinical Lead for the Project and Co-opted member of the International Committee. This working group focuses on improving laboratory diagnostics and quality assurance systems for population screening.  This is done jointly with partner institutions represented by our colleagues Maddalena Casale of the University of Campania, the University of Padova, Italy and Professor Miguel Brito, from the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal.  

Dr Wale Atoyebi

  • RCPath Clinical Lead for the ARISE project & co-opted member of the International Committee

    Dr Wale Atoyebi is a Consultant Haematologist, lead clinician for red cell disorders at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford and honorary senior clinical lecturer at Oxford University. He underwent his haematology training in Oxford. His main interests are haemoglobinopathies and disorders of iron metabolism including diagnostics utilising an Oxford NGS iron regulatory panel. Dr Atoyebi is member of the NHS England, Clinical Reference Group for Haemoglobinopathies and on the editorial board of the 2018 Standards for the Clinical Care of Adults with SCD in the UK. He is also involved in collaborative research focused on strengthening healthcare systems by improving best practice in the diagnostics and management of SCD in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Work package 3 principally involves developing and implementing a comprehensive education programme in population screening management approaches, including techniques for haematological analysis and improving laboratory diagnostic testing services including quality and capacity for diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of Sickle Cell Disease.

This is underpinned by the following tasks:

  • Improving laboratory diagnosis and quality assurance systems for population screening.

  • Design of national prevention policies.

  • Laboratory protocols for haemoglobin analysis and SCD diagnosis.

  • Laboratory Accreditation & External Quality Assurance (EQA) M1-M48.

Achievements of Work Package 3 since 2019

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 824021.