Blog posts

Brain Sciences and LKC Medicine Singapore host joint neurodegeneration and dementia workshop

A screenshot from a joint seminar

Report by Professor Richard Reynolds

On 18 November 2020, the Department of Brain Sciences and the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London hosted a joint neurodegeneration and dementia workshop with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) in Singapore, co-organised by LKCMedicine Professor of Neuroscience & Mental Health George Augustine and Imperial Professor of Cellular Neurobiology Professor Richard Reynolds. The virtual event, the first in a series, was attended by 150 researchers in the UK and Singapore and was aimed at promoting research collaborations between the two institutions in the area of Neuroscience and Mental Health. After an introduction by Professor Reynolds, Imperial Faculty of Medicine Dean Professor Jonathan Weber and LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best followed with their opening remarks. Professor Paul Matthews and Professor George Augustine then gave short presentations on Neurodegeneration research at both institutions.

The event, chaired by Imperial’s Dr Johanna Jackson, included short talks on the role of genomics, environmental modifiers, molecular mechanisms and synapses from Imperial researchers Dr Raffaella Nativio, Dr Sam Barnes, Dr Marco Brancaccio and Dr Yu Ye, matched with presentations from LKCMedicine’s research faculty, Foo Jia Nee, Suresh Jesuthasan, Anna Barron and Tsukasa Kamigaki.

This was followed by a roundtable discussion with the presenters concerning ways to develop more collaborations to enhance research potential across Imperial Brain Sciences and LKCMedicine, which was moderated by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Research Professor Lim Kah Leong and Imperial Brain Sciences Advanced Research Fellow Dr Johanna Jackson.

During the workshop, participants expressed interest in collaboration and suggested creating a joint information portal for all researchers in both institutions to look for collaborative opportunities, as well as developing more joint international funding. A number of joint funding initiatives are being developed to stimulate exchange visits and to fund joint PhD studentships and postdoctoral fellowships. Full details of these schemes and how to become involved will be circulated when available.

The next workshop in the series is already being organised by a small committee of early career faculty and researchers and the topic and possible date will be announced shortly.

Latest publications: November 2020

 

Congratulations to members of the Department who have recently had their research findings published. Here’s our round-up of the latest publication successes.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of the information published on this blog, we source our data directly from Symplectic. Our reports are generated on a monthly basis, which means there may be a delay in publicising some publications. (more…)

Latest publications: October 2020

Brain artwork in the Main Entrance of Imperial College London

 

Congratulations to members of the Department who have recently had their research findings published. Here’s our round-up of the latest publication successes.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of the information published on this blog, we source our data directly from Symplectic. Our reports are generated on a monthly basis, which means there may be a delay in publicising some publications. (more…)

Volunteering to support the COVID-19 testing effort

Mariya Chepisheva is a third year PhD student in the Department of Brain Sciences. However, more recently, she spent time volunteering in her home country of Bulgaria to support the COVID-19 testing effort. Here, Mariya shares her experiences of working in a clinical lab during the pandemic.

Mariya Chepisheva wearing PPE and working in the clinical laboratory
Mariya Chepisheva

I’m currently in the third year of my PhD. My project concentrates on vestibular perception, postural control and spatial orientation in patients with acute and chronic progressive affections of the central nervous system. In order to answer the questions central to my research, I’m using Virtual Reality (VR), 3D body tracking and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to learn more about the perception of balance and spatial orientation under vestibular guidance.

However, I recently spent two months volunteering my expertise as a molecular biologist, so as to provide a small contribution to my community in light of COVID-19. Having various skills in different fields always puts you in a situation where you can and want to help others.

To help meet the demand for COVID-19 related tests, I volunteered part-time in a clinical laboratory for biochemical and haematological analysis located in the town hospital of Haskovo, Bulgaria. This was not my first time volunteering here, as I helped on a full-time basis in the summer of 2017. Back then, I performed biochemical (approximately 35 parameters) and haematological analysis (complete blood count, PTT, aPTT, fibrinogen activity and erythrocyte sedimentation), hormones, tumour markers, ELISA, HIV 1/2, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis tests. I remember how afraid of blood I was at the time, and I’m truly proud of myself and how working in a clinical laboratory has totally changed my attitude and erased my fear. Working with thousands of blood samples all day, every day was a step that I took to grow, not only as a molecular biologist broadening my horizons and skills to work with human tissue, but also as a human being helping others.  (more…)

PhD examinations during lockdown

A screenshot of Luigi Montibeller's PhD viva examination
Clockwise from bottom-left: Luigi Montibeller defends his PhD thesis from his home in Trento, Italy; Professor Una Fitzgerald (External Examiner) connecting from Galway; Professor Paolo Muraro in London; Professor Amin Hajitou

A huge congratulations to PhD students in our Department who have completed their PhD vivas remotely during lockdown. (more…)

In profile: Dr Stefano Sandrone, Senior Teaching Fellow

In the latest instalment of our Staff Profile series, we spoke to Senior Teaching Fellow Dr Stefano Sandrone, who was recently awarded a President’s Award for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience.


Stefano Sandrone
Stefano Sandrone

Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do? 

I am an Italian neuroscientist, a Senior Teaching Fellow and a Principal Investigator within the Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (C3NL). I also have international leadership roles in research and education. 

When did you join the College and where were you working before this?

In January 2018. Before joining the College, I was a Teaching Fellow at King’s College London, where I completed my PhD and a brief postdoc.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Mentoring the next generation of neuroscientists. 

And the most challenging?

I like taking challenges.

What do you think is the most important factor in creating an effective and positive learning environment for students?

Four factors: respect, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience. (more…)

In profile: Dawn Tharpe, Section Manager

Dawn Tharpe
Dawn Tharpe

In the latest instalment of our Staff Profile series, we spoke to Dawn Tharpe about her role as a Section Manager and her top tips for working remotely.


Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?

My name is Dawn Tharpe and I am Section Manager for the Division of Neurology in the Department of Brain Sciences. (more…)