New FoM/FoE kick-start initiative supports 11 innovative collaborations

I am pleased to announce that the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering have funded 11 projects under the new ‘kick-start’ initiative.

These awards, and the collaborations they are nurturing, have been borne out of a programme launched back in November with our FoM/FoE networking event.

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Obituary: Anthony E Rippon

Anthony E Rippon, former Academic Laboratory Manager, Dept. of Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, died on 22 February 2012. Dr Atul Purohit pays tribute:

“Tony Rippon was born in 1940 and obtained his HNC in Chemistry in 1961 at Sheffield College of Technology. In 1965 he began working at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School with Professor Vivien James as the technical head of the Steroid Research Unit, established by Professor James at that time.

He progressed upwards through the organisation, through times of expansion within the Dept. of Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, headed by Prof. Des Johnston. With various mergers and, in particular, the expansion of my own group, his responsibilities increased and he accepted his wider role with enthusiasm and efficiency. Tony retired in 2005. Tony was awarded the Associateship of Imperial College in 2006, in recognition of his achievements and enormous contribution to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and to Imperial College.

He was someone of the highest integrity, with unquestioned loyalty to the College for more than 40 years”.

COSMOS study

COSMOS is the world’s largest mobile technologies and health research study, and is based in the EBS department here at Imperial College. The study is now open to volunteers and anyone who has not already registered can take part;

Why is this research important? Mobile phones have only been in widespread use for a relatively short time but they have become central to our daily lives. In the short term, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones.

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Reorganisation of the Joint Research Office

In March 2011 the Faculty of Medicine undertook a review of the operational activities of the Joint Research Office (JRO).  The Project Board established 10 work-streams populated with College and Trust staff with relevant expertise and JRO staff members.

The review consulted widely within the Faculty and NHS to establish the expectations there were of JRO service and ideas for the optimum structure for service-delivery.

A final report was issued towards the end of 2011 and as a result of the recommendations from the Project Board a new structure was implemented in January 2012.

The key recommendations were:

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Virtual learning in medicine

Dave Taylor, Programme Lead, Virtual Worlds and Medical Media, and Robin Winter, 3D Interactive Designer, recently won the “design our avatar” competition.

You both work in the Medical Media and Design Laboratory (MMDL) at St Mary’s, within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. What work goes on within your lab?

The lab provides consultancy and development services, and helps to support the Department’s research in use of virtual worlds for healthcare. Our applications range from hospital and service design planning, to major incident simulations for assessing communication and leadership skills. We work with other researchers in our Department, to make use of the latest research in behavioural science and the provision of information for patients in the NHS. Our most recent work focuses on the ability to walk through and test the design of a clinic and its services before it is even built. And we are beginning to work with specific patient communities, and researching more effective ways to help people lead healthier lives. There is an overview of some of our work in the Imperial Media library: http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/imedia/content/view/2084/new-media-and-healthcare-avatars-virtual-worlds-and-apps and in a BBC programme about our major incident simulations: http://www.rockhopper.tv/programmes/619/

Picture: a photo of the Virtual Imperial Surgical Innovation Centre, based on the Paterson Centre in South Wharf Road on a misty day.

How is Second Life contributing towards student learning?

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