Haptic technology is a term that you might not be familiar with, although you probably make use of it on a daily basis. Haptics is the science of using the sense of touch to interact with computer applications, whether this is swiping the screen on your smartphone or using a sophisticated haptic simulator to practice a complex medical procedure.
Imperial College London is hosting Eurohaptics 2016, a major international conference on haptic technologies, on 4– 7 July. The conference is a partnership between a number of academic institutions and the Eurohaptics Society.
The Simulation and Modelling in Medicine and Surgery (SiMMS) research group, part of the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), are participating in Eurohaptics 2016 and helping with its local organisation. Dr Fernando Bello, who leads the SiMMS group and is a joint Director of ICCESS, is Programme Co-chair and Local Co-chair.
One strand of ICCESS’ work is the research and development of pioneering haptic devices for clinical simulations. See https://www.imperial.ac.uk/simms/ for further information.
ICCESS researchers work closely with Eurohaptics sponsor, Generic Robotics (www.genericrobotics.com). The Centre’s collaboration with Generic Robotics is taking research developed at ICCESS through to commercialisation. Projects include a haptically enabled simulator for training surgeons to perform advanced endoscopic surgical procedures and a system for training clinicians to perform unsighted internal examinations.
In addition to showcasing the latest advances in haptics and bringing together world-renowned experts, Eurohaptics includes opportunities for the general public to learn and engage with this emergent technology through events at the Royal Institution and Royal Society.
The Ri Lates event ‘Touch and Go’ takes place on Friday 8 July. Visit the link below for more information and to book tickets.
Between 23-25 May 2016, the 3-day Pint of Science festival took place across 50 different cities in 9 countries across the world and Imperial College was part of the fun. The ‘Our body events’ organised by scientists from Hammersmith hospital (Flavia Fioretti, Serena. Tommasini Ghelfi and Sheba Jarvis) organised scientific talks by staff from the faculty of Medicine staff on the floating pub, Tamesis Dock, across the river from the Houses of Parliament. Pint of Science was founded by previous postdoctoral scientists from Imperial College and has continue to run successfully each year since 2013 with the events designed to engage the public in science and making scientific research accessible to everyone in the relaxed pub atmosphere!
On the first night, speakers Dr Amanda Cross talked about her research studying the effects of diet on health whilst Anna Domogala and Dr Anushruti Sarvaria talked about manipulation of the immune system to treat disease. On Tuesday, Professor Waljit Dhillo spoke about his pioneering work on kisspeptin, a hormone important for puberty and his translational work at using kisspeptin to help make fertility treatments safer which has led to 30 healthy babies. Dr. David Macintyre talked about his work on characterising the implications of bacteria within the female reproductive tract and the importance of the ‘lactobacillus’ also found in yoghurt in terms of pregnancy outcomes.
On the final night, Dr Nick Oliver discussed the ‘bionic man’ and focused on the state of the art around the artificial pancreas in the treatment of type 1 diabetes whilst Dr Nicoletta Nicolau talked about the secret dreamworld of anaesthesia. Bring the scientist out to the public was hugely successful at getting them out of the lab and all talks were met with excitement and a large number of audience interactions with the speakers. The Pint of Science festival was a success and has helped to whet the scientific appetites of the public.
Sheba Jarvis Clinical Research Fellow Department of Surgery & Cancer
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of its brand new short course Mastering Laboratory Skills. The course devised by Teaching Fellow Wayne Mitchell and MSc Immunology Course Director Sophie Rutschmann provides a unique opportunity to train and learn essential molecular and cellular biological laboratory techniques in our world class teaching facilities.
The course is aimed at students who are completing or have recently completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, at medical staff wishing to undertake scientific research or at those wishing to acquire/strengthen their lab skills. The short course combines a high quality theory-based online element with two weeks of intense laboratory work to execute these essential and current molecular and cellular biology techniques. In addition, data analysis sessions will allow participants to critically examine their results and discuss troubleshooting aspects of the work.
Course Director Wayne Mitchell states “The benefits of attending this course are that it combines both theoretical with practical elements of modern molecular biological techniques. It’s one thing to view a procedure in an online tutorial or be given a protocol but it’s totally different to experience the technique first hand with expert instruction. The beauty of our course is that it combines the theory and practice in an environment that fosters good learning.”
Talking about the overall objectives of the course, Sophie Rutschmann adds: “It doesn’t matter what your current level is, the objective is to ensure that you learn the correct skills to successfully undertake scientific research. We are here to help you reach the next level!”
Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis but will close on 31 July 2016.
The online component of the course will launch 1st August 2016 for enrolled students, with the practical element taking place 5 – 16 September. Students have the option of assessment and those who achieve an overall pass with be awarded 7.5 ECTS.
WHO EURO ‘Consultation of the European Framework for Action on Integrated Health Services Delivery’
02-04 May 2016 Copenhagen, Denmark
Between the 2 and 4 May, Professor Salman Rawaf, Ms Federica Amati and Dr Sondus Hassounah participated in WHO Regional Office for Europe’s (WHO EURO) ‘Consultation of the European Framework for Action on Integrated Health Services Delivery’ — a high level international meeting and workshop aiming to strengthen people-centred health systems, as set out in Health 2020, that strives to accelerate maximum health gains for the population, reduce health inequalities, guarantee financial protection and ensure an efficient use of societal resources, including through intersectoral actions consistent with whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches. (more…)
The start of June saw the Department of Medicine hold its annual Teaching Awards Ceremony. Awards were given to over 20 members of academic staff for their outstanding contribution to teaching and supervision, nominated by current students. Those honoured included teaching fellow & Short Course Director Wayne Mitchell for his support on a number of courses including MSc Molecular Medicine and MSc Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses and. On nominating Wayne one student noted “Wayne has guided and helped me so much throughout my course. He has certainly gone above and beyond what was expected of him”.
Course Director for MSc Immunology Sophie Rutschmann was awarded the Department’s top award for contribution to postgraduate teaching. On nominating Sophie one student noted “I feel she has a genuine, heartfelt interest in the MSc she coordinates, and that gives an extraordinary positive spirit to the course. The time and thought she has invested into us is greatly appreciated. I am very grateful for her dedication and determination to teach us well.”
Course Administrator Fiona Bibby also received a Head of Department award for her support to the MRes Clinical Research programme.
It was a great opportunity to celebrate our teaching staff and for current students to show their appreciation.
Celeste Miles Course Administrator Department of Medicine
There is already a wide range of support available for staff, however we know that our staff are not always aware of the breadth of services available to them. Sometimes staff do not know who to contact when they have a problem and this is where the Staff Supporter can help by listening, signposting and guiding others when they need information and support in difficult times.
A Staff Supporter is an existing member of staff who is part of a trained network of volunteers who provide confidential and positive assistance to all Imperial staff when they need information, guidance and support. This can be for a range of things both to do with work or personal circumstances and the Staff Supporter will remain in contact until the matter has been resolved or concluded.
If you already take an interest in College wide issues and have a good understanding of College services and procedures or know where to get further information, why not volunteer to support others by being able to point them in the right direction when they need help.
For further information on how to apply please look out for the article in Staff Briefing on Friday 10 June which will have full details of the scheme or contact Suzanne Christopher x49792 or Matt Jowett x45536 in the HR Division.
Ann Kelly Head of College Employee Relation and Medicine HR Imperial College London