Archive for the ‘Achievements’ Category

A special commendation should go to Harriet Davidson and Frances Dixon, two final year students whose abstract was selected amongst a competitive field of primary care academics, to present at this year’s SAPC meeting held at Madingley Hall in Cambridge. They expertly and confidently presented the findings of an audit they conducted as part of their General Practice Student Assistantship coursework, and their responses to tricky questions from the audience was particularly impressive!

Frances and Harriet 20 02 2014   3

The audit analysed the use of chaperones for intimate examinations in primary care, an important topic for which GMC guidance was published in April 2013. As part of the audit they not only conducted a retrospective analysis of GP consultations, but also carried out a prospective survey of 91 patients to find out their views on being offered chaperones. They found that over two thirds of patients felt that chaperones should be offered but that less than a third would actually ask for one, concluding that patients want chaperones more than doctors think they do, and that we should be trying to overcome possible obstacles and offering chaperones as much as possible.

Following on from their success at Madingley, they also recently recorded a video of their presentation which will be shown at the Annual Teachers Conference for Primary Care Teachers held in June at Imperial College.

They deserve a special mention for this work given that they are currently in the midst of their finals, and we wish them both every future success!

Dr Joanne Harris MRCP MRCGP MA (Med Ed)
General Practitioner
Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Deputy Director of Primary Care Education

 

 

 

Lesley reganThe Department of Surgery & Cancer congratulates Professor Lesley Regan, on her election as Vice President for Strategic Development of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The RCOG encourages the study and advancement of the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, through postgraduate medical education, training development and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of this specialty and service provision.

Professor Regan is Director of the Recurrent Miscarriage Service at St Mary’s, comprising of a multidisciplinary team that she has developed to provide comprehensive investigations and treatment for couples with a history of recurrent early and late miscarriages. Professor Regan is also President of the UK Association of Early Pregnancy Units, advisor to the NICE interventions committee, professional member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Research Licence Committee.

Shirely Line
Divisional Manager-Human Resources/Communications
Department of Surgery and Cancer

 

 

 
 

Professor John Warner Awarded OBE at Windsor Palace

December 9, 2013
by Al McCartney

Prof J O Warner OBEProfessor John Warner, a consultant paediatrician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, was awarded his OBE at Windsor Castle on 22 November. Speaking at his Investiture, Professor Warner said he was honoured to receive the award.

“It was unexpected and unasked for. I feel very flattered and honoured that my research and the research of my team has been recognised in this way.”

Professor Warner has been involved in food allergy research over the past 25 years. His research has focused on the early life origins of asthma and related allergic and respiratory disorders. He is currently working on a programme to improve knowledge and co-ordinate the management of children with allergies in general practices, nurseries, schools and home.

 

 

 
 

Imperial Winner in Round 2 of the NIHR New Media Competition

November 29, 2013
by Carol Fitzgerald

A short film documenting the experiences of patients that have taken part in research in North West London has been recognised as joint runner-up in the NIHR New Media Competition. Produced as a collaborative output between neighbouring arms of the NIHR infrastructure in Northwest London (i.e. the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), NIHR Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in Cardiovascular Disease, NIHR BRU in Respiratory Disease and NIHR CLAHRC Northwest London), the objective of this film was to promote patient participation by presenting an unbiased report from the patient perspective.

 

Dr Carol FitzGerald
NIHR Imperial BRC Research Officer

 

 

 
 

From the Dean of the Faculty

October 14, 2013
by Dermot Kelleher

Dear Colleagues,

Imperial College has figured at No 4 globally in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings in the Category of Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health, a rise of one place since 2012. This is excellent news and reflects strongly on the quality of our faculty and on the sustained excellence of the research and teaching at Imperial College. So thanks to all of you for helping to deliver this remarkable achievement which clearly reflects an extraordinary body of work. Every small contribution helps – from taking extra time over a worried student to discovery of a new pathway relevant to human disease or in translating research into policy.  The ability to translate does appear to be an important theme in this category with important implications in enhancing reputation.  We have a wonderful research eco-system in the Faculty of Medicine that enables us to convert our discoveries into real benefits for patients through our partnerships in the AHSC and the AHSN.

This theme of translation is also followed through in the Life Sciences table with Harvard ranked at No 1. The Citation in THE interestingly cites Harvard’s ability to accelerate the pathway from discovery to product through the Harvard Biomedical Accelerator Fund and the capacity to rapidly move from test-tube to clinic as a key factor in its success. As we look to the future with development of Imperial West looming on the horizon, there may be important pointers for us here in terms of our translational strategy. How we develop strategically with our international partners may be key to moving further ahead in the University rankings in the future.

Professor Dermot Kelleher MD FRCPI FRCP F MedSci AGAF
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

 

 

 
 

PhD student awarded Ruth Bowden Scholarship

July 31, 2013
by Alex Blakemore

Dr Naomi Walker, a PhD student from the Department of Medicine, has been awarded the Ruth Bowden Scholarship (£5000) for her work on “Defining mechanisms of tissue destruction in TB and TB immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS)”. The scholarship is part of the  British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarship Awards 2013,  which provides prizes for academic excellence to female PhD students in their final year.

Naomi’s success follows last year’s, where two Imperial students; Stephanie Walton and Lucy Thorne, also won awards.

Dr Alexandra Blakemore
Faculty of Medicine Ambassador for Women

 

 

 
 

Department of Medicine Young Scientist Day 2013

May 14, 2013
by Hayley Kendall

The Department of Medicine held its third annual Young Scientist Day (details of the 2012 young scientist day), chaired by Professor Wendy Barclay, on 24 April 2013. The event attracted large numbers of research students, postdocs and academic staff who had the unique opportunity to hear and see the range of research being undertaken across the Department.

Over 70 posters were displayed by research students in their 2nd and 3rd years from across the Department. Two Departmental panels of judges, comprising academic staff (Dr Kevin Murphy, Professor Julian Dyson and Dr Ramesh Wigneshweraraj) and Student Reps (Nathali Grageda, Lauren Capron, William Jackson and Ming-Shih Hwang), judged the posters.

The event was formally opened at 1400 by Professor Shiranee Sriskandan. Professor Sriskandan informed everyone of recent grant successes of the Department’s PhD students and Post Docs as follows:

3 successful Junior Research Fellow (JRF) applications, 2013:

  • Christopher Rhodes
  • Kathleen McCaffrey
  • Claire Turner

2 MRC Centenary Awards, 2013:

  • Nicki Lynskey
  • Anna Simmonds

Miscellaneous Awards:

  • Paul Turner (Post Doc), Paediatrics, successful in acquiring an MRC clinician/scientist award
  • Kelsey Jones (PhD student), Paediatrics, currently in the 3rd year of his PhD research based in Kenya, obtained a Gates foundation grant. This is to institute a trial of an innovative nutritional reconstitution formula for severely malnourished children.
  • Ben Bleasdale, PhD student, Virology, won 1st prize for his scientific essay in the Royal College of Science Unions Science Challenge, 2013. He was presented with his prize at the House of Lords by Lord Winston.
  • Moira Cheung, PhD student, Molecular Endocrinology, won the 2013 International Conference on Children’s Bone Health New Investigator Award
  • Apostolos Gogakos, PhD student, Molecular Endocrinology, won the  2013 British Endocrine Societies British Thyroid Association Prize
  • John Logan, Post Doc, Molecular Endocrinology, awarded  a £10,000 Society for Endocrinology Early Career Award in 2012/2013

Professor Barclay expertly Chaired the afternoon, introducing the postdocs’ high quality scientific presentations. The floor was handed to five postdocs who had been selected to orally present their research:

  • Nicki Lynskey, Division of Infectious Diseases:
    A Molecular Basis for Group A Streptococcal Hyper-encapsulation
  • David Bernardo Ordiz, Division of Infectious Diseases:
    Immune compartmentalization in the gastrointestinal tract: differences between ascending and descending human colon
  • Ana Cehovin, Division of Infectious Diseases:
    Specific DNA   recognition mediated by type IV pilins
  • Anna Herasimtschuk, Division of Immunology:
    Therapeutic immunisation in conjunction with IL-2, GM-CSF and rhGH improves CD4 T-cell counts and reduces immune activation in cART-treated HIV-1+patients: a phase I clinical study
  • Amy Birch, Division of Brain Sciences:
    The ablation of reactive astrocytes in APP23 mice induces spatial memory decline & increases amyloid plaque load

Following the above oral presentations, Ms Katie Anders, from the Postdoc Development Centre, drew everyone’s attention to the  Postdoc Development Centre and the ongoing support and development opportunities it offers to postdocs. Dr Claire Turner, recently awarded a JRF, then joined Professor Barclay at the poster and oral presentation prize announcement as follows:

Prizes were given to all Post Docs who had been selected to give an oral presentation.

Post Docs with Dr Claire Turner

  • 1st prizes for posters were given to Ian Harrison, Katherine McCullough, Mark Reglinska and Korina Li
  • 2nd prizes for posters were given to Yuliya Nigmatullina and Catherine Ong

Prizes for posters

At the end of the afternoon, refreshments were served in the breakout space providing an opportunity for networking and poster viewing. Thanks go to everyone who supported this event. Special thanks to the Postdoc Development Centre for financially supporting the event. Plans are now underway to build on its strengths to ensure its continuing success on an annual basis.

Hayley Kendall
Education Research Manager
Department of Medicine

 

 

 
 

Postgraduate Graduation 2013

May 3, 2013
by Jenny Higham

We were all extremely proud to see more than 400 of our incredibly talented postgraduate students from the Faculty of Medicine graduate at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday evening.

It was fantastic to witness such an excellent turn out from our staff members to help in congratulating all of the hard work and dedication of our new graduates. Such a coming together of people in celebration of achievement was a wonderful sight.

Unfortunately due to illness the Chair of the Court and the Council, Baroness Manningham-Buller, was unable to attend. The Dean of Natural Sciences, Prof Dallman stood in and was on stage to receive and congratulate the students, ably assisted by the Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Prof Dermot Kelleher.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to congratulate Dr Mick Jones, from the Department of Medicine, who was presented with a Rector’s Medal by Sir Keith O’Nions for excellence in pastoral care.

Professor Jenny Higham, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

 

 

 
 

Award of DSc to Graham Taylor

July 23, 2012
by James Moore

Dr Graham Taylor (Department of Medicine) has been awarded the Imperial DSc degree in the field of Human Retrovirology.

The award will be celebrated at the Postgraduate Degree Ceremony on 1 May 2013.

Our congratulations go to Dr Taylor on receiving this degree.

 

 

 

Into ParadisoDr Graeme Birdsey, a Research Fellow in the Vascular Science Group at National Heart & Lung Institute, recently had work used in a Italian film ‘Into Paradiso’. Graeme explains how this collaboration came about and the work he and his team undertake within the Faculty of Medicine.

“I work within the laboratory of Dr Anna Randi (Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine) in the NHLI Vascular Science section. One of the focuses of our work is on the role of the transcription factor Erg in regulating gene expression in the endothelial cells that form the lining of blood vessels. We have previously shown that Erg plays a key role in directing the formation of new blood vessels, in a process called angiogenesis. We found that Erg was important in allowing endothelial cells to communicate with one another by promoting cell-cell contacts and that disruption of these contacts resulted in cell death. More recently, our work has focused on a role for Erg in regulating one of the key steps during angiogenesis – namely cell migration. In order for new blood vessels to form, specialised endothelial “tip” cells sprout from a pre-existing vessel and lead the outgrowth of the vessel sprout by migrating towards specific chemical cues. I used a number of techniques in the laboratory, including time-lapse video microscopy of endothelial cells grown in culture, to demonstrate that Erg was required for endothelial cell migration. This work was recently published in the journal Blood (Birdsey et al. (2012) Blood 119(3):894-903).

The idea of including the transcription factor Erg and videos of migrating cells in the film “Into Paradiso” came from conversations between Dr Randi and her sister Paola, a film director in Rome. Dr Randi was explaining our work on cells to her sister, in particular the fact that we study how cells communicate (via cell-cell contact pathways) in order to co-ordinate their basic responses, such as survival, proliferation, and migration. She used the analogy between cells and people in society, who also communicate in order to survive and modulate their behaviour. Her sister Paola was struck by this analogy and decided to use it in her film “Into Paradiso”, a comedy on multiculturalism. In the film, a scientist in Naples gets caught in a web of mafia and corrupted politicians, and uses the analogy between cell communication and society to persuade the “bad guys” that they will die (or “apoptose” like cells do) if they pursue their criminal activities. So Paola Randi used the videos of migrating cells, generated by myself in the laboratory, as a background to various scenes in the film and in the running titles.

time-lapse microscopy videos

The reason why the transcription factor Erg got mentioned in the film is because, by pure coincidence, in Italy (where the film is set) “ERG” is a very well known brand of petrol for cars. This is therefore used as an ice-breaker between the main character, the scientist, and his love interest, a Sri Lankan therapist.”

 

 

 
 

Dept of Medicine Young Scientist Day 2012

June 1, 2012
by Rosie Shaw

The Department of Medicine held its annual Young Scientist Day on 23 April 2012. The event attracted large numbers of research students, postdocs and academic staff who had the unique opportunity to hear and see the range of research being undertaken across the Department.

photo3 photo2 photo IMG_0016

Over 100 posters were displayed by research students from across the Department. A Departmental panel judged the posters and awarded first, second and third prizes respectively to:

  • 1st Mika Falck-Hansen, Kennedy Institute
  • 2nd M S Cheung, Investigative Medicine
  • 3rd Richard Lawrenson, Infectious Diseases and Immunity
  • 3rd Chris Grice, Microbiology

The event was formally opened at 2pm by Professor Gavin Screaton who welcomed everyone and presented the Department’s annual teaching award to Professor Jackie de Belleroche in recognition of her extensive teaching commitments in both undergraduate and postgraduate Neuroscience.

(more…)

 

 

 
 

Faculty Fellowship Ceremony 2012

January 30, 2012
by Lyndsey Houseman

On Wednesday evening (18th of January) the Faculty of Medicine held its annual Fellowship Ceremony. Staff and students from across the Faculty gathered in the Lecture Theatre of the Sir Alexander Fleming Building to see Professor Robert Souhami CBE, Professor Averil Mansfield CBE and Dr Malcolm Skingle CBE receive Fellowships of the Faculty of Medicine – a recognition of their immense contributions to medicine and science.

Professor Souhami gave an excellent lecture entitled “The continuing legacy of the Radium Girls”. He talked about the legacy of girls in the 1920s who painted clock and watch dials with paint containing radium, licking the paintbrushes to get a sharp enough point and unfortunately swallowing the radium as they did so. At the time radium was seen as harmless, even medically beneficial. After a few years the women began to get ill with necrosis of the jaw, anaemia and later osteocarcinoma and cancer of the sinuses. It was some time before it was realised that the radium was responsible.

Their exposure also caused bone marrow failure and bone cancer at distant sites because the young women swallowed the radium paint which was partially absorbed by the gut and deposited like calcium in bones. The lecture provided a fascinating insight into the process of the medical discovery of this mechanism.The women’s exposure to radium and the illnesses they developed eventually changed US labour laws. The lecture was a fitting subject at such an occasion to underline the value of medical scientific discovery to improving people’s lives.

The evening was extremely enjoyable and it was fantastic to have the opportunity to honour three such outstanding individuals.

Dr Lyndsey Houseman
Executive Officer (Governance and Review)

Photos from the event

Photos taken by Neville Miles

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FoM Education – a look back at 2011

December 22, 2011
by James Moore

Education is a core area of our mission.  I would like to personally thank all who have contributed to any part of this agenda at either Faculty or College level.  The first of these is development of our action programme for continually improving the Student Experience.  You will have seen the messages from the Rector on this subject, and I would like to thank you for the contributions you have made to developing the Faculty’s approach  – a draft action programme has now gone forward for discussion at College level, and there will be further communication on this ongoing programme in the New Year.

Nationally, discussion is gathering pace among the UK medical schools, and with the GMC, on building stronger curricula for training the nation’s doctors through sharing of knowledge and best practice.  The Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance [MSC-AA] was set up to look at establishing common elements of assessment practice at a national level – where sharing of knowledge and material amongst the schools is anticipated to drive up clinical quality [not that we have had a personal concern in this regard!].  One example of our input into this agenda is in the area of prescribing – research has highlighted the need for improvement in prescribing skills amongst Foundation trainees, and Imperial experience in developing learning and examination programmes in this area is helping to inform development of a national Prescribing Skills Assessment.  Other MSC-AA developments to which Imperial is contributing include a shared question bank for elements of final exams and new processes for recruitment into Foundation Year training programmes, using Situational Judgement Tests.

In terms of prizes these included, the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience given to Dr Emma Watson, Ms Jo Williams, Ms Julia Cork and Mr Chris Harris and Dr Kevin Murphy and Professor Helen Ward received the Rector’s Award in Excellence for Teaching. This year we introduced new Awards to recognise the vital contributions made by our Personal Tutors.  Nominations were made by the students, and we were delighted to see these inaugural awards go to Dr Samia Girgis from the Department of Medicine, and Miss Elizabeth Owen, Consultant in O&G at the West Middlesex University Hospital.  We were immensely proud of Dr Matko Marlais and Dr Nishma Manek who were awarded the Gold Medal and Betuel Prizes for the best performances in Finals across all the London Medical Schools.

This year sees Dr Nicola J Rogers take up the College post of Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions; many of you will know Nicky from her extensive teaching role, and for her leadership of postgraduate education.  We have been delighted also to retain Mr Chris Harris within the Faculty; he moved from his post within the Department of Medicine to take up the role of Quality and Enhancement Manager within the Faculty Education Office.

Of course, our curricula are designed not just to create great doctors, but also outstanding scientists.  This year has seen successful implementation of the final year of the Pharmacology and Translational Medicine Science BSc. We also successfully piloted the awarding of extra ECTS[1] to pharmacology students for approved extramural activities. A new programme for the BSc in Biomedical Science has also been developed, to be led solely by the Faculty of Medicine. The programme, which was revised and re-sequenced to harness strengths from across the Faculty, has been approved by Senate with effect from 2012.

In postgraduate development – we have made significant progress working with the NWThames Foundation School to continue to develop our academic programme which provides a quality grounding in core clinical competencies, complemented by strengthened focus on academic development.  The programme brings the cohort together as a peer group during their programme and enables them to gain experience in academic activity through project work and research/education skills training.  The ultimate objective is to provide trainees with a strong academic skill-set with which to apply for Academic Clinical Fellowships and other schemes, seeding the clinical academic community of the future.

On the postgraduate research side, I am delighted to welcome Dr Laki Buluwela (Department of Surgery and Cancer) into his new role as Faculty Lead for Doctoral Degrees.  This new role will focus on ensuring a quality postgraduate research environment, maintaining an overview of all FoM doctoral provision.  With the increased focus across Research Councils [RC] on doctoral training in key strategic areas, this will be a key post in ensuring Imperial presents its strong case for continuing to attract RC doctoral funding. Read more about Laki’s ambition for the role in his own blog entry.

Finally, many thanks to all who have given their time to help with the development of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore.  This has been an intensive year and required every ounce of the leadership shown by Prof Martyn Partridge, ably assisted by Dr Naomi Low-Beer.  Senate considered a suite of paperwork setting out the plans for establishment of a joint Imperial/NTU MBBS with effect from August 2013 at its meeting last week, and I am delighted to say this has been approved.  Of course, there is plenty more to do before the first cohort arrives in 2013, but approval from Senate is a major step along the path, and a great way to close the year!  We are now at the stage of recruiting to key posts within the new School, and are pleased to announce that Prof Mike Ferenczi has taken up the post of Assistant Dean and Head of Years 1 & 2, from August 2012.  Also, Dr Katie Wynne is taking over from Dr Tanya Tierney as Head of Graduate Entry Year 1 following Tanya’s appointment as Assistant Dean, Head of Simulated Patients Programme and Communications Training and Head of Welfare.  For those that wish to follow progress there is a newsletter: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/resources/99C81850-548E-4900-A6D8-1012392B4DEE/theleekongchianschoolofmedicinenewsletterissue4.pdf

Many thanks to all and warm wishes for an enjoyable Christmas break.

Professor Jenny Higham
Deputy Principal, Faculty of Medicine


[1] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

 

 

 

Professor Jenny Higham (Deputy Principal and Director of Education) was awarded the ‘Mentor of the Year’ award at the Women of the Future Awards, held at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square on Wednesday 16 November.

Held in association with Shell, the glittering awards ceremony and dinner were attended by HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan, Cherie Blair and wife of the Deputy Prime Minister, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, amongst other well known faces.