Category: Awards

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

PRES (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey) is a unique service provided by the Higher Education Academy to all higher education providers. It is the only national survey of postgraduate research (PhD, EngD and MDRes) students’ experience.  The survey collects feedback from current postgraduate research students in a systematic and user-friendly way. Results are anonymous, allowing comparison against the sector and within benchmarking clubs, while ensuring that they are used for internal enhancement.

The Faculty of Medicine response rate in the recent PRES survey was over 60%, making this the highest in the College. Given this, the Faculty will be able to make confident conclusions from the survey.  With a view to improving the student experience at Imperial, PRQC (Postgraduate Research Quality Committee) has agreed that action plans should be discussed at Staff-Student Committees and signed off by the PGR student representative.  SIDs have recently received the results and are in the process of preparing action plans.

In recognition of the importance of PRES to us, the Faculty has also run a prize draw for students who took part in the survey:

Apple Watch Winner:

Professor Jenny Higham, Director of Education,  presents the first prize to Ben Foster
Professor Jenny Higham, Director of Education,
presents the first prize to Ben Foster

Ben Foster (Institute of Clinical Science)

Kindle Fire Winner:

Christopher Kane (National Heart and Lung Institute)

Amazon Gift Voucher (£20) Winners:

Miles Priestman (Department of Medicine)

Tankut Guney  (National Heart and Lung Institute),

Adrian Brown (Department of Medicine)

Kieran Bates (School of Public Health)

Chanpreet Arhi (Department of Surgery and Cancer)

Report from the ASME conference in Edinburgh

There was a strong showing of Imperial college educators at the ASME conference in Edinburgh last week with some 20 teachers presenting their education research or innovative teaching ideas in undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD fields. Many thanks to Professor Sue Smith and MERU for granting funding to many of these teachers and enabling them to present their work in a National forum.

It is difficult to name any highlights but particularly interesting presentations were made by Dr Ros Herbert on the impact of role models on medical students and  Dr Nina Salooja on the use of innovative teaching methods in a Teaching Skills course for undergraduates and the primary care team of Dr Andy Mckeown, Ms Gillian Williams and Dr Elena Barquero who presented their work on   a  pilot to match medical students and nursing students to  health coach vulnerable patients in the community.

Particular mention needs to be made about the success of our teaching fellows;  Dr Ann Chu for ASME New researcher Award  Medical trainees’ views on the transition from core training to higher specialist training ,  Dr Suzie Pomfret for the TASME Teaching Innovation & Excellence Award for her work on simulation PTWRs and preparation for consultant practice and Dr Rula Najim and Dr Nina Dutta for being Highly Commended in the ASME poster prize for teaching fellow led teaching in  undergraduate surgery.
We hope to build on this  interest and energy in education with  equally good numbers attending the forthcoming AMEE conference in Glasgow in September 7-9th 2015.

Dr Joanne Harris MRCP MRCGP MA(Med Ed)
Deputy Head of Undergraduate School
Deputy Director Primary Care Education

London Gold Medal Viva winners describe their successes

Rahul Ravindran and Ashik AmlaniTwo Imperial students have been recognised at a prestigious competition involving medical schools across the capital.

Rahul Ravindran took home the top prize at The University of London Gold Medal Viva – an annual competition organised by the University of London for institutions in the capital with medical schools. Fellow classmate Ashik Amlani also took home the Betuel Prize as the runner up.

Here Rahul and Ashik describe their successes, time at Imperial and hopes for the future.

Rahul Ravindran

I found out that I was nominated for the Gold Medal Viva in Muheza, a rural village in Tanzania, during my elective. To find this out by mobile in a place with no running water was surreal. It was a daunting task as I had been given around six weeks to cover most of what I had learnt over the past six years! My preparation consisted of reading medical journals and meeting with members of the Faculty of Medicine to practise answering viva questions.

The day of the viva was in the final week of my studies at Imperial. I was questioned on a very wide range of topics, ranging from the molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer metastasis to my opinions on how to improve child health in the UK. After the grilling was over I enjoyed the sunshine and took some photos to remember the day (the photo here was taken after the viva before the results).

I knew I would discover the outcome on the same day and the wait was very nerve-wracking. I remember eating my lunch on the bank of the Thames by Tower Bridge when I received the result by email. I was shocked to discover that I had won the competition! I immediately called my parents and all the mentors and friends who had supported me through the process. I spent the rest of the day celebrating with friends in London.

I am now moving to Oxford to embark on an Academic Foundation Programme in order to develop a career which combines my two passions of clinical and academic work. Winning the London Gold Medal has been a truly special way to complete my time at Imperial. I owe my success to the constant encouragement I have received from my family and friends, as well as the remarkable staff from the Faculty of Medicine who have taught me over the past six years. I am very grateful and will be forever indebted to my teachers here.

Ashik Amlani

When I received my nomination for the University of London Gold Medal Viva, my initial reaction was one of shock and incredulity. I could not believe that Imperial College School of Medicine had nominated me to represent the rest of my peers and the College at large in this most prestigious and enduring of competitions which has previously featured the likes of Sir Alexander Fleming. However, having eventually cast away any thoughts of a colossal mix up, these feelings gave way to immense pride and honour. I was desperately keen to do Imperial proud and continue the trend of success we have enjoyed over the past few years in the competition.

The format of the competition is simple. There are six eminent examiners asking questions within their chosen fields – medicine, surgery, clinical sciences, clinical pharmacology, obstetrics & gynaecology, and paediatrics – for five minutes each. A daunting prospect indeed! The viva included being asked about the mechanisms of cancer metastases and the various theories behind the recent trend in increasing asthma diagnoses in the UK. Even though the teaching and exam process at Imperial prepares us very well for viva questions, the viva was extremely difficult and I felt it did not go well.

Imagine, then, my delight and surprise to have been part of another Imperial clean sweep in the Gold Medal competition. Being awarded with the Beutel Prize was, apart from proving the existence of divine intervention, quite simply the best way to end my time here at Imperial. It has been the most wonderful six years of my life and I have cherished every minute of it. In particular I must thank our dedicated teachers and professors, especially my personal tutor Dr. Amir Sam, without whom my success would not have been possible.

In the future I will soon be starting an Academic Foundation Programme in nuclear medicine at Barnet and Royal Free hospitals as an FY1 doctor. I look forward to putting everything that I have learnt over the past six years to good use in order to provide the best care for my patients and aspire to an eventual career in radiology.

Postdoctoral Travel Awards in the Department of Medicine

As part of their ongoing effort to support and nurture postdoctoral staff in the Department of Medicine, the Early Careers Committee (a subcommittee of the Development and Opportunities Committee) procured funding to enable postdoctoral research scientists and research fellows in groups without such funding to present their research at conferences. The Postdoctoral Travel Awards are open to all postdocs and academic research fellows in the Department of Medicine, particularly those who need assistance with extraordinary costs relating to caring responsibilities.

Numerous applications were received for the most recent deadline and after careful deliberation the committee decided to allocate funds to Drs David Hodson, James Cole and Jason Long.

Dr David Hodson

David Hodson“The Postdoctoral Travel Award allowed me to attend the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Boston USA, to which I was invited as a symposium speaker. This will be critical for my future career progression, since indicators of esteem such as this are important for obtaining grant funding and academic promotion.”

David’s Research

Gene variants in or close to the gene encoding ADCY5 are associated with an increased probability of developing type 2 diabetes, a socioeconomically-costly disease state. To better understand how this gene may influence insulin secretion in man, David and his group employed molecular biology techniques to silence ADCY5 expression specifically in human islets. Using these approaches, they were able to show that ADCY5 is indispensable for coupling glucose to insulin secretion in beta cells through generation of the signaling intermediaries cAMP and ATP. In addition, they also demonstrated that samples from human donors who harbor risk loci for ADCY5 present with lowered mRNA levels. Thus, ADCY5 variants in or near to ADCY5 are likely to impair gene expression, elevating type 2 diabetes risk.

Dr James Cole

James Cole“The travel award allowed me to attend this year’s OHBM meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii. OHBM is the premier international conference for the field of neuroimaging, and thanks to the travel award, I was able to attend this meeting for the first time in my career. The meeting attracts the world leaders from across areas of research relating to neuroimaging, and it was an excellent experience to be able to see the latest developments in my field all showcased in one event. As well as the many senior neuroimaging scientists in attendance at OHBM, I was able to meet with a number of more junior researchers with common interests to me, allowing me to get a broader view on the type of work being conducted by people at my career stage.

The research I presented at the conference was an analysis from the EU project I work on, known as COBRA (ComorBidity in Relation to AIDS). The opportunity to present this work at OHBM 2015 was invaluable as I was able to get insightful feedback from a range of researchers in the field. Furthermore, there is an important HIV research group based at the University of Hawaii, led by Dr Linda Chang. I was able to meet with Dr Chang and her colleagues, display my findings to them and discuss potential future collaborations.

James’s Research

The advent of combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) means that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is no longer a death sentence. For the first time, HIV-infected individuals are living into old age. Nevertheless, despite improved life expectancy, research conducted into groups of ageing HIV-infected people reports a concerning increase in the development of age-related diseases. Importantly this includes mild cognitive impairment, itself a key risk factor for dementia. As the number of older adults living with HIV increases globally, it is vital to understand what might underlie this increased risk of disease and cognitive decline.

James and his colleagues use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain structure and function in HIV-infected people. They then compare these brain measures with carefully selected uninfected people, with similar demographic and behavioural characteristics. Using structural MRI, they have accurately predicted chronological age in a large, separate group of 1500 healthy people, by employing a computational technique called ‘machine learning’. They then made predictions of age in a group of 134 HIV-infected people, aged between 45 and 78, by comparing their brain scans to this predetermined machine learning model. On average, HIV-infected individual’s brains were predicted to be two years older than their chronological age. The uninfected group did not show this ‘brain ageing’ effect.

This result indicates that, despite successful treatment with cART, individuals with HIV-infection have changes in brain structure that resemble those seen in normal ageing. Age itself is an important risk factor for cognitive decline and subsequent dementia. If there are ‘age-like’ alterations to brain structure due to HIV, these individuals may well have a higher risk of future health problems. Using this brain age model, they intend to further investigate which characteristics of HIV-infection may influence brain age, such as specific cART drugs, levels of residual HIV or behavioural and lifestyle factors.

Dr Jason Long

Jason Long“We’ve recently come across a very interesting finding in the lab and are hoping to publish in a high impact journal soon. So we’re looking out for relevant conferences to go to in order to share this knowledge; it’s vital we let the field know about this and get collaborators on board. There’s never enough money for travelling, so receiving the PostDoctoral Travel Award really helps. In particular I’m using this award for a conference aimed at ‘younger’ scientists in the beginning stages of their careers, so I hope to benefit from being surrounded by others who are at a similar stage as I am, make connections and chat about options!”

Jason’s Research:

Influenza (flu) viruses originate in wild birds, and have crossed over to human hosts in pandemic events after which they adapt and continue to circulate causing seasonal epidemics. In addition there are frequent dead-end jumps from bird viruses into humans, such as the current H5N1 situation in Egypt and H7N3 in China. Yet these viruses have not yet made that extra leap to become pandemics. This is because the virus needs to make several changes in its genes in order to adapt to humans, a hard task for a virus. One such change that Jason and his peers have researched is the change in the polymerase (this is the virus machine that copies its genes inside the cells of the host). For many years we have known that bird flu viruses mutate a gene in its polymerase that allows it to replicate in humans. But until now we have not understood why.

They took cells that were part mammalian and part avian. By looking to see if bird flu polymerase could or could not work in these cells, and comparing the genes between the different cells, they identified a chicken gene that bird flu polymerase can use in avian cells, but cannot use the human equivalent in human cells. This identifies the point at which the virus has to mutate in order to copy its genes and adapt to humans. This finding is very important for the development of antivirals against the flu polymerase, as well as understanding which bird flus may be able to make the jump from birds to humans.

Faculty of Medicine awards update

Mr Chris Lattimer wins second prize at the 16th Annual European Venous Forum Meeting

Prize_LattimerMr Lattimer collected the award on behalf of his team at the EVF Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, for their presentation; ‘Increasing thigh compression pressure correlates with a reduction in the venous drainage index of air plethysmography.’

This highly competitive award has provided a grant of £1,500 for Mr Lattimer to present his team’s work on venous drainage at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum, to be held in Orlando, Florida, next February. This is acknowledged to be the most prestigious venous meeting globally.

Dr Mick Jones receives multiple teaching awards in 2014/15

Dr Mick JonesDr Jones, Reader in Molecular Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Course Director of the MSc in Molecular Medicine, picked up numerous teaching awards this year:

  • The top prize at the Department of Medicine Teaching Awards, 2015 for Outstanding Contribution to Education
  • The awards for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Supervision and the Top Contributor to Teaching based on the 2014 Teaching Hours Survey
  • The award for the Best Teaching for Postgraduates at the 2015 Student Academic Choice Awards

Professor Charlotte Bevan appointed to the Executive Committee of the BACR

Professor of Cancer Biology, Charlotte Bevan will take up the new role at the British Association for Cancer Research in the autumn of this year.

Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson elected to Royal College of Physicians Council

In July Simon Taylor-Robinson, Professor of Translation Medicine in the Department of Medicine, was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr Brijesh Patel elected to European Society of Intensive Care Medicine NEXT committee

Dr Patel, a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Surgery and Cancer, has been elected to the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine NEXT (Network of EXecptional Trainees) committee.

In June he was also awarded a 2015 American Thoracic Society abstract scholarship.

 

Waljit Dhillo awarded prestigious NIHR Research Professorship

Professor Waljit Dhillo
Professor Waljit Dhillo

Waljit Dhillo, Professor in Endocrinology & Metabolism and Consultant Endocrinologist, has been awarded a prestigious National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship, in the 2015 competition.

NIHR Research Professorships aim to fund leaders in the early part of their careers to lead research, to promote effective translation of research (‘bench to bedside [T1] and ‘campus to clinic’ [T2]) and strengthen research leadership at the highest academic levels. NIHR Research Professorships are prestigious awards for researchers who have an outstanding record of clinical and applied health research, and its effective translation for improved health.

Speaking about his project, entitled ‘Using hormones to improve reproductive health’, Professor Dhillo said:

Disorders of reproductive health affect millions of patients worldwide. The hormones kisspeptin and neurokinin B have recently been identified as potential novel targets for the treatment of infertility and menopausal flushing, respectively. My programme of work aims to develop novel treatment protocols based on kisspeptin and neurokinin B to treat patients with disorders of reproductive health.

Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) scheme awards funding to 22 projects

The Faculty is delighted to report the outcome of the third Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) competition to support the College-wide development of novel devices, diagnostics and therapeutics for areas of unmet clinical need. A fund in excess of £1.3million was made available from the MRC (Confidence in Concept fund), NIHR Imperial BRC, Imperial Innovations, Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account and as well as support from NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This is the first year that Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has taken part in the scheme.  The ICiC scheme provides vital pilot funding to bridge the potential gap between discovery research and well-developed applications for MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme / Developmental Clinical Studies Funding Scheme support. The Panel, including external members and chaired by Professor Roberto Solari, was delighted with the high quality and wide range of applications. 22 Awards were made.

The investigators who will receive awards of up to £70,000 are:

Professor Andrew Amis (PI), Professor Justin Cobb, & Dr Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena (Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Reza Bahmanyar (PI, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering)

Dr Jeffrey Bamber (PI) & Dr Mengxing Tang (Division of Radiotherapy & Imaging, Institute of Cancer Research and Department of Bioengineering, ICL)

Dr Paul Bentley (PI), Professor Etienne Burdet, & Dr Michael Mace (Departments of Medicine & Bioengineering)

Professor Thomas Brand (PI) & Dr Katie Chapman (National Heart & Ling Institute and Domainex Ltd)

Dr Graham Cooke (PI), Professor Chris Toumazou, & Professor Myra McClure (Departments of Medicine & Bioengineering)

Dr Ernesto Cota Segura (PI), Dr Nathan Brown, Professor Ed Tate, & Dr Chiara Recchi (Departments of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Surgery & Cancer, and CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, Institute of Cancer Research)

Dr Christina Fotopoulou (PI) & Dr Paula Cunnea (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Gary Frost (PI), Dr Rohini Sharma, Professor Mark Thursz, & Dr Edwards Chambers (Department of Medicine)

Professor George Hanna (PI), Dr Tanzeela Khalid, & Dr Melody Ni (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Dr David Hodson (PI) & Professor Guy Rutter (Department of Medicine)

Professor David Klug (PI) & Dr Oscar Ces (Department of Chemistry)

Dr Christoph Lees (PI) & Professor Phil Bennett (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Nicholas Long (PI) & Professor Guy Rutter (Departments of Chemistry & Medicine)

Dr Stepan Lucyszyn (PI) & Professor Anthony Chu (Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Medicine)

Professor Danilo Mandic (PI) & Dr Sudhin Thayyil (Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Medicine)

Professor Jane Mitchell (PI), Dr Nicholas Kirkby, & Dr Mark Paul-Clark (National Heart & Lung Institute)

Dr Christopher Rhodes (PI) & Professor Martin Wilkins (Department of Medicine)

Professor Andrew Rice (PI) & Dr Kenji Okuse (Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Departments of Surgery & Cancer and Life Sciences)

Professor Molly Stevens (PI), Dr Anthony Gordon, & Dr Robert Chapman (Departments of Materials, Bioengineering, and Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Ed Tate (PI), Professor Sebastian Johnston, & Dr Aurelie Mousnier (Department of Chemistry and National Heart & Lung Institute)

Dr Paul Turner (PI), Dr Mohamed Shamji, & Dr Robert Boyle (Department of Medicine and National Heart & Lung Institute)

 

Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Coordinator
Faculty of Medicine

Student presenter prize for medical student Madeleine Openshaw

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMadeleine Openshaw, a 5th year student at the Imperial College School of Medicine won the Student Presenter prize at the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC), London and South East Regional conference in January 2015.

Her emotive presentation entitled ‘In Loving Memory’: the role of sentimental objects in childhood bereavement’ was based on research performed during her humanities intercalated BSc at Imperial.

Maddy will be presenting her work again in June at the Annual GP Teachers Conference for our community based Imperial Primary Care teachers.

 

Dr Joanne Harris MRCP MRCGP MA(Med Ed)
Deputy Head of Undergraduate School of Medicine
Imperial College London

School of Medicine and ICSMSU Teaching Excellence Awards for NHS Teachers 2014-15

awards

Nominations now open!

Teaching Excellence Award

Ten awards for Excellence in Teaching for NHS staff are made annually.  We welcome submissions for the awards from the four main teaching hospitals, the district general hospitals, the mental health trusts or the primary care trusts (or practices). The awards are open to all NHS-salaried staff, working in any healthcare profession, who teach medical undergraduates from Imperial College London or students studying for an Imperial master’s level degree.

Individuals awarded within the last five years will not usually be reconsidered but we welcome submissions for previously unsuccessful nominees.

Distinguished Teacher Award

The Distinguished Teacher Award is to recognise one excellent teacher who continues to deliver outstanding teaching over and beyond expectation and has previously been awarded a Teaching Excellence Award.

Supporting the Student Experience Award

Supporting the Student Experience Award may be given to one member of staff who has a primarily non-teaching role in supporting Imperial students within an NHS environment, who has shown an extra measure of dedication and has achieved excellence in supporting the student experience.

 

Please complete and return the attached nomination forms by 1 May 2015 to Georgina Periam, Faculty Education Office (Medicine), g.periam@imperial.ac.uk

Nomination forms and details of previous winners can also be found online at School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers webpage.

Two new grants within the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

ERC Consolidator Grant

HajkovaPetra Hajkova, the head of the CSC’s Reprogramming and Chromatin Group, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant of €2 million. The grant will fund cutting-edge research into the dynamic character of nucleic acid modifications during embryonic development in mice. Elucidating these mechanisms will prove crucial to further our understanding of the regulation of epigenetic information in vivo and during reprogramming back to pluripotency in vitro. “Studying the mechanisms underlying reprogramming could enhance our understanding of epigenetic changes observed early in cancer,” says Petra. “I’m very excited about the grant because it will give us the opportunity to carry out some outstanding experiments,” she adds. Altogether 5 CSC researchers have been awarded one of the highly endowed ERC grants. Besides Petra Hajkova, these are Jean-Baptiste Vannier, Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Till Bartke and Amanda Fisher.

Imperial JRF

SarkiesPeter Sarkies from the CSC’s Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution Group has been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from Imperial College London. Peter, who joined the CSC from the University of Cambridge in October 2014, says the funds will be directed towards in lab evolution experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans to study the interaction between transposon-silencing mechanisms and evolutionary novelty in real time.

“It’s going to really help me make the transition from being a post-doctoral researcher to running an independent group, and give me the support I need to develop an innovative research programme,” says Peter. “I’m looking forward to strengthening links between Imperial and the CSC, so together we can conduct cutting-edge research,” he adds.

Peter Sarkies is the CSC’s third Junior Research Fellow, Andre Brown and Tobias Warnecke (both from the Institute’s Integrative Biology Section) received theirs in 2013.

 

Almut Caspary
Institute of Clinical Science
Faculty of Medicine

Dean’s Prizes: 2015 Graduation

Studyshots Photography for the Education SectorSince 2014 the Faculty of Medicine has awarded the Dean’s Prize to students who achieve the highest overall Distinction grade on their Master’s course; each of whom receive a mention of the prize on their transcript, a certificate and £200. If they also attend Graduation they have their names read out at the ceremony.

We now have a page showcasing our latest cohort of prizewinners, featuring profiles and photographs. Many of them have spoken in glowing terms of their Imperial experience, making this is a tremendous resource for student testimonials and pull-quotes.

The postgraduate graduation ceremonies will take place on 6 May 2015. Students who are eligible to graduate have been sent invitations and should be encouraged to register as soon as possible if they plan to attend.

Dr Jim Osborne
Postgraduate Taught Courses Administrator
FEO – Faculty Education Office (Medicine)

Institute of Clinical Sciences update

Jean Baptiste VannierERC Starting Grant awarded to Jean-Baptiste Vannier– Jean-Baptiste Vannier was awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of €1.5 million for five years. He was selected from 3,273 applicants (9 % success rate). ERC Starting Grants support up-and-coming scientists who are about to establish a new research team and start conducting independent research. Jean-Baptiste, who joined the CSC in the autumn from CRUK, will investigate the role of telomeres in DNA replication. When telomeres fail to fold into these structures, the genome becomes unstable, which is a hallmark of every cancer.

vahid_samSynergy: Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant awarded to CSC and Imperial College Researchers – Vahid Shahrezaei from the Mathematics department at Imperial College and Sam Marguerat from the CSC’s Quantitative Gene Expression Group will be leading the £250,173 award to investigate noise in gene expression using single cells. The collaboration will unite Marguerat’s experimental skills with Shahrezaei’s theoretical knowledge in order to gain insight into the process of stochastic gene expression and protein noise, which describes the fluctuating number of molecules inside cells that causes seemingly identical cells to behave differently.

Link between COX-2 inhibitors and cardiovascular risk explained– Research news article on why COX-2 inhibitors, a class of widely prescribed anti-inflammatories, may lead to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes (published in Circulation by James Leiper/Jane Mitchell, Imperial/NHLI; reference: Blerina Ahmetaj-Shala, Nicholas S. Kirkby et al. ‘Evidence That Links Loss Of Cyclo-oxygenase-1 2 With Increased Asymmetric Dimethylarginine: Novel Explanation of Cardiovascular Side Effects Associated With Anti-inflammatory Drugs.’ Circulation, 9 December 2014. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011591).

Almut Caspary
Institute of Clinical Science
Faculty of Medicine

Dr Mahiben Maruthappue the first from the NHS to make Forbes 30 under 30

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, Senior Fellow to the CEO of NHS England, and junior doctor in North West Thames Foundation School, becomes the first person from the NHS to make Forbes 30 under 30 since the list’s inception.

Dr Mahiben MaruthappuDr Maruthappu serves as Senior Fellow to Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, where he recently contributed to the Five Year Forward View, and in January, with Sir Bruce Keogh, launched the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), a programme aiming to identify twenty tried and tested innovations from across the world and scale them in the NHS to improve patient care.

Outside of clinical practice he has a background in health systems research, policy and entrepreneurship, having published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, receiving over 50 awards and honours, advising organisations ranging from startups to the WHO, and serving as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.

Dr Maruthappu said “It was exciting to be included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Working in North West Thames has exposed me to a broad range of opportunities, both inside and outside of clinical practice, that I’m sure led to my nomination”.

Philipa Shallard
Foundation School/Undergraduate Services Manager
Faculty of Medicine

Professor Neena Modi elected President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Prof Neena ModiProfessor Neena Modi has been elected President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, taking up the role on 29 April 2015.

Neena is currently Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College London and also has clinical duties as a Honorary Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust where she is the senior consultant in a team providing neonatal care for a tertiary referral medical and surgical perinatal service for north-west London. She is also Chair of the BMJ Ethics Committee, leads a neonatal research group and has published many original research papers. Whilst Vice President for Research at the RCPCH, Professor Modi was the lead author on the RCPCH’s Turning the Tide report highlighting the need to strengthen child health research in the UK.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Modi said:

“I’m profoundly honoured by the confidence my paediatric colleagues have shown in me. I in turn am confident that with the wealth of expertise they represent, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will be a powerful force in the UK and will advocate tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of all children.”

Welcoming the appointment, RCPCH President Dr Hilary Cass said:

“Neena is a passionate advocate for child heath, and her experience as a clinician and leading researcher will be invaluable in her role as RCPCH President. I look forward to seeing the College continue to provide high quality education and training for paediatricians, expand its membership offer and lead the way in affecting policy change for the benefit of children and young people’s health.”

Professor Modi will take up the role following the Annual General Meeting on 29 April 2015 and serve three years as President. Until then she will sit on the College’s Council and Executive Committee along with Dr Hilary Cass, as President Elect.

School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers 2014

School of Medicine Awards 25.11.2014 070The School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers evening took place on Tuesday 25 November.  The annual ceremony recognises the enormous contribution of NHS staff to the education of undergraduates and postgraduates in the Faculty of Medicine.  Fifteen members of staff received awards, which were presented by Professor Dermot Kelleher, Vice President (Health) and Dean of the Faculty Medicine.  Many of the students who nominated the winners attended to describe their teachers’ impact on their education at Imperial.  The ICSM Students’ Union Light Opera Society also performed for guests.

School of Medicine Awards 25.11.2014 004This year, two new awards were created: the Supporting the Student Experience award (for NHS staff in non-teaching roles), which was presented to Darren Pirson, Medical Education Manager at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust.  The Distinguished Teacher award, only open to previous teaching award winners, was introduced to recognise a sustained, outstanding contribution to education.  The inaugural Award was given to Dr Naila Kamal of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.  Dr Kamal gave a presentation on her experiences of teaching our students.

Closing the event, Professor Jenny Higham, Vice Dean (Education and Institutional Affairs) congratulated all the award winners, describing them as an inspiration to the next generation of doctors.

A full list of award winners can be found at: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/prospectivestudents/undergraduate/contacts/awards/

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Imperial College School of Medicine

Partnership for Child Development November 2014 Update

PCD Receives Grant for Global Health & Development

PCD  has been recently awarded by Grand Challenges Explorations an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a project focused on improving market information among stakeholders of Kenya’s school feeding programme. The programme is a government-led intervention which procures food used in school meals locally from smallholder farmers and has been described as a ‘win-win’ for both children and farmers alike; with well-fed children more likely to attend and stay in school and farmers more secured of a livelihood. Specifically, the project will develop a software platform using everyday items such as mobile phones, to improve the tendering process between the programme’s stakeholders, namely, the schools (buyers), traders (buyers and sellers) and farmer groups (sellers).

Click here to read more

School-Based Deworming: A Clear Role for the European Commission

School-based-deworming-image-of-policy-paper-edit Periodic drug treatment for children in schools – known as school-based deworming – represents a highly strategic approach to tackling soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and schistosomiasis. Integrated programmes that deliver deworming, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health education and other key interventions lead to even greater long-term impact.

A new paper called ‘School-Based Deworming’ (PDF download 2.8mb), from Imperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development argues that the European Commission (EC) is on the margins of the growing global movement against NTDs and with its financial resources, technical capacity and global network, the EC can and should be at the forefront of efforts to tackle the diseases, in particular schistosomiasis and STH. In order to rise to this task, the EC requires a clear policy direction, and must ensure that the control and elimination of schistosomiasis and STH are integrated into its education, nutrition and WASH strategies and programmes.

Click here to read more

Charlotte Broyd
Communications Officer
Partnership for Child Development
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Daniel Cappon Prize 2014

Applications are invited for the Daniel Cappon Prize. This is a biennial award of £500 open to students or recent graduates from the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College (in last 2-yrs), as well as postgraduates on the St Mary’s & Charing
Cross Psychiatric Training Schemes, in recognition of a published article in a medical journal or reputable non-medical publication, on a topic relating to the widest aspect of psychosocial problems.

Candidates should email a copy of their selected article, whichshould have been published, or be in press, by 30th November 2014, to Nicole Hickey (n.hickey@imperial.ac.uk) using theSubject title ‘Daniel Cappon Prize’) by 19th December 2014, together with a covering letter describing the background to the work, their part in it, and why the article merits consideration for the Prize.

The winner will be announced in January 2015 & invited to present at a Research meeting.
 
Nicole Hickey MSc MBPsS
Admin Secretary
Centre for Mental Health

Best paper award won at the #design4learning conference

Dr Maria Toro-Troconis, Mr Ashish Hemani and Dr Kevin Murphy won best paper award at the #design4learning conference run by the Open University (OU) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) on the 26 & 27 November 2014 . HIG01S0002_Logo_Primary_Blue_RGB_MV1ou-logo

Following a competitive selection the paper entitled ‘Learning Design in the 21st century. Blended Learning Design Tool (BLEnDT©) and MOOCit©’ won the best paper award.

 

The paper discussed The Blended Learning Design Tool (BLEnDT©) developed by Dr Toro-Troconis at the School of Medicine and the implementation and findings in the design of a blended learning course for the Respiratory Muscles tutorial in Year 1 of the MBBS course.

 

The Blended Learning Design Tool (BLEnDT©) introduces an instructional framework for the design of blended learning approaches identifying the learning outcomes that lend themselves to interactive self-guided online learning following an Instructionist approach and the learning outcomes that are best suited for face to face delivery or online delivery following a Constructivist/Collaborative approach.

 

BLEnDT© is currently used at the School of Medicine at Imperial College London and by the Imperial College Curriculum Development team – Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

 

The School of Health Sciences at City University London, the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning at King’s College London and the University College London (UCL) are also collaborating in the use of BLEnDT©.

 

More information about BLEnDT©: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/elearning/blendt/
#design4learning conference: http://design4learning.org.uk

#BLEnDTImperial
twitter-logo
 
 

Dr Maria Toro-Troconis
E-Learning Strategy and Development Manager
Faculty of Medicine

CIPM celebrates staff awards

Centre for Infection Prevention and Management (CIPM ) collaborators Dr. Eimear Brannigan and Enrique Castro-Sanchez have had cause to celebrate recently.

Earlier this year Dr. Brannigan was nominated for the Imperial College Teaching Excellence Award for 2013-14. The award was set up in 2003 to recognise excellent teaching among NHS staff. We are delighted to announce that the nomination was successful and Dr. Brannigan will be presented with her award at a ceremony on Tuesday 25th November at 5.30pm in the Glenister lecture theatre at Charing Cross.

Our senior research nurse Enrique Castro-Sanchez has been awarded a travel scholarship by the Florence Nightingale Foundation Trust. The scholarship is to enable Enrique to undertake a study in South Africa, Mozambique and Rwanda on building nursing capacity in antimicrobial stewardship: learning from low and middle income countries. The study builds on CIPM’s existing partnership with hospitals in Rwanda, including the work to reduce neonatal mortality and maternal and paediatric infection through improved patient safety in Rwanda, funded by THET Partnerships for Global Health.

Ellen Clegg
Education Project Manager
Centre for Infection Prevention and Management
Faculty of Medicine

2013 alumnus wins the British Orthopaedic Association’s Robert Jones Gold Medal

The MEd Surgical Education Community would like to congratulate 2013 alumnus Mr Andrew Wainwright for winning the Robert Jones Gold Medal from the British Orthopaedic Association, after submitting an essay based on his MEd studies.  Andrew, a consultant surgeon and Training Programme Director in Oxford, completed his MEd in Surgical Education with a Distinction and a dissertation entitled “A good pair of hands”. In the prize-winning essay he discussed the themes of competence, apprenticeship and craftsmanship in orthopaedic surgery today. By exploring the essence of what ‘having a good pair of hands’ means to surgeons, he proposed how this could improve the way that orthopaedic surgeons learn, teach, and assess surgical skills.

Susan Clark
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Adjunct Professor
Department of Surgery & Cancer
Faculty of Medicine

Poppy Lamberton shortlisted for The Women of the Future Awards

poppylamberton-profilepicPoppy Lamberton was recently shortlisted for The Women of the Future Awards – the largest national search for exceptionally talented women, which unearths the next generation of high-flying women across nine industries, including technology, media, business, arts and science. Poppy, a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, was shortlisted for the 2014 Science category. Poppy works on neglected tropical diseases, which are often endemic in the world’s poorest rural and urban communities. Her research currently focuses on parasitic infections such as Bilharzia and River Blindness, with the aim to maximize the success of treating populations in Africa. Poppy’s research utilizes field epidemiological data, laboratory experiments and population genetics to understand parasite population structure, transmission dynamics and the effects of long term mass drug administration programmes. Poppy is also passionate about public engagement with science, talking at a range of schools and working closely with STEM and the Natural History Museum on events such as Science Uncovered and Nature Live.

Dr Poppy Lamberton
Junior Research Fellow
School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine

Pankaj Sharma appointed Professor of Neurology at the University of London

drWe are pleased to announce that Mr Pankaj Sharma has been appointed Professor of Neurology at the University of London and Head of a new cardiovascular research institute at the Royal Holloway College. He will continue a clinical appointment at Imperial College NHS Trust.

Pankaj Sharma is Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (formerly Hammersmith Hospitals). He has doctorates from Cambridge and London Universities and was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Medical School USA.

He leads the internationally renown Imperial College Cerebrovascular Research Unit (ICCRU) and has published widely in major international journals.

Professor Sharma’s clinical interests include: headache, stroke, dizziness, seizures, fits and epilepsy.

Please visit this page for details of Mr Sharma’s experience and publications.

 

Pankaj Sharma MD PhD FRCP
Head, Imperial College Cerebrovascular Research Unit (ICCRU)
Imperial College London & Hammersmith Hospitals

IUA Award from the XXVI World Congress in Sydney

The Josef Pflug Vascular Laboratory of Imperial College has recently won the prize for the best oral presentation at the XXVI World Congress of the International Union of Angiology 10th – 14th August 2014 in Sydney, Australia with entry number #820. The certificate was given to Mr Christopher Lattimer MBBS, FRCS, MS, PhD from Professor John Fletcher, Chairman of congress and President elect of the IUA, on behalf of the team and collaborators.

The award was for recognising that D-dimer levels taken from the leg in patients with chronic venous insufficiency were increased in comparison to their arm blood samples. The research arose from the hypothesis that local blood samples would be a better reflexion of local pathology than a systemic sample from the arm which has been altered through several organs and capillary beds. This led to the development of the ankle cubital D-dimer ratio (ACDR) which may be a more specific test at detecting pro-thrombotic states in the leg, like venous disease or a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The advantage of the ACDR over a single arm sample is that it is not dependent on the age of the patient and it is unrelated to the type of measuring assay. Future studies are underway to determine whether this test may improve the specificity of D-dimer as a screening test in the detection of DVT.

The prize was awarded to our team which includes our overseas collaborators, Professor Jawed Fareed, Professor Debra Hoppensteadt and Daneyal Syed from the Department of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Loyola University, Chicago, USA. The rest of our team from the Josef Pflug vascular laboratory (http://josefpflugvascular.com) at Ealing hospital and Imperial College includes Dr Evi Kalodiki, Senior Research Fellow, and the head of our Department, Mr George Geroulakos.

Professor Ten Feizi receives the prestigious 2014 Rosalind Kornfeld Award

The Department of Medicine is delighted that Professor Ten Feizi is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Rosalind Kornfeld Award from The Society for Glycobiology. The Rosalind Kornfeld Award for Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology was established in 2008 to honour the distinguished scientific career and service to the Society by Dr Rosalind Kornfeld. The award is given by the Society to scientists who have, over their professional lifetimes, made significant contributions with important impact on the field.  In Professor Feizi’s case this award is in recognition of her many achievements in the fields of structure analysis, immunology and function of glycans over nearly 50 years.

Imperial successfully recruited Professor Ten Feizi in 1994 when the Northwick Park Campus became affiliated with the College. Her research group was already a leading world centre in glycobiology, notably having established the specificity of human monoclonal antibodies for specific oligosaccharide sequences and the observed programmed changes in expression of blood group-related sequences during embryogenesis, cell differentiation and oncogenesis, research published in Nature that became a seminal publication in the field. The group then went on to introduce neoglycolipid (NGL) technology for lipid-linked oligosaccharide probes and in 2002 this became the first glycoarray system intended to encompass entire glycomes. This is currently the most diverse glycoarray system in the world, revolutionizing the molecular dissection of pathogen-host interactions as well as endogenous recognition systems. Recent highlights are assignments of the host cell receptors for the oncogenic simian virus 40 (SV40) and the pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 influenza virus. In recognition of the importance of this ground-breaking work, Prof Ten Feizi received recognition with membership to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Joanna Thompson
Divisional Manager, Division of Immunology & Inflammation
Department of Medicine

Imperial medical students pick up top prizes in University of London Gold Medal Viva

London Gold Medal Viva winner Amy Mallorie v2The  Gold Medal Viva is an annual competition organised by the University of London, which invites the capital’s top students to take part, having been nominated by their medical schools based on exceptional academic performance. The doctors-to-be face a panel of examiners who test their on-the-spot knowledge of key areas to determine an overall winner, alongside a runner-up who claims the Betuel Prize.

This year we were delighted to see both accolades go to two of our own medical students, who share their experiences of the competition, and of life at Imperial.

Amy Mallorie – University of London Gold Medal Viva winner 2014

Being nominated for the University of London Gold Medal viva for medicine was an immensely proud moment for me, with the chance to represent Imperial College in a competition previously won by Sir Alexander Fleming. (He was awarded the 1908 Gold Medal, whilst studying at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington).

In early July I took part in the viva alongside the top 1% of final year students across all London medical schools. The viva was challenging, involving intense questioning on medicine, surgery, clinical sciences, clinical pharmacology, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics. The questions were difficult, and I remember the first of the viva being the most nerve-racking; I was given a clinical case of a young woman with a post-operative seizure and asked for differentials. I had to draw together knowledge from several different areas to answer, which Imperial finals had prepared me well for.

I recently completed the 6 year undergraduate MBBS/BSc programme. During my time at Imperial I have been particularly inspired by all the incredible teams of healthcare professionals and excellent teachers I have worked with on clinical attachments. Through doing an Intercalated BSc in Cardiovascular Sciences I became interested in research, which further motivated me.

Winning the gold medal was surprising, as well as a huge honour, and it has been a lovely way to end my time at Imperial’s School of Medicine. My next step will be starting the Academic Foundation Programme as an F1 junior doctor this August. The academic part of my foundation programme will involve a nuclear medicine research project during F2. Looking forward, I aspire to a career in academic medicine or radiology.

Anthony Dorr – Betuel Prize winner 2014

My route into medicine was more protracted than most, and took several attempts!  My time at Imperial College started with my PhD and this was incredibly productive and rewarding. However, it was clear that I wanted to practice medicine.  Staying on to study on the graduate medicine programme was the obvious choice, as the course emphasises the basic medical science that underpins clinical practice.  Again, my learning was well facilitated both on and off the wards, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Since my main driving force throughout medical school was to simply reach qualification, it was quite a surprise and privilege to be invited to participate in the Gold Medal Viva.

The breadth of knowledge required to excel in the viva is an important factor and I was concerned that my lack of knowledge of certain specialties would hinder me.  The examiners were extremely amiable and the exam felt more like a friendly chat, albeit about clinical scenarios covering medicine, surgery and specialties.  With regards to these, attempting to draw on knowledge from up to two years ago was particularly daunting when put on the spot.  However, as vivas form an important part of assessment at Imperial, I had at least a robust method to use when formulating an answer.

I am delighted to have been awarded the Betuel Prize, and it is a great way to conclude studying at Imperial, especially being a part of Imperial’s double success with Amy winning the Gold Medal.  I am now looking forward to finally practicing medicine after eleven years of being a student, but I would not have made without my wife and family.  It is hard to say what the future holds, but I have been lucky enough to be accepted on to an Academic Foundation Programme at St. Thomas’ in respiratory medicine, and I am relishing the opportunity to combine clinical medicine with my research interests.