Category: Awards

ISSF Networks of Excellence Scheme Awards Funding to 12 projects

The Faculty is delighted to report the outcome of the third annual Networks of Excellence competition to foster collaborative biomedical research endeavours across the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering, Natural Sciences and the Business School. The scheme is supported by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and comprises matched funding from the College; a total fund in excess of £900K was made available to support novel, interdisciplinary biomedical research.  The Networks of Excellence scheme provided funding to support: pilot or feasibility work for high risk projects,collaborative cohesion, testing or development of new methods,or proof of concept studies. Funding was available for all research within the Wellcome Trust remit; proposals addressing interdisciplinary research in infectious diseases, medical imaging, and diabetes/metabolic medicine were particularly encouraged.

Applications were assessed by the Cross-College ISSF working group, chaired by Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson, and shortlisted applications considered for funding by the Vice Provost (Research) with the Cross-College Research Proposal Review Group. The Chair was delighted with the high quality of the 46 interdisciplinary applications received.  Examples of the breadth of funded proposals include: ‘Visualising bacterial infection in adult zebrafish with novel infrared protein fluorophores’ (Ulijasz), ‘Reducing health impacts from excess sodium intake in coastal SE Asia using novel water treatment technologies’ (Butler), ‘Targeted nanoparticles for preclinical diagnostic imaging of Parkinson’s disease’ (Dunlop), ‘Using Functionalised Nanorods in Theranostics’ (Wilton-Ely).

The investigators who will receive awards of up to £100,000 are:

Dr Adrian Butler (PI), Professor Paolo Vineis, Dr Simon Buckle, Professor Matin Ahmed, & Dr Dewan Alam (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, School of Public Health, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, University of Dhaka, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research)

Dr James Choi (PI), Professor Justin Stebbing, Dr Adrian Lim, & Dr Mengxing Tang (Departments of Bioengineering, Surgery & Cancer, and Medicine)

Professor Justin Cobb (PI), Dr Victoria Manning, Dr Patrick Naylor, Mr Toni Castells-Delgado, Dr Edouard Auvinet, Ms Michela Zanotto (Departments of Surgery & Cancer and Electrical & Electronic Engineering and School of Professional Development)

Dr Iain Dunlop (PI), Professor David Dexter, Dr Alexandra Porter & Dr Roberto Fiammengo (Departments of Materials and Medicine plus Italian Institute of Technology)

Dr Ben Glocker (PI), Professor Daniel Rueckert, Professor Andrew Davison, Mr Philip Noonan, Professor Roger Gunn, & Professor Nicholas Peters (Department of Computing, Imanova Imaging Centre, and National Heart & Lung Institute)

Professor Nicholas Peters (PI), Professor Kim Christensen, Dr Daniel Rueckert, Professor Spencer Sherwin, Dr Prapa Kanagaratnam, Dr Phang Boon Lim, & Dr Fu Siong Ng (National Heart & Lung Institute, Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Computing, and Aeronautics)

Professor Robin Shattock (PI), Dr Cleo Kontoravdi , Dr Karen Polizzi, Dr Stuart Haslam, Dr Paul McKay, & Dr Eric Arts (Departments of Medicine, Chemical Engineering, and Life Science plus Case Western Reserve University)

Dr Paul Strutton (PI), Professor Alison McGregor, Professor David Sharp, Professor Andrea Rockall, Dr Ben Glocker, & Dr Rex Newbould (Departments of Surgery & Cancer, Medicine, and Computing)

Dr Andrew Ulijasz (PI), Professor Paul French, Professor Maggie Dallman, & Dr James McGinty (Departments of Medicine, Physics, and Life Sciences)

Dr Chris Wadsworth (PI) & Professor Richard Syms (Department of Medicine and Electrical & Electronic Engineering)

Dr James Wilton-Ely (PI), Professor Tony Cass, & Dr Dan Elson (Departments of Chemistry and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Fang Xie (PI), Professor Eric Aboagye, Professor Mary Ryan, & Dr Alexandra Porter (Departments of Materials and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Officer
Faculty of Medicine

CSC group leader David Carling is one of ‘The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014’

David CarlingDavid Carling from the MRC Clinical Science Centre’s Cellular Stress Group was named on the Thomson Reuters’ 2014 list as one of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. The list is composed of 3200 researchers who, in recent years, have published the greatest number of highly cited articles.

Dave Carling is listed within the Biology and Biochemistry section. His research at the CSC is aimed at understanding the regulation of energy metabolism and how cells respond to changes in energy balance. In particular, the Cellular Stress Group focuses on the role of the AMP-activated protein kinase cascade and it’s role in regulating energy homeostasis.

The report draws on information from Thomas Reuters’ databases applying research analytics tools InCites and Essential Science Indicators to compile the list. The 2014 list identifies citations recorded during 2013 for papers published between 2011 and 2013.

On the recognition, Dave said: “A colleague of mine from the Biochemical Journal emailed me to tell me that I was on the Thomson Reuters’ list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. I’m not a great fan of lists, but it is encouraging to be reminded that our peers value the work we publish from the group. A lot of the time scientific research can be a long and difficult struggle, battling with experimentally challenging systems, so it’s good occasionally to get some mark of recognition.”

 

Yalda Javadi Ph.D
Science Communication Officer
MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

Excellent Medical Education – National ASME/GMC Joint Awards – advance notification

ASME GMCThe “Excellent Medical Education” Programme is a set of national prizes being established jointly by ASME and the GMC to fund high quality medical education research, development and innovation.

This is in response to recognition of the need for further research-based evidence related to medical education and training, through supporting capacity building and increasing the volume of high quality medical education research. Applications using quantitative or qualitative, established or innovative methods will be welcome. Further information will be available from the ASME website closer to the launch at the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting in Brighton in July 2014. However, we are providing this initial summary so that interested individuals and organisations have additional time to begin to consider potential projects which they may wish to submit in one or more of the three categories.

All ASME members who are based in the UK will be eligible to apply, provided their organisation is capable of fulfilling the role of a research sponsor (e.g. an NHS organisation, academic institution). Submissions for awards will open on 17th July 2014. The online application form will be accessible via the ASME website from this date. The deadline for the first year’s applications will be 17th December 2014.

ASME and the GMC do not intend to name specific topic areas and welcome applications on a wide range of issues, across the continuum of medical education:

• Undergraduate
• Postgraduate
• Continuing Professional Development

Three prizes will be available, one linked to each of these stages of medical education. The programme is intended to support research which is related to the innovation, development, implementation and sustainability of excellent medical education which has an impact at either the individual (medical students, doctors in training, SAS doctors and consultants, and/or patients) or systems level (e.g. informing or leading to organisational change).

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

• Evidence that the project links directly with GMC education priorities
• Clarity as to the aims and objectives of the work
• Coherence between the aims and objectives, and the approach or methods used to measure and/or report outcomes
• Demonstrated outcomes/outputs for medical students, doctors, education and training programmes, including identification of key drivers for success/failure. Potential trajectory to patient benefit will also be considered as an outcome criterion
• Targets/outcomes, and if reached/achieved
• Evaluation of process as well as outcome(s) (i.e. why it worked as well as “it worked”)
• Evidence as to whether or not the work has maintained momentum, or details of how successful candidates would use the prize funding to further extend the project

Imperial students win Institute of Medical Ethics national debating final

Imperial team and banner

Another success for Imperial College students: on the 29th of March, Imperial College won the Institute of Medical Ethics National Student Debating final at the Institute of Education.  Representing Imperial were: Claire Brash, Joe Gafton, Sarah Sturrock and Klara Weaver; all year 3 students:  ‘Having seen the calibre of the competition at the Southern Regional final a couple of weeks previously, we were prepared for a challenging afternoon of debating’ they explained.  The students had two weeks to prepare their arguments for the cases to be debated but did not know if they would be arguing for or against the motion.

The first debate was against Sheffield; the Imperial team defended the ability of the Doctor to ‘snoop’ on patients online to try to establish if the patient awaiting a liver transplant was genuinely abstinent from alcohol. The team delivered an excellent case cleverly justifying the breach of privacy on the grounds of the best interests of the patient rather than the utilitarian public interest argument of using scarce resources efficiently and won a place in the final round. The team had just 30 minutes to prepare their final debate – arguing against the motion that an autonomous request by a terminally ill patient for deep terminal sedation (i.e. rendering him unconscious until death) was ethically acceptable. They faced tough competition from Lancaster University but argued persuasively that an autonomous wish to give up autonomy through permanent sedation was no more acceptable than an autonomous wish to enter slavery and that the spiritual importance of death was of great value as a unifying human experience.

Students interested in representing Imperial College in the Institute Medical Ethics debating competition next year should get in touch with this year’s winners or:

Dr Wing May Kong
Vertical Theme Head 
Ethics Leadership and Professionalism

Imanova announces 2014 IMPETus awards for early molecular imaging research

Grants designed to stimulate use of PET imaging in broader research projects

imanovaImanova Limited, the Centre for Imaging Sciences in London, has announced that six researchers from Imperial College London, King’s College London and UCL are to receive IMPETus awards. The awards are designed to both encourage the wider use of imaging and to enable researchers new to the area to gather the data required for its inclusion in full grant applications. Following the success of a pilot PET programme in 2012, IMPETus has now been officially launched and includes awards to scientists investigating not only dementia, depression and neurodegeneration, but also obesity and autism.

The researchers selected include Dr Paul Edison of Imperial College London whose research project will investigate the influence of obesity on neuroinflammation in Alzhiemer’s disease. The Imperial researcher was awarded the grant as a result of the outstanding scientific merit of his work and for his innovative use of existing tracers in novel research areas. The research will be carried out at Imanova’s world class facilities in London.

“We are delighted with the high calibre of experimental medicine studies for this year’s PET programme at Imanova and look forward to supporting this work,” announced Roger Gunn, CSO of Imanova Limited. “We believe that by providing access to our world-class imaging facilities, we can create an environment for sharing ideas, resources and expertise in imaging, whilst training and developing the next generation of imaging scientists and practitioners.”

The pilot studies from the initial round in 2012 can be found in Imanova’s annual report: http://www.imanova.co.uk/company/annual-review/

You can read more about the pilot IMPETus programme at http://www.imanova.co.uk/working-with-imanova/pilot-pet-programme/

Emily Head
Communications Officer
Imanova

Professor Peter Barnes elected to the Association of American Physicians

Prof Peter BarnesProfessor Peter Barnes, of the National Heart and Lung Institute, been elected to the prestigious Association of American Physicians – an impressive rarity for someone outside the USA.

The Association of American Physicians,  a nonprofit professional organization for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine”, was founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler.

Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) news round-up

IGHI participates in the World Economic Forum 2014

Global leaders join forces with academics from IGHI at an IdeasLab session at the 2014 World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum brings together top business leaders, international politicians, academics and journalists to discuss the most pressing challenges facing the world. IdeasLab sessions allow experts from the world’s leading universities to address specific issues of importance with a high profile audience.

Lord Darzi receives Qatari honour

On 16 January, His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani  conferred upon Lord Darzi the Sash of Independence in recognition of his continuing contribution to developing the health sector in Qatar.

IGHI PhD application deadline – 2 March 2014

The PhD programme is open to UK/EU and overseas students. The funding is for three years and covers both fees and living expenses. Research progress is assessed each year and continuing receipt of funds will depend on satisfactory academic progress.

 

SCI receive $750k grant

schisto

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (DIDE, School of Public Health) have received a core grant of $750,000 from Good Ventures; a Foundation in USA.

Founded in 2011, Good Ventures’ mission is to help humanity thrive. Our early grantmaking will focus on researching, supporting and promoting cost‐effective approaches to improving quality of life worldwide, advancing public policies that protect or expand personal freedom, and increasing the impact of philanthropy by encouraging effectiveness and transparency across the social sector. Good Ventures is a supporting organization to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunity – January Update

Awards

Nicola Lynskey was awarded a highly prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. The sum awarded was £250,000 over 4 years, and is likely to commence April 2014.

Publications

Paper published in PLoS Pathogens: RocA Truncation Underpins Hyper-Encapsulation, Carriage Longevity and Transmissibility of Serotype M18 Group A Streptococci.

Abstract: Group A streptococcal isolates of serotype M18 are historically associated with epidemic waves of pharyngitis and the nonsuppurative immune sequela rheumatic fever. The serotype is defined by a unique, highly encapsulated phenotype, yet the molecular basis for this unusual colony morphology is unknown. Here we identify a truncation in the regulatory protein RocA, unique to and conserved within our serotype M18 GAS collection, and demonstrate that it underlies the characteristic M18 capsule phenotype. Reciprocal allelic exchange mutagenesis of rocA between M18 GAS and M89 GAS demonstrated that truncation of RocA was both necessary and sufficient for hyper-encapsulation via up-regulation of both precursors required for hyaluronic acid synthesis. Although RocA was shown to positively enhance covR transcription, quantitative proteomics revealed RocA to be a metabolic regulator with activity beyond the CovR/S regulon. M18 GAS demonstrated a uniquely protuberant chain formation following culture on agar that was dependent on excess capsule and the RocA mutation. Correction of the M18 rocA mutation reduced GAS survival in human blood, and in vivo naso-pharyngeal carriage longevity in a murine model, with an associated drop in bacterial airborne transmission during infection. In summary, a naturally occurring truncation in a regulator explains the encapsulation phenotype, carriage longevity and transmissibility of M18 GAS, highlighting the close interrelation of metabolism, capsule and virulence.

Amy Cock
PA to Professor Jon S. Friedland
Dept of Infectious Diseases & Immunity

Academic Unit of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – January Update

Awards

European Psychiatric Association

Dr Mari Dominguez (Honorary Lecturer) was awarded the EPA Research Prize in the ‘Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’ category for the best scientific paper published in 2013, and will be attending the 22nd European Congress of Psychiatry in Munich in March.

Publications

A paper published by Dr Mari Dominguez (Dominguez, M-d-G., Fisher, HL., Major, B., Chisholm, B., et al (in press). Duration of untreated psychosis in adolescents: ethnic differences and clinical profiles. Schizophrenia Research, doi/10.1016/j.schres.2013.08.018)   garnered national press attention:

The Evening Standard (31.10.13) carried a piece on the study highlighting that the misattribution of symptoms to cannabis use rather than psychosis can lead to delays in adolescents getting the appropriate treatment.

Nicole Hickey
Academic Unit of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor Peter Barnes Awarded Honorary Doctorate

P BarnesProfessor Peter Barnes received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, on January 10th 2014.

As part of  Maastricht University’s celebration of  its 38th anniversary, or Dies Natalis, five ‘outstanding individuals’ – including Professor Barnes – received  honorary doctorates.  The event was marked, after two terms as vice-president of Maastricht Universit, by André Postema’s stepping down from its Executive Board, with a speech entitled ‘Maastricht University: a love story’.

Professor John Warner Awarded OBE at Windsor Palace

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.

PhD student awarded Ruth Bowden Scholarship

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

The Faculty of Medicine’s winners at the first Student Academic Choice Awards

SACASInnovation and tutoring in the Faculty of Medicine were recognised in the first annual Student Academic Choice Awards (SACAs).

Faculty winners

Congratulations go to:

These awards are a first for academics and support staff, nominated and chosen entirely by students. The awards are designed to celebrate and reward good teaching and emphasise teaching as a skill of equal worth and value as research.

The long term aim of these annual awards is to build a community and ownership of the courses being delivered. It is also a chance for students to say ‘thank you’ to teaching staff.

Our congratulations are extended to all of the nominees. The full list can be seen at https://www.imperialcollegeunion.org/academicchoice

President and Rector’s Awards and Medals 2013

Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented annually to members of academic staff judged to have been most outstanding in the quality, organisation and presentation of their teaching. Of the award winners up to four may be selected to receive a President & Rector’s Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence.

There were a total of 8 recipients from the Faculty of Medicine, listed below.

President & Rector’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching:

Professor Karim Meeran – Department of Medicine

Dr Uta Griesenbach – NHLI

President & Rector’s Medals for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence:

Professor Jenny Higham – Faculty of Medicine

Professor John Laycock – Department of Medicine

President & Rector’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision:

Dr Ken MacLeod – NHLI

A President & Rector’s Medal for Excellence in Research Supervision is awarded to:

Dr Jane Davies – NHLI

President & Rector’s Award for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience:

Mr Griffin Ryder – Faculty of Medicine

President & Rector’s Medal for Supporting the Student Experience:

Ms Susan English – Faculty of Medicine

 

View a full list of recipients of President and Rector’s Awards and Medals.

Itchy Sneezy Wheezy update

Professor John Warner
Professor John Warner
Rachel Griffin
Rachel Griffin

The Itchy Sneezy Wheezy project, or ISW,  is a primary care led project funded by CLAHRC to develop case management of patients with chronic diseases such as asthma and allergies. ISW is coordinated and administered by Professor John Warner (Professor of Paediatrics at Imperial College) and Rachel Griffin (Children’s Advanced Nurse Practitioner – Integrated Care), who has been seconded to Imperial College by CLAHRC to run the integrated care pathways project.

ISW’s work was recently profiled in the London Evening Standard, where one parent, Mrs Blagg-Reeves, was quoted as saying:  “I’m just so glad the clinic was around. If it can help other mothers not feel like a disappointment to their child because they can’t help him or her, then that’s good.”

ISW was also shortlisted for Child Health Team of the Year in the 2013 BMJ Awards, which took place on the 9th May.

Jane Webb
Department Secretary – Paediatrics
Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine Young Scientist Day 2013

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

Dept of Medicine Young Scientist Day 2012

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.

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.

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Faculty Fellowship Ceremony 2012

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

Professor Jenny Higham wins Mentor of the Year award at Women of the Future Awards 2011

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.