Imperial College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS) took their ‘Time-Travelling Operating Theatre’ project on the road in September and October 2015 to great acclaim. The project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, featured real clinicians working together in re-enactments of three eras of surgical history – 1884, 1984 and 2014. Members of the public were taken on a time-travelling journey through each era to see how technological, cultural, environmental and social changes have influenced the development of surgery.
Led by Sharon-Marie Weldon, the ICCESS team delivered the events at a number of prestigious venues; the Science Museum and Royal College of Nursing in London, the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds and finally the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The events were very popular with the public and attracted a diverse audience.
The key aim of the project went beyond the delivery of the events, however. Research has shown that it is very difficult to engage the general public in debate that can shape healthcare policy. Each Time-Travelling Operating Theatre event was followed by a discussion amongst audience members, clinicians and others such as ethicists and medical defence lawyers. Some really interesting perspectives emerged from these discussions that covered a wide range of issues, from the ethics of modern medical procedures through to the environmental impact of the present-day healthcare system. Sharon-Marie is currently analysing the data that was captured from these discussions and will be producing a paper that examines whether hands-on engagement activities such as this represent the future of ensuring public involvement in shaping the future of healthcare.
Guest Presentation from Mr Shuhei Nomura, PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, ICL
As part of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health’s effort to develop and engage doctoral students and fellows to debate and discuss their work, the WHO CC holds weekly seminars. On Oct 21, 2015, Dr Alex Chen (PhD candidate), the seminar organiser, invited Mr Shuhei Nomura, PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – ICL, to share his research projects about Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster.
Mr Nomura delivered a presentation on current radiation levels in Japanese coastal cities (Minamisoma City and Soma City, 15-40km north of the nuclear plant), as well as key issues and challenges facing the residents of these cities. He presented data from the internal and external radiation screening programmes for residents of these cities – work in which he has been involved since it was launched in Japan in July 2011.
On 11 March 2011, Japan experienced an unprecedented catastrophe compounded by a radiation-release incident at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the wake of the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which was later assessed as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale – the worst possible rating.
1st International Conference of Primary Care and Public Health & 3rd International Congress of Person Centred Medicine “Celebrating Primary Care Achievements: Seeing the person behind the patient”
The 1st International Conference of Primary Care and Public Health, 3rd International Congress of Person Centred Medicine, was held at Imperial College London, United Kingdom, from the 29th to 31st of October 2015.
The conference covered five central themes: Primary Care in the 21st Century, Ageing and Ageism, Children and Adolescences, Integrated Care, and Public Health in Primary Care. The programme comprised of keynote lectures, brief oral presentations and posters, featuring prominent figures as well as members of local communities from numerous global settings, including the UK, US, Middle East and Mauritius. Over 250 individuals attended from countries all over the world.
The importance of this conference was laid out in the opening remarks from Imperial College President Alice Gast together with Dr Derek Bell of NIHR CLAHRC NWL and His excellency Professor Ala Alwan Eastern Mediterranean Regional office for the WHO. The trans-boundary issues which threaten health warrant an international response, and events such as this conference are crucial for knowledge exchange and the planning of action.
A summary of the calls to action from the conference below and more information from each speaker can be found on the conference website www.icpcmlondon2015.org
i. Establish a shared goal of improvement in the health of the population through person and people centered care, taking into account biomedical, socio-cultural, psychological and spiritual elements that form part of the whole person and the demography of diverse populations.
ii. Primary care and Public health professionals should create and enhance local links and build relationships with each other and local stakeholders.
iii. Prevention programmes at all levels should be fully integrated within primary care.
iv. Create health care databases and identify new data sets, creating from these a consolidated information system a platform for sharing and displaying local population health data that could be used by communities.
v. To create common research networks to foster and support the integration of primary care and public health to improve population health.
vi. To develop multidisciplinary educational programs developing the curriculum and clinical experience that ensures the integration of primary care and public health.
i. That primary care should be delivered within the social networks of each person, alongside the provision Social Care and recognized as being part of a complex adaptive system with many components that reciprocally influence one another.
Primary Care in the 21st Century
This theme was explored throughout the conference both in addressing the complexity of a world in which displaced people’s health needs require action and in widening our understanding of what it means to be healthy. From Professor Ted Epperly’s insight to the American Health model and how our spending on medical services is not in line with what maintains health, through to Professor Marisa Papaluca’s clear explanation of how Regulators are driving innovation in providing personalised medicines.
Ageing and Ageism
The fact that the world’s population is ageing and the need to account for increasing longevity a known fact, exploring attitudes to ‘casual ageism’ both in the elderly and the often overlooked adolescent group was integral to Professor Jon Snaedal’s talk. Professor the Baroness Ilora Finlay brilliantly summarised the importance of palliative care and highlighted the lack of focus and expertise which health systems provide for end of life care. The one time all people will require healthcare is at the time of death so it is important to focus on the end as well as the beginning.
Childhood and Adolescence
Sir Al Aynsley Green delivered a powerful and important talk on the most important significant and influential period of an individual’s life: childhood. With changing population demographics it is more important than ever to invest in children and nurture them taking inspiration from the holistic methods of childcare in Finland. The importance of person centred medicine was emphasised by Professor John Cox with particular regards to perinatal depression. This is an issue which can have enduring effects on families involved and it must be addressed in order to ensure every child has a good childhood.
Professor Mitch Blair, in his inspirational talk, stressed the need for doctors to pay attention to the beginnings of life and the crucial first years and seeing the patient in the wider context of family, school, immediate community circumstances.
Professor Azeem Majeed raised important points about the need for research and innovation in primary care, and explained the proposals for family practitioner led and hospital led integration. Professor the Baroness Sheila Hollins spoke compassionately about the need for person centred medicine and the imperative for care givers to work with the patient and their family and loved ones, to see the person behind the disability. Using integrated care for the treatment of atrial fibrillation was informatively described by Dr Abdul-Majeed Salmasi.
Public Health in Primary Care
Building health systems on a foundation of primary care and public health is vital for universal health coverage and improved population health. Professor Salman Rawaf spoke passionately about how crucial primary care is in order to tackle the growing prevalence of non-communicable disease and for ensuring healthcare is family and person orientated. The importance of primary care in public health was stressed in a video message from Professor Ala Alwan, director of EMRO, who highlighted that primary care is at the core of the region wide priorities for EMRO, including health system strengthening, addressing non-communicable disease, promoting health security and building capacity.
The conference was attended by over 200 attendees who benefited from the event and enthusiastically spoke about the experience.
“On the occasion of conclusion of the 1st International Conference of Primary Care and Public Health which was held at Imperial College, London (29-31 October, 2015), I would like to express the highest of my appreciation and gratitude to the marvelous efforts exerted on your part to have this extremely valuable conference in the best shape with this outstanding and remarkable success.
My very cordial congratulation for the success of the conference which is considered a turning point in primary care and public health march at the global level. The success of the conference was evidenced by the broad participation from every corner on earth, it was a global demonstration about primary care and public health. The themes and the scope of the conference encompassed a lot of interesting issues that were so vital to primary care and public health & the presence of such group of elite scientists and experts of the field crowned these efforts and was a real added value.” Professor Tawfik Khoja – Director General Executive Board, Health Ministers Council for Cooperation Council.
“Although I could not participate fully from the beginning to the end; I am so pleased to have taken part of this rich intellectual and scientific activity. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and your distinguished team on the quality of the technical as well as operational arrangements of the successful conference.” Dr Atef El Maghraby – Technical Lead, Health Systems, World Health Organization.
Advanced Leadership and Health Management training: 1-5 September 2015
Chinese Guanghua Foundation, whose mission is to stimulate Chinese youth to contribute to China’s Science and Technology development through various programmes and awards, approached WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training in search for a bespoke Advanced Leadership for Healthcare course. The WHO CCentre delivered the training on 1st-5th September 2015 for 16 delegates. The course included visits to NHS trust Hospitals, Research hubs and local practices as well as a series of carefully selected exercises addressed at the needs of the participants.
The intensive 5-day course was the first in the series of the regular trainings for Chinese healthcare professionals and Hospital Managers. The next course is planned for April 2016.
Family Medicine in Sudan
The Republic of Sudan has made significant strides in developing its health sector, especially in terms of family medicine; the country aims to achieve universal health coverage as part of its post MDG 2015 agenda. In this regard, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has embarked on an ambitious plan for the expansion of primary health care network and the national health insurance fund is drawing its agenda for universal coverage. As such, the WHO CC was asked by the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office for the WHO (EMRO) to technically support the finalization of the family medicine policy currently being developed by teams at the Sudanese FMOH and Public Health Institute (PHI). Professor Salman Rawaf and Dr Sondus Hassounah from the WHO CC were joined by Dr Hassan Salah (Technical Officer-EMRO) from the 15th-21st August in Khartoum to meet and assist the FMOH and PHI in that regard.
Indus Foundation Healthcare Excellence award
Congratulations to our Director, Professor Salman Rawaf for achieving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Healthcare Excellence from the Indus Foundation.
The Indus Foundation has initiated the Healthcare Excellence Awards – country’s most authoritative awards for the healthcare industry. Each of the Awards recognizes “excellence in medicine and healthcare” as manifested in the varied ways that may significantly impact the health and well-being of our citizens.
Heba Awadh from Oman started her PhD in October 2015 and will be focusing on Patient safety in the Gulf Region
Asma Alnuaimi from Qatar joined WHOCC on 1st September 2015 as a WHO CC Fellow. Her two-year training programme will focus on health promotion, health education, public health and epidemiology. As part of her Fellowship, Asma will also work on a research question of her choice.
Ahmed Sulaiman AlMujil joined WHOCC on 1st October 2015 as a WHO CC Fellow. His training will be centred on: medical education, research methodology and publication process, healthcare management.
WHO CC Fellow: Dr Saad Al Saad from Saudi Arabia finalised his fellowship on 23rd September 2015.
What can we learn from surgical history and can we use this knowledge to consider what the future of surgery might look like? These are the questions we are aiming to answer by taking our Time Travelling Operating Theatre across the country as part of a Wellcome Trust-funded research project.
Imperial College London’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS) are using real clinicians working together in re-enactments of three eras of surgical history – 1884, 1984 and 2014. These periods represent the beginnings of abdominal surgery, keyhole surgery and more recent developments such as the iKnife. The Time Travelling Operating Theatre not only immerses members of the public in a world that is usually closed to them but also demonstrates some of the cultural, social, technological and environmental changes that have occurred in surgery.
Following their trip through surgical time, the public then get the opportunity to discuss the changes they have witnessed with the participating clinicians and others including ethicists, medical defence layers and policy-makers. The rich discussions that have come out of the experience have covered a wide-range of topics, a key one being the ethics of medicine past, present and future.
To date there have been three events (at the Science Museum, London; Royal College of Nursing, London; Thackeray Museum, Leeds) with the final event taking place at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 10th October. The data collected from the events will aim to understand if this unusual methodology is an effective way to involve the public and patients in policy-making decisions.
Scientists at the MRC’s Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC) in West London are the first to show that a small molecule circulates in the blood of people who are in the early stages of type 1 diabetes. A simple blood test could detect this biological marker years, maybe decades, before symptoms develop.
“If we can identify and treat patients earlier, we may be able to help them to avoid secondary complications. This could ultimately extend a patient’s life,” said Mathieu Latreille, who leads the CSC’s Cellular Identity and Metabolism research group, and who carried out the research in collaboration with scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Latreille presented the results to doctors at Hammersmith Hospital this month.
Further interesting findings came from a CSC study which has shown that a gene, called Jarid2, may play a wider role than previously thought in co-ordinating the way that stem cells change in a developing embryo to form the specialised cells that make up our bodies.
Scientists know already that Jarid2 is important in organising the healthy formation of many organs, including the neural tubes that become the brain and spinal cord, the liver, spleen, thymus and cardiovascular system. But its central role very early on in embryo development is “surprising”, according to professor Amanda Fisher, director of the CSC, and head of the Institute of Clinical Science at Imperial College London, whose team published its findings in Cell Reports on July 16.
Also this month, in our series of scientific seminars, Simon Andrews of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, warned CSC scientists that experiments to sequence human genes can, and do, go wrong. Rapid advances in technology mean scientists can now sequence entire human genomes in a matter of hours, and for less than £1000. But Andrews explained that even the latest technology doesn’t stop scientists from making mistakes. “I’m showing you some of the ugly sides of sequencing experiments,” he said.
The Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS) were recently involved in the highly successful launch of a Charity of the Year partnership between the Children’s Intensive Care Unit Appeal and Home House, a private member’s club on Portman Square.
ICCESS delivered a simulation involving staff from St Mary’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to demonstrate how the unit delivers world-class care despite being under considerable constraints in terms of space. The appeal will raise money to expand the facility and create additional 7 ICU beds within the PICU.
“I attended an event to announce the campaign for a new paediatric intensive care unit for St. Mary’s Hospital in London. It was, possibly, the most effective and moving such event, I have ever attended. The doctors from St. Mary’s and others acted out scenes from the paediatric ICU, complete with anxious parents and doctors speaking to them. There was a child in a hospital bed, and the attending physician explained his dire medical situation and articulated his needs, medical and emotional. The doctor spoke with disarming candour. It was tough going to see this performance, very different from the usual speeches and videos more typical of elegant fundraisers and campaign launches.” Feedback from a guest.
The experience of the ICCESS team in delivering realistic medical simulations to engage and move audiences combined perfectly with the passion and dedication of the PICU staff members who participated in the event. The audience, which included Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff including Chief Executive Tracey Batten, members of Home House and special guests from appeal committee, found the evening inspirational and emotional. An important event for a very vital unit within St Mary’s Hospital and an significant milestone in this fundraising appeal.
PROFESSOR SIR STEVE BLOOM
Interfering Factor to World Drug
Blockbuster – Can Imperial Manage?
Monday 29 June 2015, 17.00-18.00
G34, Sir Alexander Fleming Building
PROFESSOR BEATE KAMPMANN
Vaccines, Immunity and Global Child Health
Wednesday 1 July 2015, 17.30-18.30
G34, Sir Alexander Fleming Building
PROFESSOR THE LORD ARA DARZI OF DENHAM PC KBE FRS
Innovation in Healthcare
Thursday 2 July 2015, 17.30-18.30
LT311, Huxley Building
PROFESSOR SARA RANKIN
Story of a Paper: Regenerative Pharmacology – Teaching the Body to Repair Itself
Monday 13 July 2015,
17.30-18.30 (registration opens at 17.15)
G34, Sir Alexander Fleming Building
The Visit to Jabir Ibn Hayyan University in Najaf, Iraq
Professor Ali Mahmood Al-Shimmeri, the President of Jabir ibn Hayyan welcomed Professor Salman Rawaf, Director of P WHO Collaborating Centre for public Health Education and Training, Imperial College London on Wednesday 1st of April, 2015 at Jabir Ibn Hayyan University.
Jabir ibn Hayyan Medical University is one of the first specialized Universities in Najaf, Iraq. It encompasses all kinds of medical sciences. The Faculty of Medicine was established at the beginning of the academic year 2013-2014 involving 86 students who were centrally admitted, transferred or hosted from other universities. It is planned for the University to involve four faculties: Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing in addition to a large university hospital and many other medical and research centres in various fields of medicine. The aim of the visit was to discuss the Hopeful Role of the Imperial College in Reviewing and Upgrading the Curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine to Meet the Highest Quality Standards. Professor Rawaf pledged to help and promised to exert his faithful efforts in order to achieve this mission.
First Who Ministerial Conference On Global Action Against Dementia
On 16 and 17 March 2015, WHO was hosting its first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia. Ministers from around the world, as well as experts from the research, clinical and NGO communities, came together in Geneva for the first time to discuss the global problems posed by dementia.
The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the socio-economic burden created by dementia, and to highlight that this burden can be reduced if the world collectively commits to placing dementia high on the global public health agenda.
The first day of the conference covered issues from research and drug regulation to care and human rights. On the second day, ministers discussed how to collectively move the global dementia agenda forward.
The conference was supported by the Department of Health of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The full meeting was webcast in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
Celebrating Primary Care Achievements: Seeing the person behind the patient
Imperial College London and the International College of Person-Centred Medicine are pleased to announce the 1st International Conference of Primary Care and Public Health to celebrate Primary Care and Public Health Achievements.
Baroness Ilora Finlay, Baroness Sheila Hollins and Sir Al Aynsley Green are amongst the World and UK leaders in Primary Care and Public Health who will be leading the conference.
The five central themes are: Primary Care in the 21st Century, Ageing and Ageism, Children and Adolescents, Integrated Care, and Public Health in Primary Care. Discussions will cut across the four major disciplines of education, training, research and clinical practice.
The conference will be held at Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, from 29 to 31 October 2015.
RCGP Global Health Family Medicine: Global Impact Conference London
Professor Salman Rawaf, Director of Who Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training gave a presentation at the Conference organised by the Royal College of General Practitioners. The presentation: “A family physician for every person in the world: why we are failing globally” stressed that after thirty years of Alma Ata, the WHO World Health Report: Primary care – now more than ever, in 2008 re-focused the attention on the need of developing and strengthening primary care around the world. However, achievements since then are limited to patchy examples.
The talk also addressed the question why countries are reluctant or unable to develop their health system through primary care where every citizen has access to fully trained doctors who take care of health and healthcare needs. The number of trained family physicians needed in one of the WHO regions is projected to illustrate the magnitude of the tasks involved in developing primary care services that achieve the goal of universal health coverage. Guidance and suggestions for policy and decision-makers, health professionals, and civil society institutions will be offered, with the aim of maintaining and improving health to the highest of standards through effective primary care services.
Palestinian Family Medicine Visit to UK
The Department of Primary Care and Public Health (PCPH) at Imperial College London recently hosted a Palestinian Family Medicine delegation during their 4-day visit to the UK (4-8th March 2015). The visit was organised by the International Development of Family Medicine in Palestine (IDFMP), which is a collaborative initiative by UK GP academics. The aim of the visit was to orientate delegates to UK general practice and participate in the first RCGP Global Health ‘Family medicine: global impact’ conference in order to foster the development of a shared vision of family medicine training in Palestine. The delegates met Professor Salman Rawaf, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training and there was lively discussion about shaping and developing family medicine in Palestine.
WHO CC work showcase at the Urology department educational seminar, 13 May 2015
At the request of Dr Alexandra Zachou — consultant urologist Imperial College Trust, Dr Sondus Hassounah, delivered a presentation at the Urology Department afternoon educational seminar showcasing the work the WHO CC undertakes. The presentation provided a brief overview of how the WHO CC was established and highlighted some of the projects the centre has been involved in since its designation by the WHO, with the support of the British Government, in 2007. The request to deliver this session stemmed from the urology departments’ interest in global health work and keenness to expose their faculty, staff and students to the broad application of public health and health system strengthening in a global context.
Systematic Literature Review Course
On Thursday 30th April 2015, our PhD students and fellows attended a one-day course on Systematic Reviews, given by Dr Holger Kunz. Through highly interactive and practical sessions, they learnt about why systematic literature reviews are so important in Public Health, how to develop a research question and a protocol, and the steps in conducting a systematic review – from literature search to selection of studies, quality appraisal, data extraction, meta-analysis and textual synthesis.
MPH student presentation at the Chevening Conference
What is the link between Ebola outbreaks and Health Systems?
This is a question which needs to be asked in order to understand how this virus came to find its way around the globe in a matter of months. This topic must be scrutinised and assessed to help draft future recommendations for bridging current gaps in the health systems of vulnerable countries and eliminate the emergence of future outbreaks.
Dr. Haitham Shoman, who is studying his Master’s in Public Health at Imperial College London, prepared a poster on this subject and presented an overview at the Chevening Conference in Durham University on Diplomacy in the 21st Century that took place in Durham on the April 17th 2015. This was a fantastic opportunity to present such a cutting edge topic and educate high profile delegates, particularly those from non-medical backgrounds. His presentation drew a great deal of interest and questions from different participants. Support was given from Imperial College WHO CC. The dissertation he will be carrying out this summer, to be supervised by Professor Salman Rawaf, is centred on finding the link and grasping the roots of the problem, assessing information from a wide range of sources and reaching conclusions on how to mitigate such problems. A particular sense of urgency surrounds the spread of such diseases due to their potential to perpetuate poor health, poverty and inequality in some of the world’s most deprived countries. Living in the 21st century with globalisation and increased connectivity, countries with weak health systems should not be left behind as health is a fundamental human right and not exclusive to those living in the developed world. Strong health systems need to be established with proper communication and partnerships to avoid the progress of Ebola and avoid the emergence of new outbreaks.
IGHI’s monthly NCD Forum provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary discussions of NCDs in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Apart from its intrinsic interest, we hope that it will foster inter-Faculty research initiatives and leverage the immense strengths of Imperial to resolve one of the largest problems facing the world in the early 21st Century.
All members of the College from all Faculties are welcome including students at all levels. The Forum meets normally on the third Thursday of each month between 3:00-5:00pm. If you are interested in hosting a future forum, contact Jo Seed with your proposed topic at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the write up of April’s NCD Forum which focused on eHealth in the LMICs.
Join us for our Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, 20th-23rd June 2015, Royal Geographical Society
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London had a great presence at the Imperial Festival over the weekend of the 8th-10th May. Many of our researchers hosted interactive stands in the ‘Superbug Zone’, based in the Flowers Building, which gave visitors the opportunity to journey into the world of ‘superbugs’ find out more about them and discover the impact that these bugs have on our health and wellbeing.
We asked the public to vote for what they felt was the main cause of antimicrobial resistance from a choice of nine factors (click here to find out what antimicrobial resistance is). It was great to see how engaged people were with the issue and how many people already knew about it. Hopefully we dispelled a few myths over the weekend (for example, it is not the person that becomes resistant to treatment, but the bacteria that is causing the infection), and to the 405 people that voted, our main take home messages were: not to pressurise your GP into prescribing antibiotics if you don’t need them, to finish the course of antibiotics when they are prescribed them and to dispose of any unused medicines safely rather than stockpile them ‘just in case’.
Antibiotic prescribing game
‘On Call: Antibiotics’ is a serious antibiotic prescribing game targeted at hospital clinicians and healthcare professionals which has recently been developed by researchers at the unit. It aims to ensure the continued engagement of prescribers with optimal antibiotic prescribing behaviours and help to resolve some of the behavioural and social barriers influencing prescribing. It’s showcase at the Imperial Festival was a great success and although it requires clinical knowledge to play, it helped to facilitate many interesting conversations around the importance of appropriate, timely and prudent antibiotic prescribing to help reduce the increasing incidence of drug-resistant infections. It also shed light on the types of competing pressures that doctors face on a busy hospital ward, allowing the public to see firsthand how over-prescribing or inappropriate prescribing may occur. With keen interest (and often quite skilled diagnosing and treating) from some of our younger attendees, we may have some budding doctors in our midst!
This stand gave visitors the opportunity to find out how well they wash their hands. They rubbed a cream onto their hands that reacts to UV light and the challenge was to wash their hands normally and see how much cream was removed. Children visiting the stand had real fun seeing their hands glow green but took the challenge seriously and often did better than the adults! Many were surprised at the areas of their hands that were sometimes missed during washing and were genuinely interested in being shown the WHO guidance on how to wash thoroughly. We talked with visitors about how essential hand hygiene is for health workers and the public, and they left with an understanding of how important hand hygiene is in controlling the spread of infection.
To help the public understand the importance of hand washing and infection control, the team provided Mannitol Salt Agar plates for participants to press their fingers onto to see what bacteria, if any, would grow from their fingertips. Some of the participants also pressed their fingertips onto the Agar plate before washing their hands and then again afterwards. This enabled the public to see how well they washed their hands. With most of the participants there was less or near to none bacteria seen on the plates after handwashing.
The plates were incubated at 37oC and checked the following day to see the bacteria grow. The photos were sent to the participants with the explanation that they had normal skin bacteria present on their fingertips!
The activity demonstrated to the public three key messages – that bacteria is living on their skin; it takes up to 24hrs to grow and that regularly washing hands gets rids of most of the bacteria.
Rakhee Parmar Team Secretary The NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London
On 30th January 2015, the breakout space at the Wolfson Education Centre at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus was buzzing with more than 100 dates between 40 Imperial academics from different faculties, and representatives from 7 major Pharma companies.
The first Pharma speed dating @ ICL event was part of the launch program for the Imperial Confidence in Concept funding scheme, and was organized by the Corporate Partnerships team. Jonathan Weber, Vice-Dean of Research and Imperial College AHSC Director said
“The Pharma speed dating event fits with our strategy to strengthen Imperial relationship with the Pharmaceutical industry and to provide young PIs an opportunity to have their first industrial interactions”.
Academics had only 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to company representatives and discuss common interest for collaborations.
Both academics and company representatives enjoyed a day of interesting and open scientific discussions.
Silvia Santos, a starting group leader at the Imperial MRC-Clinical Science Centre said:
“It was very informative to understand what a therapeutic target is to Pharma companies and the path to get into having a potential interesting target. But perhaps even more exciting was realising how complementary our approaches in the lab are with some of the companies and start discussions for potential collaborations.”
Following on from the event, the Corporate Partnerships team is busy following up with several companies who have opened opportunities for collaboration with the College.
The Corporate Partnerships team is expecting to run this event again next year. If your company is interested in participating in the next speed dating @ ICL event, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Dear Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Students and Staff,
I would like to invite you to our next PG Connections Event which is on Wednesday 10 June at 17:30 (registration opens at 17.00) in Room G16 in the Alexander Fleming Building (South Kensington Campus). The highlight of the event will be a talk from Professor David Nutt, titled ‘Why Scientists Must Also be Revolutionaries’. As with all PG Connections events, the talk will be followed by a complimentary drinks reception.
Most people think that the biggest problem to scientific and medical advances is the failure of funders, governments and the public to understand the value of what they do. I will demonstrate with examples from my own research career and those of others, that scientists themselves are often the enemy of progress and argue that we should always be challenging ourselves to think more creatively about the future goals of our disciplines.
About the Speaker
Professor Nutt is the Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial. In addition to his many career achievements (including sitting on a number of high profile NHS and governmental committees), he has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and book chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 27 books including Drugs Without the Hot Air, which won the Transmission Book Prize in 2014.
This year’s Faculty of Medicine Fellowships Guest Lectures and Awards Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 2 June 2015 from 17.30-19.45, at the South Kensington campus. The event will incorporate guest lectures from the two new Fellows of the Faculty of Medicine and will be followed by a drinks reception.
The 2015 Fellows of the Faculty of Medicine are:
Dr Rino Rappuoli – Chief Scientist, GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy Lecture: ‘Opportunities and challenges for vaccines’
Dr Wendy Ewart – Former Deputy CEO and Chief of Strategy, Medical Research Council, UK Lecture: ‘For Richer for Poorer? The funding dilemma’
On 30 of January,the breakout space at the Wolfson education centre was buzzing with more than 100 dates between 40 Imperial academics from different faculties, and representatives from AstraZeneca, GSK, Lillly, MedImmune, Pfizer, Sanofi and UCB pharma. As a result, follow-up conversations are ongoing, and GSK and Sanofi are coming back to Imperial to search for collaborations.
The first ICL-Pharma Speed Dating event was part of the launching program of the Imperial Confidence in Concept funding scheme, and was organized by the Corporate Partnerships team. Jonathan Weber, Vice Dean (Research) said “The Pharma speed dating event fits with our strategy to strengthen Imperial relationship with the Pharmaceutical industry and to provide young PIs an opportunity to have their first industrial interactions”. Academics had only 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to company representatives and discuss common interest for collaborations. The event was also the launch of the new Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR), Dr Lynne Murray. “During my tenure as the EiR at Imperial, I will act as an advisor, mentor and trouble-shooter for translational and commercial research directions. I did my PhD at Imperial and I am absolutely thrilled to spend time with Imperial academics” said Lynne. Currently employed by Medimmune, Lynne will act as a confidential and independent advisor with more than 15 years R&D and BD experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to provide advice on translational research collaborations with industry.
Both academics and company representatives enjoyed a day of interesting and open scientific discussions. Silvia Santos, a starting group leader at the MRC-Clinical Science Centre said “ It was very informative to understand what a therapeutic target is to pharma companies and the path to get into having a potential interesting target. But perhaps even more exciting was realising how complementary our approaches in the lab are with some of the companies and start discussions for potential collaborations”.
As a result of the event, the Corporate Partnerships team is busy setting second dates, and several companies have opened opportunities for collaboration with Imperial College. Genzyme opened a call for projects in inherited rare diseases that will be followed by a visit of their research team to discuss with short-listed candidates. GSK gave a presentation on their Discovery partnerships with Academia and Fast Track challenges, on 23 March at the Wolfson education centre on the Hammersmith campus.
All these calls are advertised through different channels including Faculty mailing lists, and research managers.
If you have any questions about these initiatives or you would like to discuss potential industrial collaborations, please get in touch with the Corporate Partnerships team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Alexandra Esteras-Chopo Corporate Partnerships Associate Faculty of Medicine
On Thursday 5 March Imperial’s three National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Units (NIHR HPRUs) held their first joint open day.
Imperial College hosts HPRUs in Healthcare Acquired Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, Modelling Methodology and Respiratory Infections.
The three HPRUs came together to share their work with members of the public and colleagues in both research and healthcare. The event was extremely successful, with over 50 visitors coming together to learn about the cutting edge research taking place at Imperial College London.
The afternoon was opened by Professor John Watson, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, who introduced talks from Professor Alison Holmes, Professor Neil Ferguson and Professor Ajit Lalvani. Following the talks, guests were invited to speak to Imperial College researchers about their work and take part in interactive research, including a game modelling the spread of infection and growing bacterial cultures from the dirt on their fingertips. The event concluded with thanks from Philippa Yeeles, the Director of Improvement and Engagement at the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility.
One visitor commented that the event was “an excellent exposition of this research endeavour and a call-to-arms for the public’s involvement.”
Education Project Manager
Centre for Infection Prevention and Management Faculty of Medicine
This year’s annual Immunology Short Course for Clinicians and Scientists was held in February. This popular course saw over 50 participants from across the country have the opportunity to hear from leading immunology academics and specialists from Imperial College and other institutions including UCL, Kings College London.
Course leader Professor Liz Lightstone said of the course “the participants, from clinical, academic and industry backgrounds, particularly enjoyed the opportunity to go from “basic” immunology to clinical applications and challenges that the course offered over its themed days”.
For over 20 years, the Department of Immunology has run this short course providing clinicians and scientists with a broad understanding of the complex field of Immunology and an insight into the most recent advances in both scientific and clinical immunological research.
The next course will take place in February 2016 at W12 Conference Centre Hammersmith, for more information contact Celeste Miles email@example.com
On the afternoon of Wednesday 17 June we are hosting a half day conference Reciprocal Illumination- making patient and public involvement meaningful at St Mary’s Hospital.
The conference is for health professionals, scientists, patients and educators, both those already engaged in involving patients and the public in healthcare delivery, research and healthcare education, and those who would like to find out more.
We already have some speakers, including Prof Roger Kneebone, and are currently in the process of putting together the remainder of the programme. We would like to know if you would like to make a contribution to the conference yourself and, if so, in what area? If not, are there any specific topics you would like to have discussed?
The conference is jointly hosted by HENWL and Imperial College and is a free event – so please save the date and we will be in touch with further details in due course.
IGHI’s New Non-Communicable Disease Forum The Institute of Global Health Innovation’s new NCD Forum provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary discussions of NCDs in low-and-middle-income countries. The first one will take place on 19th February.
The Faculty of Medicine has drawn together the College’s range of information resources on equality, diversity and disability issues into one easy-to-access webpage at http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/staff/
As part of Disability Awareness Month which is taking place throughout November and December, the Equality & Diversity team has organised a number of events. Full information is available from the webpage at http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/equality/events
Campus Operations Officer
Faculty of Medicine
Following on from last year’s hugely popular pilot event, this year saw the return of the NHLI Bring Your Child to Work Day which is part of the department’s Athena SWAN initiative. Nearly 70 children along with their parents across all five NHLI campuses attended the fun-filled day of science-related activities and a Halloween tea party on the 30th of October. Like last year, tens of volunteers across the department got together to deliver an event that not only included exciting activities for the kids but also gave parents a chance to network with other parents in the department.
Children at the Hammersmith campus were put straight to work, doing quizzes and data analysis, whereas at the Brompton campus kids became CSI investigators trying to find out who had kidnapped Monty the Macrophage. The CSI themed activities included comparing fingerprint evidence, separating ink from different pens on chromatography paper, and extracting DNA from a kiwifruit. Other highlights included dissecting a sheep’s heart in the Reach Out Lab, the excellent face painter at the Halloween party (a big hit among the kids!), and Provost James Stirling’s visit.
NHLI would like to thank all attendees and volunteers, and we are already much looking forward to next year’s event!
From New York to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the UK premiere event Bette Davis On The Edge is a solo performance, written and performed by Christine St. John.
“It’s half past four in the morning of October 31st 1962, and motion picture legend Bette Davis is waiting anxiously for the reviews of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’. If the picture is a success, it will hail the desperately needed comeback for the star’s fading career. If not, it will provide a sad and embarrassing epitaph.”
“As she waits, she reflects on her entire career, from the ‘Talkies’ to the present day. Her story is the entire history of the American Motion Picture industry.”
Student Challenges 2014
Only a few days left to enter Student Challenges 2014 for your chance to win funding towards your global health project or innovative idea – closing date 28th November.
At an event which convened the Kenyan Government, UN, World Bank and farmer groups the experiences of AGRA, Farm Concern International, Partnership for Child Development, Dutch NGO SNV, and WFP were outlined on how smallholder farmers can be better connected to markets. The organisations which currently assist over 33,000 Kenyan farmers also encouraged event participants to share their knowledge and opinions which will be used to improve future work promoting farmer livelihoods.
For the second year running, Professor Roger Kneebone’s Explore Surgery team took part in the Green Man Festival in Wales. The festival is an eclectic mix of music, science and art, attracting visitors from across the UK. Based within the Einstein Garden, Explore Surgery delivered two workshops inviting participants to look at the surgical world from unusual points of view, revealing hidden secrets of the operating theatre.
For ‘Who Pulls the Strings?’ Explore Surgery worked with puppeteer Rachel Warr to develop a surgical simulation that demonstrated the similarities between the theatre and the operating theatre. Puppeteers work closely together, relying on non-verbal communication when manipulating their puppets in order to deliver a high-quality performance. Similarly, surgical procedures are performed by a closely-knit team in a very different kind of theatre, where communication using the hands is as important as that spoken by mouth.
The collaboration ‘More than Skin Deep’ with sculptor Matt Lane Sanderson saw families working together to create a piece inspired by the use of stents in cardiology interventions. Participants used techniques from surgery and sculpture to create a stent-like piece of art to take home with them, reflecting on the evolution of surgical techniques, the interactions between man-made and organic structures, and the importance of working together when time and patient safety is at stake.
Festivalgoers who participated in the activities really enjoyed the experience and learning about the hands-on nature of surgery, and it was also a very rewarding event for team members.
For more details of the team’s participation in the Green Man, head over to their Facebook page