Category: Events

WHO Collaborating Centre – March Update

  • WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) has launched its new website: http://imperialwhocc.org/ which provides regular updates on the Centre’s activities.
  • The WHO CC training course on Advanced Academic Skills is running for its sixth time. The coarse is designed to train participants in modern teaching methods, student assessments; both undergraduate and poste graduates and research methodologies. In addition the course focuses on Academic leadership styles, communication skills and curriculum development.  13 participants are currently attending the course from Iraq and Libya.
  • The WHO CC’s Health system Development Course, as part of the Masters of Public Health (MPH), is planning a trip to Geneva in mid-June to visit the WHO Head Quarters and the UN. The aim of the trip is to introduce the students to both Global Health institutions and to expose them to the dynamics of work on an international scale.
  • The WHO CC’s paper on ‘Tobacco Control efforts in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’ has been accepted by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, and will be published in the upcoming issue. The work reports the findings for the empirical analysis of a multidimensional investigation into the current state of tobacco use; governance and national commitment for control; and current intervention frameworks in place to reduce the use of tobacco among populations in GCC countries.  It further reviews structured policy-oriented interventions that represent government actions: to strengthen, implement and manage tobacco control programmes and to address the growing epidemic of tobacco use.
  • A delegation from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health comprised of Professor Elio Riboli-Director, School of Public Health, Professor Azeem Majeed-Head of Primary Care and Public Health Department, Professor Salman Rawaf-Director World Health Organization Centre, and Dr Josip Car-Director of Global eHealth Unit are leaving on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the 14th of March. The one week visit will be with their counter parts in King Saud University in Riyadh, and aims to build collaborations and links between both institutions; particularly in research generation and capacity building.
  • WHO CC is working in project partnership with UNICEF. The aim is to deliver on Advanced Leadership and Management Course in Nairobi for various Somali Government representatives.  The course will cover many topics that enable health mangers and decision-makers, in today’s challenging health systems and services, to obtain the skills and adopt the right tools to inspire and influence those around them.

Dr Sondus Hassounah and Ela Augustyniak
WHO Collaborating Centre

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.

 

8th UK and Ireland Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology Meeting

Thursday 3 April 2014 – National Heart and Lung Institute (Imperial College), London SW3

Course description

Suitable for those with research interests in occupational and environmental epidemiology.  Early career researchers are particularly welcome.  Held each year from 2005, the aim is to enable cross-fertilization of research interests between those with an interest in occupational and environmental epidemiology.  Various topics are examined in a fairly informal environment, and encourage discussion and collaborative networking.

Registration details

Registration fee: £50; rising to £75 after ‘early bird’ closes on Friday 21 February (midnight).

Registration link Online Registration Form.  This form and the provisional programme, registration/abstract submission details, including the submission form, are accessed via our website: http://lungsatwork.org.uk/courses.php . Please complete and save the abstract submission form to your PC, and then e-mail it to Magda Wheatley at m.wheatley@imperial.ac.uk.

Keynote speakers

  • Mr Robie Kamanyire, Public Health England, will speak on the subject of shale gas extraction (also known as ‘fracking’).
  • Dr Ruth Travis, University of Oxford, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, will speak on the subject of shift work.
  • Dr Martie van Tongeren, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, will speak nanotechnology.

We are very grateful for the support of Public Health England and the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, and for the Colt Foundation’s endorsement of this meeting.

Magda Wheatley
Departmental Administrator
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine – National Heart & Lung Institute

 

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

The Great Debate 2013 – Raising Standards in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty

On the 20th and 21st June, the MSk Lab ran the Great Debate for the second time after taking the gauntlet on from industry who had organised it in previous years. Professor Cobb is one of the founders of the meeting 7 years ago and chaired the event since its inception – so last year it was great to finally bring it in house.

The Great Debate is a two day interactive conference which gives the attendees opportunities to vote on topical issues in hip and knee arthroplasty, as well as question the faculty on controversial themes in the session debates. Last year the time of year it was held changed as well as a move of venue to The Mermaid Conference Centre. 2013 also brought some changes – the avatar/logo was given a new lease of life and breakout sessions run by industry were added each day. We had the support of 19 Industry sponsors, a 25 strong international faculty with renowned speakers joining us from; Australia, USA, Germany, Italy and the UK.

“The big issues debated this year included hip bearings, and partial knee replacements competing with top of the range total knees. In the hip bearing debate, ceramics were clear winners, although interestingly resurfacing is not dead. Almost 80% of the surgeons thought there was still a place for the procedure, and accepted the functional gains that it brought.

In the knee debate, huge interest was found in the compartmental knee approach, with most speakers expressing dissatisfaction at the joint registry and its inability to report poorly functioning but unrevised total knees”

Having almost finished dotting all the t’s and crossing all the I’s to finalise this year’s event, we may just have time for a cuppa before starting to plan The Great Debate 2014. With such good feedback – how could we not!

“I have attended three times since 2006, I think this is the best joint arthroplasty meeting in the UK”

Tweet us or follow us @Great_Debate_UK, which we will be using to try and keep some debate going, accept suggestions as to topics for discussion, and provide details of who to expect to see, where and when in 2014.

Zoe Williams
Public Engagement and Patient Involvement Manager
MSk Lab

Invitation to Imperial College Healthcare Charity Concert: 25 July 2013

An evening concert has been organised on Thursday, 25 July in support of the Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

After three weeks of applications and two weeks of auditions, some of the best musicians from Imperial College and Royal Academy of Music have been chosen to perform for you.

Tickets are priced at just £10 and include welcome drinks. Additional donations are welcome. All proceeds will be go towards improving the quality of patient care and safety for NHS hospitals.

The concert website is available at http://www.ruzannagulakyan.wix.com/musicforthesoul, where you can find out information about the programme, musicians, venue, registrations and more.

If you have any questions about the concert, please contact Ruzanna Gulakyan.

Ruzanna Gulakyan
Hamlyn Centre Administrator
Department of Surgery and Cancer

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

Sixth The Union Europe Region Conference on TB and Lung Diseases – event report

Lord Boateng encourages The Union Europe Region to unite in partnerships in its response to the challenges of TB and public health

Load Boateng speaking at The Union Europe Conference
Load Boateng speaking at The Union Europe Conference

The European Region was energised by Lord Boateng, former Chief Secretary to the UK Treasury and High Commissioner to South Africa, who spoke of the best practices in working with governments to harness political will and resources to respond to the challenges of TB and Public Health at The Union Europe Conference held at Imperial College in London on 4-6 July 2012. Lord Boateng said about The Union in his speech “your mission is a great one. You bring huge knowledge, experience and wisdom to the fight”. He encouraged The Union to “go back to its origins” and continue to “develop a response based on the principle of partnership” and engage locally to reach “the movers and shakers on the ground” to achieve successful health interventions.

Lord Boateng was joined by an exceptional panel of plenary speakers in Professors Ajit Lalvani from Imperial College, Christopher Dye from World Health Organisation and Dr David Heymann from the Health Protection Agency and more than 40 speakers from across Europe and beyond.  Nearly 450 delegates from sixty-one countries participated in a productive 3 day conference in London, which was host to almost one hundred attendees from Eastern Europe.

Subjects for symposia included TB in big cities, TB and Migration, Drug resistant TB, TB in the elderly and in Children, TB immunology and vaccines, Latent TB infection, HIV and mycobacterial diseases, Tobacco control, nursing, advocacy and civil society, New drug development in TB, hot topics in lower respiratory tract infection, COPD in Europe and tackling TB in poorly resourced but high burden settings. Poster sessions which were held on two of the three days added to the sharing of experiences and provided an avenue for informative discussion and debate, as well as post-graduate sessions held on the first day.

Group discussing issues during poster session
Group discussing issues during poster session

Professor Peter Davies, the newly serving President of The Union Europe Region was extremely pleased with the outcomes of the conference. Professor Davies commented “all symposia and post-graduate sessions were excellent and stimulated many questions and healthy debate from the highly participatory audience. We hope participants will be able to build upon new ideas, partnerships and networks formed from their attendance”.  The conference was supported by a number of sponsors and exhibitors without whom the conference would not have taken place, especially the host joint-organisers Health Protection Agency and The Union Europe Office.

A feature of the conference was the simultaneous translation offered in Russian in the main conference hall, which allowed further engagement and interaction by a large delegation from countries including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The Organising Committee hope that all who attended felt it was a highly successful conference and looks forward to continuing to advance partnerships across the European region and beyond.

Prepared by the Organising Committee of The Union Europe Conference

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