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
On the 13th of September, members of the WHO Collaborating Centre left to Nairobi, Kenya to conduct a one-week course on Leadership and Health Management. The training, held in partnership with UNICEF Somalia Country Office, targeted high-level health officials of the Somali Ministry of Health, as well as WHO and UNICEF country officials.
The WHOCC leadership training aims to provide current national, regional and local leaders and decision makers the necessary management and leadership skills to cope with every day as well as crisis situations. By becoming better leaders, health officials will be able to contribute to the improvement of the Somali health system and to provide more effective services to the population.
Throughout the course and by means of very hands-on exercises, participants developed leadership skills such as delegation, team work, or evidence-based decision making. Each day was dedicated to a specific area of health management: from leadership skills to quality of care, management in health, policy and strategy, and governance. After receiving their certificates, participants returned to Somalia, with the skills and tools to inspire and influence those around them.
Social networking can help people lose weight – social networking programmes designed to help people lose weight could play a role in the global fight against obesity, according to research. This was one of the ten articles featured in the September issue of Health Affairs.
You are probably aware that the faculty teaching forum will be held this year on Thursday 27 November 12.45–5pm in the Glenister Lecture Theatre on the Charing Cross campus.
It is open to all staff who teach at Imperial and as ever promises to be a stimulating afternoon where we can learn together and enhance our knowledge of education. There is a theme of resilience and compassion and there will be an afternoon of talks and workshops together with a panel debate on “How do we promote resilience in our students?”
We are keen to make it relevant to you, our teachers and have some ideas from the feedback received last year.
However we would like to give you the chance to contribute to the event by running a workshop for your colleagues on any topic – not necessarily related to the theme. Current workshops include, “how to improve your lecturing skills” and “teaching on the run: how to teach in a busy clinic” as well as mindfulness and a workshop on resilience vs compassion in our students.
The workshop would be a one hour session from 3.30 to 4.30 for a mixed group of approximately ten participants (clinicians, academics and support staff) and should be designed to be interactive.
How culture shapes room for manoeuvre in hospital reform
Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) and the Centre for Global Health Research were delighted to host an evening lecture with Professor Pieter Degeling on how culture interacts in hospitals across the world. The event was chaired by Professor Debra Humphris, the Vice-Provost for Education at Imperial. Read more
The National Reporting & Learning System (NRLS) Patient Safety Summit
Patient safety experts gathered at the Royal Society of Arts in May at a summit hosted by IGHI’s Centre for Health Policy to hear about the progress of the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) Development Programme. The NRLS, which was set up in 2003, is a central database of patient safety incident reports and the aim of the summit was to establish a common understanding of the strengths and limitations of the NRLS and generate new and innovative ideas for the future of incident reporting in patient safety. Read more
IGHI exhibited at Imperial Festival 2014. From testing lung capacity in the Helix centre using balloons all the way through to testing members of the public for liver fluke with the Centre for Gut Health – IGHI had something for everyone. The Centre for Health Policy exhibited a thought tree which allowed members of the public to speak out about current global health challenges and what they thought should be done to overcome them. The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery enjoyed the delight on children’s faces as they watched Neo the robot dance and they also enjoyed trying their hand at the penguin video game in order to find out about how the Centre’s EaR sensor works and what it is being used for.
Jo Seed Communications and Events Officer
Institute of Global Health Innovation
New Adjunct and Visiting Professors announced. Forming effective collaborations is important to the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI). By working in partnership with established academics, policy makers and business leaders, we can make better-informed decisions and obtain a broader understanding of the issues facing global health today. IGHI are pleased to announce our new Adjunct and Visiting Professors who have recently been appointed within the institute.
This experimental event will be held in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, from 17.30 to 19.30 on 7 April 2014 – World Health Day, which this year is themed on vector-borne diseases.
Members of the malaria group within the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis & Modelling at Imperial College London will encourage parliamentarians to investigate the implications of future malaria investment using two custom-built modelling games. The games will challenge attendees to determine the best way to spend the global malaria budget and to explore the implications of changing the global level of investment in malaria control.The Malaria No More goal is to engage new parliamentarians and motivate existing supportive parliamentarians for the coming critical year in the malaria campaign.
The aim is to build a large group of parliamentarians who have had direct experiential contact with the major malaria messages (e.g. achievement of last decade/cost effectiveness/vision of future).
The event will be attended by MPs including Jeremy Lefroy, Stephen O’Brien and Fiona O’Donnell together with journalists, DFID staff, SPADs, researchers, and APPMG members. MPs who attend will also be given a chance of a photo opportunity with Malaria No More’s own Mozzie Man and a press release relating to the number of lives their constituency has saved and protected from malaria.
The second call of the Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) was launched in January 2014. Building on the success of the 2013 ICiC scheme and NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) / Imperial Innovations Therapeutic Primer Fund, the College has received further funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), as well as additional support from NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, to continue this scheme. The ICiC scheme provides pilot funding to bridge the potential gap between discovery research and well-developed applications for MRC Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme support.
The annual ICiC event was held on Monday 17th February in The Great Hall on South Kensington Campus. This year’s event was focussed on devices and diagnostics and was a great success, attended by approximately 100 academics across the College. Attendees included recipients of awards from last year’s scheme and early career researchers who showcased their ICiC-funded work.
This cross-College event had a wide range of speakers including representatives from the Faculties of Engineering (Prof Andrew Amis), Medicine (Prof George Hanna), and Natural Sciences (Profs Tony Cass and Paul French) as well as our collaborators at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (Prof Stan Kaye, Drs Nicola Valeri and Gert Attard).
The talks were engaging, informative and stimulating and special thanks goes to our external speakers Dr Helen Lee (University of Cambridge) and Dr Ray Bacon (CEO, TRIG1) for sharing their experiences of device and diagnostic development for commercial use with their talks entitled ‘Challenges in developing diagnostics for resource-limited settings’ (Lee) and ‘Commercial…is not a dirty word’ (Bacon).
The deadline for applications was 5th March with shortlisting due to take place at the end of March and final funding decisions to be made in May.
Dr Kimberley Trim Research Strategy Officer
Faculty of Medicine
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.
What happens to your body if you’re stabbed? How deep does that wound go? What organs might be injured? And how do surgeons put things right? Professor Roger Kneebone and his team show what goes on – before, during and after surgery. Not for the faint-hearted.
Performances scheduled at 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday 3 April 2014 – National Heart and Lung Institute (Imperial College), London SW3
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 fee: £50; rising to £75 after ‘early bird’ closes on Friday 21 February (midnight).
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.
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.
Public Engagement and Patient Involvement Manager
All staff can send posters and information to Sinead Caushaj (Administrative Assistant – Building Operations – firstname.lastname@example.org ). Staff and postgrads can select individual/all/multiple campuses to upload information to.
Other digital screens around the College
If you wish to promote your message via other digital screens (not listed above), please contact Katie Weeks (email@example.com) in the events team.
This year at the Imperial Festival, Professor Roger Kneebone (Surgery and Cancer) and his team presented a realistic simulation of how a new surgical tool developed by Dr Zoltan Takats and team from Imperial College London could revolutionise the way surgeons decide what tissue to remove during an operation. The Intelligent Knife or iKnife can precisely identify tumour tissue while an operation is underway, thus making the surgery more reliable and faster. Visitors met and spoke with practicing surgeons, doctors, paramedics and scientists to find out more about how this new technology could become an everyday practice and who this technology is actually benefiting.
The performance started with a patient arriving by ambulance with lower abdominal pain. After handover, he was taken in to the pop-up operating theatre where the simulated open bowel procedure went underway using the iKnife. In between performances, visitors were encouraged to try out the iKnife themselves to identify the sources of different samples of animal liver.
“Absolutely fantastic!” said one mother after visiting the Strictly Science exhibition. “My daughter thinks it’s ‘the best museum ever.’ She got bored of the Science Museum, because there is not enough interactive stuff for kids.”
From 4-14 April, the main foyer of Imperial College was transformed into a series of live and cinematic installations showcasing science past, present and future to commemorate the 100th birthday of the Medical Research Council. The exhibition saw around 5000 visitors.
Visitors sampled vitamin-rich recipes to cure rickets, learned how a clockwork kymograph was used to discover the first neurotransmitter, and how a spiky test-tube helped improve treatment for war wounds, all within a laboratory from 1913. “People have been finding the experiments quite fascinating, even if they didn’t necessarily understand everything,” said Jan Huisman (University Museum Groningen), who brought the kymograph from the Netherlands. “We’ve had a lot of interaction from the audience.”
Guests got to play with interactive tools used by neurotechnologists to study the brain. Balance boards were used to engage young and old in the effects of ageing on movement. People played classic computer game, Pong, using only their eyes. And experiments using a full body motion capture suit were happening live throughout the exhibition. “My favourite part was playing Pong on the Blink interactive,” said one young visitor. “My favourite part was when you were on the balancing thing and you had to see if you could move the ball,” commented another.
“It was very interesting hearing all the famous people and children saying what they think the future will be like in 100 years time. Very soothing. I could quite happily sit there all day just listening to those voices.” commented one lady shortly after experiencing a 3D sound sculpture, which united the future hopes and fears of professionals and primary school children for 2113.
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:
2 MRC Centenary Awards, 2013:
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.
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
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.
A schoolgirl falls to the ground, her face turning red as she struggles to take a breath. The growing panic in her eyes mirrors the shock in the crowd that encircles her. By the end of the day she’ll have endured, and survived, three of these life-threatening asthma attacks.
Real paramedics, doctors, nurses and surgeons teamed up to put on hyper realistic simulations of emergency medicine. Using genuine equipment and procedures that both save lives and train new medical staff, the team treated the Big Bang audience to ‘performances’ of emergency heart and brain surgery, in addition to the asthma attacks.
“Our aim here is to give children and their teachers and parents a sense of what’s involved when someone is taken ill, and how they need to be taken care of by a whole team of people” said Professor Kneebone. “And particularly how they shouldn’t be frightened; that they should be excited, not only about the care that people give, but the science that goes alongside it, and how they could get involved in a scientific or medical career themselves. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
After an unfortunately brief visit, we headed back to the office to create a short trailer, with the aim of encouraging more people to visit Emergency! over the weekend. We were delighted that the video trailer (below) featured on the front page of the Health section of the new Imperial News site, and are confident we achieved our aim.
We’re now working with Roger and Fernando to set up a blog for their future public engagement work, to provide a space for them to sound out ideas, to talk about future events and to invite feedback from others. A more in-depth film of Emergency! will hopefully feature there soon.
Are you (a Faculty of Medicine academic) involved in public engagement activities? Do have a story that you think needs to be told? As your Digital Communications team, James and I are here to help. Whether it’s assistance in getting going on social media, setting up your website or you’d like us to help you capture something on camera, get in touch!
Lord Boateng encourages The Union Europe Region to unite in partnerships in its response to the challenges of TB and public health
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.
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
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.