Category: Research

PCD Supports Nigerian Government to Eradicate Worms in Children

To reduce child morbidity in Nigeria, the Partnership for Child Development​ (PCD), Imperial College London recently supported the Nigerian Government to map 7,500 children for worm infections across 150 selected schools in Osun State, Nigeria. The exercise was part of a government-led mapping carried out across six states in Nigeria which will be used to construct an effective treatment plan ensuring schoolchildren are dewormed for infections posing a threat to their health, nutrition and development.

“This exercise demonstrates the commitment from Nigeria’s Government to eradicating NTDs, which will be enabled by determining the prevalence of parasitic worm infections Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) and Schistosomiasis”, said Nigeria’s National Coordinator for NTDs, Dr Obiageli Nebe.

Worm Impact on Children

Technical teams assess worm prevalence through microscopesCurrently, 00 million children around the world suffer from STHs or schistosomiasis and often fail to attend school on a regular basis, those who do attend school are unable to concentrate and learn due in large part to tired or sickness. Worm infections can cause anaemia ​and malnutrition​ which means that children don’t have the energy they would otherwise. School-based deworming is universally recognized as a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. At a cost of less than 50 US cents per child per year – the benefits of school-based deworming​ are both immediate and enduring. Regular treatment can reduce school absenteeism by 25%.

Mapping Training

Children being mapped for worms in Osun State

The exercise which ran from February 20 – March 8 was carried out across Nigerian states including Osun, Kebbi, Akwa-Ibom, Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi States. The exercise was led by the Nigerian Government with support from the Children Investment Fund Foundation​, SightSavers, PCD and other development organisations. To enhance mapping effectiveness, a training of trainers workshop focused on building capacity of state technical officers and partners was held in Lagos prior to the mapping, here attendees were taught to capture data from the field using new tools including the use of android smart phones.

PCD have supported School Health and Nutrition activities in the state since 2011, assisting the government to implement its school feeding programme using local produce​ sourced from local smallholder farmers.

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

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

The Evolution of School Feeding

In 2013, up to $75billion dollars was invested by the governments of 169 countries into school feeding programmes. It is estimated that for every $1 spent feeding school children, $3 are generated for the local economy. Last week, a special meeting of global leaders in school feeding met in the UK parliament to discuss how governments are increasingly using school feeding programmes as a means to both improve educational outcomes and at the same time improve agricultural economies.

Kenya school lunchLeading experts including the Governor of Osun State, Nigeria and representatives from Imperial College London, the World Bank, the World Food Programme and the African Union were speaking at an All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture & Food for Development meeting on the evolution of home grown school feeding (HGSF) programmes. HGSF refers to school feeding programmes which procure their food from local smallholder farmers thereby supporting local rather than foreign markets.

The impact that a successful HGSF programme can have was provided by key note speaker, H.E Raul Argebesola, Governor of Osun State in Nigeria who said that since the launch of his State’s school meals programme (known as O’Meals) which feeds over 250,000 children every school day, enrolment has increased by 24%. The O’Meals programme provides employment to over 3,000 women and purchases food from over 1000 local farmers.

The experiences of Osun State tallies with that of governments from across the globe, the World Bank’s Professor Donald Bundy noted that analysis from the influential book, ‘Rethinking School Feeding’ that he co-authored in 2009, had identified that countries were increasingly turning to school feeding programmes as a form of a social safety net for their poorest communities. In Europe, in response to the recent recession, countries such as Spain, Portugal, France and the UK, had implemented school feeding programmes as means to protect their most vulnerable members of society.

This growth in school meal coverage provides an opportunity for local agricultural economies, Professor Bundy said, “School feeding programmes provide a structured demand for agricultural produce and can, when implemented correctly, encourage wider economic development. Even crisis hit countries such as Cote D’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali and Sudan are shifting to nationally run programmes which procure their food from local smallholder farmers.”

Speaking on behalf of the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Ms Boitshepo Giyose agreed, ‘We’re seeing more and more sub-Saharan Africa countries adopted HGSF but they still need support to achieve this, international partners have a vital role to play in promoting cost-effective and sustainable programmes.”

Lesley Drake with HE Rauf Aregbesola and Peter Rodriguez (WFP) in the UK Parliament Great Hall with governor in hallway (12)

The meeting was co-hosted by the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) from Imperial College London who is working with governments to build the evidence base and provide technical assistance for the development of effective and sustainable HGSF feeding programme.

Speaking at the event, PCD’s Executive Director, Dr Lesley Drake said, ‘Research shows that when properly designed, HGSF programmes can act as a win-win for both school children and smallholder farmers alike.’

She continued, “For integrated school feeding programmes to succeed like they have in Osun, governments and development partners alike need to integrate HGSF into their policies, strategies and plans for agriculture and for education.

For further media information please contact Francis Peel at the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London on 020 7594 3292 or email f.peel@imperial.ac.uk

Healthy Volunteers for HIV Vaccine Trials Wanted

cuthivacThe Clinical Trials Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital are looking for healthy HIV NEGATIVE male and female volunteers between the ages of 18-45, who are going to be around London for 6 months to take part in a Phase I clinical trial to develop a new vaccine.

If you are interested in wanting to take part please contact Stephen on free phone 0800 358 3001 or email: hivvaccinetrial@imperial.ac.uk for more information.  Your time and travel for all visits will be reimbursed and you’ll receive up to £1100 over the course of the study.

This trial, led by Professor Robin Shattock in the Department of Medicine, forms part of the EU funded CUT’HIVAC project, which aims at assessing a new HIV vaccine strategy to prevent and control HIV infection based on transcutaneous and/or mucosal needle-free vaccination.

Study approved by Cambridge East Research Ethics Committee.

Imanova imaging sciences centre annual report

logoImanova Limited is a world-leading research centre for imaging sciences housed in the Burlington Danes building on the Hammersmith Hospital campus. They undertake imaging science research and biomarker development, whilst considering the valuable application of this in early drug development.

Formed in an innovative alliance between Imperial College London, King’s College London, UCL and the UK’s Medical Research Council in 2011, the facility holds world-class capabilities and a collaborative environment for both academics and commercial clients. Imanova benefits from state-of-the-art technology including scanning equipment (as featured in the video below), radio-ligand development and manufacture, and imaging research methodology.

Imanova’s imaging research includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies, which can be used to image the body’s internal structures and the movement of molecules within the body providing valuable insight for researchers. Whilst the technology can be used in a number of research areas, it is often used in neurology to understand the innermost activities of the brain. The Imperial Division of Brain Sciences works closely with Imanova, which hosts a number of Imperial research studies in neuroscience and mental health.

Imanova also has radiochemical sciences capabilities, meaning radiotracers can be both developed and utilised in-house. Their research in biomarker development uses a structured process involving the design of radio-labelled probes for specific biological targets, in silico selection of leading candidates and clinical validation of the biomarker.

The centre conducts a number of research projects for commercial clients also, providing a means to test early stage drugs in first-in-human trials. Using radio-labelled compounds, PET imaging can allow researchers to study drugs under development to discover how these distribute in the body, whether they are reaching their target and at what concentration. Conversely, MRI can be used to determine structural changes and to visualise brain activation during tasks using functional MRI (fMRI).

Throughout Imanova’s first 18 months a number of outstanding achievements have been accomplished, including:

  • Establishing research assignments with over 150 researchers, including over 80 Imperial researchers,
  • Having over 100 clinical studies at various stages of evolution,
  • Introducing 13 ‘good manufacturing practice’ (GMP) tracers,
  • Making significant progress in delivering commercial studies with six new customers,
  • Publishing 21 peer reviewed articles and 11 platform presentations at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Meeting in 2013,
  • Achieving financial promises for the 2013 financial year.

You can now download the first annual report for Imanova Limited. For further details, please contact enquiries@imanova.co.uk or 020 8008 6000.

MSk Lab – January 2014 Update

The MSkLab is taking part in an offshoot of the highly acclaimed and successful TEDMED meetings. We are one of the participants taking part in the off-shoot called The Cell, which is being held at the Royal Albert Hall and Alexander Fleming Building (Imperial). It is to showcase, and centred round, innovative healthcare technologies. Professor Cobb and Mr Gupte will speaking at the event. Further details can be found at: http://www.tedmedlivelondon.com/the-cell-patricipants/4578930790

 

The Great Debate (International Orthopaedic Conference) run by the MSk Lab is joining forces with a large European orthopeadic conference EFORT and running sessions within the main programme. 4th and 5th June at ExCEL.

 

New edition of the Lab Report is now out: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/msklab/news_blog/

Zoe Williams
Public Engagement and Patient Involvement Manager
MSk Lab

 

Institute of Global Health Innovation – January 2014 Update

IGHI blog image

World Innovation Summit for Health, 10th and 11th December, Doha, Qatar

Building on the success of its inaugural Summit, the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) have collaborated with the Qatar Foundation to host the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Doha, Qatar.  This two day meeting gathered a distinguished audience of decision-makers and influencers from across the world to discuss practical, lasting and innovative solutions to global healthcare challenges.

Before the summit, teams of international experts drawn from academia, industry and policy were commissioned to carry out policy research into eight topics: accountable care, antimicrobial resistance, big data and health, end-of-life care, mental health, obesity, patient engagement, and road traffic injury and trauma care. Their findings were reported at the summit.

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Executive Chair of the IGHI at Imperial, chaired the forum on end-of-life care. “How we care for the dying is a litmus test of a good health system and a responsible society.  Health systems have to change and embrace the need to develop innovative approaches and technologies for end-of-life care. All resources in society have a role to play – families, communities, health and care providers and technology.”

IGHI’s Centre for Health Policy also launched their new report The Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation at WISH.

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Director of IGHI and Executive Chair of WISH said “We want to inspire people to take up the best ideas and implement them in countries all over the world, closing the gap between what we know and what we do.  And by bringing together people with the power to make a real difference, our ambition is to help improve the health of people everywhere.”

 

Student Challenges 2013

IGHI_Students_122The annual Student Challenges Competition offers Imperial medical students the opportunity to showcase their research and to win £5000 prize money to fund their chosen project, which can be on any aspect of global health innovation.

Each year, IGHI hosts a Dragon’s Den Style event to find the winner.

Gabrielle Prager, a fifth year medical student at Imperial scooped the £5,000 prize money for her work on improving the diagnosis of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease.

Gabrielle and the other three finalists pitched their ideas to three high-level judges – IGHI’s Executive Chair and former CEO of Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett; former Chief Executive of NHS London Dame Ruth Carnall and Chair of the Trustee Board of Imperial’s Student Union, Professor Dame Julia Higgins.

Other entries covered a range of topics, including an online resource to tackle non-communicable disease, a workshop for health workers in West Africa to examine palliative care in the Gambia and a high-level symposium for world-leading experts to discuss practical ways to combat climate change.

Read Gabrielle’s blog post about her journey through the competition here

Information on how to enter Student Challenges 2014 can be found here

 

Launch of the Helix Centre for Design in Healthcare

IGHI_HouseOfLords_140The Helix Centre, a collaboration between Imperial’s IGHI and the Royal College of Art was launched during a reception at the House of Lords.

The vision of the Helix Centre for Design in Healthcare is to transform healthcare using design, making the UK a global business hub for low cost and high impact innovation.

Embedded in a clinical environment in St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College NHS trust,  the new HELIX Centre will focus on frugal innovation or high impact, low cost design.  Encouraging a culture of innovation in the NHS, HELIX will run an extensive programme of training, workshops and seminars in innovation and entrepreneurship for healthcare staff.

Professor the Lord Darzi, co- director of HELIX and Director of IGHI said: “Innovation in healthcare can come at a high price. In the developed world it is often characterised by costly and high tech initiatives, where ideas can take a decade to deliver from concept into a clinician’s hands. HELIX will use design to solve everyday problems in healthcare, focusing on frugal solutions which can be adopted more quickly by health systems.”

 

Jo Seed
Communications and Events Officer
Institute of Global Health Innovation

PCD Hold Meeting on School Feeding at House of Commons

4 girls school feeding 2

School feeding’s role in supporting agricultural development and educational achievement is to be the central topic of an address by H.E. Ogbeni Raul Argebesola, Govenor of Osun State, Nigeria, leading experts and British parliamentarians at a special event in the UK’s House of Commons on Wednesday 22nd January.

The Governor has been invited by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development and the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) Imperial College London, to speak at a meeting attended by development experts focusing on the evolution and improvement of government-led Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes in low and middle income countries which feed school children using food grown locally by smallholder farmers.

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

New Faculty of Medicine website

After a few exceptionally busy months, we relaunched our Faculty webpages on Friday 17 January 2014.

The new website has been in development for a while to showcase the work of the Faculty within our main research themes. In order to do this, research landing pages have been developed and the old and out of date material removed.

Our research on film

A large and exciting part of the project was to produce a high quality video for each ‘research landing page’ to more easily communicate what the Faculty is doing in each main area of research. Whilst the filming was completed in late-October (thank you to all that were involved!), the editing process took a bit longer than had been anticipated – trying to cut down the footage filmed in half in order to fit into the time allocated for each video was tricky.

We produced 13 videos in total: 11 for the research themes, another to give an overview of our research and one to better communicate how, through the AHSC and NIHR Imperial BRC, the Faculty translates its research.

Other objectives for the website were to:

  • Improve the homepage:
    • making it easier to navigate to key content
    • better promote news, social media activity and other content
    • increase awareness of the Academic Health Science centre and our other strategic initiatives
  • Improve the way we are communicating research across the Faculty:
    • Creating a much improved “Our research” landing page
    • Better communication of the AHSC, NIHR Imperial BRC and other strategic partnerships and initiatives
  • Review, reduce and re-prioritise content:
    • Changing our main navigation
    • Culling old, out of date and unused content
  • Audience focussed architecture:
    • Re-purposing “teaching” into “Prospective students” giving a better overview of our courses / education and in particular our Master’s degrees
    • Better information / signposting for Staff
    • Better content for the “about us” section
  • Preparation for the College website re-design / CMS project:
    • Details below

College website re-design project

With the new College website design and content management system (CMS) on the horizon, we have taken the opportunity to review content, and where necessary, cull out of date, old and redundant pages. This will make transferring to the new design and CMS a much easier, and less time consuming, process.

By using Google Analytics data (and information on when pages were last edited), we reviewed page views etc to decide what content was clearly not being visited and where content was extremely old, removing it from the website.

There is still work to be done to further improve the website and we are looking forward to getting to grips with a new content management system and college website design in the coming months.

We’ll be in touch with website editors and owners in the coming months to discuss and plan how the wider faculty website transfer process is to happen.

If you have any comments or questions, please use the comments section below.

James and Al
Digital Communications Team, Faculty of Medicine

Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunity – January Update

Awards

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

Publications

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

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

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

Academic Unit of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – January Update

Awards

European Psychiatric Association

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

Publications

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

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

Nicole Hickey
Academic Unit of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

The Global School Health and Nutrition Resource Relaunched

The global school health and nutrition resource schoolsandhealth.org, administered by Partnership for Child Development (PCD), was recently re-launched to further the reach of high quality School Health and Nutrition (SHN) documents, resources and news to the SHN community.

Improving the way news and information on the health, nutrition and education of school-age children around the world is disseminated remains as vital as ever. The new website allows quality assured, academically reviewed SHN resources, data and information to be distinguished from the multitude of information now available online; ensuring the SHN community has easy access to what they are looking for.” said PCD’s Executive Director, Lesley Drake.

schoolsandhealth.org was developed in 1998 in collaboration between: World Bank, World Food Programme, World Health Organization, UNICEF, PCD and other partners in response to a demand for a global online portal making SHN resources easily accessible to SHN interest groups, and in particular to policy makers and practitioners. The re-launched website continues to adhere to this demand; through its new and improved sections the website’s user friendliness, navigation and accessibility from internet searches is further ensured.

 

Selected New Website Features

 

 

Documents and Resource Centre:

The revitalised Documents and Resource Centre holds over an impressive 670 resources – twice as many relevant SHN relevant resources as previously displayed. These range in topic from: examples of good programming practice and policy, case studies, technical reviews, toolkits and guidelines, reports, surveys, advocacy tools and international declarations. Within the centre details including description, topic, title and author are outlined for each document allowing information to be easily viewed prior to download. Searches can also be categorized by SHN theme, language and year.
• Visit the Documents and Resource Centre

Updated Website Pages:

The website provides revamped pages for relevant school health topic areas including: helminth infectionsnutritionHIVwater, hygiene and sanitationacute respiratory infections and malaria. Reflecting  SHN expansion, the site now encompasses an inclusive education section.

News & Events Section:

Global and country specific school health news continues to be displayed in a new appealing format through the website’s news and events section holding almost 200 diverse SHN news articles which can be easily viewed collectively as well as in detail individually.
• Visit the News and Events Section

Visit schoolsandhealth.org to view all other features and the revitalised layout.

 

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

Partnership for Child Development October update

1st Francophone SHN Course Opens in Senegal

Organised by the Partnership for Child Development, Institute of Health and Development (ISED) and the University of Dakar the first Francophone School Health and Nutrition (SHN) was opened in Senegal on Monday. The course will host government representatives from 13 African Francophone countries, who for 10 days will focus on supporting effective SHN intervention delivery.

Opening the ceremony, Professor Anta Tal Dia, Director of ISED addressed participants, “The consensus is unanimous, it is essential to ensure good school health and nutrition if we want to see high educational achievement.”

Read more about the Course.

 

School meals can do more than just feed children

Each year on 16 October World Food Day aims to increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Over the years the day has taken on various themes which have focused on investing in agriculture and recently focus has been drawn on health and education too.

One solution which countries have put in place to combat hunger and poverty is to provide free school meals to their schoolchildren. Through school feeding programmes countries see results – results in terms of happier, healthier and better educated kids. The evidence base shows that school feeding increases pupil enrolment, improves retention and that educational outcomes improve as children are able to concentrate better and ultimately enter adult life better equipped.

Increasingly countries are beginning to realise that school feeding can do more than just benefit school children. By procuring their food locally school feeding programmes can support marginalised smallholder farmers by providing them with a constant stable market to sell to; increasing profits for smallholder farmers whilst at the same time providing fresh and nutritious local food to school meals.

Read more in the article School meals can do more than just feed children

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

From the Dean of the Faculty

Dear Colleagues,

Imperial College has figured at No 4 globally in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings in the Category of Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health, a rise of one place since 2012. This is excellent news and reflects strongly on the quality of our faculty and on the sustained excellence of the research and teaching at Imperial College. So thanks to all of you for helping to deliver this remarkable achievement which clearly reflects an extraordinary body of work. Every small contribution helps – from taking extra time over a worried student to discovery of a new pathway relevant to human disease or in translating research into policy.  The ability to translate does appear to be an important theme in this category with important implications in enhancing reputation.  We have a wonderful research eco-system in the Faculty of Medicine that enables us to convert our discoveries into real benefits for patients through our partnerships in the AHSC and the AHSN.

This theme of translation is also followed through in the Life Sciences table with Harvard ranked at No 1. The Citation in THE interestingly cites Harvard’s ability to accelerate the pathway from discovery to product through the Harvard Biomedical Accelerator Fund and the capacity to rapidly move from test-tube to clinic as a key factor in its success. As we look to the future with development of Imperial West looming on the horizon, there may be important pointers for us here in terms of our translational strategy. How we develop strategically with our international partners may be key to moving further ahead in the University rankings in the future.

Professor Dermot Kelleher MD FRCPI FRCP F MedSci AGAF
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

Partnership for Child Development August update

Dubai documentary

 

In May 2012, Partnership for Child Development (PCD) were filmed by Dubai documentary makers on their role in Ghana’s Home Grown School Feeding programme (GSFP).

The documentary series, entitled Sanad, began airing during Ramadan last month, with the GSFP featured in episode one. The series featured projects funded by philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares, which included Home Grown School Feeding programmes supported by PCD and its partners in both Ghana and Ethiopia.

In episode one, PCD’s West Africa Regional Director, Daniel Mumuni, outlined PCD’s role in the programme alongside the aims of HGSF programmes; to support child health, nutrition and education, at the same time as promoting local livelihoods.

M&E Guidance for School Health Programmes

 

As part of ongoing efforts to provide internationally-agreed guidance on how to monitor and evaluate school health programmes, the Focused Resources of Effective School Health (FRESH) partners havedeveloped Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Guidance for School Health Programmes.

Partnership for Child Development,  alongside numerous individuals and organisations, have input support, advice, and insight into this publication over the past five years. With its set of recommended indicators, this FRESH M&E Guidance intends to help programmes in low and middle-income countries ensure their implementation is more standardised and evidence-based.

Further information on the M&E Guidance

 

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

Holographic Assisted Lecturing in Orthopaedics


Dr Kapil Sugand graduated from Imperial College in 2010 with an intercalated BSc in Surgery and Anaesthesia. Alongside his clinical training, Dr Sugand is currently pursuing a PhD in surgical trauma simulation and educational technology under the supervision of Mr Gupte and Professor Cobb in the MSk Lab. As part of his studies, he is currently conducting research with multi-disciplinary team within a number of multimedia modalities to train safer surgeons and to ultimately enhance patient safety. He is the Co-Founder and Co-chair of the Holography Assisted Medical Learning and E-Teaching (HAMLET) group which has created quite a media buzz due to the innovative ground breaking research and has been covered by:

Partnership for Child Development July update

WFP, World Bank & PCD launch first of its kind report in US

Approximately 169 developing and developed countries invest in school feeding programmes worldwide, an investment which equates to approximately US$ 75 billion, and which for the most part comes from government budgets.

This was just one key finding from the recently published report, State of School Feeding Worldwide, which provides for the first time a global picture and analysis of school feeding programmes, and which was officially launched in the US yesterday, by WFP, World Bank and Partnership for Child Development (PCD).

Speaking on the report’s significance lead author Carmen Burbano said, “The report provides the first ever map of school feeding showing that most countries around the world, whether in high, low or middle income countries are implementing school feeding as a social safety net in times of crisis”.

Find out more.

9th African School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Course

Partnership for Child Development (PCD) recently co-organised the 9th African School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Course, where over 50 attendees inclusive of representatives from ministries of health, education, agriculture, gender and social development across 12 African countries were hosted by the Ghanaian Government to focus on best practice in SHN programme interventions.

Comprehensive SHN programmes address challenges negatively impacting on child health, such interventions include HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria and parasitic worm treatment, control and prevention, and nutritional deficiencies such as iron-deficient anaemia and short-term hunger through school feeding. Throughout the course these intervention areas were focused on through a range of presentations, break-out sessions, expertly facilitated lectures and field visits.

Useful course links

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

A role for a tumour suppressor in prostate gland architecture

Disorganised region of a prostate gland
Disorganised region of a prostate gland from a Dkk-3 mutant mouse showing E-cadherin in green, ZO1 in red and nuclei in blue

Researchers from the Department of Surgery and Cancer have uncovered a novel link between the tumour suppressor Dickkopf-3 (Dkk-3) and TGF-β signalling. The team previously found that Dkk-3 is required for human prostate epithelial cells to form acinar structures in 3D matrigel cultures; an in vitro model for prostate gland development.

This new study, carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE) in Bilbao and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, shows that Dkk-3 limits epithelial cell proliferation in 3D cultures and during mouse prostate gland development. It is well known that TGF-β signals go awry during cancer progression; switching from tumour suppression to tumour promotion. This study shows that loss of Dkk-3 activates TGF-β signalling – inhibition of which rescues the 3D phenotype.

The results provide further support and rationale for the use of TGF-β inhibitors to treat prostate cancer. They may also be relevant to other cancers, such as those of the breast and the ovary, where similar changes in Dkk-3 and the TGF-β response take place. The studies at Imperial were carried out by Diana Romero and Yoshiaki Kawano, now at Kumamoto University in Japan, and were funded by a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Project Grant awarded to Robert Kypta and Jonathan Waxman.

The work is published in the Journal of Cell Science.

Dr Robert M Kypta
Lecturer in Prostate Cancer
Department of Surgery & Cancer

The UK Technology Strategy Board

Kerry Clough, Corporate Partnerships Manager (Medicine)
Kerry Clough, Corporate Partnerships Manager (Medicine)

The UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is a funding organisation which Imperial has arguably underutilised in recent years, and for any of our scientists seeking collaborations with industry they are an excellent source of potential leverage funding. The TSB launched its 2013-14 Delivery Plan in May. In their role as the UK’s innovation agency they have a budget of £440m over the next year to help accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. They will establish and implement national technology strategies in the priority areas which include energy, transport, health, digital, space, biosciences, IT, high value manufacturing and advanced materials.

TSB awarded over 60% of their R&D investment to small and medium-sized enterprises during the last year and ran more than 70 competitions for R&D funding, offering grants to over 1,000 organisations. In 2013-14 they plan to launch around 75 more competitions across the priority themes, committing almost £300m. They are working with more than 4,900 companies and 150 research organisations, including 110 universities and all of their 7 so-called Catapult centres (world-leading centres of innovation in their field of expertise) will become operational in 2013.

Kerry Clough
Corporate Partnerships Manager
Faculty of Medicine

Imperial Confidence in Concept Scheme Awards Funding to 19 Projects

Building on the success of the 2012 Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)/Imperial Innovations Therapeutic Primer Fund of £250,000, the College received £700,000 funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to establish an Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) Scheme. Funding for projects was also sourced from the CLAHRC and College’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund to create a total fund in excess of one million pounds.  This fund has been used to identify early targets, not currently being developed, within the Faculties of Medicine, Natural Sciences and Engineering, to enter into the drug, devices and diagnostics development pathway.

The ICiC fund combines the Imperial NIHR BRC/Imperial Innovations Therapeutic Primer Fund that promotes the discovery and development of therapeutics for areas of unmet medical need, and pump-primes the early stages of drug/therapeutic discovery with the MRC ‘Confidence in Concept’ scheme that helps to pump-prime the translation of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including repurposing of existing therapies toward clinical testing.

Additional funds were sourced from the CLAHRC and ISSF to support two extra projects.  The Northwest London CLAHRC (NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) is an alliance of academic and healthcare organisations working to develop and promote a more efficient, accelerated and sustainable uptake of clinically innovative and cost-effective research interventions into patient care.  The Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) is a awarded to Imperial College from Wellcome Trust to support our researchers and to stimulate inter-disciplinary research.   The ISSF supports a range of College-wide schemes that connect our excellent research capabilities in order to address the Wellcome Trust Research Challenges.

The ICiC scheme has been designed to provide pilot funding to bridge the potential gap between discovery research and well-developed applications for MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme/ Developmental Clinical Studies Funding Scheme support.

The scheme was launched at a briefing event on the 28th February this year, with 70 expressions of Interest being submitted to the panel. Out of the seventy expressions of interest received, 27 were shortlisted and 19 were awarded funding at the final meeting in May 2013. The panel was chaired by Professor Roberto Solari, who was delighted with the high quality and wide range of applications.

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

Dr Euan Stronach (Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Georgios Giamas (Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Charles Coombes (Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Michael Edwards (NHLI)

Professor Anita Simonds (NHLI)

Dr Gregory Quinlan (NHLI)

Dr Robert Snelgrove (NHLI)

Professor Michael Schneider (NHLI)

Dr Mohamed Shamji (NHLI)

Dr Uta Griesenbach (NHLI)

Dr Ramesh Wigneshweraraj (Dept. of Medicine)

Professor Mark Thursz (Dept. of Medicine)

Dr Nick Oliver (Dept. of Medicine)

Dr Prapa Kanagaratnam (Dept. of Medicine)

Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson (Dept. of Medicine)

Professor Shiranee Sriskandan (Dept. of Medicine)

Professor Nicholas Long (Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences)

Dr Pau Herrero Vinas (Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering)

Professor Molly Stevens (Materials, Faculty of Engineering)

 

Hannah Dolby
Business Operations Trainee
Faculty of Medicine

Partnership for Child Development June update

The philanthropic organisation, Dubai Cares recently announced the launch of its three-year integrated Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) pilot programme in Ethiopia, which is being implemented in 30 schools over three years to address the school health and nutrition (SHN) needs of approximately 30,700 primary school age children.

An Integrated Programme

The pilot is being carried out through a partnership formed by Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Imperial College London, Ethiopia Health and Nutrition Research Institute, World Food Programme, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and SNV-Netherlands. Through this collaboration, various aspects are contributed to the programme; in addition to in-school meals prepared from locally sourced commodities, components of Deworming treatment and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in schools have also been included.

Iain Gardiner, East Africa Regional Coordinator for PCD, said, “The Dubai Cares funded HGSF programme is a leading example of how different stakeholders can effectively pool their expertise to make a real impact on the health, education and wealth of children and farming communities in Ethiopia”.

Read more about the HGSF programme on the Schools and Health website.

Government of Ghana host 9th African SHN Course

This month the Government of Ghana are hosting the 9th African School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Course where representatives from ministries of health, education, gender and social development, SHN experts, civil society and academics from 13 African countries will gather for ten days to focus on best practice in SHN interventions.

The course, which runs from June 10 – 20 is co-organised by Partnership for Child Development, West African Centre for International Parasite Control (WACIPAC) of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasitic Control (ESACIPAC).

Dr. Irene Ayi, Head of WACIPAC and the WACIPAC’s Department of Parasitology said, “The SHN Short Course has over the years grown from strength to strength, providing an opportunity for ideas and experience exchange among policy and programme managers involved in school health and school feeding interventions from the various countries in attendance. Such interventions have been shown to improve the health and academic performance of school-age children”.

Continue reading

Gambia Workshop Convenes West African Experts

Government officials from ministries of agriculture, education and health representing 12 West African countries are to meet in the Gambia this week for a workshop focused on strengthening school feeding programmes linked to local agricultural production.

Workshop Director and Director of Basic and Secondary Education in the Gambia, Mrs Amicoleh Mbaye said, “Having the various personalities from 12 different countries come together is a clear manifestation of government commitment to school feeding programme ownership using the multi-sectoral approach”.

Continue reading

 

Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
Partnership for Child Development

Partnership for Child Development update

Events


Bill Gates talks school feeding with Ghanaian farmers, teachers and caterers

During his first ever visit to Ghana, Bill Gates joined the Partnership for Child Development to talk with smallholder farmers, teachers and caterers to better understand the issues and opportunities presented by Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been supporting the development of government-led, HGSF programmes since 2009. These nationally owned programmes enable schools to procure the ingredients for their school meals from local smallholder farmers. The benefits of programmes, such as Ghana’s School Feeding Programme (GSFP), are felt by the school child and farmer alike with school children getting free nutritious hot meals whilst the farmer gets access to a regular market, providing a win-win for both education and economic development.

Find out more.

 

Dubai Cares visits Ghana

PCD recently accompanied a Dubai Cares team visit to Ghana who carried out a number of field visits to monitor and evaluate aspects of the GSFP they are supporting through PCD. This support is focused on improving the nutritional quality of food in school meals and consists of three key components: community sensitization, providing advice to farmers and a deworming programme.

 

The second annual School Health and Nutrition (SHN) course in Southeast Asia

The second annual SHN course was held in Laos between 13–20 February 2013. Hosted by the Laos Ministries of Health and Education and supported by PCD, the Japan Consortium for Global School Health Research and Mahidol University, the course trained 40 participants drawn from governments, development partners and SHN organisations from 11 Asian countries in the region.

Download course information and presentations.

Programme Implementation

 

Botswana Case Study Report launch

Botswana’s National School Feeding Programme: A Case Study and Transition Report was officially launched by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at a meeting in February. This was attended by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and PCD. Participants also agreed to a launch of the HGSF programme on 19 April 2013.

Download Botswana’s National School Feeding Programme: A Case Study.

 

Dental health and hygiene programme, Osun State, Nigeria

A total of 90 school health promoters and 966 teachers from 322 schools were trained as part of a pilot programme to improve the hygiene, dental health and nutrition practices of 90,000 children in Osun State. The programme is being implemented by the Osun State Government, in partnership with PCD and UNILEVER.

 

Nigeria’s NTD master plan launch

PCD helped to support the launch of a new five year implementation plan for the control and elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Nigeria. The plan, which targets 10 NTDs, has an approved budget of US$307 m and will treat over 60 million people annually over the next five years.

Publications

 

Worms wisdom and wealth published

Worms, wisdom, and wealth: Why deworming can make economic sense.” A joint article by PCD, World Bank and the University of Washington was published in Trends in Parasitology. The article examines the effects of deworming on child development, health and economic returns.

 

Are school food programmes in low-income settings sustainable? accepted for publication

A PCD paper, “Are school food programmes in low-income settings sustainable? Insights on the costs of school feeding compared to investments in primary education”, was recently accepted for publication by the Food and Nutrition Bulletin. The paper analyses the costs of school feeding and the cost relative to education expenditure and other measures of economic growth using data from high, low and middle countries.

 

Miss Charlotte Broyd
Website and Communications Assistant
School of Public Health