Category: Staff focus

Professor Clare Lloyd on being Vice Dean (Institutional Affairs)

Professor Clare LloydIn her research career, Professor Clare Lloyd is a lung immunologist, currently working to understand why some children wheeze with viral infection and others don’t, and how that impacts asthma. But last year she also took up the mantle of Vice Dean (Institutional Affairs) for Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine. Here, Professor Lloyd explains her role outside of the lab.

What is the Vice Dean (Institutional Affairs) responsible for?

The role covers all aspects of diversity and equality, particularly incorporating and coordinating our Athena SWAN programmes as well as career development across the Faculty.

I am looking at how we support our early career researchers, particularly newly appointed academics and also fellows. The funding climate is difficult, especially for those at the early stage of their career. We’re conscious that we need to make sure they get as much support as possible so that they can maximise their chances of success.

Athena SWAN is all about changing culture, and we want to make sure that everyone can expect the same opportunities and support, no matter where people are based. It’s important that staff feel supported to develop their careers at Imperial. We recognise that really talented people will have a number of doors open to them, and we want to ensure that we attract and retain the very best.

How has your previous experience prepared you for this role?

I was the NHLI Athena lead from 2009-2014 – leading on two Athena applications. We were the first medical department in the country to get a Silver Award, which was then renewed four years later. I want to use this practical experience of Athena successes to support all our departments. (more…)

Applications open for Calibre Leadership Programme

Do you consider yourself to be disabled? Do you face extra challenges at work?

Find out more about the Calibre leadership development programme for disabled staff by coming along to one of the taster sessions being held in November and December. The Calibre programme is delivered by Dr Ossie Stuart, an international disability consultant and academic, alongside the College’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Centre. This is a great course which staff with disabilities are encouraged to attend. The new course starts in January 2018. Registration for the Calibre Taster Sessions is via ICIS My Training.

Find out more (more…)

Diverse@Imperial week: open call

Diverse@Imperial week is a week-long celebration of Imperial’s diverse community and the talent within it, taking place from 29 Jan – 2 Feb 2018.

During the week, there will be an exhibition in the South Kensington main entrance, showcasing stories from Imperial staff and students, and these stories will be shared online throughout the week as well.

The College Social Media team are doing an open call for staff and students to volunteer to be interviewed so we can write and share these stories. Interested staff/students should email socialmedia@imperial.ac.uk to find out more.

 

 

 

TOAST SURVEY 2017/18

The College’s ‘Original Academic Staff Time’ (TOAST) survey for 2017/18 is now underway. All Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers and Professors will be sent an e-mail at some point during this year prior to their survey week with guidance and a link to the online survey. Your participation in this anonymous survey is essential for the College to fulfil its responsibilities to demonstrate a transparent approach to costing.

Find out more

New SharePoint sites

The Faculty of Medicine has released two new SharePoint sites designed to provide all Faculty of Medicine staff with access to a central key contacts list and process repository. You will need to use Office 365 login (collegeusername@ic.ac.uk) to access these sites.

Key Contacts

Purpose:

To provide one central list of key safety and other defined roles to ensure that this information is recorded, updated and reviewed and can be updated in one source. (more…)

NHLI creates videos for British Lung Foundation #BreatheEasy campaign

NHLI videos

As part of the British Lung Foundation’s campaign to raise awareness of what breathlessness may mean for your wider health, we highlighted the work of Dr Jennifer Quint and her team here at NHLI. We supported the #BreatheEasy campaign by doing a series of short videos where Jenni and her PhD student, Ann Morgan, talk about their BLF funded research.

The series of videos we created on this research is from the Respiratory Epidemiology group, and is using anonymised patient records to look at respiratory disease. By using simple questions on what the research was about, why it is important and its potential impact we hoped to make the research accessible to the wider public. We found the greatest engagement on twitter was with the simplest questions – “What is COPD?” was only beaten into second place by the promoted tweet pinned at the top of our homepage “Can you tell us what your research is about?”.

Watch the videos on YouTube

Helen Johnson
Communications and Website Officer
NHLI

Joint Research Office School Leaver Apprenticeship

The JRO launched a School Leaver Apprenticeship scheme in August 2015.

Our aim was to work with a local school to find a student with appropriate skills who would be motivated to grasp the opportunity of JRO Apprenticeship, with the hope of launching a professional career. We were interested in helping a student who might not otherwise have the chance to develop or seek this kind of professional career trajectory.

We envisaged the post as an entry-level position with a fixed duration of one year, and was aimed at school leavers with an interest in finance. The successful candidate was to be based in the JRO grants team in the Commonwealth Building at Hammersmith.

Burlington Danes Academy, a local school adjacent to the Hammersmith Campus, agreed to work with us on this scheme. The Head of the 6th Form, Laura Stone, was extremely supportive and was instrumental in helping to select the first Apprentice.

Laura said:We were delighted to be approached by Imperial regarding the School Leaver Apprenticeship scheme.  We work hard to try and foster links with employers so that our students can access valuable and relevant work experience; and to receive support from an organisation as renowned as Imperial is just fantastic.  

“What has been the biggest benefit has been the time commitment of a one year paid placement.  This enables the student to fully grasp the wide range of specialist and inter-personal skills required for working in a professional environment and build up real examples that they will be able to use in future job applications.  In a time of increasing cost for university study, it provides students with the opportunity to save up for tuition fees whilst doing something that enriches them.  As a school we feel that being able to provide our students with challenging, relevant and high-quality work experience in our local community is part of our vision, and Imperial have helped us realise that for two very fortunate students. I look forward to working with them for the second year.”

The scheme has been a great success and our first Apprentice, Cherry Thein, has taken her opportunity with both hands. Cherry has been a quick learner, has worked hard and has grown in confidence as the months have progressed. She has not just been a token observer, but has been carrying out important work and her efforts have made a significant impact on the productivity of the grants team.

Cherry said: “I have really enjoyed the scheme and it has been extremely useful, as it has helped ease the transition from a school environment to the workplace. This apprenticeship was a stepping-stone for me and the experience has given me more options for the future, as well as an advantage when looking for a job.

“What surprised me the most about working in the JRO was seeing how the money from charities like the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK is actually being used to fund important research. It really motivated me to work because you’re helping these researchers, at least on a small scale, to find an answer. It is interesting working with several diverse teams and departments to make sure a research project can be carried out smoothly.”

The motivation for setting up the scheme was two-fold. Firstly, it was an opportunity for the College to engage in social responsibility with its local community. Secondly, it allowed us to pick up and run with a project reviewing College apprenticeship, which one of our Grant Manger’s Victor Abah developed on the ‘Impact’ Staff Development Programme. Victor has taken on the role as mentor to the apprentice.

The JRO Apprenticeship scheme could not have worked out better. As a result we are continuing with the scheme and have already signed up another Burlington Danes pupil, who will become the second apprentice in August 2016.

William Mortimer
Operations Director
Joint Research Office

Department of Medicine Teaching Awards

The start of June saw the Department of Medicine hold its annual Teaching Awards Ceremony. Awards were given to over 20 members of academic staff for their outstanding contribution to teaching and supervision, nominated by current students. Those honoured included teaching fellow & Short Course Director Wayne Mitchell for his support on a number of courses including MSc Molecular Medicine and MSc Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses and. On nominating Wayne one student noted “Wayne has guided and helped me so much throughout my course. He has certainly gone above and beyond what was expected of him”.

sophie rCourse Director for MSc Immunology Sophie Rutschmann was awarded the Department’s top award for contribution to postgraduate teaching. On nominating Sophie one student noted “I feel she has a genuine, heartfelt interest in the MSc she coordinates, and that gives an extraordinary positive spirit to the course. The time and thought she has invested into us is greatly appreciated. I am very grateful for her dedication and determination to teach us well.”

Course Administrator Fiona Bibby also received a Head of Department award for her support to the MRes Clinical Research programme.

It was a great opportunity to celebrate our teaching staff and for current students to show their appreciation.

Celeste Miles
Course Administrator
Department of Medicine

Staff Supporters: making a difference for the staff community

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There is already a wide range of support available for staff, however we know that our staff are not always aware of the breadth of services available to them. Sometimes staff do not know who to contact when they have a problem and this is where the Staff Supporter can help by listening, signposting and guiding others when they need information and support in difficult times.

A Staff Supporter is an existing member of staff who is part of a trained network of volunteers who provide confidential and positive assistance to all Imperial staff when they need information, guidance and support. This can be for a range of things both to do with work or personal circumstances and the Staff Supporter will remain in contact until the matter has been resolved or concluded.

If you already take an interest in College wide issues and have a good understanding of College services and procedures or know where to get further information, why not volunteer to support others by being able to point them in the right direction when they need help.

For further information on how to apply please look out for the article in Staff Briefing on Friday 10 June which will have full details of the scheme or contact Suzanne Christopher x49792 or Matt Jowett x45536 in the HR Division.

Ann Kelly
Head of College Employee Relation and Medicine HR
Imperial College London

Getting to know Professor Des Johnston – Vice Dean (Education)

Prior to taking up the role of Vice-Dean (Education) for the Faculty you’ve held senior Faculty and College level roles as Campus Director for St Mary’s and as a College Consul. (How) do you think you will be drawing on this experience in your new role?

Professor Des Johnston
Professor Des Johnston

I was Campus Director (or Campus Dean as it was then called) for St Mary’s for just over 5 years and I learned a lot during that period about what really matters on the ground at an academic campus –in particular I learned that the drive to ensure a good educational environment for our students has always, ultimately, come right at the top of our priorities. Whilst Imperial as an organisation is often considered to be heavily research-focussed, the reality I encountered when working with colleagues at the campus is that the imperative of delivering a curriculum to a high standard of quality was always acknowledged and staff across academic and non-academic functions work hard to make that happen. That’s a great piece of insight for me to take into this new role.

From 2013, I served as Clinical Consul for three years. This is a College level role and undoubtedly the role has grown my knowledge of the functions and complexity of the College as a whole, and allowed me to get to know the academic leadership and senior management team much more broadly. I hope that this combination of experiences in these roles will enable me to marry an understanding of institutional level drivers for development and enhancement with real acknowledgement of local impacts at a delivery level – and hopefully to draw knowledge upwards from a local level to influence and enhance institutional level engagement with key developments.

What has impressed you most about the education activities you’ve seen underway in the Faculty.

There is an outstanding cadre of people in the Faculty who support the education mission. The support I have received from Martin Lupton, Jane Saffell and the senior leadership team has been immense as I have come into the role, but equally I can now point to individuals right throughout our Faculty – and indeed beyond our borders within the NHS itself – who are extraordinarily talented and committed educators and tutors. From the perspective of expertise and dedication there is no limit to what we can achieve in our educational programmes – a challenge for me and the central team will be to ensure we continue to support and channel these skills in the best possible way to effectively enhance and innovate in our programmes, develop strongly as educationalists and respond to students’ needs.

As the College’s lead in the collaborative LKCMedicine, what benefits do you feel both parties, and students, receive from such endeavours?

I’ve had the privilege now to visit Singapore a few times and to see the new school in action. The real joy of being involved in a project like LKCMedicine is being able to see benefits being generated from the interplay between Imperial’s rich history and expertise in medical education with the fresh approach and quality of engagement to be found among our partners (with NTU, with our Singaporean governmental and healthcare partners, and from the student-base itself). These early years of new educational developments are immensely exciting times – I was at Southampton at a similar point in the development of its medical school some years ago, and what I witnessed there (as with here) is the high level of enthusiasm and sheer determination to ‘get it right’ that accompanies a new venture. That enthusiasm drives a huge amount of creativity and innovation – and ultimately quality!

For Imperial, it seems to me that LKCMedicine has been a hugely valuable development. Among our academic faculty, it’s given us a space and a framework to take a step back and consider a medical curriculum in the round, and to identify where we should be harnessing Imperial’s strengths to offer every one of our students a distinctive and outstanding education during their time with us. Much of the experience we have gained from that process is also feeding on into our own UK course developments.

In addition, the project has generated huge amounts of innovative teaching tools, technologies and approaches that we are now harnessing within our UK programmes. Most recently we’ve seen the beginning of what I think will be a really valuable opportunity for our students to meet and engage with their LKC peers (and vice-versa). This offers our students a unique development opportunity to share common issues as well as key differences arising from practicing medicine in different healthcare systems and with distinct sets of health challenges. Our first cohort of students from LKC Medicine visited last month and I hope to see these sorts of opportunities to broaden and enrich the learning experiences among our students flourish.

In your clinical research you also act as lead for one of the themed specialty clusters for the NIHR Clinical Research Network. What, in your experience are the key benefits of broad collaboration between clinical research environments, and how have you sought to foster them?

The evolution of the clinical research network infrastructure has been hugely beneficial to UK clinical research. Collaboration through the national networks plugs gaps at both ends of the clinical trial spectrum, from facilitating the development of major (1000+) multi-participant trials right down to enabling the study of extremely rare disease through creation of study participant groups which are of a sufficiently critical mass to allow statistically meaningful conclusions to be drawn. The networks have broadened the spectrum of partners involved in the clinical research mission. Through their efforts, major academic centres such as Imperial are not reliant on pre-existing collaborative relationships with a small number of major academic medical centres. District hospitals and local clinics as well as major specialist centres are now all engaged in (and talking to each other as part of) the process of identifying and recruiting participants. This process is strengthening the evidence base for our studies and broadening the skill-base across the UK for delivering clinical research. I’ve also witnessed the opportunity the networks have afforded to enhance understanding in the academic and health service sector of the particular approaches and pressures encountered by Industry partners for industry-sponsored studies. Increasing interaction with industry is going to be key for UK and academic medicine going forward and so the sharing of understanding and experience generated by the CRNs is extremely helpful in developing the strength of interaction which will be critical to our future collaborative development.

Are there any differences in the approach you take to your external and internal leadership roles.

Obviously both are focussed on delivering excellence and benefit, but I do think there has to be a slightly different focus for internal versus external roles. In my involvement in NIHR CRN, the key need has been to build up the tools, evidence and strong relationships which enable us to reach out to professionals and patients from widely differing parts of the healthcare delivery system and demonstrate what the benefits of involvement in research (and indeed of collaboration itself) are for their own services and professional development. For internal leadership at Imperial, there has to be a much more heavy focus on day-to-day delivery and enabling that to be as effective for the organisation as possible. The real challenge for internal roles is maintaining a balance between that focus on detail and delivery and retaining a strong sense of the ‘big picture’ and the long term strategy for supporting the College to continue to excel.

Looking forward, what do you see as your greatest challenge for education in the Faculty, and where do you feel the most potential for excellence is?

With changes in the funding and fee landscape, and rising delivery costs, it is going to be absolutely vital to ensure that an Imperial medical and science education does not become a treasure that only the wealthiest bright young people in our society can enjoy. Extending our educational opportunities to the most able students wherever they come from, and ensuring our student population is as representative as possible of the wider populace it will ultimately serve, is critical – we must continually challenge ourselves in the Faculty to support and enhance our strategies to ensure this.

The other great challenge I see for us in the Faculty is also one of our greatest opportunities for excellence. The sheer pace of development of new health technologies and approaches (not least within our own research labs, centres and spin-outs) coupled with a constant drive towards effective dissemination and uptake is creating a continually shifting health landscape for which we need to prepare our students. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels in the educational mission: what equips today’s medic for practice may tomorrow be redundant; an area of interdisciplinary research which was unheard of when today’s final year students first entered the MBBS may already be the basis of new care models for our health service when this year’s freshers graduate in six years’ time. We are outstandingly placed at Imperial to draw on our own discoveries, academic collaborations and translational expertise to continually review and future proof our curricula, translate our discoveries into widespread understanding, create the innovative skill-base among our students to drive future development and ensure Imperial graduates are the very best at operating in the health and scientific environment into which they will emerge. I think that’s an extraordinarily exciting opportunity and challenge for everyone in the Faculty.

Innovative Training Post at The King’s Fund: Bringing together physical and mental health – A new frontier for integrated care

Preety Das
Preety Das – Specialist Trainee in General Practice

Preety Das is a Specialist Trainee in General Practice in the
Department of Primary Care & Public Health. She joined the King’s Fund as part of an innovative training post at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Here she discusses the King’s Fund report she coauthored – Bringing together physical and mental health.


Integrated care initiatives in England and elsewhere have paid insufficient attention to the relationship between physical and mental health. Our report draws on a review of published research evidence, qualitative interviews and focus groups with service users and carers, and case studies of 10 services in England. We conclude by arguing that overcoming the longstanding barriers to integration of mental and physical health should be a central component of efforts to develop new models of care that bring together resources from across local health systems.

The case for seeking to support physical and mental health in a more integrated way is compelling, and is based on four related challenges: 1) high rates of mental health conditions among people with long-term physical health problems, 2) poor management of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’, which lack an identifiable organic cause, 3) reduced life expectancy among people with the most severe forms of mental illness, largely attributable to poor physical health and 4) limited support for the wider psychological aspects of physical health and illness. Collectively, these issues increase the cost of providing services, perpetuate inequalities in health outcomes, and mean that care is less effective than it could be. The first two issues alone cost the NHS in England more than £11 billion annually.

Examples of innovative service models described in the report demonstrate that there are opportunities to redesign care in ways that could improve outcomes and may also be highly cost effective. These include various forms of enhanced support in primary care, integrated community or neighbourhood teams, comprehensive liaison mental health services, physical health liaison within mental health services, and integrated perinatal mental health care.

All health and care professionals have a part to play in delivering closer integration. Our research with service users and carers highlights the importance of professionals being willing and able to take a ‘whole person’ perspective, and having the necessary skills to do so. Integrated service models can support this by facilitating skills transfer and shifting notions of who is responsible for what. Equally, a great deal of improvement is possible within existing service structures. New approaches to training and development are needed to create a workforce able to support integration of mental and physical health. This has significant implications for professional education; all educational curricula need to have a sufficient common foundation in both physical and mental health.

My involvement in this project provided a unique opportunity to relate everyday clinical practice to the range of barriers that have prevented wider adoption of integrated approaches. These include: separate budgets and payment systems for physical and mental health; the challenge of measuring outcomes and demonstrating value; and cultural barriers between organisations or groups of professionals. The report describes several enabling factors and practical lessons, including the value of having a board-level champion for physical health in mental health trusts, and vice versa. New payment systems and contracting approaches offer commissioners various options for overcoming some of the financial barriers.

In recent years there has been a welcome focus in national policy on achieving ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health. Colloquially, this phrase has often been interpreted to mean that mental health services should be ‘as good as’ services for physical health. We argue that there is a greater prize beyond this, in which mental health care is not only ‘as good as’ but is delivered ‘as part of ’ an integrated approach to health.

Preety Das
Specialist Trainee in General Practice
Department of Primary Care & Public Health

FEO leadership team

As part of the restructuring of the FEO there has been a strengthening and simplifying of the leadership team, and there are now four senior managers reporting to me.  An overview of their areas of responsibility is outlined below:

Lisa Carrier – Head of Technology Enhanced Education

Lisa is currently the E-learning Manager for the Department of Medicine and will be joining us at the beginning of May.  Her team will support:
Development and support of technology and innovative teaching methods to enhance the delivery of education
Advising on and developing technical solutions to support the management of education
Liaison with SIDs to expand the use of technology to enhance postgraduate education
Audio Visual and Lab technical support
Timetabling and room booking

Rebekah Fletcher – Head of School of Medicine Secretariat

  • Rebekah’s team will support:
  • Quality and Governance (including forecasting and planning)
  • Projects and Systems (including Sofia, our curriculum map, Fry, the assessment system and the Student Information Management System (SIMP) and the student database)
  • Communications
  • Admissions
  • Welfare
  • Student finance (including bursaries, scholarships and welfare payments)

Chris Harris – Head of Programme Management

  • Chris’s team will support:
  • Curriculum and exams/assessment
  • Transition to foundation training
  • Careers
  • Student progression (including Fitness to Practice, discipline and mitigating circumstances)
  • Student records (including production of transcripts and documentation for graduates)
  • Electives (including funding)
  • Clinical Education Finance and planning (SIFT and HEFCE)

Paul Ratcliffe – Deputy Director of Education Management

  • Paul’s team will support:
  • LKC School of Medicine
  • Postgraduate, including the Health Sciences Academy
  • Medical Education Research Unit (MERU)
  • Major Educational innovations (including the new Medical Biosciences BSc)

We are in the final stages of consultation with FEO staff and the new support teams will be finalised and announced shortly.  During the transition period, there will continue to be management and administrative support across all areas.  Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or the relevant senior manager.

Miss Susan English
Director of Education Management and Programme Director
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)

HEFCE open access policy – a note from the College open access team

Open access team at Imperial College LondonThe Open Access Team are based in the Imperial College Library at South Kensington. We are the team that is on the ‘other end’ when you press the ‘deposit my publication’ button in Symplectic for uploading your manuscripts into Spiral, or when you make an application for support for article processing fees. We are here to help you comply with open access requirements, including the HEFCE Open Access policy.

Last month the Faculty of Medicine Newsletter drew attention to how important it was for research active staff to comply with the new HEFCE policy from 1 April 2016. Following on from that newsletter we thought it would be useful to clarify and highlight a few points about the policy and the process for depositing your publications in Spiral through Symplectic Elements.

  1. The HEFCE policy applies to peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings accepted on or after 1st April 2016. This means anything accepted or published before this date complies as far as HEFCE is concerned! (Phew. So it is okay if you cannot find the author accepted version of that article that was accepted 6 months ago! )*
  2. COMPLIANCE = ACTION ON ACCEPTANCE.
    Please upload your author accepted version ( final draft without publisher’s layout etc.) into Spiral via Symplectic. It is this version and only this version that we can use, unless your article goes open upon publication ( the gold route).**The date of acceptance must be entered in Sympletic.This is where you start:
  3. Imperial corresponding authors. You know when your article or conference proceeding has been accepted as you get that all important email from the journal publisher. So please act as soon as you get this notification. You can send non-Imperial co-authors the URL you will receive (via email) once the version you upload has been checked and deposited in Spiral. Imperial co-authors will be notified via Symplectic when the publication details have been added to Spiral. Have an open access ‘conversation’ before submission if you can.
  4. Corresponding authors not at Imperial – Imperial co-authors should have that open access ‘conversation’ too. Open access policies affect all authors, not just in the UK. If the corresponding author can deposit the accepted version in a compliant open access repository (usually an institutional repository) then ask to be sent the link and enter the publication details in Symplectic adding the link when requested rather than a file. If your corresponding author cannot deposit the work themselves, then ask for a copy of the accepted version and advise them of what you need to do.
  5. The Library’s Open Access team will check your records. Nothing goes live until they do! We make sure you have the correct version, the correct licence, the correct embargo period. So please don’t worry: go ahead and upload.

Remember: compliance = action on acceptance

We strongly recommend that you upload your author accepted version as soon you are notified of acceptance. Action on acceptance needs to become a ‘habit’, the Open Access team are here to help. It is impossible to cover every scenario or eventuality in 5 points! So if you have any questions, need further clarification, please contact us.

openaccess@imperial.ac.uk
www.imperial.ac.uk/openaccess
www.imperial.ac.uk/post-2014-ref

Judith Carr
Scholarly Communication Support Manager
Imperial College London

 

*If you have a really good filing system (or your corresponding author does) and you can lay your hands on an author accepted version of an article, then please do upload it as soon as you can. We want as many open access outputs in Spiral as possible and remember that there are other research funders such as RCUK and Charities Open Access Fund who have their own requirements. You can find out more about other research funder open access policies on the College Open Access support pages

** Going open on publication: you can apply for funding via ‘deposit your work’ in Symplectic. If you go open on publication without funding from the Library, please still upload your article, using the final published version. It is important that you enter the date of acceptance in Symplectic for compliance purposes.

Dr Beth Holder strikes Bronze for biological/biomedical display in Parliament

Dr Beth Holder
Dr Beth Holder

Dr Beth Holder, a researcher in Imperial’s Department of Medicine, struck Bronze at a competition in the House of Commons, for the excellence of her biological/biomedical research, walking away with a £1,000 prize.

Beth presented her biology research to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of the poster competition SET for Britain, on Monday 7 March.

Her research, which focuses on communication between the mother’s immune system and the placenta during pregnancy, was judged against 59 other shortlisted researchers’ work and came out as one of the three winners.

Beth said,

“It may surprise people that, despite it’s vital role in pregnancy at giving everyone the best start in life, the placenta is considered the least understood organ in the human body. My work aims to understand how the mother’s immune system communicates with the placenta and baby during pregnancy using microscopic ‘parcels’ called exosomes that send messages between cells in the human body. This communication between mother and placenta may be particularly important in cases when the mother’s immune system is altered, such as inflammation, infection or allergy. I was delighted to have this fantastic opportunity to communicate my research at SET for BRITAIN, and thrilled to win the bronze award. I hope that I raised the profile of placental research, and highlighted the importance of funding further research in this area.”

SET for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee, sponsors of the Bronze Award for Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Biology, said: “Scientists and politicians both have major roles in addressing some of society’s biggest challenges, from climate change to food security. SET for Britain is a rare opportunity for politicians to meet some of our most promising early career scientists and understand their work.

“It is important that MPs make policy decisions informed by evidence, and a greater mutual understanding between MPs and scientists will improve this. The Government needs to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in biological research where we have enormous strength”.

Prof. Richard Vaughan-Jones, President of The Physiological Society, said “The UK has an excellent biomedical research base for which physiology provides fundamental understanding and direction. SET for Britain provides a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to engage with the scientific research that government funds and recognise the skills of our scientists training and working in the UK. The Physiological Society is extremely pleased to continue its longstanding support for this event.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Council for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology, with financial support from Essar, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Bank of England and the Society of Chemical Industry.

ICCESS simulation event for the More Smiles Appeal

PICUICCESS have once again been supporting the More Smiles Appeal, by delivering a simulation event at Wetherby Preparatory School on 2nd February 2016. Funds raised on the night will contribute towards the redevelopment and expansion of the paediatric intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital. The simulation featured a team of clinicians from the unit demonstrating the high level of care they provide despite the constraints they are placed under in terms of space.

ICCESS are pioneers of Sequential Simulation, which is the physical re-enactment of a patients care pathway through the healthcare system. It utilises real clinicians and clinical props to provide expertise and context to the issues being explored.   ICCESS’ Sharon-Marie Weldon, who has developed the concept and successfully designed and delivered numerous simulation events, has seen first-hand how Sequential Simulation serves as a valuable means of engaging people with the world of medicine: ‘Sequential Simulation is a way of utilising the benefits of simulation to recreate aspects of care, but with a much wider scope, creating a juxtaposition of the healthcare system that can be used for a variety of objectives; education and training, evaluation, care re-design, quality improvement, and patient and public engagement – as we saw with the More Smiles Appeal event’.

To hear more about the More Smiles Appeal contact Maurice O’Connor on 02033125696 or to donate to the appeal, please visit www.moresmiles.org.uk


 

  • In November 2016, Professor Roger Kneebone was invited to participate in a 2-day colloquium in Bern, convened by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to formulate a national strategy for skills and simulation in health care in Switzerland. The colloquium brought together the University of Bern, the University of Applied Sciences Bern, the University of Health Sciences of the Canton of Vaud (HESAV), and the Bern Centre of Higher Education of Nursing.

    As one of two invited international experts, Roger presented his perspective on simulation and health policy within the UK and internationally. This included research on hybrid, distributed and sequential simulation within Imperial’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science – work which has now become embedded in the curriculum of the Bern Centre of Higher Education of Nursing.

  • Clinical Research Fellow Laura Coates was recently invited to be a visiting speaker at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Laura gave an hour-long Grand Round presentation to the whole of the surgical department, followed by meetings with a number of members of staff and a session with the University’s postgraduate surgical students. Laura talked about some of ICCESS’ public engagement work, including events focusing on the effects of knife crime and the recent Time Travelling Operating Theatre that featured in last month’s FoM newsletter. Laura’s visit was very well-received, with staff and students commenting on the interesting and unusual nature of ICCESS’ work.

      PhD Viva Success

  • Two of ICCESS’ students, Alejandro Granados-Martinez and Przemyslaw Korzeniowski, have successfully defended their PhDs on consecutive days. Their respective work on ‘Modelling and Simulation of Flexible Instruments for Minimally Invasive Surgical Training in Virtual Reality’ and ‘Haptics-based Simulation Tools for Teaching and Learning Digital Rectal Examinations’ was highly praised by the examiners, with only very minor corrections to be made to their dissertations.

 

For more information about Imperial College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), please contact Duncan Boak: D.Boak@imperial.ac.uk

 

Young Scientist Day – Wednesday 3 February 2016

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Iris Scherwitzl accepts first prize for her ‘3-Minute Thesis’ from Higher Degrees Manager Hayley Kendall- Berry

On Wednesday 3 February the Department of Medicine hosted Young Scientist Day 2016. This annual event, designed to benefit both PhD students and Postdocs, saw a full programme of activities which included a PhD poster competition, a Departmental ‘3-minute thesis’ competition, guest speakers and a networking drinks event for all attendees.

The event was hugely popular and welcomed a large number of research students and a handful of MRes and MSc students who joined in the day’s events.

The morning was dedicated to poster presentations where research students from all five divisions had the opportunity to display their recent work to their colleagues and the judges who circulated throughout the morning.

The standard of posters was very high and after careful deliberation the three winners selected were:

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Vera Pader accepting first prize from Dr Kevin Murphy

First Prize: Vera Pader, (Microbiology) ‘Characterisation of a cryptic daptomycin-resistance mechanism in Staphylococcus aureus’

Second Prize: Alan Liu, (Clinical Neuroscience) ‘Clarifying the human brain’

Third Prize: Miles Priestman, (Microbiology) ‘Drug-Tolerance in Mycobacteria’

The afternoon was dedicated to the Department’s ‘3-Minute Thesis’ competition which saw one PhD student from each Section Cohort present their thesis research to a judging panel in only three minutes. The challenge included twelve students from different divisions who communicated their research to the judges and answered questions from the audience.

After a series of entertaining presentations, the prizes were awarded to Iris Scherwitzl for her presentation ‘The role of Mucosal- Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells during dengue infection’ and Leor Roseman who spoke about ‘Reconstructing eyes-closed psychedelic imagery’.

Both Iris and Leor will progress to the College’s ‘3-Minute Thesis’ competition hosted by the Graduate School and we wish them the best of luck.

We also enjoyed two entertaining talks from Postdoc Laura Nellums and Research Fellow Bryn Owen who provided some useful and good-humoured advice about life after a PhD and their experiences in further research, both of which included international career paths. PhD students had the opportunity to ask Laura and Bryn questions about their respective careers in research before the evening was rounded off by a networking drinks session which provided a more relaxed setting for students, judges and speakers to socialise and muse over the day’s activities.

Young Scientist Day 2016 would not have been possible without the generous support of the Graduate School, who provided funding for refreshments and prizes in support of the day’s cohort building activities. We also express our thanks to Dr Kevin Murphy, and to a number of other academics and Postdocs, who gave up their time to act as judges for the poster and presentation sessions.

We look forward to making Young Scientist Day 2017 even bigger and better.

Katie Kissick
Department of Medicine

Time to Talk Day – Thursday 4 February

Time-to-talk-dayTime to Talk Day is a national awareness day organised by Time to Change. Its aim is to encourage as many people as possible across England to talk about mental health and to join together to break the silence that often surrounds it. Further details are available at www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

Additional information and support can be accessed through the College’s Mental Health webpages: www.imperial.ac.uk/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health/

Paula Phillips
Executive Officer (Governance & Review)
Faculty of Medicine

The MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling annual away day

MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling held its annual away dayThe MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling held its annual away day on the 9th of October. Both 2014 and 2015 saw very significant contributions made by the Centre in a variety of areas. Most notably this included both the work carried modelling and in also in the subsequent provision of vital policy advice to aid the effort to contain and end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The Centre was rated an unprecedented 10/10 by the MRC subcommittee for the work carried out in its first term. As we now move through the second term the Centre remains committed to an ethos of continual improvement. This year’s away day saw staff at all levels throughout the Centre present their work via a series of excellent research talks.  During the latter sections of the day staff contributed to discussions and workshops aimed at further developing the capacity of the Centre, its training and mentoring schemes, further improving its excellent public engagement activities, and in expanding its health economics capacity.

In addition, over 80 of the centre’s staff took part in a 2-hour team build activity. Teams were pre-selected with the intention of connecting newer staff with those that were more established. The 15 participating teams all competed in a geocaching / trivial pursuit hybrid activity where they were asked to plan their walking route around the Paddington area, to discover question locations, and answer as many of them as possible. Questions on infectious diseases, statistical modelling, and the MRC Centre itself led to ‘pie wedges’ and points being awarded along the way. Bonus points were awarded for completing photo challenges (see above). Congratulations to all the teams for completing the activity and especially the winning team of Jenny Smith, Neil Ferguson, Obiora Eneanya, Helen Fu, and Martin Walker.

James Hayward
Scientific Manager

MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling

 

MRC’s Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London – October update

Worming our way to a new understanding of behaviour

The wriggling and writhing of worms may hold clues to the inner workings of our brains, according to scientists at the MRC’s Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC). The researchers have developed a pioneering tool to analyse a worm’s posture as it wriggles, and will use the tool to investigate how exactly the worm’s brain controls its movements.

Postdocs were freed to ask “stupid questions” at the inaugural postdoc retreat. The day-long event was organised by postdocs for postdocs.

“The science was great, but I think the biggest benefit is networking and getting to know the community in which we work. Finding out what people are working on so you know who to approach when you want to speak specifically about an area of research that you’re unfamiliar with is invaluable,” said Dr Angela Woods, a senior investigator scientist in the CSC’s Cellular Stress group.

Watch a video of the postdoc retreat at https://

Vahid Shahrezaei is the new mathematician–in-residence at the CSC.

He’s been running a biomathematics group in the maths department of Imperial College since 2008, and is now taking up a visiting position that teams him up with the CSC’s biologists.

He’s looking forward to bumping into biologists day-to-day, and though hasn’t yet sat in a lab with the CSC’s scientists, he’d like to try that out too. Regular interaction with biologists, Vahid says, is an important part of the atmosphere of the CSC, and key to creative collaborations.

Watch Miguel-Aliaga’s interview at https://

The Journal of Cell Science has selected Irene Miguel-Aliaga, who leads the CSC’s Gut Signalling and Metabolism and is a Reader at Imperial College, as a ‘Cell Scientist to Watch’.

Miguel-Aliaga is one of four chosen so far by the journal for a series it says will “support the next generation of cell biologists.”

Last week, the journal published a two-page article and a video interview with Miguel-Aliaga in which she discusses how a TV series about lizard aliens invading Earth inspired her to become a scientist.

She also talks about setbacks in science. “I think sometimes the roadblocks are your own set of preconceptions,” says Miguel-Aliaga. She also thinks that we can be our own worst enemy: “Human nature means that, even if we try not to be, we tend to be too hypothesis driven.”

Also this month

In our series of scientific seminars, Art Arnold from the University of California, warned CSC scientists that preclinical experiments must not exclude female cells and animals. He said that it has traditionally been thought that females, with menstrual cycles and fluctuating hormone levels, are poor test subjects. But research in his lab shows that this is a myth. According to Arnold, when it comes to scientific research, women and men are comparable subjects.

Find out more about the latest news, events and activities at the CSC: http://csc.mrc.ac.uk/news/

Deborah Oakley
Science Communications Officer
MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

Fundraising for nursing student bursary in memory of Lisa Day

We were all very saddened to hear of the passing of Lisa Day on Saturday evening, the 12th of September.  Lisa was one of Imperial College London’s Clinical Trials Assistants who worked on the Bioresource study on the Wharfside clinic at the St. Mary’s campus; obtaining consents and blood samples for future HIV studies.  In her short time here in the CTC, she contributed so much more than her contracted duties.  She was never without a smile; never complained about the nagging issues that Imperial College and the Trust deliver to our daily working lives; never failed to contribute a personal story which made us smile and laugh in equal measures.  Nursing has lost a professional it never realised it had.

Lisa was very excited to be furthering her education and to be embarking on a career within the profession of nursing at City University.  She was due to start her studies this month. We’re trying to raise £2000 to create a nursing student bursary in memory of Lisa because we’d like someone to finish what she never got to; helping those nursing students who may be having some financial difficulty while obtaining their own degree – but in Lisa’s name.

Please pledge to her JustGiving crowdfunding page and help make it happen.  If you know of anyone else who was touched by Lisa, please pass this on:
https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/kristin-kuldanek?utm_id=2

Thanks for your support.

Scott Mullaney RN BSN MSc
Senior Research Charge Nurse
Imperial College London

College-wide access to lynda.com

I am writing to you to let you know about College access to lynda.com, a high quality video training site for IT, business skills and general interests which may be of interest to your Faculty. The College has purchased a one year license for all College staff, renewable depending on take-up.

What is lynda.com?

lynda.comlynda.com provides a vast online library of instructional videos covering the latest software, creative, and business skills. Taught by accomplished teachers and recognised industry experts, lynda.com is a high-quality resource for Students and Staff looking to develop skills in Microsoft Office, the Adobe Creative Suite, Project Management, Personal Development, Social Media and a wide range of other topics. With more than 3,000 courses and more added every week, lynda.com is designed for all learning abilities and is available whenever you’re ready to learn. You can even view it on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, or other mobile device.

Access

Access is via College user accounts for both staff and students. If you already have a lynda.com account, you can merge this with your College account.
Go to lynda.com via the ICT website for more information on the service and to provide feedback.

Support

lynda.com have offered to provide sessions on the product if you or your colleagues would like to understand more about it and how it can be used. If you would like more information please contact me at e.pengelly@imperial.ac.uk. If you have any concerns or problems with usage or access, please contact the ICT Service Desk.

Dr Ellen Pengelly
Digital Business Partner – Faculty of Medicine
Service Strategy & Planning
Information & Communications Technology

Postdoctoral Travel Awards in the Department of Medicine

As part of their ongoing effort to support and nurture postdoctoral staff in the Department of Medicine, the Early Careers Committee (a subcommittee of the Development and Opportunities Committee) procured funding to enable postdoctoral research scientists and research fellows in groups without such funding to present their research at conferences. The Postdoctoral Travel Awards are open to all postdocs and academic research fellows in the Department of Medicine, particularly those who need assistance with extraordinary costs relating to caring responsibilities.

Numerous applications were received for the most recent deadline and after careful deliberation the committee decided to allocate funds to Drs David Hodson, James Cole and Jason Long.

Dr David Hodson

David Hodson“The Postdoctoral Travel Award allowed me to attend the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Boston USA, to which I was invited as a symposium speaker. This will be critical for my future career progression, since indicators of esteem such as this are important for obtaining grant funding and academic promotion.”

David’s Research

Gene variants in or close to the gene encoding ADCY5 are associated with an increased probability of developing type 2 diabetes, a socioeconomically-costly disease state. To better understand how this gene may influence insulin secretion in man, David and his group employed molecular biology techniques to silence ADCY5 expression specifically in human islets. Using these approaches, they were able to show that ADCY5 is indispensable for coupling glucose to insulin secretion in beta cells through generation of the signaling intermediaries cAMP and ATP. In addition, they also demonstrated that samples from human donors who harbor risk loci for ADCY5 present with lowered mRNA levels. Thus, ADCY5 variants in or near to ADCY5 are likely to impair gene expression, elevating type 2 diabetes risk.

Dr James Cole

James Cole“The travel award allowed me to attend this year’s OHBM meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii. OHBM is the premier international conference for the field of neuroimaging, and thanks to the travel award, I was able to attend this meeting for the first time in my career. The meeting attracts the world leaders from across areas of research relating to neuroimaging, and it was an excellent experience to be able to see the latest developments in my field all showcased in one event. As well as the many senior neuroimaging scientists in attendance at OHBM, I was able to meet with a number of more junior researchers with common interests to me, allowing me to get a broader view on the type of work being conducted by people at my career stage.

The research I presented at the conference was an analysis from the EU project I work on, known as COBRA (ComorBidity in Relation to AIDS). The opportunity to present this work at OHBM 2015 was invaluable as I was able to get insightful feedback from a range of researchers in the field. Furthermore, there is an important HIV research group based at the University of Hawaii, led by Dr Linda Chang. I was able to meet with Dr Chang and her colleagues, display my findings to them and discuss potential future collaborations.

James’s Research

The advent of combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) means that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is no longer a death sentence. For the first time, HIV-infected individuals are living into old age. Nevertheless, despite improved life expectancy, research conducted into groups of ageing HIV-infected people reports a concerning increase in the development of age-related diseases. Importantly this includes mild cognitive impairment, itself a key risk factor for dementia. As the number of older adults living with HIV increases globally, it is vital to understand what might underlie this increased risk of disease and cognitive decline.

James and his colleagues use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain structure and function in HIV-infected people. They then compare these brain measures with carefully selected uninfected people, with similar demographic and behavioural characteristics. Using structural MRI, they have accurately predicted chronological age in a large, separate group of 1500 healthy people, by employing a computational technique called ‘machine learning’. They then made predictions of age in a group of 134 HIV-infected people, aged between 45 and 78, by comparing their brain scans to this predetermined machine learning model. On average, HIV-infected individual’s brains were predicted to be two years older than their chronological age. The uninfected group did not show this ‘brain ageing’ effect.

This result indicates that, despite successful treatment with cART, individuals with HIV-infection have changes in brain structure that resemble those seen in normal ageing. Age itself is an important risk factor for cognitive decline and subsequent dementia. If there are ‘age-like’ alterations to brain structure due to HIV, these individuals may well have a higher risk of future health problems. Using this brain age model, they intend to further investigate which characteristics of HIV-infection may influence brain age, such as specific cART drugs, levels of residual HIV or behavioural and lifestyle factors.

Dr Jason Long

Jason Long“We’ve recently come across a very interesting finding in the lab and are hoping to publish in a high impact journal soon. So we’re looking out for relevant conferences to go to in order to share this knowledge; it’s vital we let the field know about this and get collaborators on board. There’s never enough money for travelling, so receiving the PostDoctoral Travel Award really helps. In particular I’m using this award for a conference aimed at ‘younger’ scientists in the beginning stages of their careers, so I hope to benefit from being surrounded by others who are at a similar stage as I am, make connections and chat about options!”

Jason’s Research:

Influenza (flu) viruses originate in wild birds, and have crossed over to human hosts in pandemic events after which they adapt and continue to circulate causing seasonal epidemics. In addition there are frequent dead-end jumps from bird viruses into humans, such as the current H5N1 situation in Egypt and H7N3 in China. Yet these viruses have not yet made that extra leap to become pandemics. This is because the virus needs to make several changes in its genes in order to adapt to humans, a hard task for a virus. One such change that Jason and his peers have researched is the change in the polymerase (this is the virus machine that copies its genes inside the cells of the host). For many years we have known that bird flu viruses mutate a gene in its polymerase that allows it to replicate in humans. But until now we have not understood why.

They took cells that were part mammalian and part avian. By looking to see if bird flu polymerase could or could not work in these cells, and comparing the genes between the different cells, they identified a chicken gene that bird flu polymerase can use in avian cells, but cannot use the human equivalent in human cells. This identifies the point at which the virus has to mutate in order to copy its genes and adapt to humans. This finding is very important for the development of antivirals against the flu polymerase, as well as understanding which bird flus may be able to make the jump from birds to humans.

Faculty of Medicine awards update

Mr Chris Lattimer wins second prize at the 16th Annual European Venous Forum Meeting

Prize_LattimerMr Lattimer collected the award on behalf of his team at the EVF Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, for their presentation; ‘Increasing thigh compression pressure correlates with a reduction in the venous drainage index of air plethysmography.’

This highly competitive award has provided a grant of £1,500 for Mr Lattimer to present his team’s work on venous drainage at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum, to be held in Orlando, Florida, next February. This is acknowledged to be the most prestigious venous meeting globally.

Dr Mick Jones receives multiple teaching awards in 2014/15

Dr Mick JonesDr Jones, Reader in Molecular Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Course Director of the MSc in Molecular Medicine, picked up numerous teaching awards this year:

  • The top prize at the Department of Medicine Teaching Awards, 2015 for Outstanding Contribution to Education
  • The awards for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Supervision and the Top Contributor to Teaching based on the 2014 Teaching Hours Survey
  • The award for the Best Teaching for Postgraduates at the 2015 Student Academic Choice Awards

Professor Charlotte Bevan appointed to the Executive Committee of the BACR

Professor of Cancer Biology, Charlotte Bevan will take up the new role at the British Association for Cancer Research in the autumn of this year.

Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson elected to Royal College of Physicians Council

In July Simon Taylor-Robinson, Professor of Translation Medicine in the Department of Medicine, was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr Brijesh Patel elected to European Society of Intensive Care Medicine NEXT committee

Dr Patel, a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Surgery and Cancer, has been elected to the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine NEXT (Network of EXecptional Trainees) committee.

In June he was also awarded a 2015 American Thoracic Society abstract scholarship.

 

MRC Clinical Sciences Centre – summer update

Miniature messenger molecules released by cells in the pancreas (green) may hold the key to early diagnosis of diabetes
Miniature messenger molecules released by cells in the pancreas (green) may hold the key to early diagnosis of diabetes

Scientists at the MRC’s Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC) in West London are the first to show that a small molecule circulates in the blood of people who are in the early stages of type 1 diabetes. A simple blood test could detect this biological marker years, maybe decades, before symptoms develop.

“If we can identify and treat patients earlier, we may be able to help them to avoid secondary complications. This could ultimately extend a patient’s life,” said Mathieu Latreille, who leads the CSC’s Cellular Identity and Metabolism research group, and who carried out the research in collaboration with scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Latreille presented the results to doctors at Hammersmith Hospital this month.

Further interesting findings came from a CSC study which has shown that a gene, called Jarid2, may play a wider role than previously thought in co-ordinating the way that stem cells change in a developing embryo to form the specialised cells that make up our bodies.

Scientists know already that Jarid2 is important in organising the healthy formation of many organs, including the neural tubes that become the brain and spinal cord, the liver, spleen, thymus and cardiovascular system. But its central role very early on in embryo development is “surprising”, according to professor Amanda Fisher, director of the CSC, and head of the Institute of Clinical Science at Imperial College London, whose team published its findings in Cell Reports on July 16.

Also this month, in our series of scientific seminars, Simon Andrews of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, warned CSC scientists that experiments to sequence human genes can, and do, go wrong. Rapid advances in technology mean scientists can now sequence entire human genomes in a matter of hours, and for less than £1000. But Andrews explained that even the latest technology doesn’t stop scientists from making mistakes. “I’m showing you some of the ugly sides of sequencing experiments,” he said.

Winners team ‘Mansfield’ celebrate their rounders victory
Winners team ‘Mansfield’ celebrate their rounders victory

Another seminar in the series saw James Ware, who works with the CSC’s Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Genetics research group, update researchers on the latest in his quest to understand the genetics of dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which affects 1 in 250 people and can lead to sudden death.

Outside of the lab, CSC scientists and staff competed in the Institute’s annual rounders tournament, a relaxing interlude from serious science. Defending champions team ‘Mansfield’ came out on top.

Find out more about the latest news, events and activities at the CSC: http://csc.mrc.ac.uk/news/.

Waljit Dhillo awarded prestigious NIHR Research Professorship

Professor Waljit Dhillo
Professor Waljit Dhillo

Waljit Dhillo, Professor in Endocrinology & Metabolism and Consultant Endocrinologist, has been awarded a prestigious National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship, in the 2015 competition.

NIHR Research Professorships aim to fund leaders in the early part of their careers to lead research, to promote effective translation of research (‘bench to bedside [T1] and ‘campus to clinic’ [T2]) and strengthen research leadership at the highest academic levels. NIHR Research Professorships are prestigious awards for researchers who have an outstanding record of clinical and applied health research, and its effective translation for improved health.

Speaking about his project, entitled ‘Using hormones to improve reproductive health’, Professor Dhillo said:

Disorders of reproductive health affect millions of patients worldwide. The hormones kisspeptin and neurokinin B have recently been identified as potential novel targets for the treatment of infertility and menopausal flushing, respectively. My programme of work aims to develop novel treatment protocols based on kisspeptin and neurokinin B to treat patients with disorders of reproductive health.