Blog posts

Department of Medicine Image Competition Now Open

"One expansive camera strap for M9, X2" by Andrew XuThe Department of Medicine will be running an image competition from 9am Monday 10th of March until 5pm Friday 23rd of May for all current Department of Medicine Staff and Students. A £20.00 Amazon voucher will be awarded to the top entry from each Division. If you are a DoM staff member or student and would like to enter please visit the competition website for more details on how to apply.

Current submissions will be posted on the website throughout the competition, and the winners will be announced on the website at the completion of the competition.

Jess Croker
Department of Medicine Operations Trainee

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

Final Year students present at Society of Academic Primary Care

A special commendation should go to Harriet Davidson and Frances Dixon, two final year students whose abstract was selected amongst a competitive field of primary care academics, to present at this year’s SAPC meeting held at Madingley Hall in Cambridge. They expertly and confidently presented the findings of an audit they conducted as part of their General Practice Student Assistantship coursework, and their responses to tricky questions from the audience was particularly impressive!

Frances and Harriet 20 02 2014   3

The audit analysed the use of chaperones for intimate examinations in primary care, an important topic for which GMC guidance was published in April 2013. As part of the audit they not only conducted a retrospective analysis of GP consultations, but also carried out a prospective survey of 91 patients to find out their views on being offered chaperones. They found that over two thirds of patients felt that chaperones should be offered but that less than a third would actually ask for one, concluding that patients want chaperones more than doctors think they do, and that we should be trying to overcome possible obstacles and offering chaperones as much as possible.

Following on from their success at Madingley, they also recently recorded a video of their presentation which will be shown at the Annual Teachers Conference for Primary Care Teachers held in June at Imperial College.

They deserve a special mention for this work given that they are currently in the midst of their finals, and we wish them both every future success!

Dr Joanne Harris MRCP MRCGP MA (Med Ed)
General Practitioner
Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Deputy Director of Primary Care Education

Prof Lesley Regan chosen for Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists role

Lesley reganThe Department of Surgery & Cancer congratulates Professor Lesley Regan, on her election as Vice President for Strategic Development of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The RCOG encourages the study and advancement of the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, through postgraduate medical education, training development and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of this specialty and service provision.

Professor Regan is Director of the Recurrent Miscarriage Service at St Mary’s, comprising of a multidisciplinary team that she has developed to provide comprehensive investigations and treatment for couples with a history of recurrent early and late miscarriages. Professor Regan is also President of the UK Association of Early Pregnancy Units, advisor to the NICE interventions committee, professional member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Research Licence Committee.

Shirely Line
Divisional Manager-Human Resources/Communications
Department of Surgery and Cancer

Imanova announces 2014 IMPETus awards for early molecular imaging research

Grants designed to stimulate use of PET imaging in broader research projects

imanovaImanova Limited, the Centre for Imaging Sciences in London, has announced that six researchers from Imperial College London, King’s College London and UCL are to receive IMPETus awards. The awards are designed to both encourage the wider use of imaging and to enable researchers new to the area to gather the data required for its inclusion in full grant applications. Following the success of a pilot PET programme in 2012, IMPETus has now been officially launched and includes awards to scientists investigating not only dementia, depression and neurodegeneration, but also obesity and autism.

The researchers selected include Dr Paul Edison of Imperial College London whose research project will investigate the influence of obesity on neuroinflammation in Alzhiemer’s disease. The Imperial researcher was awarded the grant as a result of the outstanding scientific merit of his work and for his innovative use of existing tracers in novel research areas. The research will be carried out at Imanova’s world class facilities in London.

“We are delighted with the high calibre of experimental medicine studies for this year’s PET programme at Imanova and look forward to supporting this work,” announced Roger Gunn, CSO of Imanova Limited. “We believe that by providing access to our world-class imaging facilities, we can create an environment for sharing ideas, resources and expertise in imaging, whilst training and developing the next generation of imaging scientists and practitioners.”

The pilot studies from the initial round in 2012 can be found in Imanova’s annual report: http://www.imanova.co.uk/company/annual-review/

You can read more about the pilot IMPETus programme at http://www.imanova.co.uk/working-with-imanova/pilot-pet-programme/

Emily Head
Communications Officer
Imanova

Professor Peter Barnes elected to the Association of American Physicians

Prof Peter BarnesProfessor Peter Barnes, of the National Heart and Lung Institute, been elected to the prestigious Association of American Physicians – an impressive rarity for someone outside the USA.

The Association of American Physicians,  a nonprofit professional organization for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine”, was founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler.

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.

Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) news round-up

IGHI participates in the World Economic Forum 2014

Global leaders join forces with academics from IGHI at an IdeasLab session at the 2014 World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum brings together top business leaders, international politicians, academics and journalists to discuss the most pressing challenges facing the world. IdeasLab sessions allow experts from the world’s leading universities to address specific issues of importance with a high profile audience.

Lord Darzi receives Qatari honour

On 16 January, His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani  conferred upon Lord Darzi the Sash of Independence in recognition of his continuing contribution to developing the health sector in Qatar.

IGHI PhD application deadline – 2 March 2014

The PhD programme is open to UK/EU and overseas students. The funding is for three years and covers both fees and living expenses. Research progress is assessed each year and continuing receipt of funds will depend on satisfactory academic progress.

 

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.

Cycle theft – notification from Support Services

A notification from Support Services:

There has been an increase in cycle theft in the South Kensington area and the concentration of cycles on campus make the college a prime target.

Over 95% of cycles stolen on Campus in 2013 have been because cycles owners are buying locks that can be removed in seconds , particularly cable locks, chains and padlocks.  The Security Department have been buying “ABUS Granite X plus” locks in bulk and discounting them to staff and students at a price of £30.

These locks normally retail  between £70 and £80 and in the three years that we have been selling these locks  we have had no reports of locks being cut through. If you wish to purchase one please go to Room 155 in the Sherfield Building.

You can also have your cycle security marked in Room 155  free of charge.

The Security Team is also working with the local Police Team to look at what other measures can be implemented to reduce cycle theft on Campus.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously around cycles on Campus please call Security immediately on 4444 or 02075891000 from a mobile

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

 

SCI receive $750k grant

schisto

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (DIDE, School of Public Health) have received a core grant of $750,000 from Good Ventures; a Foundation in USA.

Founded in 2011, Good Ventures’ mission is to help humanity thrive. Our early grantmaking will focus on researching, supporting and promoting cost‐effective approaches to improving quality of life worldwide, advancing public policies that protect or expand personal freedom, and increasing the impact of philanthropy by encouraging effectiveness and transparency across the social sector. Good Ventures is a supporting organization to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

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

Cafe Communique

Passionate about global health? Are you interested in writing?

Café Communique  is a recently founded global health magazine with the aim of bringing together science, epidemiology, humanities, policy and economics to a dynamic online platform. We are endorsed by Professor Helen Ward of Imperial College London’s School of Public Health and Professor Azeem Majeed of the WHO Collaborating Centre.

We want to get more people talking about global health; be it doctor, student or member of the public, in the hopes of delivering a greater understanding and appreciation. Our aim is to strip down the ‘white coat’ and reintroduce the definition of global health as a more entertaining, engaging issue within our medium. More importantly we strongly believe in establishing a magazine with good quality journalism that focuses on key global health issues with contributions from authorities in the subject as well as personal stories to highlight the human-interest aspect of medicine and provoke discussion.

We are currently looking to recruit a team of in-house writers to write about a variety of topics within the realm of global health. If you are interested in joining our team, please send a short cover letter no longer than 200 words to cafecommunique@gmail.com on your interests in global health, any previous writing experience (but not essential) and what you could bring to the team by 1st February. Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

The Café Communique Team

Visit us at http://cafecommunique.org/

ISSF Global Health Clinical Training Fellowships & Imperial Confidence in Concept scheme

ISSF Global Health Clinical Training Fellowships

We are seeking to support outstanding early-career clinical professionals wishing to undertake research, at least in part overseas, to improve the health of people and reduce health inequalities in developed and developing countries. Cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.

These training fellowships are intended to provide opportunities for the most promising clinical academics, at the very beginning of their careers, to develop bids for independent fellowship funding. The primary aim of the fellowships is to remove obstacles to achieving peer-reviewed external grant or fellowship funding, through supporting feasibility or exploratory studies, facilitating networks and providing mentoring support from a senior Imperial academics. We anticipate that each fellow will be supported by two mentors, one based at an Imperial Campus, and one based overseas. All fellowships must commence by the 1st September, 2014.

How to apply?

If you have an Imperial and overseas sponsor, please contact ISSF@imperial.ac.uk for an application form and further information.

Should you be an interested applicant with a UK-based Imperial sponsor looking for an overseas sponsor, please provide a max 500 word summary of your interests, brief summary of project and research experience to ISSF@imperial.ac.uk. We cannot guarantee that all interested applicants with a UK-based sponsor will be matched with an overseas sponsor. Full applications would need to be submitted by 10th March 2014 to ISSF@imperial.ac.uk. Interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to take place the week commencing 28th April 2014.

Imperial Confidence in Concept scheme

The second call for our Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) scheme will be advertised next week. This initiative helps fast track promising research ideas towards a marketable product and/or clinical testing. Building on the success of the 2013 Imperial Confidence in Concept scheme and Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)/Imperial Innovations Therapeutic Primer Fund (£250,000), the College has received a further £700,000 funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to continue this scheme. The ICiC scheme provides 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.

An ICiC event will be held on the afternoon of Monday 17th February which will be open to all researchers within Imperial College and will require registration. This will include internal speakers as well as external speakers from the commercial sector and collaborators from the NIHR Royal Marsden/Institute of Cancer Research BRC. Further details will be circulated to faculties and departments the week beginning 27th January.

 

Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Officer
Faculty of Medicine

14 Faculty of Medicine Master’s Scholarships available

The Faculty of Medicine is offering generous scholarships to students with outstanding academic potential who apply in 2014 for one of the 30 Master’s courses run by its Schools, Institutes and Departments.

There are 4 Dean’s Master’s Scholarships available (full fees plus £17.5K flexible stipend), 2 for Home/EU and 2 for Overseas students, and 10 Faculty Master’s Scholarships (£17.5K flexible stipend), open to both Home/EU and overseas students.  Application is via an online form and the deadline is 31 March 2014.

Please advertise these widely to attract the best students to our courses. Posters such as those below (plus more styles) are available for download.  These can be printed for display in your location and/or sent via e-mail to prospective applicants or contacts in other universities (and overseas) who would be willing to circulate the information to their life science/medicine undergraduates.

If you have any queries about the Scholarships or Master’s courses, please contact Jim Osborne

posters

 

School of Medicine reorganisation and new Head of Undergraduate School of Medicine

The School of Medicine has recently been reorganised – adopting a new structure to establish clearer leadership and strengthen links with academic departments and the NHS.

Martin LuptonMr Martin Lupton (previously one of the Deputy Directors of Education) has been appointed as Head of Undergraduate School of Medicine. Martin took some time to speak to us about his new role, what the reorganisation means for medical students and how he believes the university education experience will evolve in the coming years.

Q: Congratulations on your appointment as the Head of Undergraduate School of Medicine. Can you describe this new role, as well as your main aims and objectives?

Thank you. I think the best way to describe this new role is as a facilitator and communicator. As the Chair of the School Board, my primary responsibilities are to facilitate the new leadership team in their work to improve the quality of our educational offering and to ensure that at every level the School listens to and is responsive to its students and staff (both those in our academic departments and in NHS settings).

Q: The School of Medicine has recently been reorganised with a new structure. How will these changes provide benefits to the educational offering and student experience?

Imperial College School of Medicine is a great and very large organisation, requiring collaboration across North West London. To ensure that the School can build on its success at a time of enormous change both in the University sector and the NHS, we have developed a new structure. The new structure will allow us to concentrate on the twin challenges of strategy and delivery.

Q: Which aspects of the role are you most looking forward to, and what do you envisage your greatest challenges to be?

The aspect of the role I most look forward to is also the greatest challenge.  The changes in the NHS are going to require significant parallel changes in our curriculum.  This is undoubtedly going to be difficult to achieve, but provides us with amazing opportunities to refresh and improve the content of our course.

Q: With the rise of online learning and social media, how do you think the higher education experience will change at Imperial over the coming years?

Imperial College Medical School is in a state of permanent evolution. We have already introduced iPads to the senior clinical years and have been developing high quality learning materials to populate an information spine that runs in parallel with our curriculum map. I think that in time more of the factual content of our course will be delivered through on line learning, which will be fantastic as it will allow us to use our human resource to concentrate on the ancient and unchanging need for apprenticeship and interaction in clinical medicine. The new and the old will work with increasing synergy.

Q: What do you see as the greatest benefits and opportunities for medical students studying at Imperial?

Where to begin? The two outstanding opportunities for our students are science and medical excellence. Imperial is a world class scientific institution and our students have a unique opportunity to be exposed to medical science in its evolution, from bench to bedside. Furthermore the Academic Health Partnership gathers together a stable of some of the most famous hospitals in the world, which care for probably the most diverse population in the world, in arguably the greatest city in the world and our students study in this environment! Why would you want to go anywhere else?

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

Live Below the Line – Get Involved

Live below the line

Live Below the Line is a fundraising and campaigning event which challenges people to live below the poverty line for 5 days – the challenge is tough but gives you a unique glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who live below the poverty line every day.

The Hunger Project (one of the main charity partners) is building a team of Live Below ambassadors/bloggers/participants to spread the word. If you are interested, get in touch with Mark.

You can take on the challenge at any time during the campaign window which…
Starts – Monday, March 03, 2014.
Ends – Sunday, June 29, 2014.

Most participants will take the challenge in the MAIN campaign week Monday 28 April to Friday 02 May.

Join the challenge – No signup or registration fees. £5 | 5 Days for all food and drink. Pre-register here http://eepurl.com/JTHa5

Registration opens in the spring. If you’re interested in taking part or building a team join this event page, invite your friends. If you’re interested in keeping in touch email mark.speirs@thp.org QUOTE: LBL14

http://www.thehungerproject.co.uk/getinvolved/live-below-the-line/

Mark Speirs
Marketing/Comms/Fundraising Manager
The Hunger Project UK

8th UK and Ireland Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology Meeting

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

Course description

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

Registration details

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

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

Keynote speakers

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

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

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