Blog posts

Healthy volunteers of West African descent sought for Imperial sponsored study

Heart_drawings_3_by_PJKWe are looking for healthy volunteers of West African descent to take part in an Imperial sponsored study called ‘Genetic Studies of the Heart and Circulation’, which aims to develop an atlas of the human heart to help scientists to determine the effect of different DNA and genes on heart shape and function. The research has been given ethical approval by the Research Ethics Committee (approval reference number 09/H0707/69).

Volunteers must be:

  • registered with a UK GP
  • have no heart-related health problems
  • be between the ages of 18 and 80

The study will involve some general lifestyle questions; height, weight and simple heart test function measurements; a three dimensional heart scan; and a blood (or saliva) sample. The appointment may take up to 90 minutes, and are held at Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12.

All participants will be reimbursed £25 and will receive a free CD of their scan.

For more information email:

Laura Monje Garcia
Research Nurse, Cardiology
Robert Steiner MRI Unit
Hammersmith Hospital

Central ‘Faculty of Medicine’ webpages – looking a little bit different!

webpageAs you may well have noticed by now, the central ‘Faculty of Medicine’ website has moved into Imperial College’s new website content management system (CMS). These pages (the majority of pages under  have been migrated and refreshed to match the College’s new look and to deliver a better user experience for visitors to the site – no matter what device they may be using: mobile, tablet or desktop computer. To prepare for this transfer a team of editors in the Faculty have worked hard to review and recreate their existing pages into the new format, and we’d like to thank them for all their hard work.

This is the first phase of a programme of transfer for the many sites which are related to the Faculty of Medicine.  Sites will need to be moved from our current Faculty system (an older, CMS which is unique to our Faculty) into the College’s new, mobile-friendly system.  For more detail about future transfers, please see the ‘what’s next?’ section below.

What to expect from the new pages.

Now the new pages have gone live you’ll notice that existing urls and links to central Faculty information held on these pages have changed.  We’ve worked to keep a number of our most important url links going to their direct equivalent – but with such a large website move, it’s inevitable that some existing links to pages may no longer work as you expected. If the old link you are used to using has changed, you’ll either be redirected to the appropriate general area of the new site, or be taken to a ‘404’ page which will attempt to locate a relevant page in the new site.  Alternatively you can use the College search box which appears at the top of every web page.

We want your feedback.

We are very interested to hear your experiences of using the new site as you get to know it during the first few months after launch.  In particular we’d very much value your opinion of the new ‘For FoM staff’ section (we aim to continually improve this as a resource to complement the College level pages – and need your input to do that!).

What’s next?

The next stage of the project will be to rollout a programme of activity to work with site owners to help them migrate content from their departmental, unit or research group pages into the new system and designs. This activity will take a year to complete, and will be undertaken as a phased roll-out which will be planned with each of the Departments.  If you are a Faculty CMS site owner we will therefore be contacting you over the coming months to discuss your training needs and help you plan the transfer of your pages into the new system.

For more information about the College-wide web project, please visit:

For information on how to prepare your web pages for the new system please visit:

Desmond Samuel

Digital Communications and Marketing Strategy Manager
Faculty of Medicine


Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) scheme awards funding to 22 projects

The Faculty is delighted to report the outcome of the third Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) competition to support the College-wide development of novel devices, diagnostics and therapeutics for areas of unmet clinical need. A fund in excess of £1.3million was made available from the MRC (Confidence in Concept fund), NIHR Imperial BRC, Imperial Innovations, Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account and as well as support from NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This is the first year that Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has taken part in the scheme.  The ICiC scheme provides vital pilot funding to bridge the potential gap between discovery research and well-developed applications for MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme / Developmental Clinical Studies Funding Scheme support. The Panel, including external members and chaired by Professor Roberto Solari, was delighted with the high quality and wide range of applications. 22 Awards were made.

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

Professor Andrew Amis (PI), Professor Justin Cobb, & Dr Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena (Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Reza Bahmanyar (PI, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering)

Dr Jeffrey Bamber (PI) & Dr Mengxing Tang (Division of Radiotherapy & Imaging, Institute of Cancer Research and Department of Bioengineering, ICL)

Dr Paul Bentley (PI), Professor Etienne Burdet, & Dr Michael Mace (Departments of Medicine & Bioengineering)

Professor Thomas Brand (PI) & Dr Katie Chapman (National Heart & Ling Institute and Domainex Ltd)

Dr Graham Cooke (PI), Professor Chris Toumazou, & Professor Myra McClure (Departments of Medicine & Bioengineering)

Dr Ernesto Cota Segura (PI), Dr Nathan Brown, Professor Ed Tate, & Dr Chiara Recchi (Departments of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Surgery & Cancer, and CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, Institute of Cancer Research)

Dr Christina Fotopoulou (PI) & Dr Paula Cunnea (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Gary Frost (PI), Dr Rohini Sharma, Professor Mark Thursz, & Dr Edwards Chambers (Department of Medicine)

Professor George Hanna (PI), Dr Tanzeela Khalid, & Dr Melody Ni (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Dr David Hodson (PI) & Professor Guy Rutter (Department of Medicine)

Professor David Klug (PI) & Dr Oscar Ces (Department of Chemistry)

Dr Christoph Lees (PI) & Professor Phil Bennett (Department of Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Nicholas Long (PI) & Professor Guy Rutter (Departments of Chemistry & Medicine)

Dr Stepan Lucyszyn (PI) & Professor Anthony Chu (Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Medicine)

Professor Danilo Mandic (PI) & Dr Sudhin Thayyil (Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Medicine)

Professor Jane Mitchell (PI), Dr Nicholas Kirkby, & Dr Mark Paul-Clark (National Heart & Lung Institute)

Dr Christopher Rhodes (PI) & Professor Martin Wilkins (Department of Medicine)

Professor Andrew Rice (PI) & Dr Kenji Okuse (Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Departments of Surgery & Cancer and Life Sciences)

Professor Molly Stevens (PI), Dr Anthony Gordon, & Dr Robert Chapman (Departments of Materials, Bioengineering, and Surgery & Cancer)

Professor Ed Tate (PI), Professor Sebastian Johnston, & Dr Aurelie Mousnier (Department of Chemistry and National Heart & Lung Institute)

Dr Paul Turner (PI), Dr Mohamed Shamji, & Dr Robert Boyle (Department of Medicine and National Heart & Lung Institute)


Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Coordinator
Faculty of Medicine

Antimicrobial Research Collaborative (ARC) Early Career Research Fellowships

The Antimicrobial Research Collaborative (ARC) is a new Imperial network of researchers, primary care specialists and allied health professionals established to advance basic research in AMR and to translate research to novel prevention strategies and healthcare interventions. The ARC Early Career Research Fellowships scheme aims to attract and retain the most promising early career scientists to undertake multidisciplinary research projects in antimicrobial research within the College.

How to apply?

Full details of the ARC Early Career Research Fellowships and how to apply will be announced on 5th June, and will be available from: There will be an opportunity to ask questions about the Fellowships at the ARC launch on 5th June (please see for details of the event and to register). The closing date for ARC Fellowship applications will be 5pm on 3rd July 2015.

Creating new opportunities for collaboration – pharma speed dating

On 30th January 2015, the breakout space at the Wolfson Education Centre at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus was buzzing with more than 100 dates between 40 Imperial academics from different faculties, and representatives from 7 major Pharma companies.

The first Pharma speed dating @ ICL event was part of the launch program for the Imperial Confidence in Concept funding scheme, and was organized by the Corporate Partnerships team. Jonathan Weber, Vice-Dean of Research and Imperial College AHSC Director said

“The Pharma speed dating event fits with our strategy to strengthen Imperial relationship with the Pharmaceutical industry and to provide young PIs an opportunity to have their first industrial interactions”.

Academics had only 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to company representatives and discuss common interest for collaborations.

Both academics and company representatives enjoyed a day of interesting and open scientific discussions.

Silvia Santos, a starting group leader at the Imperial MRC-Clinical Science Centre said:

It was very informative to understand what a therapeutic target is to Pharma companies and the path to get into having a potential interesting target. But perhaps even more exciting was realising how complementary our approaches in the lab are with some of the companies and start discussions for potential collaborations.”

Following on from the event, the Corporate Partnerships team is busy following up with several companies who have opened opportunities for collaboration with the College.

The Corporate Partnerships team is expecting to run this event again next year. If your company is interested in participating in the next speed dating @ ICL event, please get in touch with us at

Imperial College Students win the Royal Society of Medicine’s Norah Schuster Prize for History of Medicine

Norah Schuster PrizeThe School of Medicine are very pleased to announce that two of our 5th year Medical students, Zeena Mougammadou-Aribou and Sam Tindall both won prizes at this year’s Royal Society of Medicine Norah Schuster Prize.

This prestigious prize is awarded for the best student essay relating to the history of medicine. Zeena and Sam (seen below at the Award Ceremony in April) won the prize for the mini-projects which they conducted during the History of Medicine specialist course, taken as part of their intercalated BSc. They each received a £100 book token and a year’s membership of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Zeena’s mini-project considered a surgical procedure which was marketed in the 18th century for the management of teething in children. Interestingly, until the 19th century a large portion of child mortality was attributed to teething, which was perceived to be a dangerous period in child development. The surgical procedure was invented by a man named Joseph Hurlock and it involved cutting the gums of teething children so the teeth could come through unobstructed. Hurlock used clever and innovative marketing techniques to ensure that his procedure became widely used. However, these techniques were also controversial; for example, criticising the reliability of nurses and the effectiveness of other techniques used for teething infants.

From left: Dr Michael Weatherburn (Sam's project supervisor), Zeena M-A, Dr Emily Mayhew, Sam and Dr Neil Tarrant (Zeena’s Supervisor and History of Medicine course head) a t the Norah Schuster Awards Ceremony
From left: Dr Michael Weatherburn (Sam’s project supervisor), Zeena M-A, Dr Emily Mayhew, Sam and Dr Neil Tarrant (Zeena’s Supervisor and History of Medicine course head) a t the Norah Schuster Awards Ceremony

Sam’s mini-project examined how a strong focus on the Western Front during World War 1 meant that the Italian Front was overlooked in historical writing and therefore in public perception. The war took place in the Alps between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The terrain and weather conditions made this battle unique in many ways when compared with the rest of WWI. The injuries and ailments afflicting soldiers fighting in this region are therefore very different to those perceived to have affected soldiers at the time. This includes frost bite and the risk of avalanche in the winter, and lightning strikes and malaria in the summer.

The School of Medicine would like to congratulate Zeena and Sam on their excellent achievement and to thank Dr Neil Tarrant, the History of Medicine Course Director, and his team for all of their work on the course.

Nicole Barnes
Curriculum Administrator (BSc Pathways)
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)

PG Connections June Event: Professor David Nutt – Why Scientists Must Also be Revolutionaries

Dear Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Students and Staff,

I would like to invite you to our next PG Connections Event which is on Wednesday 10 June at 17:30 (registration opens at 17.00) in Room G16 in the Alexander Fleming Building (South Kensington Campus). The highlight of the event will be a talk from Professor David Nutt, titled ‘Why Scientists Must Also be Revolutionaries’. As with all PG Connections events, the talk will be followed by a complimentary drinks reception.


Most people think that the biggest problem to scientific and medical advances is the failure of funders, governments and the public to understand the value of what they do. I will demonstrate with examples from my own research career and those of others, that scientists themselves are often the enemy of progress and argue that we should always be challenging ourselves to think more creatively about the future goals of our disciplines.

About the Speaker

profnuttProfessor Nutt is the Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial. In addition to his many career achievements (including sitting on a number of high profile NHS and governmental committees), he has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and book chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 27 books including Drugs Without the Hot Air, which won the Transmission Book Prize in 2014.

The event is free to Faculty of Medicine postgraduate students and staff. However, we do ask that you register in advance to help us assess numbers for catering purposes:

Andrea Almeida

PGT Admin
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)

Appointment of Head and Deputy of Years 3 and 6 Assessment

I am pleased to announce two important academic appointments:

Dr Amir Sam has been appointed Head of Years 3 and 6 Assessment, with Dr Neil Mo as his Deputy.

Amir, as many of you know, is a Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals.  He is heavily involved in education, holding a number of roles including Head of Curriculum and Assessment Development and Director of Clinical Studies at Charing Cross.  He also represents the School at the Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance.

Neil is a Consultant Rheumatologist at Charing Cross Hospital, where he is also the Site Lead for Rheumatology.  He is involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, and has held posts as Lead for Simulation Training and Foundation Programme Director within his Trust.

Miss Susan English
Director of Education Management and Programme Director
Faculty of Medicine

Department of Medicine granted Athena SWAN Silver award

athena silver

The Department of Medicine was delighted to hear last week that it has been granted an Athena SWAN Silver award in recognition of its commitment to address the underrepresentation of female academics in university STEMM departments.

The achievement reflects the fruits of actions completed and the impact of changes made since the department’s Bronze award in 2013. The gap between numbers of male and female academics is slowly closing, and academic promotion application and success rates are now slightly higher for women than men.

From the start of its Athena SWAN journey in 2012 the department (headed by Professor Martin Wilkins) took a broad approach by setting out to make changes to culture and organisation that would benefit all staff and students, and “building a strong and supportive academic community” is integral to its mission.

Developments since the Bronze award include a thriving mentoring scheme that is now being adopted by other departments, an annual Welcome reception for all new staff (and informative Welcome packs), an Academic & Family Life panel discussion programme open to the wider College, a DoM Life website, promotion support team and an Early Career Committee.

Many challenges remain for a department of nearly 1000 people spread across six campuses: ensuring that progress so far is both embedded and sustainable, fostering a supportive and interactive culture, and forging a clear departmental identity.

Progress is driven by a diverse Development & Opportunities Committee led by Dr Jane Saffell and supported by HR Liaison Officer Mrs Meriel Cartwright. Within this, an Early Career Committee co-Chaired by Drs Amy Birch and Ed Roberts spearheads initiatives for postdocs and PhD students.

If you are interested in the work of the committees, or would like to see the Athena SWAN submission and action plan, please visit the DoM Life website.


Dr Jane Saffell
Senior Lecturer
Department of Medicine

Mental Health Awareness Week @ Imperial College 11–15 May 2015

Mental Health Awareness Week was created by the Mental Health Foundation and is celebrated every year from the 11th – 17th May. The aim is to get the public to talk more openly about the issues that surround mental health and to raise awareness of the issues people face. It is also a time to get people thinking about their own mental wellbeing.

MHAWThis year the theme is Mindfulness, which is all about focusing on the here and now; to forget about the past or worrying about the future, and only concentrate on what is happening in the moment.

To celebrate MHAW this year, the Equality & Diversity Unit alongside the Learning & Development Centre, Occupational Health, and Ethos have put together a range of activities, training and events.

During this week we also encourage you to wear green to support our campaign and take part in our twitter competition where we ask you to tweet us at Imperial_LDC a photo of your lunch break – the most creative lunch break will win a prize. To find out more about our #reclaim your lunch Twitter competition for Mental Health Awareness Week visit our webpage.

We will keep you updated with tweets, emails, newsletters and posters with ways you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness week.

Find out more on the Mental Health Awareness Week webpage.

Celine Jaquet
Operations Manager – Occupational Health Service
Imperial College London

Faculty of Medicine Fellowships Guest Lectures and Awards Ceremony 2015 – Tuesday 2 June 2015

This year’s Faculty of Medicine Fellowships Guest Lectures and Awards Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 2 June 2015 from 17.30-19.45, at the South Kensington campus. The event will incorporate guest lectures from the two new Fellows of the Faculty of Medicine and will be followed by a drinks reception.

The 2015 Fellows of the Faculty of Medicine are:

Dr Rino Rappuoli – Chief Scientist, GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy
Lecture: ‘Opportunities and challenges for vaccines’

Dr Wendy Ewart – Former Deputy CEO and Chief of Strategy, Medical Research Council, UK
Lecture: ‘For Richer for Poorer? The funding dilemma’

Click here to register to attend this event

Student presenter prize for medical student Madeleine Openshaw

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMadeleine Openshaw, a 5th year student at the Imperial College School of Medicine won the Student Presenter prize at the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC), London and South East Regional conference in January 2015.

Her emotive presentation entitled ‘In Loving Memory’: the role of sentimental objects in childhood bereavement’ was based on research performed during her humanities intercalated BSc at Imperial.

Maddy will be presenting her work again in June at the Annual GP Teachers Conference for our community based Imperial Primary Care teachers.


Dr Joanne Harris MRCP MRCGP MA(Med Ed)
Deputy Head of Undergraduate School of Medicine
Imperial College London

Institute of Global Health Innovation April update

SAVE THE DATE! IGHI’s Annual Lecture – Evening of Tuesday 16 June, Clore Lecture Theatre, South Kensington Campus.

This year’s lecture will be hosted by David Meltzer, Professor of Medicine, Economics and Public Policy at the University of Chicago.  Further details to follow.

Other news

Sign up to receive our quarterly e-news bulletin

Jo Seed
Communications and Events Officer
Institute of Global Health Innovation



School of Medicine and ICSMSU Teaching Excellence Awards for NHS Teachers 2014-15


Nominations now open!

Teaching Excellence Award

Ten awards for Excellence in Teaching for NHS staff are made annually.  We welcome submissions for the awards from the four main teaching hospitals, the district general hospitals, the mental health trusts or the primary care trusts (or practices). The awards are open to all NHS-salaried staff, working in any healthcare profession, who teach medical undergraduates from Imperial College London or students studying for an Imperial master’s level degree.

Individuals awarded within the last five years will not usually be reconsidered but we welcome submissions for previously unsuccessful nominees.

Distinguished Teacher Award

The Distinguished Teacher Award is to recognise one excellent teacher who continues to deliver outstanding teaching over and beyond expectation and has previously been awarded a Teaching Excellence Award.

Supporting the Student Experience Award

Supporting the Student Experience Award may be given to one member of staff who has a primarily non-teaching role in supporting Imperial students within an NHS environment, who has shown an extra measure of dedication and has achieved excellence in supporting the student experience.


Please complete and return the attached nomination forms by 1 May 2015 to Georgina Periam, Faculty Education Office (Medicine),

Nomination forms and details of previous winners can also be found online at School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers webpage.

Call for Experimental Medicine Proposals 2015: NIHR Imperial BRC Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT)

With the launch of ITMAT the NIHR Imperial BRC is pleased to announce an inaugural call for experimental medicine proposals to exploit ITMAT’s core platform technologies. It aims to promote and encourage the ‘pull-through’ of discovery science from the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering and Natural Sciences within Imperial College London into potential clinical applications.

The intention of this call is to provide seed funding support to pilot experimental medicine projects that are based on a workable hypothesis and can demonstrate reasonable promise of success. Our aim is to provide a boost to these promising projects, to provide the additional data and evidence that will support Imperial researchers to apply for larger, follow-on grants from other funders within a period of 12-15 months.


Applications should be made on the downloadable application form and submitted by 12pm on 4 May 2015 to

View guidance documentation for this call

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about this call


What is ITMAT?

The Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) at NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is virtual institute built upon core facilities across the College and Trust. Its aim is to support the acceleration of fundamental discoveries into improvements in human health and economic benefit.

ITMAT includes platforms in genomic (and metagenomic), metabonomic and imaging technologies and health informatics, as well as the NIHR Wellcome Trust Imperial Clinical Research Facility (ICRF) and one of the largest tissue collections in Europe. ITMAT offers BRC co-funding for proof-of-concept studies across the translational divide, and postgraduate programmes at the interface of basic and clinical sciences. The Institute particularly promotes multidisciplinary research, pulling through biomedical applications from engineering and physical sciences discovery science, and strategic commercial partnerships.

More information about the core platforms of ITMAT is detailed in Annex 1 of the guidance documentation.

Child Health Unit update

A study lead by Dr Sonia Saxena  showed fewer complications and readmissions at specialist centres compared with District General hospitals for children having appendectomy: Annals of Surgery. Listen to Sonia talk about this research on the Imperial Podcast.

Liz Koshy has published a paper in BMJ open showing that tonsillectomy operations for children who have not had recurrent throat infections provide very little benefit: BMJ Open

We published a paper in that showed a halving in 5 year perianal surgery rates among patients with Crohns Disease who had sustained treatment (over 18 months) with immunosuppressant drugs: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Dr Sonia Saxena MBBS MSc MD FRCGP

Clinical Reader in Primary Care
Department of Primary Care and Public Health

Services available at the St. Mary’s FACS Core Facility

St. Mary’s FACS core facility Who we are and what we can do for you:

The St. Mary’s FACS Core Facility is housed on the 3rd floor in the Medical School building. The facility is open to everyone and provides access to high-end FACS analysers, teaching and training, performs a dedicated Cat2 cell sorting service, and houses a MSD and a Luminex200 cytokine and protein analysis platform.

The cell sorting service usually operates during weekdays but we try to accommodate a certain flexibility in terms of start and end time. Your science matters to us and we’ll live up to this claim. Access to all of our analyser platforms can be organised on a 24/7 basis with college security.

As part of our service, the facility provides all necessary reagents (except antibodies and functional dyes) and consumables required to run your samples on perfectly maintained instruments.


Training is performed in the facility on our own analysers to enable users to operate the systems independently with high confidence. Training is free and we only charge the hourly cost rate of the analyser.

We help you with Panel design using our experience in colour choices in order to get you on track faster and economically more efficient.

Seminars on FACS analysis and sorting can be requested for small groups or departments.

CAT2 Cell sorting is performed in our facility as a full service using our AriaIIIu sorter housed in a CAT2 hood; usually Monday-Friday, but we try to be accommodating if out-of-hours/weekends are necessary.

We offer help on experimental design and data interpretation in order to help you reach your research goals more effectively.

Available cytometers: £25/h recharge

LSRII: 405/488/633nm excitation suite coupled with 6/6/3 detector emission bench

Fortessa A: 355/405/488/561/640nm excitation suite coupled with 2/6/6/4/3 detector emission bench

Fortessa B: 405/488/561/640nm excitation suite coupled with 6/6/4/3 detector emission bench

FlowJo: We provide access to FlowJo on a Mac and a PC for everybody using our cytometers for free as part of general facility usage

Cell sorter: £67/h recharge

AriaIIIu in a Cat2 safety hood: 375 or 405/ 488/561/640nm excitation suite coupled with 2or6/2/4/3 detector emission bench. Sorting onto slides, dishes, multi-well plates (max 384well), Eppendorfs, FACS and Falcon tubes. Nozzles sizes 70, 85, and 100um to enable all kind of cell sorts.

Cytokine and Protein analysis platforms: £30/plate recharge

Meso Scale Discovery MSD platform

Biorad Luminex200 analyse

Find out more at:

Dr. Malte Paulsen
Head of the Flow Cytometry Core Facility, St. Mary’s Campus
Faculty of Medicine

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Networks of Excellence

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Networks of Excellence
Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Networks of Excellence

We are seeking to support novel biomedical research collaborations across disciplines and departments. Proposals for pilot or feasibility work for high risk projects, to support collaborative cohesion, to test or develop new methods, or proof of concept studies are encouraged through this call. It is envisaged that the outcomes of supported work will then form the basis of a major grant application. Whilst funding is available to support any research within the remit of the Wellcome Trust, networks undertaking interdisciplinary research in the themes of Biomedical Engineering, Global Health and Development (including Epidemiology, Prevention and Control) and Infection Research (including Antimicrobial Strategies and Resistance) are particularly encouraged.

How to apply?

If you wish to submit a proposal you should complete the project application form and submit it to by the 12noon, 8 May 2015. As we wish to fund a range of applications, a researcher cannot be principal investigator on more than one application, though this will not preclude applicants from being co-applicants on additional proposals. For further information please email or see the Networks of Excellence guidelines available at


Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Coordinator
Faculty of Medicine

Faculty of Medicine Campus Director for the South Kensington Campus

The Faculty of Medicine is pleased to advise Faculty members of the appointment of Professor Zoltan Takats as FoM Campus Director for the South Kensington Campus. Prof Takats took up the role from January 2015. Prof Takats is Professor of Analytical Chemistry within the Department of Surgery and Cancer.  More information about Prof Takats is available on his personal web page at:

As FoM Campus Director for the South Kensington Campus, Prof Takats succeeds Dr Vania Braga, who completed her term of office in the role at the end of 2014. The Faculty would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Braga for her work in this role over the last 3 years.

A full list of the campus directors for the Faculty is available on the Faculty webpages at:


‘Calling for Change’ CQI Project – Competition Results at the UCL ‘InspireMEdicine’ Conference 2015

Martin Bamford, Ishani Barai and Claire Brash presenting. Image courtesy of UCL Photo Society
Martin Bamford, Ishani Barai and Claire Brash presenting. Image courtesy of UCL Photo Society

On 24 January 2015, UCL Medical Society held their annual InspireMEdicine Conference, designed to celebrate variety and innovation within medical practice and broaden the horizons of current UK medical students. Throughout the day, delegates had the opportunity to attend workshops that explored key skills and gave a taste of the career paths on offer, as well as garnering advice from such renowned speakers as Professor Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians, Miss Su-Anna Boddy, Council Member at the Royal College of Surgeons and Dr Christian Jessen of Channel 4 ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ fame.

Our team of three current 4th year Imperial students completed our audit entitled ‘Calling for Change’ in 2014, to assess the accessibility and efficacy of the call bell system at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. We aimed to improve hospital safety and inpatient experience and having presented our ideas to the Chief Executive and Head of Nursing at the Trust with great feedback, we decided they held relevance on a broader scale within the NHS. As a result, we decided to enter our Clinical Quality Improvement (CQI) Project into both of this year’s InspireMEdicine Conference Competitions.

We were thrilled to be selected for the National Finals of both the Innovation Challenge and Poster Prize and are happy to report that on the day itself we placed 3rd in the Innovation Challenge. This gave us the opportunity to give an oral presentation to the 300 delegates, receiving a £150 prize and one-on-one mentoring with UCL Advances (UCL’s Centre for Entrepreneurship), to consider the social and economic impact of our proposals and form a business plan. Furthermore, we were excited to have won the Poster Prize Final, meaning that our Abstract will soon be published in the PubMed indexed journal ‘Annals of Medicine and Surgery’.

Overall, we had a fantastic time at the InspireMEdicine Conference and would like to thank all of those who supported our project, in particular Annette Stanley and Darren Pirson (our St Peter’s Hospital Teaching Coordinators) Adam Hunt (the Innovation Challenge lead) and UCLU Medical Society, for arranging such an incredible event. We’d strongly encourage current 3rd year students to consider entering their CQI projects next year!


Martin Bamford, Ishani Barai and Claire Brash
4th Year Medical Students
Imperial College London

First ICL-Pharma Speed Dating event creates new opportunities for collaboration

Lynne Murray
Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Lynne Murray

On 30 of January,the breakout space at the Wolfson education centre was buzzing with more than 100 dates between 40 Imperial academics from different faculties, and representatives from AstraZeneca, GSK, Lillly, MedImmune, Pfizer, Sanofi and UCB pharma. As a result, follow-up conversations are ongoing, and GSK and Sanofi are coming back to Imperial to search for collaborations.

The first ICL-Pharma Speed Dating event was part of the launching program of the Imperial Confidence in Concept funding scheme, and was organized by the Corporate Partnerships team.  Jonathan Weber, Vice Dean (Research) said “The Pharma speed dating event fits with our strategy to strengthen Imperial relationship with the Pharmaceutical industry and to provide young PIs an opportunity to have their first industrial interactions”. Academics had only 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to company representatives and discuss common interest for collaborations. The event was also the launch of the new Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR), Dr Lynne Murray. “During my tenure as the EiR at Imperial, I will act as an advisor, mentor and trouble-shooter for translational and commercial research directions. I did my PhD at Imperial and I am absolutely thrilled to spend time with Imperial academics” said Lynne. Currently employed by Medimmune, Lynne will act as a confidential and independent advisor with more than 15 years R&D and BD experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to provide advice on translational research collaborations with industry.

Both academics and company representatives enjoyed a day of interesting and open scientific discussions. Silvia Santos, a starting group leader at the MRC-Clinical Science Centre said “ It was very informative to understand what a therapeutic target is to pharma companies and the path to get into having a potential interesting target. But perhaps even more exciting was realising how complementary our approaches in the lab are with some of the companies and start discussions for potential collaborations”.

As a result of the event, the Corporate Partnerships team is busy setting second dates, and several companies have opened opportunities for collaboration with Imperial College. Genzyme opened a call for projects in inherited rare diseases that will be followed by a visit of their research team to discuss with short-listed candidates. GSK gave a presentation on their Discovery partnerships with Academia and Fast Track challenges, on 23 March at the Wolfson education centre on the Hammersmith campus.

All these calls are advertised through different channels including Faculty mailing lists, and research managers.

If you have any questions about these initiatives or you would like to discuss potential industrial collaborations, please get in touch with the Corporate Partnerships team at


Dr Alexandra Esteras-Chopo
Corporate Partnerships Associate
Faculty of Medicine