Welcome to the blog pages of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London.
This site provides frequent blog posts from staff and students within the College relating to the various global health topics we are working on within the institute and Imperial. It aims to be an arena for debate and discussion and we welcome your comments and suggestions.
We are always looking for guest bloggers (internal and external to the College). If you would like to write for our blog, contact IGHI’s Communications Manager, Jo Seed firstname.lastname@example.org tel 0207 594 1484
By Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson, Consultant Hepatologist and Professor of Translational Medicine at Imperial College London
Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson with colleagues
Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare primary malignancy arising from cholangiocytes, the endothelial lining of the biliary ducts, with an incidence 2500 cases of per annum in the UK. The only option for cure is surgical resection, but cholangiocarcinoma usually presents late when it grows sufficiently to block the drainage of bile from the liver, presenting with jaundice. By this point it is often irresectable, and palliative management includes holding open the ducts with stents to prevent blockage, and chemotherapy. One-year survival is only 5%.
By Caitriona Tyndall, MSc. BSc, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London.
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) introduced the unity bands as a symbol of our united front against cancer and a pledge to help beat cancer sooner.
The 4th of February is World Cancer Day. This is a day to remember and celebrate. Sadly cancer affects us all whether it’s personally or through our friends and family or work colleagues. In fact it’s estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lifetime. But in the face of this depressing statistic there is cause to celebrate.
By Joshua Symons, BDAU, Centre for Health Policy, Institute of Global Health Innovation
2017 has been a very busy year for the Big Data and Analytical Unit (BDAU). High level accomplishments in data security and researcher outreach have led the BDAU to become one of the most secure and recognised analytic platforms for healthcare data at Imperial.
In May of 2017, the BDAU Secure Environment (SE) became the first ISO 27001:2013 (figure 1) and NHS IG Toolkit 100% Level 3 (figure 2) certified research environment in Imperial College. Over the course of 2017, the BDAU SE was successful in completing a further 11 internal and external audits.
By Kitty Liao and Abellona U of Ideabatic, IGHI’s 2017 Student Challenges Competition winners
Kitty in the community where a vaccine campaign was being carried out
So much has happened since we won the Student Challenges Competition last year. The prize from the competition has been very helpful for us to secure our UK patent. Following that, we have recently submitted our global patent.
By Dr Julia Makinde is a Research Associate with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative at Imperial College London
It is estimated that there are 36.7 million people living with HIV globally with 1.8 million new infections in 2016 alone (1). This number represents an 11% drop in the number of new infections from 2010 . Some might consider this an achievement or a testament to the impact of strategic national and global policies aimed at tackling the epidemic. But in reality, these numbers mask the discrepant pace in the effort to tackle transmission and AIDS-related deaths in countries across the globe.
By guest blogger, Dr Yu Zhi Zhang (Dennis), Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Histopathology at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London; on behalf of the National Centre for Mesothelioma Research (NCMR), National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London
The 9th edition of the renowned Osler’s Textbook on the Principles and Practice of Medicine, published in 1921, dedicated only two (out of 1,139) pages to lung cancer, at which point the condition was described as “New Growths in the Lungs”. Almost a hundred years on, the patterns of epidemiology have shifted drastically, and lung cancer now is recognised as a major health problem globally with more than 1.8 million new cases diagnosed every year.
By Dr Timothy Rawson, Clinical Research Fellow, Esmita Charani, Senior Lead Pharmacist and Dr Enrique Castro Sanchez, Academic Research Nurse all from the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Antibiotics are a powerful resource that allows us to safely perform surgery, treat cancer with chemotherapy, and recover from infections that over 100 years ago would have killed even the fittest among us.
We are seeing however, a dramatic increase in infections with bacteria resistant to the killing effects of antibiotics (termed drug-resistant infections). These are antibiotics that until recently used to be effective. These resistant bacteria make many infections more and more difficult to treat – in some cases causing patients to die because we no longer have antibiotics that are able to manage the infection.
By Chris Bird, MSc Health Policy student at Imperial College and Project Manager in the System Engagement Programme at NICE
This week marks World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the theme of which is to seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development in our world today. Antibiotic resistance leads to high medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality.
It’s a subject brought home to me as I was lucky enough to study my MSc in the very same historic buildings at St Mary’s Hospital where Alexander Fleming first discovered the miracle of penicillin.
By guest blogger, Paul Kiet Tang, Senior Assistant Editor at The Lancet*
Since its discovery and widespread use, antibiotics have been marvelled as a panacea that has revolutionised modern day medicine. Routine surgical procedures, childbirth, and open wounds are no longer associated with high risks of mortality from infections. However, the overuse and misuse of these drugs have led to increased concerns of antibiotic resistance worldwide, with up to 700,000 people dying globally from antibiotic-resistant infections. In the final 2016 report of The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance from the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust, this incidence was projected to increase to 10 million people per year by 2050, costing the global economy up to 100 trillion US dollars and pushing about 28.3 million people into extreme poverty.
By Claire Turner, Communications Coordinator, iDSI, Global Health and Development Group
As the new academic year commences we take a look back at some of the work conducted by early career researchers as short research projects in the Centre for Health Policy, which they presented on this summer. Below is a summary of the work that was presented.