Blog posts

Prize for presentation on Fit for Follow-up study

Congratulations to Research Assistant Emma Robbins, who has just been notified that she won a £250 prize for her excellent oral presentation on the “FIT for Follow-Up” study at the British Society for Gastroenterology Annual Meeting, which took place in Liverpool from the 5th- 8th June.

The Annual meeting showcases the best of British gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy with hundreds of abstracts being presented orally or as posters, so this was a fantastic achievement for Emma.

 

Prizes galore at the Metabolomics Annual Meeting

Members of Computational Systems Medicine traveled across the pond to scoop a bounty of awards at the latest Metabolomics 2018 Annual Conference, which took place in Seattle from the 24-28 June 2018.

Simon Cameron received one of two Waters Corporation Travel Award, for the scientific quality of his submitted abstract, which provided $750 to help cover travel costs.

Natasa Giallourou, a Postdoc working in Jonathan Swann’s research group, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation received two awards at the Meeting, for her research on the metabolic impact of early-life undernutrition and enteric infections in children from developing countries. These included the Metabolomics Society Early Career Research Award for her Oral Presentation and the Metabolomics Society Early Career Prize.

To top it off, Elaine Holmes who gave the opening plenary session of the Meeting received a Lifetime Award for her contributions to the world of Metabolomics.

Surgical Conference One Stop Shop

A Surgical Conference Finder, developed by members of the Division of Surgery is available for surgeons globally to quickly search all surgical conferences and abstract deadlines by subspecialty, location and date.

Simon Erridge, an academic foundation trainee in General Surgery has been working in partnership with Mr Mikael Sodergren (Honorary Clinical Lecturer) to develop the resource and tells us how it came about.

“The Surgical Conference Finder was originally founded in February 2010 and the idea for the site arose from the difficulties encountered by surgeons in spending hours searching the internet for various conference locations and abstract deadlines. Today the Conference Finder houses a comprehensive database of over 500 surgical conferences and continues to grow. The aim of it to help people in trying to find interesting conferences to present their own research at or to find out more about the latest research in their field.”

“The Surgical Conference Finder is regularly updated, free to use and you can keep up to date with all the dates through the Surgical Conference Finder social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”

Two Prestigious Awards for Professor Vassilios Papalois

Professor Papalois receiving his Honorary Doctorate (second from left) in Thessalonniki.

Professor Vassilios Papalois, Head of Specialty for Transplant Surgery for Imperial College Healthcare Trust has recently received two prestigious awards in recognition of his contributions to research, education and clinical work.

On the 20th of June 2018, he received an Honorary Doctorate (the highest academic accolade) from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece.  The award was in recognition of “his pioneering clinical, research and educational work in Transplantation Surgery in Europe and internationally”.

Prof Papalois receiving membership of the Spanish Transplantation Society.

On the 30th of June 2018 he became an Honorary Member of the Spanish Transplantation Society (the highest honour of the Society) in recognition of his “outstanding contribution and inspirational leadership in research, education and practice of organ transplantation”.   Professor Papalois is the only Transplant Surgeon who has received the Honorary Membership of the Spanish Association of Surgeons and the Spanish Transplantation Society.

Recognition for contribution to the postdoc community

Dr Biancastella Cereser receiving her award from Head of the PFDC Liz Elvidge

The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre recently hosted the PFDC Reps Award Dinner to thank and recognise the significant contributions that the PFDC Reps Network make to the College. The Reps work on fostering a sense of community amongst Imperial postdocs, acting as a link between the PFDC, postdocs and the department and help the PFDC keep abreast of the challenges facing early career researchers.

Of the 75 Reps across the College, 13 were nominated for the PFDC Individual Award. One of which was our very own Biancastella Cereser (Postdoc rep at Hammersmith), who was nominated for the individual award for her continuous contribution to the postdoc community. Below Biacastella tells us a little more about her role as a postdoc rep.

“I joined Imperial College London in 2016 as a research associate in Prof Justin Stebbing group in the Department of Surgery and Cancer. I decided to become a postdoc rep not long after I joined Imperial College, as I wanted to network with fellow postdocs from other teams while also strengthening my CV with extra organisation skills.”

“I am an active member of the People and Culture committee and together with the other postdoc reps, I share the views of postdocs in several aspects of our job, and try to promote changes in our environment. Recently, I analysed the outcome of the staff survey, focusing on what the postdoc community of our Department thought about issues such as professional recognition, mental wellbeing and support from their line managers. From this, I’m currently contributing with the other reps and our postdoc champion to the design and implementation of a staff survey on career progression, aimed at postdocs not only from our Department but from the whole Faculty of Medicine (Hammersmith Campus), which will help to tackle, amongst other issues, the drop-out in academic progression, in particular from female postdocs!”

Find out more about postdoc support in Surgery and Cancer on our People and Culture Postdoc champions page.

Recognition for pioneering breast cancer surgery research

At the recent British Breast Group 2018 meeting, Mr Daniel Leff, Professor Ara Darzi and Professor Zoltan Takats were all selected to present their work on the intelligent knife for breast cancer surgery. This research has lead to the development of the Cancer Research UK Funded REI-EXCISE Trial, which is looking at whether the intelligent knife can help surgeons know if they have removed all of the cancer during breast cancer surgery.

The team won the Sir Patrick Forrest Prize for the best scientific presentation at the meeting.

CSM showcase their work at the Imperial Festival

Toby Athersuch in front of the “Wall of Fame” at the Imperial Festival.

At this year’s Imperial Festival, researchers in Computational and Systems Medicine (CSM) provided a number of activities for the public to get involved with some practical laboratory science.

Colourful separations soon to join the “Wall of Fame”.

Children and adults alike were invited to try their hand at some separations and investigate the composition of complex mixtures. In this instance, participants separated dyes using paper chromatography – employing the same underlying principles as we do for our routine bioanalysis – and could add their colourful creations to the ‘Wall of Fame”, creating a lovely collage over the Festival weekend.

Prof Naomi Chayen shares her work on the power of crystals.

“Crystals are Everyone’s Friends” continued to fascinate the visitors as evidenced by the large turnout at the stand (the fourth successive year we have run this activity at the Imperial Festival).

Our demonstrations of building proteins using sweets as amino acids was a big draw, so much so that the materials which usually last for both the days of the festival had to be replenished for Day 2 of the workshop. The follow-up from protein making to growing of protein crystals in real-time and then observing them under the microscope was equally enjoyed by all the visitors.

Kids crafting microbes from playdough in the Family Zone.

Over in the Family Zone, CSM contributed to the stand of “Love Your Bugs”, where festival-goers helped craft many different microbes with play dough – kids loved it! We also shared our knowledge on the microbiota through two games: microbes in and on our body and how they transmitted around our houses.

 

Thanks to everyone in CSM who helped deliver some excellent activities, and to all those who got stuck in! Roll on next year!

Visitors experience “Blast Rehabilitation Gym” at the Imperial Festival

The Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies (CBIS) invited the public into its ‘Blast Rehabilitation Gymnasium’ at this year’s Imperial Festival. Part of the Centre’s work focuses on rehabilitation of those injured by blast, and many of these are amputees. Our stand therefore got the public trying out some balance exercises that physiotherapists use to help get amputees back to walking and doing Activities of Daily Life (ADLs).

We were also very lucky to have prosthetist, Mark Thoburn from Headley Court and Blatchford, showing the public a variety of different prosthetics, from old to new and from large to small.

For the younger visitors to the stand, we had a drawing and colouring competition, where we received over 150 colourful and creative entries, which was fantastic!

The stand was a great success because of the enthusiasm of our volunteers, both during the schools’ day and across the weekend. It was a great few days and we are already looking forward to next year!

Lucy Foss – Research Programmes Manager

Congratulations to all our old timers

Professor Steve Franks (left) pictured at the event to celebrate his 35 years at Imperial

Congratulations to all our staff who were celebrated at the recent long servers dinner and reception events that were held last week:

  • Helen Bell – 25 years
  • Alison McGregor – 25 years
  • Kate Hardy – 30 years
  • Mark Sullivan – 25 years
  • Steve Franks – 35 years

Read more about Imperial’s celebration for long-serving staff.

Top prize poster

Congratulations to Dr Chris Mullington (anaesthetist and PhD student with Dr Paul Strutton) for being awarded 1st place for best poster presentation at the Obstetric Anaesthesia 2018 meeting in Belfast for his work on mechanisms of hyperthermia following epidural extension for caesarean section.

Prize and Award for Dr Sanooj Soni

Congratulations to Dr Sanooj Soni (MRC funded DTA fellow in APMIC) who has been awarded the Anaesthesia Section trainee essay prize from the Royal Society of Medicine, for the abstract entitled: Microvesicles are key mediators of inflammation in acute lung injury.

Dr Soni was also selected to receive an International Trainee Scholarship Award for 2018 from the American Thoracic Society. This award provides support for international trainees to attend the ATS International Conference in San Diego, CA (held in May 2018). It includes a certificate of achievement, a cheque for $1000 and one year’s In-Training Membership in the ATS commencing June 2018.

4th New Perspectives in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics

Pictured: Pete Bradshaw, final year PhD student studying aromatic amide hydrolysis, presenting his work.

This jointly organised meeting of the RSC BMCS, DMDG and Drug Metabolism Group, was held at Royal Society of Chemistry in Burlington House on 21-22 May 2018.

Over the two-day event, participants heard about recent research in drug discovery and development, spanning a wide range of topics; main sessions covered the broad areas of reactive metabolites and adverse reactions, chemical aspects of large molecules development, and medicinal chemistry approaches to improved metabolism, as well as a ‘hot topics’ session.

A keynote address by Douglas Spracklin (Pfizer, USA) set the scene for the meeting, providing an overview of the strategies and methods that have been developed for efficient, biocatalytic lead diversification.
Given the location of the meeting, a fitting central theme of the meeting was the need to understand the fundamental chemical principles underlying the observed biology, whether that be related to compound properties, kinetics, quantitation, or identification.

In addition to the platform presentations, participants had meeting-long access to the scientific posters and exhibitor stands, which continued this narrative and demonstrated the diversity and high level of activity in the DMPK arena.

Toby Athersuch
Drug Metabolism Group (DMG) Chairman

The 5th New Perspectives in DMPK conference will take place in early 2020. Details will be made available via the RSC BMCS, DMDG and DMG websites in mid 2019.

www.rsc.org/Membership/Networking/InterestGroups/BMCS
www.thedrugmetabolismgroup.com
www.dmdg.org

For she’s a jolly good fellow


Huge congratulations go to Aimee di Marco (Clinical Lecturer in the Divison of Surgery) who won the Gold Medal for the best overall candidate in the examinations for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Aimee received her award at the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, in Liverpool last week and is pictured above with her 5-month-old, who she was 6 months pregnant with at the time of sitting her viva and clinical. So I think we can all agree this is a very impressive achievement!

Outstanding Contribution to Anaesthesiology

Professor Daqing Ma, Professor of Anaesthesia and BOC Chair, has been granted an Outstanding Contribution Award for his great contribution to the world of anaesthesiology development.

Professor Ma received the award during a joint ceremony between the International Chinese Academy of Anesthesiology (Philadelphia, USA) and the Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists (Beijing, China), which was held in Kunming, China, on the 14th of April 2018.

Professor Nadey Hakim advises on diabetes and gains honour in Belgrade

Professor Nadey Hakim has been appointed as Ambassador to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes. This role will enable the group to keep informed of developments in the area of diabetes and recognises the importance that cardiovascular issues have on diabetes.

Professor Hakim has also been awarded the title of Honorary Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of Belgrade. You can read more about this role and Prof Hakim’s various other talents, one of which is sculpture!

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Roger Greenhalgh has been awarded the first International Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) International Relations Committee, in light of his contributions that have made lasting impacts on vascular surgery both in the United Kingdom and globally.

This new award has been designed by the SVS to honour living legends in vascular surgery. Most regional Vascular Societies around the globe, including the European Society for Vascular Surgery were asked to participate in the process by submitting names of individuals they thought were candidates for this award. Many excellent candidates were submitted and after careful review, the IRC and the executive board of the SVS made a unanimous decision to grant Professor Greenhalgh this award in recognition of his tremendous accomplishments and contributions to their specialty.

Professor Greenhalgh will be presented with his award at the Vascular Annual Meeting, taking place in Boston on the 23 June 2018.