Author: kj57

EMcision Limited announces that it has been acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation

In 2001, Professor Nagy Habib formed a spin out company, EMcision Limited, from Imperial College London Innovations. The company was funded by a small DTI grant arranged by Innovations to develop medical devices powered with radiofrequency energy to provide additional treatment options for patients with liver and pancreatic cancer.

In 2005, with collaboration from the Department of Engineering at Imperial College London, the first device, the HabibTM 4X, was launched and approved for use by the FDA and was awarded a European CE mark. The HabibTM 4X is bipolar radiofrequency surgical tool that provides near bloodless resection during liver and pancreas surgery. The device provides a superior method of performing liver surgery because it leads to a decrease in blood loss, a decrease in blood transfusion requirement, a decrease in tumour recurrence and improved survival.1  The technique allows the patient to be recovered in the ward rather than ICU which is a cost and resource saving measure. Imperial College Healthcare Trust was an early adopter of the device and Professor Habib believes that the device is a major contributory factor to Imperial College Healthcare Trust providing the best 1 year, 5 year and 10 year survival in England for patients with liver and pancreatic cancer and that a higher percentage of patients in Trust have surgery as a  first treatment (the gold standard of HPB care) than other Trusts in England.

The device was subsequently acquired by Rita Medical (now AngioDynamics Inc) under an exclusive licence. 70,000 units have been sold worldwide. This income has provided the company the opportunity to develop other devices.

Another medical problem that Professor Habib and the engineers wanted to tackle was palliation of patients with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a miserable disease and accounts for nearly a million deaths annually worldwide with limited treatment options.2   While an early diagnosis improves the likelihood that a patient can meet the criteria for surgical removal of a tumour,3 currently only 40 percent of patients with cholangiocarcinoma and 20 percent of patients with pancreatic cancer are candidates for surgery at the time of presentation.4,5 

So, the HabibTM  EndoHPB, a bipolar radiofrequency endoscopic probe was developed. The probe is inserted at the same time as the patient has a biliary stent placed and radiofrequency energy is applied to palliate the tumour.  The device was pioneered by the Endoscopic Department at Hammersmith Hospital in a non-randomised clinical trial.  The results showed not only safety and ease of use of the device, but suggested that it improved survival. More recently a randomised controlled trial in patients with cholangiocarcinoma confirmed the Hammersmith’s findings that the EndoHPB does significantly improve survival.6

In March 2018, Boston Scientific acquired EMcision Limited to market the HabibTM EndoHPB more effectively.  Boston Scientific is a leading developer and marketer of medical devices with a worldwide salesforce and recognised the potential of the probe. This partnership will mean that the products developed at Imperial College London and first used at the Trust will be available to a much larger number of patients.

Animal Research Communications Workshops

This summer, Understanding Animal Research will be running five communications workshops. Each workshop focuses on a different area of communications: debating, media, public engagement, and online communications. These workshops will take place in London (The Francis Crick Institute) and Scotland (University of Stirling). There are 4 free places for Imperial staff. If you are interested in a free place, please contact societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk by Monday 16 April 2018. Otherwise places will be charged at the non-member rate of £325 + VAT per person.

Vascular Surgery team head down under

Next week sees the UIP (International Union Of Phlebology) conference in Australia, a four yearly world congress devoted to phlebology (Venous disease).

The Section of Vascular Surgery at Imperial is well represented with Roshan Bootun, Sarah Onida, Joe Shalhoub, Francine Heatley, Rebecca Lawton, Layla Bolton Saghdaoui, Matthew Tan, Marina Kafeza, Lara Manley and Kris Milinis all travelling for presentations.

The Section has over 25 oral presentations to give during the conference, which is a fantastic effort!

In addition Sarah Onida and Tristan Lane, Lecturers appointed this year, have been nominated for the UIP Young Scientist Award, and Professor Alun Davies has been nominated for UIP Senior Scientist Award. Joe Shalhoub is presenting the results of the 2015-2017 UIP/Servier Research Fellowship awarded for the project “Metabonomic profiling for the identification of novel biomarkers in deep vein thrombosis”

We wish them the best of luck and a productive trip!

Follow the team at the UIP2018 Twitter Page and on Facebook.

Fellowship success

Huge congratulations to the following four members of the Department who have all been awarded a Fellowship:

Iros Barozzi has been awarded an Imperial College Research Fellowship (ICRF) for 3 years, starting in August 2018. He will be looking at “Large-scale, computational modelling of non-coding alterations in endocrine-therapy resistant breast cancer”. 

Claire Fletcher has been awarded an Astra Zeneca-Sponsored Imperial College Research Fellowship looking at the “Systematic Identification of Kinase Modulators of MicroRNA Biogenesis”.  This study will systematically investigate how miR production is controlled across multiple disease models to identify novel avenues for therapeutic intervention. The partnership with Astra Zeneca permits access to cutting-edge screening facilities to fuel project progress.

Evangelos Triantafyllou was recently awarded an Imperial College Research Fellowship (ICRF) for 4 years for his study entitled “The role of Mer Tyrosine Kinase expressing cells in the immunopathology of acute liver failure syndromes” under the mentorship and supervision of Dr Harry Antoniades (Reader in Hepatology, Division of Digestive Diseases, Imperial College London). The postdoctoral fellowship is based on the work he carried out during his MRC funded PhD studentship (as part of Dr Antoniades’ MRC Fellowship programme) at King’s College London and Birmingham universities. Evangelos will take up this post in October 2018.

Jorum Posma has been awarded a 3 year Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK) Fellowship, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The project title is “Identification of Metabolic Phenotypes and Systemic Biochemical Reaction Networks Associated with Human Blood Pressure”, the supervisors on the project are Professor Paul Elliott (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health) and Professor Jeremy Nicholson.

Submit abstracts for upcoming bowel cancer conference

Bowel Cancer UK are holding their first Colorectal Cancer Research Conference on 24-25 April 2018 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The event will showcase a wealth of the latest research and bring together clinicians, scientists and healthcare professionals to debate and discuss the challenges and opportunities for bowel cancer.

Submit your abstract to be considered for either an oral or poster presentation by Wednesday 31 January. Selected abstracts will be published in the UK’s leading colorectal journal, Colorectal Disease. Don’t miss this opportunity to promote your research.

Find out more and register at bowelcanceruk.org.uk/research/colorectal-cancer-research-conference-2018/.

Prestigious Prostate Cancer Research Award

Congratulations to Professor Hashim Ahmed who has been awarded the Prostate Cancer Research Award from the European Association of Urology (EAU) for his paper on “Diagnostic accuracy of multi-parametric MRI and TRUS biopsy in prostate cancer (PROMIS): a paired validating confirmatory study”.

Professor Ahmed will receive his prize at the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd EAU Congress in Copenhagen on Friday 16 March 2018.

Maca”poo”n Catcher Scoops Top Prize at the Surgery Bake off

Congratulations to Natalia Kurek who won this years Surgery Bake off for her Maca”poo”n Catcher, which was inspired by the bowel screening kit designed to increase the uptake of bowel screening by the HELIX Centre, which featured plum and chocolate flavoured macaroons. This year’s theme for the final was “All things Ara Darzi” and Prof Darzi’s favourite poo catcher innovation was up against the “Ara Dartea” Armenian cake, inspired by Prof Darzi’s favourite green tea, which was made by Lenny Naar and Madeleine Maxwell from the HELIX Centre.

Further entries included pumpkin macaroons in the graveyard for the Halloween theme by Natalia Kurek and Persian love cakes by Lenny Naar, along with an apple and fig Venn diagram tart on the theme “Autumn”, made by an unprecedented collaboration by both Lenny and Madeleine, who chose to bake that round together rather than competing against each other.

 

Estates Operations Christmas Arrangements

College closes 23 December 2017, re-opening on 2 January 2018

Reduce your environmental impact

  • Turn down radiator thermostats, local air conditioning, switch off electrical equipment (PCs, printers, lab equipment)
  • Shut windows, curtains and blinds, switch off lighting

Housekeeping

To minimise the risk of floods and fires:

  • Remove waste (combustibles such as paper and card).
  • Unplug portable or temporary heaters and non-essential electrical equipment
  • Disconnect laboratory equipment from the water supply

Reception and Security Arrangements

Reception Desks will close at 4pm 22 December and re-open at normal time on 2 January.

Restricted access to College buildings 6pm Friday 22 December 2017 to 7am Tuesday 2 January 2018. 

Need to work on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day? Contact your Head of Department.

The Security Control Office will be staffed 24/7 – 020 7589 1000.

Maintenance, Cleaning and Waste Services

Standby engineers are on call in the event of emergency and can be contacted on 48000.

Hammersmith campus: A maintenance service will operate throughout the closure period on ext. 32418 and via the switchboard.  (For Burlington Danes call 48000.)

If you work in an NHS building please check with the NHS for local arrangements or speak to your Building Manager.

Departmental Meeting: Part 1

Yesterday we held a very successful World Café meeting at Hammersmith Campus and are very grateful to all those who attended and to Jess Taylor for facilitating. This meeting is the first of two, with the second taking place on Wednesday 17 January in Baden Powell House, very close to the South Kensington Campus.

We very much look forward to seeing many other staff on 17th January to continue the conversations – building on the key issues raised yesterday:

  • Recognition of roles and achievements – academic and other;
  • Appreciation and respect from colleagues and leaders- across all roles and, importantly, between professional services and academic staff (saying ‘thank you’ came up more than once);
  • Feeling their roles are of worth and valued, and that they are valued as people; collegiate behaviour;
  • A stronger sense of community, within the department, between sites and with IC more widely;
  • Better quality of communication; how, when and why things get communicated clarity of process, accountability and transparency;
  • Visibility and accessibility (approachability) of leaders

Updates and Achievements from the Section of Vascular Surgery

Updates

  • 2 clinical lecturers appointed this year (one NIHR funded) – Tristan Lane and Sarah Onida
  • 2 new research fellows appointed – Amar Abdullah and Lydia Hanna
  • We now have monthly cross-site research meetings with research staff based at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospital

Achievements

Sarah Onida – Clinical Lecturer in Vascular Surgery

  • Second prize at the American College of Phlebology for the following oral presentation: “Clinical Scoring, Disease Specific Quality of life and Duplex Features in Chronic Venous Disease”
  • First prize at the VI International Interuniversity Meeting for the following oral presentation: “The relationship between disease-specific clinical and quality of life scores in chronic venous disease”
  • EIT Health Doctoral Transition Fellowship 2017 (€10,000)

Matt Tan – BSc student

  • Second prize at the VI International Interuniversity Meeting for the following oral presentation: “Thrombophilia in non-thrombotic chronic venous disease of the lower limb”

Joseph Shalhoub Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in Vascular Surgery

  • Recipient of the Gold Medal for the highest mark in the Fellow of the European Board of Vascular Surgery (FEBVS) examinations in Lyon, France, September 2017. The award was presented at the European Society for Vascular Surgery 31st Annual Meeting.

Roshan Bootun – Research postgraduatee

  • First Prize at the European Venous forum for the presentation of COMETA study.

Achievements from the Divisions of Cancer and Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Dr Wei Cui recently received a Blue Flame award from Addgene (a non-profit company who distribute plasmids within scientific communities), as a result of one of her plasmids being distributed to over 100 laboratories worldwide.


Dr Vessela Vassileva

  • ESMO Award to attend the Colorectal Cancer Preceptorship in Barcelona
  • CRUK Imperial Centre Development Fund
  • Industrial collaboration with Molecular Templates
  • Poster presentation at the Precision Medicine and Cancer Models Meeting at Royal Society of Medicine
  • NCRI Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group – designing and developing a capability map highlighting information on pre-clinical tumour models and radiotherapy facilities across the UK in collaboration with CRUK
  • Contributed to Guest Editorial Review in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Pharmaco-imaging Group Newsletter and also used the opportunity to highlight the Imperial CRUK centre in the Newsletter
  • Cancer Research UK activity for the Creative Quarter Exhibition – Conversation C

Dr Kathrin Heinzmann

  • European Association of Nuclear Medicine Congress 2017 – Best Paper Award
  • Poster presentation at the Precision Medicine and Cancer Models Meeting at Royal Society of Medicine
  • Review Article in Nature Reviews Biomedical Engineering – Multiplexed Imaging for Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Cancer Research UK activity for the Creative Quarter Exhibition – Conversation C

Outstanding Achievement in Medicine

Professor Francesca Cordeiro with her GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Medicine Award.

Huge congratulations to Professor Francesca Cordeiro (Professor of Ophthalmology) who won the GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Medicine Award, at the 2017 GG2 Leadership Awards, hosted and attended by the great and the good, including the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. These awards provide a unique platform to celebrate a multicultural Britain, recognising talent, while offering organisations a better understanding, reach and penetration into the black, Asian and ethnic communities, with its year-long programme of activities.

Professor Cordeiro received the following accolade when receiving her award:

“Professor Cordeiro is an outstanding individual who is one of the finest clinicians working in Britain today. A professor at one of the country’s top teaching hospitals, she has an exceptional record of cutting-edge research, which has pushed the barriers of medicine ever further. An innovator with an extraordinary gift of skill and knowledge, she is one of the world’s leading authorities in her medical field.”

Helping shape the future of Clinical Informatics

Professor Brendan Delaney, Chair in Medical Informatics and Decision Making has been elected as one of the 100 Founding Fellows of the new Faculty of Clinical Informatics and will work with a team of qualified clinicians who transform health and care through their specialist knowledge and use of data, information, knowledge and information technology.

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics is being established as the professional membership body for all clinical informaticians across the UK, with the aims of establishing clinical informatics as a recognised profession, developing professional standards, supporting revalidation, providing training and accreditation for individuals and courses, and supporting recruitment and careers in clinical informatics.

Find out more about the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.

Double success for PhD students

Two PhD students had success at the recent International Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Diseases (ISSTD) World Congress Meeting, which took place in Amsterdam this September.

PhD student Marina Georgiou won the Oral Science prize for the Best Junior Investigator, for her work to identify a potential new treatment for patients with drug-resistant gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.

Obstetrician trainee Linda Ibeto, who is doing a PhD jointly with Life Sciences and Surgery and Cancer won the Best Scientific Poster Award for her work on glycosylation changes in hCG and how this links to malignant progression compared to normal placental tissue.

Just how did John Keats’s medical training influence his poetry?

National Portrait Gallery London

A recently published paper by Emeritus Professor Sean Hughes looks at the influence John Keats’s brief medical career had on his poetry. The article is based on the Keats Lecture that Professor Hughes gave at the Apothecaries Hall earlier this year, which is jointly sponsored by Kings College, the Apothecaries and the Royal College of Surgeons.

John Keats’s short medical career has been well documented, but what did medicine actually mean to him as a career, why did he abandon it, and what influence did it have on his life and – more importantly – his work? This article focuses on Keats’s time at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals, looking at the surgeons he worked under and considering both why he chose not to pursue a career in medicine and why it is that this poet, above all others, resonates so with the medical profession.

Professor Hughes recently received the President’s Medal from the British Orthopaedic Research Society for outstanding contribution to the field of British orthopedic research, which was held at Imperial on 4th September 2017.

Read How did John Keats’s Medical Training Influence his Poetry?

Best Junior Investigator Award

Congratulations to PhD student Marina Georgiou who won the award for best junior investigator oral presentation in translational/basic research at the 19th World Congress of Gestational Trophoblastic Diseases Conference in Amsterdam from the 21-24 September, after winning a travel bursary award to attend.

Marina’s PhD research focuses on identifying the molecular dominants of development and chemoresistance in Gestational Trophoblastic Disease, under the supervision of Professor Michael Seckl and Dr Olivier Pardo. The title of Maria’s winning oral presentation was Cyclin dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) as a potential new therapeutic target in drug-resistant gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.