Imperial medical students pick up top prizes in University of London Gold Medal Viva

London Gold Medal Viva winner Amy Mallorie v2The  Gold Medal Viva is an annual competition organised by the University of London, which invites the capital’s top students to take part, having been nominated by their medical schools based on exceptional academic performance. The doctors-to-be face a panel of examiners who test their on-the-spot knowledge of key areas to determine an overall winner, alongside a runner-up who claims the Betuel Prize.

This year we were delighted to see both accolades go to two of our own medical students, who share their experiences of the competition, and of life at Imperial.

Amy Mallorie – University of London Gold Medal Viva winner 2014

Being nominated for the University of London Gold Medal viva for medicine was an immensely proud moment for me, with the chance to represent Imperial College in a competition previously won by Sir Alexander Fleming. (He was awarded the 1908 Gold Medal, whilst studying at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington).

In early July I took part in the viva alongside the top 1% of final year students across all London medical schools. The viva was challenging, involving intense questioning on medicine, surgery, clinical sciences, clinical pharmacology, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics. The questions were difficult, and I remember the first of the viva being the most nerve-racking; I was given a clinical case of a young woman with a post-operative seizure and asked for differentials. I had to draw together knowledge from several different areas to answer, which Imperial finals had prepared me well for.

I recently completed the 6 year undergraduate MBBS/BSc programme. During my time at Imperial I have been particularly inspired by all the incredible teams of healthcare professionals and excellent teachers I have worked with on clinical attachments. Through doing an Intercalated BSc in Cardiovascular Sciences I became interested in research, which further motivated me.

Winning the gold medal was surprising, as well as a huge honour, and it has been a lovely way to end my time at Imperial’s School of Medicine. My next step will be starting the Academic Foundation Programme as an F1 junior doctor this August. The academic part of my foundation programme will involve a nuclear medicine research project during F2. Looking forward, I aspire to a career in academic medicine or radiology.

Anthony Dorr – Betuel Prize winner 2014

My route into medicine was more protracted than most, and took several attempts!  My time at Imperial College started with my PhD and this was incredibly productive and rewarding. However, it was clear that I wanted to practice medicine.  Staying on to study on the graduate medicine programme was the obvious choice, as the course emphasises the basic medical science that underpins clinical practice.  Again, my learning was well facilitated both on and off the wards, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Since my main driving force throughout medical school was to simply reach qualification, it was quite a surprise and privilege to be invited to participate in the Gold Medal Viva.

The breadth of knowledge required to excel in the viva is an important factor and I was concerned that my lack of knowledge of certain specialties would hinder me.  The examiners were extremely amiable and the exam felt more like a friendly chat, albeit about clinical scenarios covering medicine, surgery and specialties.  With regards to these, attempting to draw on knowledge from up to two years ago was particularly daunting when put on the spot.  However, as vivas form an important part of assessment at Imperial, I had at least a robust method to use when formulating an answer.

I am delighted to have been awarded the Betuel Prize, and it is a great way to conclude studying at Imperial, especially being a part of Imperial’s double success with Amy winning the Gold Medal.  I am now looking forward to finally practicing medicine after eleven years of being a student, but I would not have made without my wife and family.  It is hard to say what the future holds, but I have been lucky enough to be accepted on to an Academic Foundation Programme at St. Thomas’ in respiratory medicine, and I am relishing the opportunity to combine clinical medicine with my research interests.

ISSF Networks of Excellence Scheme Awards Funding to 12 projects

The Faculty is delighted to report the outcome of the third annual Networks of Excellence competition to foster collaborative biomedical research endeavours across the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering, Natural Sciences and the Business School. The scheme is supported by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and comprises matched funding from the College; a total fund in excess of £900K was made available to support novel, interdisciplinary biomedical research.  The Networks of Excellence scheme provided funding to support: pilot or feasibility work for high risk projects,collaborative cohesion, testing or development of new methods,or proof of concept studies. Funding was available for all research within the Wellcome Trust remit; proposals addressing interdisciplinary research in infectious diseases, medical imaging, and diabetes/metabolic medicine were particularly encouraged.

Applications were assessed by the Cross-College ISSF working group, chaired by Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson, and shortlisted applications considered for funding by the Vice Provost (Research) with the Cross-College Research Proposal Review Group. The Chair was delighted with the high quality of the 46 interdisciplinary applications received.  Examples of the breadth of funded proposals include: ‘Visualising bacterial infection in adult zebrafish with novel infrared protein fluorophores’ (Ulijasz), ‘Reducing health impacts from excess sodium intake in coastal SE Asia using novel water treatment technologies’ (Butler), ‘Targeted nanoparticles for preclinical diagnostic imaging of Parkinson’s disease’ (Dunlop), ‘Using Functionalised Nanorods in Theranostics’ (Wilton-Ely).

The investigators who will receive awards of up to £100,000 are:

Dr Adrian Butler (PI), Professor Paolo Vineis, Dr Simon Buckle, Professor Matin Ahmed, & Dr Dewan Alam (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, School of Public Health, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, University of Dhaka, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research)

Dr James Choi (PI), Professor Justin Stebbing, Dr Adrian Lim, & Dr Mengxing Tang (Departments of Bioengineering, Surgery & Cancer, and Medicine)

Professor Justin Cobb (PI), Dr Victoria Manning, Dr Patrick Naylor, Mr Toni Castells-Delgado, Dr Edouard Auvinet, Ms Michela Zanotto (Departments of Surgery & Cancer and Electrical & Electronic Engineering and School of Professional Development)

Dr Iain Dunlop (PI), Professor David Dexter, Dr Alexandra Porter & Dr Roberto Fiammengo (Departments of Materials and Medicine plus Italian Institute of Technology)

Dr Ben Glocker (PI), Professor Daniel Rueckert, Professor Andrew Davison, Mr Philip Noonan, Professor Roger Gunn, & Professor Nicholas Peters (Department of Computing, Imanova Imaging Centre, and National Heart & Lung Institute)

Professor Nicholas Peters (PI), Professor Kim Christensen, Dr Daniel Rueckert, Professor Spencer Sherwin, Dr Prapa Kanagaratnam, Dr Phang Boon Lim, & Dr Fu Siong Ng (National Heart & Lung Institute, Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Computing, and Aeronautics)

Professor Robin Shattock (PI), Dr Cleo Kontoravdi , Dr Karen Polizzi, Dr Stuart Haslam, Dr Paul McKay, & Dr Eric Arts (Departments of Medicine, Chemical Engineering, and Life Science plus Case Western Reserve University)

Dr Paul Strutton (PI), Professor Alison McGregor, Professor David Sharp, Professor Andrea Rockall, Dr Ben Glocker, & Dr Rex Newbould (Departments of Surgery & Cancer, Medicine, and Computing)

Dr Andrew Ulijasz (PI), Professor Paul French, Professor Maggie Dallman, & Dr James McGinty (Departments of Medicine, Physics, and Life Sciences)

Dr Chris Wadsworth (PI) & Professor Richard Syms (Department of Medicine and Electrical & Electronic Engineering)

Dr James Wilton-Ely (PI), Professor Tony Cass, & Dr Dan Elson (Departments of Chemistry and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Fang Xie (PI), Professor Eric Aboagye, Professor Mary Ryan, & Dr Alexandra Porter (Departments of Materials and Surgery & Cancer)

Dr Kimberley Trim
Research Strategy Officer
Faculty of Medicine

CSC group leader David Carling is one of ‘The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014’

David CarlingDavid Carling from the MRC Clinical Science Centre’s Cellular Stress Group was named on the Thomson Reuters’ 2014 list as one of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. The list is composed of 3200 researchers who, in recent years, have published the greatest number of highly cited articles.

Dave Carling is listed within the Biology and Biochemistry section. His research at the CSC is aimed at understanding the regulation of energy metabolism and how cells respond to changes in energy balance. In particular, the Cellular Stress Group focuses on the role of the AMP-activated protein kinase cascade and it’s role in regulating energy homeostasis.

The report draws on information from Thomas Reuters’ databases applying research analytics tools InCites and Essential Science Indicators to compile the list. The 2014 list identifies citations recorded during 2013 for papers published between 2011 and 2013.

On the recognition, Dave said: “A colleague of mine from the Biochemical Journal emailed me to tell me that I was on the Thomson Reuters’ list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. I’m not a great fan of lists, but it is encouraging to be reminded that our peers value the work we publish from the group. A lot of the time scientific research can be a long and difficult struggle, battling with experimentally challenging systems, so it’s good occasionally to get some mark of recognition.”

 

Yalda Javadi Ph.D
Science Communication Officer
MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

Faculty of Medicine Health Policy and Engagement Event – Report

Health Policy event 10.07.2014   02A select group of people from across the NHS, healthcare and University sectors were invited to the inaugural Faculty of Medicine Health Policy and Engagement Event chaired and hosted by Professor Dermot Kelleher on 10th July. Professor Kelleher spoke in relation to the importance of these events to engage with our partners to discuss items of strategic importance and generate new and innovative ideas which aim to impact on healthcare.

Professor the Lord Darzi, Chair of the London Health Commission reporting directly to the Lord Mayor, presented on the latest thinking on the Commission which is examining how London’s health and healthcare can be improved for the benefit of the population. Following an extensive engagement process, Professor Darzi summarized the proposals received thematically as ; (1)  Better health for everyone, (2)  A better deal for London’s children, (3) better health through better care (4) enablers for better care, (5) Stronger health economy and research and (6)  Leadership for better heath.

Health Policy event 10.07.2014   07Professor Darzi commented on groups in London with different care needs which need to be addressed (physical, mental and social needs) and strongly believes that the London Health Commission presents a unique opportunity to bring together health, local government, NHS and commissioners for the benefit of the population.  Examples of suggested initiatives likely to impact on the health of Londoners if introduced include improving access to primary care , rewarding active travel rather than relying on public transport  and potentially designating parks as a smoke free zone.
Seminar attendees were given the opportunity to pose questions which were largely around interventions, the role of the media, accessing diagnostics in the community, different needs of adolescents compared to adults, the requirement to invest in the science of behavioural change and the importance of workforce planning.

Over 250 submissions were made as part of the Commission’s Call for Evidence process and a summary report of what was received has been published.   Further information is available at www.londonhealthcommission.org.uk

It is intended to host a small number of health policy and engagement events throughout 2014/15 in conjunction with Imperial Global Health Institute (IGHI).  Sir David Nicholson, ex CEO of NHS England will speak at the next event to take place in November 2014.

 

Fedelma McNamara
Programme Director-External Partnerships in Faculty Centre
Faculty of Medicine Centre

Appointment of new Head of Year 6 of MBBS/BSc programme – Dr Niamh Martin

I am delighted to inform you that Dr Niamh Martin has been appointed Head of Year 6 for the MBBS/BSc programme.  Many of you will know Niamh who is a Consultant Endocrinologist in the IC Trust, and Director of Clinical Studies at the Hammersmith, in addition to being heavily involved in curriculum and assessment across our courses.

Niamh will take up her appointment on 1st September, and I hope you will join with me in congratulating her and giving her your full support.

Miss Susan English
Director of Education Management and Programme Director
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)

Partnership for Child Development Summer Update

National NTD Mapping Informs Ethiopia Deworming

G94% of 535 surveyed districts in Ethiopia are endemic for either schistosomiasis and/or soil-transmitted helminths (STH) – Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) which are commonly found in school-children. This was one finding of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute who supported by Imperial College London’s PCD and SCI recently mapped NTD prevalence alongside Water, Sanitation and Hygiene infrastructure using data collected from 125,000 school-aged children across 2,700 schools. To date, the mapping surveys have informed school-based deworming programmes against STH in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions and integrated schistosomiasis and STH campaigns will commence in these and other regions later in the year. Eventually, these campaigns will extend to all areas where children are at risk. Click to read more

Home Grown School Feeding: Time for Donors to Deepen Engagement

PCD2A new policy paper, “Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF): Time for Donors to Deepen Engagement” from Imperial College London’s PCD finds that despite the widespread benefits of HGSF felt in low and middle income countries, donor support to the initiative is significantly lacking. The paper outlines that as substantial challenges remain in meeting the global development goals on hunger, education and poverty, focusing attention on HGSF and other such innovative approaches which link agriculture, health and education sectors is crucial. The HGSF initiative can be described as a “win-win” – ensuring that food for school meals is locally grown, so that smallholder farmers are given a fixed income, and at the same time well fed children are more likely to learn, attend school and develop into healthy adults. Click to read more   Charlotte Broyd Communications Officer Partnership for Child Development

IGHI Summer Update

Disruptive Innovations in Life Sciences –  IGHI Annual Lecture – Dr Noubar Afeyan of Flagship Ventures presents IGHI’s annual lecture.

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Sowerby conference: the power of medical records – Electronic health records as important as the thermometer and the stethoscope, says new report from IGHI’s Centre for Health Policy.

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Imperial NHS Trust staff rise to the challenge to improve patient safety – 11 teams of Imperial NHS Trust staff pitched at the Dragon’s Den style Patient Safety Challenge for a chance to win up to £30,000 funding.

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Evolving Medical Robotics with the Hamlyn Symposium 2014 – Over 250 surgeons & engineers gathered at the annual Hamlyn Symposium last week to try their hand at the latest developments in medical robotics.

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Jo Seed
Communications and Events Officer
Institute of Global Health Innovation