Blog posts

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.

Scholar in training award

Congratulations to Clinical Research Fellow, Liam Poynter who has been awarded a Scholar-In-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), for his abstract entitled “Modulation of cellular phospholipids correlates with tumor regression grade and radio resistance in rectal cancer”.

Liam presented his research at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, which took place last in Chicago on the 14 April 2018.

Provost’s Award for Excellence in Health and Safety

Steffe Klier and Larry Koomson receiving the award from Imperial Provost James Stirling

Congratulations to Julia Anderson and the Safety Improvement Team at St Mary’s campus, who have just received a Provost’s Award nomination for Excellence in Health and Safety, in recognition of their work towards an integrated approach to Health & Safety management across the St Mary’s campus.

The award recognises the sustained contribution to the improvement in safe working, initiated and led by Julia and supported by the laboratory-facing academic and research members of the former Division of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Surgery and Cancer.

This nomination reflects the exceptional level of commitment and enthusiasm with which the Divisional team delivered the improvement required. One year later, the College Safety Auditor, Julia Cotton has stated that it’s been extremely encouraging to see the changes in the Division, and for staff to have commented on the improvements directly to her.

The Safety Improvement Team comprises of Prof Mark Thursz, Prof Julian Marchesi, Dr Julie McDonald, Dr Wafa Khamri, Ms Steffi Klier and Mr Larry Koomson. This team was supported and encouraged by Neil Chapman and Roger White, and was assisted by the College Building Managers Anna McDadd and Sue Francis.

Prestigious Toxicology Award

Congratulations to Professor Nigel Gooderham who has been awarded the honour of the Bo Holmstedt Memorial Lecture from EUROTOX, the Federation of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology.

The Bo Holmstedt Memorial Lecture is presented every year to recognise scientists who have made outstanding research contributions to the science of drug or chemical toxicology, with particular emphasis given to recent research contributions in this field. When asked, Professor Gooderham commented that he was staggered and extremely honoured to receive this recognition.

Professor  Gooderham will give his lecture at the EUROTOX annual congress in Brussels this September, where he will be presented with his certificate and prize. He will then go on to present this lecture at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting, being held in Baltimore in March 2019.

Honorary Fellowship to Royal College of Physicians

Professor Jeremy Nicholson has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London), in recognition of his contributions to the field of medicine.

The Royal College of Physicians of London was founded in 1518 by Henry VIII and oversees the training and professional standards of Physicians in England and across the globe. The highest accolade the Royal College can give is the Honorary Fellowship, which is given to distinguished individuals who have made very important contributions to medical science and the development of the profession.

Professor Nicholson will attend a ceremony later in the year as part of the Royal College of Physician’s 500 year anniversary.

International Prize for Vascular Laboratory

Dr Kalodiki receiving the AVF handbook prize from Dr Glenn Jacobowitz (Recorder) having also received her certificate from Dr Marc Passman (President).

At the 30th annual American Venous Forum meeting Dr Evi Kalodiki from the Josef Pflug Vascular Laboratory, Ealing Hospital, received the prize for best poster presentation.

Dr Kalodiki is an honorary consultant in vascular surgery at Ealing Hospital and is affiliated with Imperial College, the West London Vascular and Interventional Centre and the Thrombosis & Haemostasis research laboratory, Loyola University Chicago, USA.

In her presentation, Dr Kalodiki discussed the hot topic of an antidote to dabigatran which is a new oral anticoagulant. This is important because such an antidote (idarucizumab) may be required in an emergency setting, like haemorrhage, when rapid reversal of anti-coagulation is required. Idarucizumab acts by binding to the benzamidine group of dabigatran, thereby inhibiting its anti-thrombin activity.

This is of clinical importance because simultaneous administration of idarucizumab may compromise the pharmacodynamic profile of benzamidine derived drugs such the anti-psychotics, anti-fungals, anti-malarials and other compounds.

Poster Prize at the Nuclear Receptors Conference in Mexico

Ylenia on the left with her certificate, along with the conference organisers Karen Knudsen, Charlotte Bevan and Wayne Tilley and two fellow poster winners.

Ylenia Perone was awarded a student grant from Fusion Conferences Limited to attend the Nuclear Receptors Conference New Roles for Nuclear Receptors in Development, Health and Disease, which took place in Mexico this February.

This meeting brought together many of the leading figures in nuclear receptor research from across the globe, to discuss emerging roles and their implications for health and disease. Luca Magnani was one of the speakers, talking about the role of epigenetic in breast cancer progression.

At the meeting, Ylenia received a Poster Award for the poster she presented on: “SREBP1 drives cell-autonomous cytoskeletal changes by KRT80 remodeling during ERα breast cancer progression”.