Blog posts

CSM win College’s 2016 Health and Safety Team Award


Huge congratulations to the Health and Safety Champions in Professor Zoltan Takats’ Group, for their outstanding work in devising and implementing a health and safety management system. The team received their award from Provost James Stirling at a ceremony last week. Read more about the teams success on the Colleges coverage of the event Imperial recognises excellence in health and safety.

Prof Takats makes shortlist for £20 million CRUK grand challenge award

42680bc_cruk_gc_infographic_2016_design_stage02_v3Last year, CRUK set seven Grand Challenges opening an international call for bold ideas which would benefit from £20 million funding. After receiving 57 applications from 25 different countries they shortlisted 9 international teams. Charting unknown territory: mapping what we don’t know about a tumourheaded by Dr Josephine Bunch (National Physical Laboratory) is the challenge Professor Zoltan Takats forms part of.

Grand Challenge awards are the most ambitious cancer research grants in the world. They’re intended to catalyse a revolution in how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer by bringing together the brightest minds from around the globe.

Find out more about the group Charting unknown territory: mapping what we don’t know about a tumour as well as all the other teams.

BBC Correspondent visits MSk Lab

(left to right) Dr Chloe Chiou (Research Assistant), Dr Paul Strutton (Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology), Fergus Walsh and Professor Peter Ellaway (Emeritus Professor of Physiology)
(left to right) Dr Chloe Chiou (Research Assistant), Dr Paul Strutton (Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology), Fergus Walsh and Professor Peter Ellaway (Emeritus Professor of Physiology)

BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh visited the Nick Davey laboratory (part of the MSk lab) on 26th February to interview Professor Peter Ellaway (Dept. of Medicine) and see demonstrations of how transcranial magnetic stimulation will be used to assess motor pathways in subjects with spinal cord injury as part of an ongoing project working towards a cure for spinal cord injury.

Read more on the walk again project and read Fergus’ story entitled The paralysed man who can ride a bike.

Dr Tony Gordon appointed as Professor

TonyCongratulations to Dr Anthony Gordon who has been appointed as Professor in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, within the Section of APMIC, with effect from 1 April 2016.

This is a strategic chair as the core element of APMIC’s new academic initiative, jointly supported by Imperial College and ICHT.  The Chair will play a key leading role to develop clinical translational research in the peri-operative and critical care area at ICHT as well as the whole Imperial community.  The post was advertised internationally, and the Appointment Panel unanimously recommended Anthony for the post.

Dan Elson shortlisted in Student Academic Choice Awards

ElsonThe Student Academic Choice Awards (SACAs) are run by Imperial College Union, and allow our students to nominate individuals (both academic and administrative) who have supported them throughout their student life. Categories include: Best Feedback; Best Support Staff; Best Innovation; Best Tutoring; Best Teaching for Undergraduates; Best Teaching for Postgraduates; Best Graduate Teaching Assistant; and Best Supervision.

This year, Dr Dan Elson, has been shortlisted for the Best Supervision category.  The winners of all categories will be announced in the 2016 SACA Ceremony on the 16th May.

New Masters Healthcare and Design Programme Launched

DSC01402Last week, the HELIX Centre hosted an information evening for those interested in the new Healthcare and Design Master’s that is run by Imperial and the Royal College of Art.  There were over 20 attendees from a range of backgrounds: clinical; designers; healthcare managers; product and service designers; and healthcare professionals.  All attendees were interested to learn more about the programme which is launching in October 2016.

Clinical Research Fellow Wins First Prize for Best Oral Presentation

image1Congratulations to David Phelps – a Clinical Research Fellow working with Prof Zoltan Takats who has won Best Oral Presentation First Prize in the Blair-Bell competition. With over 120 abstracts accepted, only 12 were chosen for oral podium presentations, with David winning for his presentation entitled “Diagnosis of borderline ovarian tumours by rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS) using the surgical intelligent knife (iKnife)”. David’s success has earned him £1000 towards presenting his work at an international conference.

The Blair Bell Research Society holds yearly ‘competition’ meetings, bringing together all clinicians and scientists working in the UK and Ireland in the field of O&G, who are invited to submit abstracts to the meeting, which are ranked by the Blair Bell Research Committee. The highest scoring abstracts are included in the programme as oral presentations.

The Blair Bell Research Society awards a prize to the best presentation, and a separate prize to the best undergraduate presentation. Poster prizes are also awarded. The winning oral presenter is invited to represent the Society by submitting and presenting their research at an annual meeting of their choice with the costs of their meeting attendance covered by the society. There are also prizes for poster presentations and plenary talks.

IRDB take all prizes at Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology annual academic meeting

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology holds an annual academic meeting which incorporates the Blair Bell Research Competition for Academics in Training from across the UK. At this year’s meeting, on the 3rd and 4th March, Imperial Trainees from IRDB took all of the prizes!

  • The William Blair-Bell Memorial Annual Lectureship was awarded to Mara Kyrigou, who gave an excellent 45 minute presentation on ‘Challenges in the management of pre-invasive and early invasive cervical disease and the impact on reproduction’
  • Best Presentation Prize went to David Phelps (I-knife and ovarian cancer)
  • Second Best Presentation Prize went to Richard Brown (Vaginal microbiome and preterm premature rupture of membranes)
  • Best Platform Poster Presentation Prize went to Lindsey Kindinger (Interactions between vaginal microbiome and cervical length)

Huge congratulations go to all four prizewinners!

Bridging the Gap – Learn how to achieve impact with industry

Bridging the gap graphics_Graphic 1 (1)
Imperial Innovations, Imperial Consultants, and Imperial Corporate Partnerships are jointly organising a range of courses which will explore how researchers can engage and work with industry, commercialise technology and demonstrate impact, called Bridging the Gap.

Academic research staff are now expected to be able to commercialise their work and demonstrate social and economic impact. Bridging the Gap aims to educate academics and provide them with skills to take on these tasks effectively and confidently.

Courses are free for Imperial Staff. The initial pilot courses will last between a half and a full day and cover topics such as:

  • What resources are available to Imperial academics?
  • What is REF Impact, why does it matter, how can it be achieved and evidenced?
  • What form can industry collaboration and engagement take?

Dr Ma Wins Major Research Grant Award

MaCongratulations go to Dr Daqing Ma who has been awarded the British Oxygen Company Chair of Anaesthesia Research Grant award, which provides £240,000 over 4 years towards his research project entitled Potential role of anaesthetics on cancer reoccurrence following surgery: from bench to bedside. Dr Ma was selected from 5 shortlisters for interview out of 19 project applicants.

This award will help Dr Ma to build up a dedicated research team for developing himself and educating other researchers for future anaesthesia research in the UK. The impacts of this research are likely to:

  • change anaesthesia and perioperative care for cancer patients
  • find molecular targets for the development of next-generation anti-cancer therapy
  • inform other cancer researchers for how to choose anaesthetics for their research


28th Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum

The 28th Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum (AVF) took place between the 24-26th February in Orlando (Florida, USA). The AVF provides evidence-based guidance in the field of venous and lymphatic diseases and its annual meeting is one of the most important phlebological meetings in the world.’

The Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture commemorating one of the AVF’s founding members and past presidents. This award recognises significant contributions made to the field of venous research, education and clinical investigation and the person delivering this lecture is chosen by the president of the AVF and confirmed by the AVF Executive Committee. This year, this honour fell onto Professor Alun H Davies (Department of Vascular Surgery, Imperial College London.

(Left) Professor Alun H Davies delivering the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture at the American Venous Forum (Right) Professor Alun H Davies receiving the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture Award from Dr Lowell Kabnick at the American Venous Forum
(Left) Professor Alun H Davies delivering the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture at the American Venous Forum
(Right) Professor Alun H Davies receiving the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture Award from Dr Lowell Kabnick at the American Venous Forum
(Left) Miss Francine Heatley presenting at the American Venous Forum (Orlando, Florida, USA) (Right) Miss Sarah Onida presenting at the American Venous Forum’
(Left) Miss Francine Heatley presenting at the American Venous Forum (Orlando, Florida, USA)
(Right) Miss Sarah Onida presenting at the American Venous Forum’


Engagement through simulation:  Raising money for the More Smiles Charity Appeal

PICU 2Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), led by Prof Roger Kneebone and Dr Fernando Bello, have been using their pioneering work around engagement and simulation to help benefit the More Smiles Appeal.

The appeal is raising funds for the redevelopment and expansion of the paediatric intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital.  The ICCESS team designed and delivered a simulation event at Wetherby Preparatory School on 2nd February 2016 that featured a team of clinicians from the unit demonstrating the high level of care they provide despite the constraints they are placed under in terms of space.  The school is supporting the appeal and the event was held for a group of parents, many of whose children were born at St Mary’s.

This was the second simulation that ICCESS have delivered in support of the appeal, the first taking in place at the Home House private members club in June 2015.  The Wetherby school event was a huge success, raising a six-figure sum in donations.  Maurice O’Connor, Appeals Manager at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, is directly involved with the More Smiles Appeal, and was delighted with what the event achieved: ‘We could not have achieved this without the help and support of ICCESS.  In the right circumstances simulation is a powerful fundraising tool!’

ICCESS are pioneers of Sequential Simulation, which is the physical re-enactment of a patients care pathway through the healthcare system. It utilises real clinicians and clinical props to provide expertise and context to the issues being explored.   ICCESS’ Sharon-Marie Weldon, who has developed the concept and successfully designed and delivered numerous simulation events, has seen first-hand how Sequential Simulation serves as a valuable means of engaging people with the world of medicine: ‘Sequential Simulation is a way of utilising the benefits of simulation to recreate aspects of care, but with a much wider scope, creating a juxtaposition of the healthcare system that can be used for a variety of objectives; education and training, evaluation, care re-design, quality improvement, and patient and public engagement – as we saw with the More Smiles Appeal event’.

To hear more about the More Smiles Appeal contact Maurice O’Connor on 02033125696 or to donate to the appeal, please visit

For more information about Imperial College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), please contact Duncan Boak at

More Smiles Appeal - Email Signature - December 2015 3

Prof Nicholson gives Royal Society of Medicine Lecture

Prof Nicholson with President of the Royal Society of Medicine Mr Babulal Sethia
Prof Nicholson with President of the Royal Society of Medicine Mr Babulal Sethia

Prof Jeremy Nicholson last week gave the 2016 London Clinic Lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine, entitled: Developing new systems medicine technologies and approaches to meet healthcare challenges in a changing world.

Professor Nicholson’s lecture spoke about some of the major challenges in personalised medicine and public health, looking at how developing new clinically actionable technologies can both help guide new choices in personalised acute medicine and surgery and inform future healthcare policy in the changing face of human disease.