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Latest Biomedical Sciences News

Meaning of brain scans for ‘pain’ called into question

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'Pain matrix[' in person who doesn't feel pain

Patterns of brain activity thought to show pain responses have been called into question after researchers from UCL and the University of Reading saw such patterns in rare patients born without a sense of pain.

New team to develop radiotherapies that target cancer more effectively

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CGI of proton beam therapy equipment

Safer precision radiotherapies that will be able to cure more cancers with fewer side-effects will be available within five years under ambitious new plans for research and treatment at the UCL Cancer Institute and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust.

Fruit flies live longer on lithium

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Lithium fruit flies

Fruit flies live 16% longer than average when given low doses of the mood stabiliser lithium, according to a UCL-led study.

Cancer drug could treat blood vessel deformities

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Child with venous malformations

A drug currently being trialled in cancer patients could also be used to treat an often incurable condition that can cause painful blood vessel overgrowths inside the skin, finds new research in mice led by UCL, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in Barcelona.

UCL winners at 2016 Wellcome Image Awards

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Premature baby receiving light therapy

A photograph of a premature baby receiving light therapy by David Bishop, a photographer with UCL Health Creatives and the Royal Free Hospital, has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Julie Dorrington Award for Outstanding Clinical Photography in the 2016 Wellcome Image Awards.

New lupus study reveals why the body’s immune cells cause so much damage

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Plasma Cell

The reason why the body’s immune cells cause so much damage and can’t regulate themselves in patients with lupus has been revealed in a UCL study published in the journal Immunity, a finding which could lead to more effective ways of treating lupus.

Tumours contain the seeds of their own destruction

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Killer T cells surround a cancer cell

Scientists at UCL have made a groundbreaking discovery in understanding how the genetic complexity of tumours can be recognised and exploited by the immune system, even when the disease is at its most advanced stages.

UCL spin-out Autolus secures £40 million funding

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Autolus logo

Autolus Limited, a biopharmaceutical spin-out from UCL Business, announced today that it has raised £40 million of new capital. Autolus focuses on the development and commercialisation of next-generation engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours.

Rare bleeding disorder diagnosis improved with super-resolution microscopy

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Platelets

Researchers from UCL, the National Physical Laboratory and the Royal Free Hospital have differentiated between patients with a rare bleeding disorder and healthy volunteers using super-resolution microscopy, providing an alternative method for accurately and cost-effectively diagnosing rare platelet diseases.

Resistance to key HIV drug ‘concerningly common’

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Map showing the countries included in the study

HIV drug resistance to tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug vital to most modern HIV treatment and prevention strategies, is surprisingly and worryingly common according to a large study led by UCL and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2016

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Portico Statue

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Apply to the UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme

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UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme image

The UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme provides state-of-the-art PhD training across four strategic themes.

Syncona and UCLB launch Freeline Therapeutics

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Freeline logo

Syncona LLP and UCL Business, the wholly-owned technology transfer company of UCL, announce the creation of the biopharmaceutical company, Freeline Therapeutics, to develop and commercialise gene therapies for bleeding and other debilitating disorders.

Research Images as Art/Art images as Research: 2015/16 winners announced

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Red poppies in the mouse brain

A diverse and fascinating series of images were unveiled as the winners of the Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research competition for 2015/16, run by the UCL Doctoral School.

GM mice reveal the secret to a painless life

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Mouse in UCL research facility

People born with a rare genetic mutation are unable to feel pain, but previous attempts to recreate this effect with drugs have had surprisingly little success. Using mice modified to carry the same mutation, UCL researchers funded by the MRC and Wellcome Trust have now discovered the recipe for painlessness.

Developing molecular diagnostics for pneumonia in hospitals

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Research

Clinicians and scientists from UCLH, UCL and the University of East Anglia (UEA) have been awarded a £2.5 million grant by the National Institute for Health Research to develop and evaluate new molecular diagnostic tests.

Professor John O’Keefe

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Professor John O’Keefe, inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL, having launched the centre, will be stepping down from the role in September 2016 so he can once again devote his full attention to a significant program of ongoing and new scientific research. We are extremely grateful to him for having taken on the demanding role of launching the Centre and are delighted that he will continue his research within it.

Vice Provost (Health) View November 2015

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david-lomas.jpg

Having been Vice-Provost (Health) for three months, I should like to start by thanking my predecessor Professor Sir John Tooke: health at UCL has gone from strength to strength over the past five and a half years.

‘Dickensian’ lung disease rates on the rise in UK pensioners

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Lungs

The number of people diagnosed with bronchiectasis, a lung condition thought to be a ‘disease of the past’, has risen considerably in the past decade and now affects more than 1% of UK pensioners, finds a new study by UCL, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The research was funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research.

PhotoSynthesis Competition results

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After months of waiting the results are finally in for our Photosynthesis competition 2015. The judging panel (consisting of senior academics, managers and communications staff from across the School) were extremely impressed by all the entries but the winners are:

Higher risk of death for patients admitted to NHS hospitals at the weekend

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Ambulance

Patients admitted to hospital at the weekend are more likely to be sicker and have a higher risk of death, compared with those admitted during the week, finds an analysis published in The BMJ this week.

Antipsychotics inappropriately prescribed to people with intellectual disabilities

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Antipsychotic medication

Large numbers of people with intellectual disabilities are being inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs, finds a new UCL study.

Improving treatment for systemic amyloidosis

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Whole body anterior amyloid scans of a patient with systemic amyloidosis, showing abundant amyloid in the liver before treatment and the almost complete absence of amyloid after a single dose of the new anti-SAP antibody.

A potential new approach to treat systemic amyloidosis, invented at UCL and being developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), marks the start of a successful and innovative academic-industry collaboration.

UCL to coordinate £16m project to crack difficult disease areas

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Scientist examines samples under a microscope

UCL has successfully coordinated a £16 million bid to work with the Medical Research Council (MRC), GSK and four other universities to improve scientists’ understanding of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases that present a serious burden to patients.

Major new research study on the impact of system-wide reorganisation of cancer services

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A research team led by Professor Naomi Fulop (UCL Department of Applied Health Research) has been awarded £1.2 million over three and a half years by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme to study the centralisation of specialist cancer surgical services.

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