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Dr Manju Kurian wins the 2017 Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research

The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is delighted to announce that Dr Manju Kurian has been awarded the 2017 Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research.  The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust offers one grant annually of up to £1.5 million to support a programme of translational research for up to 5 years.  Applicants for this prestigious award must be sponsored by a leading UK medical school or NHS organisation, and each institution is restricted to submitting one application per year.  This award of nearly £1.5 million will support Dr Kurian’s work investigating genetic movement disorders that mimic Cerebral Palsy (CP). Her project aims to improve treatments for her patients by developing therapies that target specific genetic defects.

Dr Owen Arthurs awarded NIHR Career Development Fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Dr Owen Arthurs has been awarded a Career Development Fellowship (CDF) from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  The NIHR CDF awards are made to researchers with a proven track-record at postdoctoral level, and provide up to 5 years’ funding to support their development into fully independent group leaders within their designated field of research.  Dr Arthurs, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist at GOSH and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, is one of only four NIHR CDFs awarded this year and this award continues from his successful NIHR Clinician Scientist award.

This NIHR CDF award, entitled “Next generation perinatal autopsy: changing death investigation through imaging-based less invasive autopsy” allows Dr Arthurs to continue his work developing post mortem imaging as an alternative to autopsy for children. This key area of research aims to bring post mortem imaging techniques into standard clinical practice, to help families during pregnancy loss or childhood bereavement to understand why their baby or child has died. Although GOSH runs the largest perinatal autopsy service nationally, many parents do not feel that a traditional invasive autopsy is appropriate for them. Imaging offers a non-invasive way of diagnosing congenital abnormalities which can help to counsel parents about why their child died, and whether subsequent pregnancies or other existing children might be affected.

Over the course of this NIHR fellowship, novel imaging techniques such as microCT (see figure) will be assessed and developed into clinical practice within the next 3-5 years, and national and international clinical guidelines will be designed for an evidence-based patient-centered approach to death investigation. Dr Arthurs, who also leads Research and Innovation within GOSH Radiology, commented “I am delighted that the advanced imaging within UCL GOS ICH plays an increasing important diagnostic role in important childhood diseases”.

Senior Promotions 2016-17

We are very proud to announce the following senior promotions of colleagues, effective from 1st October:

L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science 2017 winner - Dr Manju Kurian



Dr Manju Kurian, of the Developmental Neurosciences programme at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, is among five promising UK scientists who won prestigious fellowships at the 10th annual L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women In Science. 

Genetic screening service enables PCD gene discovery

A team at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and University College London working with the Royal Brompton Hospital have identified a new gene which causes the lung condition Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD). Working with researchers from around Europe including hospitals in Italy, Switzerland and France, the team have shown that the condition can be 'X-linked' meaning it is passed from mothers to their sons.