Medicine News

Lilly Scientific Achievement Award 2014 to Rachel Batterham

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Lilly award Rachel Batterham 2014

Dr Rachel Batterham, Head of the Centre for Obesity Research, Division of Medicine, UCL and clinical lead of the bariatrics service at UCLH, has been awarded the 2014 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award by The Obesity Society.

Sheila Sherlock Updates 4-6 December 2014

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A new series of international meetings with the Sheila Sherlock brand aimed at renovating the tradition of the periodic updates introduced by Dame Sheila Sherlock at the Royal Free Hospital. In this first meeting of the new series, Hepatology and Liver Transplant will be associated with a broader gastrointestinal agenda including topics like IBD, pancreatic cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and other aspects mastered by the specialists operating at the Royal Free and at UCLH. In addition, a special relevance will be given to frontier basic and translational research in Liver and Digestive Diseases.

The good, the bad and the ugly: Bugs in the gut

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In mammals trillions of bacteria colonize the skin and mucosal surfaces. The largest community is found in the gut, collectively known as the gut-microbiota. So far variations in microbiota have been linked predominately to the development of gut pathology. However, a new study published in Nature Medicine by Professor Claudia Mauri's group (UCL Division of Medicine) in collaboration with microbiologists from the Institute of Child Health directly links the gut-microbiota to arthritis development and a population of B cells known as regulatory B cells (Bregs), cells originally identified by Professor Mauri’s group as immunosuppressive.

The study, funded by arthritis research UK (ARUK), identifies that treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics, ablating the microbiota, reduces both arthritis severity and, paradoxically, the number of Bregs. Furthermore, the group demonstrates that Bregs expand in number in response to “danger signals” induced in response to the cooperation between gut-microbiota and arthritic stimuli, to limit severe joint swelling and damage, which in their absence would otherwise develop.

Graduate Careers and Research Day 1st December 2014

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The Graduate Careers and Research Day 2014 will take place on Monday 1st December 2014 from 10:00-14:00 hrs. in Room 210, Rayne Building, 5 University Street, London, WC1E 6JF

Programme
Registration

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

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New evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research

The Challenge of Chronic Pain 11-13 March 2015

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 The Challenge of Chronic Pain
11-13 March 2015
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

BSc/MSci Applied Medical Sciences Open Day 30th October 2014

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The next open day for the BSc/ MSci Applied Medical Sciences programme for 2015 entry is scheduled for Thursday 30th October 2014 from 11am - 3pm at the UCL Royal Free Campus in Hampstead, London NW3.   

Away Day 24th April 2015

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The Away Day will take place on Friday 24th April 2015.  Please save this date in your diary.  Further details to follow.”

Major Grants from 1st August 2013

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  • £2,436,839 (Total award to UCL £8,875,955) MRC Medical Bio-Informatics, Prof David Lomas, “Data-driven discovery for personalised medicine”
  • £1,273,218 Wellcome Trust/Department of Health, Health Innovation Challenge Fund, Dr Alastair O’Brien, “ATTIRE: Albumin to prevent infection in chronic liver failure”
  • £1,127,761 Wellcome Trust Simon Walker-Samuel, Senior Research Fellowship 
  • £933,494 EPSRC Dr Tammy Kalber, Early Career Fellowship, “Generation of multi-model imaging mesenchymal stem cells”
  • £888,203 MRC. Anthony    Segal    Research Grant: “Identification and characterisation of casula molecules for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis”
  • £628,696 (£20,191 to DoM but UCL is lead) - FP7 – William Rosenberg – ‘FLUTCORE: Development of a universal vaccine based on tandem core technology’.
  • £577,127  BBSRC. Huiliang Li. Research Grant: Transgenic approaches to understanding astrocyte hetergeneity
  • £475,224.31 MRC. Richard Day. Research Grant: Improved Delivery and Function of Myoblasts via Soluble TIPS Microcarriers
  • £451,939 (total award to UCL £921,359) Cancer Research UK (via King’s College London).  Prof Mark Lythgoe, Prof Ashley Groves, Dr Shonit Punwani and Dr Erik Arstad, “Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre (CCIC 2)”
  • £417,119 NIHR.  Mrs Jackie McRae, Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship, entitled “The development of a screening instrument for dysphagia following acute cervical spinal cord injury”
  • £368,549  E.U.   Claudia Mauri   FP7: ATHERO-B-CELL
  • £360,000  Rosetrees Trust.  Rachel Batterham,   Research Grant: “Link between obesity gene FTO and gut hormones”
  • £350,000 Replekfarm LLC.  Dr Slavica Tudzarova-Trajkovka, Senior Research Fellowship, entitled “Exploring the potential for collaborative research related to CDC7 kinase-targeting anti-cancer therapy”
  • £287,812 Wellcome Trust. Dr Laura Succony, Research Training Fellowship, entitled “Defining the role of Lrig1-dependent EGFR signalling pathway inhibition in airway homeostasis and lung cancer development”
  • £287,017 Janssen. Claudia Mauri. Collaborative Research Agreement
  • £286,308  BRC    Shonit    Punwani.  BRC Cancer Programme Funding
  • £286,000  Arthritis Research UK 4 yr Clinical Research Fellowship. Corinne Fisher (Centre for Rheumatology)
  • £285,845 Prostate Cancer UK.   Shonit Punwani    Project Grant: Localising Occult prostate Cancer metastases with Advanced imaging Techniques (LOCATE)
  • £282,678 (total award to UCL £872,299) European Commision FP7 award,Dr Erik Arstad, entitled “EPITARGET”
  • £250,000 National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (via BJA), Dr Gareth Ackland, entitled “Parasympathetic modulation of perioperative myocardial injury”

UCL Stroke Case Collection (UStroc)

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UCL Stroke Case Collection

Dr Reecha Sofat, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Dr Martina Colicchia, Research Fellow in the Division of Medicine, shown above with Elizabeth Tollady. 

Rajiv Jalan

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Congratulations to Rajiv Jalan who has been elected the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hepatology

2014 Medicine Code of Practice

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 The 2014 Medicine Code of Practice is now available on the Intranet Safety page

Early Career Research Conference

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 10th-11th September 2014

University of Leeds

Early Career Research Conference Flyer

UCL Applied Renal Physiology 2014 - course

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This is a modular course and includes the following sections: a primer in renal physiology, a 2-day course on fluids, electrolytes and acid-base and, finally, a 1-day cutting-edge science symposium. 

Rosetrees Trust Studentships - September 2014

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Applications are invited for three separate 3-year PhD studentships to start in September 2014 jointly funded by the Rosetrees Trust & Royal Free Charity.

Professor Andrew Burroughs

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We are greatly saddened to announce the death of Prof Andrew Burroughs, who passed away on Saturday 15th March, at the age of 60.  Prof Burroughs was an eminent and world renowned Professor of Hepatology and Consultant Physician/Hepatologist.  He joined the UCL Institute of Liver and Digestive Health last year, having previously worked in the Sheila Sherlock Liver Centre at the Royal Free Hospital for the majority of his career. 

Professor Massimo Pinzani, Sheila Sherlock Chair of Hepatology and Director of the UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, commented:

"Andy was one of the greatest hepatologists in history and the true representative of Dame Sheila Sherlock's legacy.  For more than thirty years, Andy led world class clinical research at the Royal Free providing major advances in clinical practice.  He was a world leader and an amazing mentor for generations of hepatologists trained at the Royal Free. Our thoughts go to his family and to the memories of him working with us."

UEG Rising Star Award 2014

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Tsochatzis Manolis

Congratulations to Emmanuel (Manolis) Tsochatzis on receiving the 2014 Rising Star Award by the United European Gastroenterology Society (UEG). This is awarded to 8 emerging young clinical scientists from Europe based on a track record of international quality research and developing scientific independence. The recipients of the award give state-of-the-art lectures and chair scientific sessions at the UEG week.

in2scienceUK Summer Internship

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giangreco

Rebecca McKelvey (Neuroscience) and Adam Giangreco (Medicine) have secured funding from Development and Alumni Relations and UCL Outreach to support the UCL-led In2ScienceUK laboratory placement scheme.  The aim of this scheme is to inspire and motivate AS level science students from low income backgrounds and support them in their application to competitive research universities.  

Now in its 5th year, the goal of this year’s programme is to place over 100 students in labs at UCL, Imperial and Kings.  The scheme is very successful, with 80% of former students gaining places at UK universities (compared with around 17% in this demographic nationwide) – but a key to this success is finding labs that are happy to act as hosts.  This occurs for 2 weeks in July-August, is a great experience for a senior PhD student or postdoc, and involves no additional administrative duties.  Students can shadow group members, talk to PIs/postdocs/students in other labs, watch demonstrations, analyse data, or get involved in any other task which is appropriate.  In2scienceUK will organize the placement, interview and select the students, and complete any necessary paperwork.  

If you or someone in your lab would like to make a real difference to the prospects of these young people please contact Rebecca McKelvey

New insights into how the kidney works

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Bockenhauser Kleta and Klootwijk

 Professor Robert Kleta and team have discovered a new disease mechanism shedding light onto how the kidney works (Klootwijk et al., NEJM, 2014, 370, 129-138). As a trained paediatrician and geneticist he and Dr Detlef Bockenhauer from the Institute of Child Health together lead a competitive team based at Royal Free Hospital comprised out of renal doctors, geneticists, bioinformaticians, computer scientists, cell and molecular biologists and physiologists focused on the study of rare renal disease. They investigated a clinical problem called autosomal dominant renal Fanconi syndrome in paediatric and adult patients and thereby discovered a completely novel disease mechanism: they showed that aberrant trafficking of an enzyme can cause disease not by its absence in the organelle it was intended to be, but by disturbing function of the organelle it is wrongly routed to. They discovered that a mutation in a peroxisomal protein caused misrouting to the mitochondria and interfered with mitochondrial metabolism.

Prof. Leon Fine, Professor and Chair, Dept of Biomedical Sciences, Vice-Dean, Research and Graduate Research Education, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA, formely UCL, commented “The paper is a tour de force of clinical observation, interdisciplinary science, multi-institutional collaboration, genomics and cellular physiology, which has led to the determination of the cause of an inherited disease. A truly outstanding achievement.”

British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration List 2014

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Anisur Rahman

Very well done to Anisur Rahman for his place in the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration List 2014 and to Jayne Kavanagh who received the Provost's Award for Public Engagement. Jayne was nominated for this award for her leading role in creating and running the Beacon-funded 2013/14 project ‘Stories from the soul: doctors’ choices, women’s lives’.  'Stories from the soul’ includes three evenings of storytelling, music and discussion that bring together healthcare providers with members of the public to explore how doctors’ decisions affect women’s lives.

ILTS Distinguished Service Award

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Andrew Burroughs

 Professor Andrew K. Burroughs, a faculty of the UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health and consultant hepatologist at the Royal Free London, has recently been awarded the 2014 Distinguished Service Award of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) for his outstanding contribution to this field. Indeed, Professor Burroughs is one of the pioneers of transplant Hepatology and his research has greatly contributed to establishing the current management of liver transplantation. This represents a great honour for UK and European Hepatology.
During 2013, Professor Burroughs received two other major career awards: the Distinguished Career Award of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the highest honour from the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG):  the Sir Arthur Hurst Lecture.
In addition to his value as clinician and researcher, these awards were motivated by Professor Burroughs’ exceptional ability to mentor emerging talent in his field; indeed he has provided mentorship for an incredible number of UK and international hepatologists, in keeping with a tradition established at the Royal Free by his mentor Professor Dame Sheila Sherlock.

Women in Science Fellowship 2014

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Applications for the 2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK & Ireland
For Women in Science Fellowships now open


L’Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society have partnered together to provide a dedicated UK & Ireland For Women in Science fellowship programme for women scientists at post-doctoral level to enable and/or facilitate promising scientific research in the life and physical sciences.
Four Fellowships will be awarded in 2014 to outstanding female postdoctoral scientists to assist them with their research. The Fellowships, each worth £15,000 (equivalent Euros for candidates in Ireland), are tenable at any UK or Irish university or research institute to support a 12-month period of research.
The Fellowship money can be spent in any number of innovative ways to enable women scientists to further their careers and facilitate world class research - such as buying equipment, paying for childcare or funding travel costs to an overseas conference.

Key Dates:

Applications open: Saturday 1st February
Application close: Friday 14th March
Shortlist published: Tuesday 3rd June
Awards ceremony: Thursday 19th June

New Divisional Lead for Safety

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roberta-perelli-4

Welcome to Roberta Perelli – the new Divisional Lead for Safety

Health Innovation Challenge Fund

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 Dr Alastair O’Brien has received £1.6 million from the Health Innovation Challenge Fund (joint Wellcome Trust & Department of Health) for ATTIRE (Albumin To prevenT Infection in chronic liveR failure). This is to fund a multi-centre clinical phase II and phase III trial at >15 sites that will examine whether administration of albumin to patients with liver failure in order to increase plasma levels to near normal will prevent hospital acquired infection. The clinical research network (LCRN) will fund the research nurse costs (>£1million). Over 100,000 patients are admitted to hospital every year with advanced liver cirrhosis and infection is their most common problem. Dr O’Brien and his team have shown that in these patients leukocyte function is markedly impaired by an up regulation of the hormone Prostaglandin E2 and infusion of albumin can reverse this process by binding and neutralising its effects. Albumin is widely considered to be beneficial in infection by hepatologists but until now there was no putative mechanism and therefore no consensus as to how to prescribe it. They wish to repurpose it as an immune restorative drug to improve leukocyte function in patients with advanced cirrhosis and therefore improve their ability to fight off infection.  It is hoped to demonstrate that its use will lead to reduced nosocomial infection rates, mortality and length of stay and thereby reduce health care costs.

Nuffield Foundation Research Placement Programme

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We are pleased to announce that Piumi Nikawala, a student of the Applied Biomedical Engineering Group, received the Gold CREST (CREactivity in Science and Technology) Award for her project on TIPS microspheres within the Nuffield Foundation Research Placement Programme.  This is a nationally recognized scheme to reward Science & Technology project work. 

Well done, Piumi!”

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