Medicine News

Dean's Research Prize 2016

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Dean's Research Prize 2016

Students in the Division of Medicine took several prizes at the Faculty of Medical Sciences’ fourth annual Dean's Research Prize held on 11th February 2016:  Jessica Eley (UCL Respiratory) won 1st prize for the 3 Minute Thesis presentation (UCL Respiratory also had one of the other two 3MT finalists, Tanvi Agrawal); Madhur Motwani (Centre for Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) won 1st prize for best PhD student oral presentations, & Marco Bolgeri (MSc Urology) won 1st prize for best poster by a post-graduate taught student. Congratulations to all. The Faculty has over 3000 students including 900 Masters and 450 Research students and a flavour of their research achievements was highlighted at the event in the form of research talks and posters. All Divisions were represented by a PhD student who spoke about their work and representatives from the highly successful MBPhD, Grand Challenge and Impact programmes also contributed. Posters were on show representing 26 Masters and iBSc programmes showcasing the contribution these make to the Faculty’s research. A 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was also arranged and three heats of 10 3MT presentations were held in the morning and the winners of each heat invited to present in the main afternoon event.  The event was attended by over 60 staff and students who engaged with both the talks and the posters.

Athena Swan - Celebrating International Women's Day 

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Athena Swan Silver Award

The Division of Medicine’s Athena SWAN team led by Dr Jenny Rohn (Research Department of Nephrology, Royal Free) hosted a special event to mark International Women’s Day on Friday 11th March. At the event held in the Rayne Building, three prominent women cartoonists who have been working in residence amongst the clinicians and scientists of UCL/UCLH shared with the audience their views on why cartoons have the power not only to make us laugh, but to make us think, and to question the world around us. Their work, some of it inspired by recent events at UCL, was on display, and during the Q&A, they talked about what had made them become cartoonists. The cartoonists who took part were:

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award in Functional Neuromics

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 A consortium of five WIBR scientists together with collaborators at Oxford and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, has been awarded £4M by the Wellcome Trust to study neural circuits in the mammalian brain (“Functional neuromics of the cerebral cortex”).  read more

Improving Treatment for Systemic Amyloidosis

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UCL/Rosetrees Interdisciplinary Symposium - 22nd October 2015

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Theme: Smart Technologies for Health

These talks illustrate how smart technologies will change the ways that we investigate, diagnose, treat and monitor disease at an individual and population level. 

Rachel McKendry wins UCL Provost's Spirit of Enterprise 2015 award

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McKendry UCL Awards

 Professor Rachel McKendry wins 2015 UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award

UCL Professor Rachel McKendry was awarded the UCL Provost Spirit of Enterprise Award at this year’s eighth annual UCL Awards for Enterprise.

The award was in recognition for Rachel’s outstanding track record of partnerships with industry to tackle infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance, which have led to new antibiotics, mobile diagnostic devices, apps and mapping systems to nowcast outbreaks using symptoms reported online.

Throughout her research career, Rachel, who holds a joint position at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine at UCL, has championed collaboration and engagement with industry in order to bring her research to the people that matter- patients and the public. She has also strived to provide her students and postdocs with valuable exposure to the clinical and commercial world, teaching and encouraging them to work across, and beyond traditional research boundaries.

Rachel’s work with industry partners Targanta Therapeutics (now the Medicines company) helped to unravel the mechanism of action of oritavancin, a new antibiotic, which was recently FDA approved. Rachel also led a major NIHR Innovation for Invention award with industry partner OJ-Bio to develop a mobile phone-connected diagnostic test for HIV, which has now successfully passed early clinical pilot studies.

In 2013, Rachel was awarded an £11m EPSRC grant to develop global early warning systems for infectious diseases (i-sense) with academic, clinical and industry partners, including Cambridge Life Sciences, Mologic, Cepheid and Telefonica O2.

Through this consortium, Rachel has secured Google funding for a postdoctoral researcher to work with Google Flu Trends on their modeling techniques and, together with UCL Professor Ingemar Cox, helped seed a partnership with Microsoft to track the spread of infectious diseases at music festivals using Twitter and search engine queries. Through the collaboration with OJ-Bio, a student and postdoc from Rachel’s research group were able to gain industrial experience at Japan Radio Company, OJ-Bio’s Parent Company in Fujimino, Japan.

Rachel McKendry said:

“ I think it’s crucial to work with our industry partners to translate some of our exciting discoveries in the lab into products and practices that can ultimately benefit patients”

The UCL Provost Spirit of Enterprise Award, which was presented by UCL President and Provost Michael Arthur, recognises the achievements and attitude of an academic at UCL that has demonstrated a willingness to engage with business in multiple ways that have enhanced their core research and teaching activities.

Winners of the 2015 UCL Awards for Enterprise were announced on Wednesday 10 June, at a ceremony held at UCL Advances’ new incubator space for product and creative businesses at King’s Cross, BASE KX.

You can see the full list of winners here.

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Wellcome Image Award 2015

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Newton Advanced Fellowship

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In2scienceUK Summer Internship 2015

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In2scienceUK is a UCL-backed social enterprise which assists talented A-level students from underprivileged backgrounds in applying for STEM degrees at university.  

A Smartphone Tool to Reduce Alcohol Use and Admissions in Alcoholic Liver Disease

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Gautam Mehta, Kevin Moore and Rajiv Jalan, in collaboration with Cyberliver Ltd. have obtained a grant (£75K) from the Health Foundation to test a smartphone based app, to deliver brief interventions and prevent re-admission in patients with alcohol liver disease. This exciting approach will have a national press launch from the Health Foundation on the 20th April. Cyberliver Ltd. Is a startup founded by Jalan and colleagues with the aim of building a platform for the remote management of patients with liver disease. 

Poem - Festschrift Gordon Stewart

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 by Professor John Martin

Gordon was a well-loved doc

He sashayed round the ward

Graduate Open Day 16th March 2015

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 Seminar Room 210, Second Floor, Rayne Building, 5 University Street, London, WC1E 6JF


2nd DoM Career Development Workshop 13th January 2015

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Thinking about applying for a research/teaching fellowship

13th January 2015 at 2 p.m.

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


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.  To register please e-mail Anita Waterman

Major Grants from 1st August 2013

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  • £5.3 million grant from the MRC for Image-directed Health Care. Shonit Punwani (Institute of Nuclear Medicine) and Prof Mark Lythgoe (Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging) (co-investigators with Mark Emberton, Division of Surgery)
  • £3.2 million from the MRC to investigate “Enhancing immunity and vaccination responses in older humans by targeting the p38 MAP kinase signalling pathway and vitamin D supplementation” Professor Derek Gilroy (Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) (co-investigator with Professor Arne Akbar, Division of Infection and Immunity)
  • £2,282,063 MRC. Professor Sam Janes (PI):  DPFS/DSC MSC trial in lung cancer
  • £1.35m of a £5.9m European Union Horizon 20:20 grant on a new therapeutic for the treatment of liver cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Professor Rajiv Jalan (Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, PI)
  • £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’.
  • £630,000 Project Grant from the Linbury Trust to study Skin problems in the elderly. Professor Chris Bunker:.
  • £625.000 (€800,000) EU Horizon 20:20 programme. Prof John Wood (Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) to investigate bone pain.
  • £577,127  BBSRC. Huiliang Li. Research Grant: Transgenic approaches to understanding astrocyte hetergeneity
  • £567,350 MRC. Professor Alan Salama (Centre for Nephrology; co-investigator): “Targeting glycans in ischaemia reperfusion”.
  • £500,000 BRC - Dr Reecha Sofat: Project Grant to develop an Integrated strategy for Investigation of Stroke
  • £475,224.31 MRC. Richard Day. Research Grant: Improved Delivery and Function of Myoblasts via Soluble TIPS Microcarriers
  • £460,000 from the MRC. Derek Gilroy (Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) & Alastair O’Brien (Institute for Liver & Digestive Diseases): for “Reversal of immune suppression in cirrhosis patients by inhibiting prostaglandin E2”.
  • £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)”
  • £428,165 European Union Grant for IMI Combacte-Magnet Consortium. Professor Mervyn Singer (Centre for Intensive Care Medicine, PI).
  • £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”
  • £383,532 GSK.  Dr  Jo  Porter. Clinical Fellowship for Theresia Mikolasch.
  • £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”
  • £350,160 Biomedical Research Centre grant for radiopharmaceutical GMP laboratory. Dr Erik Arstad (Institute of Nuclear Medicine).
  • £347,901 Arthritis Research UK Career Development Fellowship. Dr Blandine Poulet (Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases): for a 5 year Arthritis Research UK Career Development Fellowship.
  • £334,000 grant from the Charles Wolfson Foundation on Crohn’s Disease.  Professor Tony Segal (Centre for Molecular Medicine, PI): 
  • £289,722 Pancreatic Cancer UK.  Dr Steve Pereira: over three years for 'Creating a rapid diagnostic pathway for patients with pancreatic cancer'.
  • £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”
  • £246,279, UCL Wellcome Trust. Professor Sam Janes: PhD Programme for Clinicans for Neelam Kumar
  • £245,588 Wellcome Trust. Professor Derek Gilroy: Research Training Fellowship for Julia Flint
  • £223,355 ESPRC grant for networking. Dr Kris Thielemans (Institute of Nuclear Medicine, PI)
  • £206,806 Clinical Research Fellowship from Action Medical Research.  Dr John Ioannou (Centre for Rheumatology, PI). "Investigating the link between puberty, the immune system and juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus".
  •  £200,758.00 GlaxoSmithKline (UCL-GSK Fibrosis Hub). Prof Justin Hsuan (Institute for Liver and Digestive Health)
  • £148,300 from Arthritis Research UK on “Manipulation of gut microiota”. Professor Claudia Mauri (Centre for Rheumatology and Bloomsbury Rheumatology Unit, PI).

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

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