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Latest Population Health Sciences News

‘Core’ immune cells reduce symptoms and spread of flu

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H1N1 influenza virus particles shown in transmission electron micrograph

A four-year study of 1,414 unvaccinated people across England found that 43% of them had immune cells that protected them from symptoms of both seasonal and pandemic influenza, and reduced their chances of shedding the virus by two thirds. The work led by researchers from UCL, Oxford University and Public Health England was funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust.

Faculty Award winners

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StAR Awards

StAR of the year Award winners

The Student Academics Representatives (StARs) Annual Reception 2015 took place on 4 June where StARs were thanked for their work and dedication this year. There are 900 StARs across UCL, but our Faculty representative, Natasha Liou (MSc Reproductive Science/ UCL Institute for Women’s Health) swept the board won and both staff and Union choice StAR of the Year for her outstanding support to her peers.

Q & A with Lele Rangaka: Review of 'Public Speaking Masterclass for Women in STEMM’

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In April, engineer, physicist, and BBC television scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE led a one-day practical course on learning how to communicate complex ideas with clarity and passion. Delegates were shown how to analyse and prepare their work for communication to different audiences, learn techniques for presenting their message in person and maximising its impact and practice doing all this on camera.

New treatment for polycystic kidney disease

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Small vessels inside a cystic kidney with disorganised vasculature

A new technique for treating polycystic kidney disease has been identified by researchers based at the UCL Institute of Child Health. Published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the treatment, which involves targeting tiny blood and lymphatic vessels inside the kidneys, is shown to improve renal function and slow progression of disease in mice.

Starting HIV treatment early improves patient outcomes

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Scanning electromicrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell

A major international randomised clinical trial has found that HIV-infected individuals have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses if they start taking antiretroviral drugs sooner, when their CD4+ T-cell count—a key measure of immune system health—is higher, instead of waiting until the CD4+ cell count drops to lower levels.

SLMS Education Domain announces the winners of the first SLMS Education Awards

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education awards

We are proud to announce the winners of the first SLMS Education Awards to reward those dedicated to improving the quality of education for SLMS students and to spotlight and support excellence and innovation in the delivery of education.

Smoking induces early signs of cancer in cheek swabs

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Ashtray

DNA damage caused by smoking can be detected in cheek swabs, finds research published today in JAMA Oncology. The study provides evidence that smoking induces a general cancer program that is also present in cancers which aren’t usually associated with it – including breast and gynaecological cancers.

Starved T cells allow hepatitis B to silently infect liver

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Magnified image of liver sample from Hepatitis B patient showing suppressor cells (brown) approaching T cells (red)

Hepatitis B stimulates processes that deprive the body’s immune cells of key nutrients that they need to function, finds new UCL-led research funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust.

Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows 2015

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Academy of Medical Sciences

Five researchers from across UCL SLMS have been recognised for their contribution to the advancement of medical science by election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Professors Peter Brocklehurst, Frances Brodsky, Diana Kuh, Catherine Law and Alan Thompson joined the existing Fellows of the Academy to bring the total membership to 1134.

New screening technique could pick up twice as many ovarian cancer cases

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Ovarian cancer under the microscope

A new screening method can detect twice as many women with ovarian cancer as conventional strategies, according to the latest results from the largest trial of its kind led by UCL.

Royal Society Fellows 2015

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Royal Society

Professor Annette Dolphin (Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, Division of Biosciences) and Professor Michael Häusser (Professor of Neuroscience, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) have been elected to the Fellowship and Foreign Membership of the Royal Society.

Weight discrimination has major impact on quality of life

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Man on scales

Weight discrimination is linked to significantly lower quality of life, and accounts for approximately 40% of the negative psychological effects associated with obesity, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

More than a third of 12-year-olds embarrassed to smile because of their teeth

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Mother brushing child's teeth

More than a third (35%) of 12-year-olds and 28% of 15-year-olds say they have been embarrassed to smile or laugh due to how they felt about their teeth, finds a new UCL-led report commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

How drinking behaviour changes through the years

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Old man drinking in pub

In the UK, frequent drinking becomes more common in middle to old age, especially amongst men, according to UCL research published in the open access journal, BMC Medicine. Doctors are seeing a growing number of cases of alcohol misuse among the elderly and this finding supports concerns that older people might be abusing alcohol.

PROUD study shows Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is highly protective against HIV infection

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PROUD study logo

Researchers from the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit (MRC CTU) at UCL and Public Health England have presented results at a conference in Seattle, Washington, indicating that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly protective against HIV for gay and other men who have sex with men in England.

New biomarkers to spot pancreatic cancer early

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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer could be diagnosed up to two years earlier by screening for two tumour markers found in blood, according to research published in Clinical Cancer Research.

UCL and QMUL agree to establish a new institute to tackle cardiovascular disease

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Cardiovascular

UCL and Queen Mary University of London have agreed to establish a joint  Cardiovascular Institute to rise to the global challenge of cardiovascular disease.

Cancer fear can impact screening uptake

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Colorectal cancer tumour

People who worry about cancer are more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but feeling uncomfortable at the thought of cancer makes them less likely to actually go for the test, finds new UCL-led research.

Bloomsbury Research Institute awarded £7.5 million

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A technician inspects cells under the microscope

UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been awarded a grant of £7.5 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to develop the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership dedicated to addressing the global challenge of infectious disease.

REF2014: UCL strength in biomedicine reflected in largest share of 4* research

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medical-grouping

UCL has achieved the greatest amount of 4* (world leading) research in Panel A, covering medicine and biological sciences, much of which is conducted in collaboration with our partner hospitals.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Main characters more likely to die in kids' cartoons than in films for adults

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Snow White

Principal cartoon characters are more than twice as likely to be killed off as their counterparts in films for adults released in the same year, reveals research from the University of Ottawa and UCL, published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Feeling younger than actual age meant lower death rate for older people

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Older person

A UCL study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older people who felt three or more years younger than their chronological age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

Poor diet links obese mothers and stunted children

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Education fair in Egypt

Malnutrition is a major cause of stunted growth in children, but new UCL research on mothers and children in Egypt suggests that the problem is not just about quantity of food but also quality.

Half of English women are taking prescribed medicines

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Statins

Results published today in the latest Health Survey for England show that 50% of women and 43% of men reported taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past week. 22% of men and 24% of women reported taking at least three prescribed medicines in the past week. These figures exclude smoking cessation products and contraception.

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