UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Darren Hargrave and Finbar O'Callaghan Inaugural Symposium

Wednesday 27th June 2018



15.00 Professor Darren Hargrave, GOSHCC Clinical Professor in Paediatric Neuro-oncology

Title: "Trials and Collaborations of a Paediatric Neuro-Oncologist"

16.00 Tea on balcony

16.30 Professor Finbar O'Callaghan, Professor of Paediatric Neuroscience

Title: "The Semmelweiss Reflex: Child Neurology meets Epidemiology"

17.30 Drinks reception in the Winter Garden

"Trials and Collaborations in Paediatric Neuro-Oncology"

Professor Darren Hargrave

My talk will give a background to my career to date and why I chose to specialise in treating children with cancer. Introduce the major challenges and unmet need in children and their families who suffer from a brain tumour diagnosis and share how my clinical experience has shaped my research.
I will describe how working in multi-disciplinary teams whether in the clinic or in translational research with true collaborative working is vital to success. How this has allowed me to play a role in translating the novel understanding of the underlying biology of paediatric brain tumours into developing clinical trials with the aim of finding "better and kinder" treatments for children with brain tumours. Describe the challenges of developing new treatments in paediatric oncology and relate my experience of how to design trials to learn from both success and failures to accelerate the drug development process. Outline my future research plans and finish with my hopes for the field of paediatric neuro-oncology over the next decade.

Specialises in paediatric neuro-oncology and the development of new anti-cancer drugs for children and adolescents. He trained in the UK and was a neuro-oncology clinical fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Upon returning to the UK he was a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at the Royal Marsden for 10 years before moving to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in 2011 where he leads the experimental therapeutics programme and was appointed as the GOSH Children's Charity Clinical Professor in Paediatric Neuro-oncology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in December 2017.
He is Chair (Elect) of the SIOP-E Brain Tumour Group where he previously Chaired the High-Grade Glioma working group. He served as the Chair of the Children's Novel Agents Subgroup of the UK NCRI for 4 years and he sits on the ITCC Clinical Trials Committee and is a Chief Investigator of over 15 completed, on-going and planned clinical trials in paediatric cancer. He is a member of the Guy's Complex NF1 clinic and has an interest in NF related tumours. His research interests include: the biology of childhood brain tumours, the use of innovative imaging techniques in childhood cancer and drug development of targeted therapies in childhood and adolescent oncology.

In the Chair: Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
Vote of thanks: Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

'The Semmelweis Reflex: Child Neurology Meets Epidemiology"

 Professor Finbar O'Callaghan

The lecture will explore the unusual journey from neonatal physiology to the epidemiology of neurological diseases in childhood. Child neurology, perhaps more than many other paediatric specialties, is concerned with rare diseases. It presents particular challenges when trying to implement an evidence based approach to treatment. I will describe my own particular challenges and occasional successes in bringing the principles of epidemiology to bear upon my specialty area. I will highlight the personal influences that have shaped my career, the national and international collaborations that I have been fortunate to be a part of, as well as the research we have produced. I will describe some of the novel findings that have helped elucidate the natural history of some important neurological diseases that affect children, such as tuberous sclerosis, stroke and epilepsy, and some of the evidence we have produced that has improved their treatment and may still improve it in the future. I will also look at some of the underlying causes that influence the variations over time of neurological health and disease in children. The lecture will conclude with a look at the challenges still remaining and where my own particular research journey may go in the future.

Finbar O'Callaghan is Head of Clinical Neurosciences Section at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. Finbar was a late convert to medicine, having initially studied History, graduating from Oxford in 1983. He went on to study medicine at the University of Bristol and received his medical degree in 1990. Following further clinical training in paediatrics in Bristol, Bath, Birmingham and Toronto, he went on to take up a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology, obtaining an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1997. His PhD investigating the epidemiology of tuberous sclerosis complex was conducted jointly in the University of Bath and the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit in Southampton. After further post-doctoral training at the MRC Unit in Southampton and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford and clinical paediatric neurology training in Southampton, he became a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist in Bristol in 2003. He moved to the UCL GOS Institute of Child Health in 2013. His research has focussed on the epidemiology of neurological diseases in childhood, particularly in the areas of the genetic disease tuberous sclerosis complex, childhood stroke and infantile epilepsy. He is currently President of the British Paediatric Neurology Association.

In the Chair: Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
Vote of thanks: Professor Helen Cross, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

To ensure your place please register via Eventbrite