UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Queen Square Alumnus Association newsletter Issue 14

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the Alumnus Association newsletter.

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the Alumnus Association newsletter. I had hoped to publish in March 2020, but as with so many things Coronavirus disrupted plans. It has been an incredibly busy time at Queen Square, both for the Institute and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Huge congratulations to the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology staff who have been awarded a promotion in this year's promotions round. This is a great achievement with 100% record of success for candidates for senior promotions.

ION staff have received numerous awards and prizes over the past year, and we now have 11 Fellows of the Royal Society and 29 Fellows of the Academy of medical sciences

· ION staffing news and awards
There have been many recent significant Institute achievements, some attracting major media attention. Here are some of the highlights:

Queen Square hosted dozens of successful events over the past year, including  the following celebrations of achievements:

We have worked hard on the education front to mitigate for the disruption caused by Coronavirus by moving teaching and research projects online. This has been a very difficult time for our students, and they have shown admirable resilience. For the first time in perhaps a hundred years, our final year elective programme for visiting medical students stopped accepting applicants, and we are hopeful that we can restart the programme in January 2021.

It is with great sadness that we decided to close both the Diploma and MSc in Clinical Neurology face to face programme. Over the last few years numbers had declined significantly, in contrast to our distance learning programme in Clinical Neurology which has gone from strength to strength. In the past 5 years we have launched specialised masters programmes in Neuromuscular Disease, Stroke and Dementia.  Tuition fees have continued to rise for all our programmes. Such factors might explain the lower numbers of students wishing to study this programme. On a personal note, it was a very difficult decision to decide to close the programme. Since I joined the Institute in 2008 I have been fortunate to meet many wonderful and caring clinicians studying the Diploma and the MSc, many of whom became personal friends. I know many of our alumni will also feel a hint of sadness as many first came to Queen Square to study the Diploma , the first postgraduate programme launched by the Institute in 1953, and it was not until 1999 when the MSc in Clinical Neuroscience launched that there was another postgraduate programme. To help mitigate the loss of this programme, we have launched a blended option for our distance learning MSc and Diploma in Clinical Neurology, which will include a two week teaching course that takes place within Queen Square. 

On a personal level, I was very pleased to be nominated and to win a UCL personal excellence award and am very grateful to Dr Helene Crutzen for nominating me. 

In this edition of the newsletter our interview is with Professor Isabel Pavão Martins. An obituary for Professor Michael Harrison, news from the Institute and updates from the archives are also included.

I would like to highlight that old editions of the Queen Square Alumnus Association newsletter produced by Miss Pat Harris, are available in PDF format on the Queen Square Alumni website https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/education/alumnusassociation/archivenewsletters. I would also like to draw your attention to the work in progress that is the Institute of Neurology History pages as well as highlighting the new official history of Queen Square.  We have recently created some mini biographies for notable former staff in the history of Queen Square using for the main, the Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology book. We will look to continue to add individuals to these pages.

I would like to thank the following people, without whom this edition of the newsletter would not have been possible; Professor Isabel Pavão Martins for her interview; emeritus consultant Ralph Ross Russell writing about the late Professor Michael Harrison; Mrs Marilyn Blundred for her attention to detail in proof reading this edition; Ms Sarah Lawson and Mr George Kaim for Queen Square Library and Archive material, and the Queen Square Library for photographs used in this edition.

I hope you enjoy reading the fourteenth edition of the Queen Square Alumnus Association newsletter.