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UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences

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Medical Sciences Lecture Series

Our virtual lectures are free and open to everyone - staff, students and the public. We believe that science can save the world, so join a UCL Medical Sciences Lecture to get inspired by the fascinating world of medical sciences.

Next lecture: Tuesday 11 June


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Catch up with recent events

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AI, Smartphones and Lung Health: Breathless with Excitement

Over 600 million people worldwide live with long-term lung health problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We urgently need better ways to diagnose and treat these conditions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform healthcare. Prof. John Hurst and Dr Luke Hale review how AI can improve the care of those living with asthma and COPD, including a smartphone platform that is under development for patients with these conditions.

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Adapting to life in the liver: An immune cell perspective

You could say we are all continually influenced by our location, environmental factors, the people we encounter, and even how hungry we are at a given moment. Immune cells are no different. For World Liver Day, Dr Laura Pallett discusses how the identity and function of immune cells is influenced by such factors. We focus on a subset of immune cells in the human liver known as 'resident T cells' that are highly specialised, trained assassins, that help to control infections and tumour cell growth.

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Women in Medicine and the Gender Pay Gap

Women have worked in medicine for over 100 years, but are still under-represented at the top of the profession. This is a reflection of the place women play in society. Women have struggled to reach equality of both status and pay. Work commissioned by the Dept. Health and Social Care in England and published in 2020 has defined what is now well-known as the Gender Pay Gap. The gap in medicine is large for a single professional group. To mark International Womens Day 2024, Prof. Dame Jane Dacre explores gender pay inequality in the medical field and highlights strategies that could help address pay disparities.

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Injury and brain cancer, two sides of the same coin?

Glioblastoma is the most common type of brain tumour in adults. Though current treatments extend survival they are not curative. It is well-known that tumours arise from cells that acquire mutations and begin to divide uncontrollably. However, recent studies unexpectedly revealed that even normal tissues contain many mutations. A key question is how these mutations can remain silent and what activates them when tumours do form. Prof. Simona Parrinello discusses how brain injury shapes all stages of glioblastoma development and how unravelling this complex and bidirectional interaction is beginning to uncover new avenues for intervention.

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Painless restoration of children's teeth

In the UK, 24% of five-year-old children have caries affecting three to four of their teeth but less than 10% are filled. Previously, teeth were restored with silver mercury amalgam fillings but in 2018 their use for children was banned due to the toxic environmental effects. The alternative materials used to fill adult teeth are time-consuming to place, making them highly unsuitable for young children. To address this issue, we have developed SMART composites that can be painlessly placed in <5 instead of 30 minutes. Prof. Anne Young and Prof. Paul Ashley (UCL Eastman Dental Institute) discuss the journey to getting these new materials into clinical trials.

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VR in Healthcare - sensorimotor interventions

For over 20 years, there has been a growing interest and activity to explore the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and robots in rehabilitation and clinical (surgical) training. Today, VR technology is applied to advanced fields of medicine, engineering, education, design, training, and entertainment. VR uses computer interfaces to give immersive 3D visual experiences. Prof. Rui Loureiro examines new ways of using VR and Robots through a gamification paradigm for clinical training. He demonstrates how strategies to 'trick' the brain can have a positive impact on the recovery of cognitive and physical injuries and in reducing pain.

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Type one diabetes - exciting new developments in treatment and prevention

Type one diabetes is an autoimmune condition which results in absolute lack of insulin. Treatment has focused for many years on the replacement of insulin but we are entering an exciting new era where there is a real possibility of prevention. Dr Miranda Rosenthal, Consultant (Diabetes) at the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT) covers these new developments and the new treatment options for those living with T1D.

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Are biologic drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis harmful in pregnancy?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 1% of people worldwide. It is more common in women and often requires biologic drugs to control symptoms and prevent joint damage. Many women under treatment become pregnant, and there is uncertainty if biologic drugs should be continued. Treatment of RA in pregnancy is important because active arthritis may increase risk of adverse outcomes and is more likely if biologic drugs are stopped. Prof. Ian Giles discusses whether stopping biologic drugs in pregnancy has harmful effects.


Past events

2022/23 Lecture Series

2021/22 Lecture Series

2020/2021 Lecture Series

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