UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


Medical Sciences Lecture Series

UCL Medical Sciences Lecture Series - virtual events designed to inspire you with the fascinating world of medical sciences.

We believe that science can save the world, so we’ve designed these lectures to inspire and engage you with the fascinating world of medical science.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #FMSLectures and @uclmedsci.

Each lecture is free and open to everyone - staff, students and members of the public.

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The Big "C" - Cancer in 2021

In this talk, you will hear about where we are with cancer care in the UK with guest speaker Dr Ursula McGovern. We bust a few myths, put some preconceptions of cancer treatment to the test and discuss some of the breakthrough new treatments for our patients living with a cancer diagnosis.



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COVID...every breath you take... we'll be helping you

This online lecture and Q&A with Professor Mervyn Singer took place on the 26 June 2020.
Professor Singer talked about the challenge of treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients on the front line, his innovative work with Mercedes Formula 1 to develop new devices to help patients, and answered questions.


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How UCL revolutionised prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment for men 

Watch the lecture and Q&A with UCL's Mark Emberton, Professor of Intervention Oncology and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men with around 130 new cases diagnosed in the UK every day and more than 10,000 men a year dying as a result of the disease. Without a reliable test and fool-proof way to diagnose patients, the team at UCL created a new, non-invasive test for prostate cancer that is now used all over the world – saving many lives. In this talk, Mark will tell our remarkable story of how this screening was developed.


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Oh, I wish it could be Christmas dinner every day! 

A recording of the UCL Medical Sciences Public Lecture that took place on 8 December 2020. Watch the lecture and Q&A with Professor Nathan Davies: ‘Oh I wish it could be Christmas dinner every day!’

Christmas dinner is the most anticipated meal of the year. For many people, this involves weeks of planning to ensure everything is just right for the big day. In this talk, we take a closer look at our Christmas menu to see how it stacks up in terms of the healthy and not so healthy components. We see whether it is possible to achieve your ‘five-a-day’ in a single meal and ask the question of just how many chocolates you should eat. Also, if Father Christmas stops for a mince pie in every house, how much exercise does it take to burn off the calories?


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Antimicrobial resistance - The Pandemic that is forgotten but not gone

Watch the lecture and Q&A with UCL's Professor Tim McHugh, Director of UCL Centre for Clinical Microbiology.
Over the last 12 months, we have been looking the other way, but the AMR pandemic not only continues but finds new expression in the world that changes in response to SARS-CoV-2. The AMR pandemic is definitely not gone and cannot be forgotten.


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'One-shot' radiotherapy safer and as effective for treating breast cancer as longer course

Watch the lecture and Q&A with Jayant Vaidya, Professor of Surgery and Oncology at UCL Division of Surgery.

In this talk, you will hear about a pioneering breast cancer therapy which requires one shot of radiotherapy rather than conventional weeks-long treatment, which has proven to be safer and as effective for most women in treating the disease. 

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Can we grow artificial tissues and organs in the lab?

In this recording, you will hear about the latest advances and challenges in growing synthetic tissues and organs for regenerative medicine and surgical treatments. 

Wenhui Song is the head of the UCL Centre for Biomaterials in Surgical Reconstruction and Regeneration.

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SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: What have we learned and what’s next?

In this lecture recording, Greg Towers, Professor of Molecular Virology, discusses how his work on virus infection and innate immunity helps us understand how SARS-CoV-2 is able to jump from bats to humans and cause a pandemic and global shut down. 

Most importantly, Professor Towers addresses the future of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. What will the coronavirus do next? Could there be another pandemic in the future?

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Could 3D printing revolutionise our healthcare?

Take another look at our lecture and Q&A with Deepak Kalaskar, Associate Professor of Bioengineering at UCL.

This recording will address how 3D printing is having a transformational effect on the healthcare industry. What are the opportunities and challenges offered by this exciting technology?

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What is Evidence-based Medicine and why does it matter?

In this recording, Kurinchi Gurusamy, Professor of Evidence-based Medicine and Surgery at UCL, talks about what exactly the term Evidence-based Medicine means. Why is it useful, and what can we do to use it more effectively?

Prof Gurusamy discusses the major criticisms and limitations of Evidence-based Medicine. He also talks about the role of evidence-based medicine in clinical practice guidelines and shared-decision making.

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Room 1 for Dr Climate – the one clinic we can’t afford to miss

Climate change increasingly threatens human survival over coming decades and we need to address the issue now.

In this recording, Dr Adesh Sudaresan and guest speakers, Dr Harry Kennard and Dr Manraj Phull address how climate change affects human health, and what YOU can do today to save yourselves, and us all.  

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Harnessing lung cancer evolution for clinical benefit

In this recording, you will find out about the process of lung cancer evolution and how to better treat it with Dr Mariam Jamal-Hanjani.

Lung cancers are genetically very diverse in character and their genomic landscape can evolve from early to late stage disease. Understanding the process of lung cancer evolution can help identify cancers with more aggressive biology and identify novel ways in which we can track evolution of the disease and potentially treat it.

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Defeating Pneumonia and Meningitis with Vaccines

Life-threatening infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and the brain (meningitis) affect the most vulnerable in society, such as the very young, the old and people whose immune systems do not work properly. Our ability to cure people of these infections is increasingly at risk because of the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

In this recording, Prof Rob Heyderman discusses how powerful vaccines can be and consider the necessary steps to further protect us from pneumonia and meningitis.

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Treatment for COVID-19: getting out of the pandemic 

Watch the lecture and Q&A with Professor David Lomas that took place on the 24 July 2020. Professor Lomas talked about the treatments available for COVID-19 patients, how effective they are, and medical strategies that could help us out of the pandemic.



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The long winter: What’s in store in the next phase of COVID-19?

Watch the lecture and Q&A with Dr Jennifer Rohn. Dr Jennifer Rohn is a cell biologist at University College London and an author. She is a key member of the teaching staff for our Applied Medical Science BSc programme, and is a Principal Research Fellow with the Division of Medicine at The Royal Free Hospital, where her research team studies the interactions of pathogens with the human host.


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Breathing in COVID-19

Watch a recording of a talk and Q&A with UCL's Professor Joanna Porter, Head of Undergraduate Respiratory Teaching at UCLH, on Breathing in COVID-19: The short and long term impacts of COVID-19 on our lungs.

COVID-19 is impacting all of us across the world.  In this lecture and Q&A, we talked more about COVID-19 and the new variants, initial timelines of infection, how it hijacks the body to spread to others, and the effect it has on the lungs.  We also took a look at how our body’s immune system may worsen lung inflammation and how the lung recovers from infection and returns to normal. 


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Gene & stem cell therapies: Correcting nature’s spelling mistakes

A recording of a talk and Q&A with Emma Morris, Professor of Clinical Cell and Gene Therapy at UCL Institute of Immunity & Transplantation, as she explained how doctors and scientists can use new gene therapy and gene editing methods to treat rare inherited diseases.

Emma is a clinical academic and international leader developing novel gene and cell therapy approaches for the treatment of cancer, infection and immune disorders. Her major focus is on leading the expansion and adoption of advanced therapies and stem cell transplantation into routine clinical care for NHS patients. Emma was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2020.


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Nanomedicine: from cancer to COVID-19

A recording of a live talk and Q&A with UCL's Gavin Jell, Associate Professor in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, on Nanomedicine: from cancer to COVID-19.

This talk explored what nanomedicine is, the advantages nanotechnologies offer in the treatment and diagnosis of disease, and future challenges.

Nanotechnology in medicine could involve employing nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such as cancer cells). This technique reduces damage to healthy cells in the body and allows for earlier detection of disease.


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Should we still care about HIV?

Watch th electure and Q&A with Thumbi Ndung'u, Professor of Infectious Diseases at UCL.

In this recording, you will hear about the origin and future of HIV/AIDS including the remaining significant scientific and public health challenges.

Thumbi Ndung’u is the Director for Basic and Translation Science at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa.

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Can we use the immune system to fight cancer?

This recording of a lecture by Dr Claire Roddie, Associate Professor, UCL and Consultant Haematologist at UCLH, will discuss the science of biohacking, where biologists go into a patient’s genetic code and reprogram their immune system to recognise and fight cancer cells.

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From Lamb’s Blood to Pig Hearts: A New Renaissance in Transplant Surgery

Over the last few years, we’ve seen some exciting developments from experts in transplant surgery and biotechnology. Human heart tissue, for example, has been cultivated on the scaffold frame of a spinach leaf. 

In this recording, Paul Craddock, Honorary Senior Research Associate, is joined by leading UCL experts. Together, they will explore the history and future of transplant surgery.

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Why is dental health so important for children?

In this recording, Dr Susan Parekh, Clinical Senior Lecturer at UCL Eastman Dental Institute, focuses on the problems of children’s poor oral health and the role of the Paediatric Dentist. 

How can we improve children’s oral health? What is the role of the Paediatric Dentist when tackling these common problems?

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World Thrombosis Day | Understanding why some people get blood clots

In this fascinating recording, Keith Gomez, Consultant and Associate Professor in Haemostasis at UCL, talks about blood clots and the strategies for prevention and treatment.

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Can local T cell immunity contribute to protection against SARS-CoV-2?

T cells can contribute to clearance of respiratory viruses that cause acute-resolving infections such as SARS-CoV-2, helping to provide long-lived protection against disease.

In this recording, Dr Mariana Diniz looks at the role of T cells already resident at the site of infection in inducing viral protection and the importance of stimulating local immunity with next-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

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Tuberculosis, technology and global health

Today TB remains the leading cause of death from an infectious disease globally with the main burden in low- and middle-income countries.  Following a period of inactivity we are now arguably in a technological renaissance in TB and with new tools designed for low resource settings. 

In this recording, Dr Esmail discusses how recent technological developments in TB could potentially end TB as a public health problem in a generation.

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