Imperial College School of Medicine recognises excellence in undergraduate teaching

The undergraduate School’s annual awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 15 November at Imperial’s Charing Cross campus.

Awards table
The awards are presented jointly by the School of Medicine and the School of Medicine Students’ Union

In conjunction with the Medical Students’ Union, teaching staff of all levels and disciplines are recognised with a variety of awards, spanning both clinical and non-clinical teachers, personal tutors, teaching fellows and student support roles.

Students who nominate staff members are invited to speak about the recipient prior to each award’s presentation. This year, each noted in particular the care and attention given to individual students, and the emphasis put on the importance of learning, by the staff members recognised.

The awards available included the Distinguished Teacher Award, open only to those who have already received a Teaching Excellence Award, which is presented to recognise excellent teachers who continue to deliver outstanding teaching that goes above and beyond expectations. This year’s winner was Dr Gareth Tudor-Williams, Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Mary’s Hospital.

This year’s ceremony also featured a new accolade in the form of the Associate Dean’s Award, created by request of the Head of the Undergraduate School/Associate Dean, Mr Martin Lupton. This award celebrates individuals who have continuously supported education throughout their career, and was presented by Mr Lupton to Dr John Platt (pictured below), Consultant in Care of the Elderly and Stroke Medicine at West Middlesex Hospital.

Mr Martin Lupton and award-winner Dr John Platt
Mr Martin Lupton, Head of the Undergraduate School and Associate Dean, and Dr John Platt, winner of the new Associate Dean’s Award

The awards evening also acts as a platform to showcase a new professor, who presents their inaugural lecture as part of Imperial’s ‘Meet our new professors’ programme.

Representing a major career milestone for the speaker, this year’s inaugural lecture was given by Professor Kevin Murphy, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine.

Discussing obesity, Professor Murphy’s lecture was titled, ‘Food Fight: novel approaches to appetite control’. The lecture examined how the gut detects what you have eaten and signals this to the brain, influencing appetite, and argued that this relationship determines our eating behaviour.

Professor Murphy has nearly twenty years’ experience in his field, and a significant proportion of this has been spent examining how the gut senses particular foods and how this regulates hunger, with specific research into amino acids, the ‘building blocks of proteins’ and how these make us feel full.

Professor Kevin Murphy gives his inaugural lecture
Professor Kevin Murphy gives his inaugural lecture

The overall goal of this research is to battle obesity by creating foods that are tasty and popular, but which punch above their weight in terms of calorie-content, leaving the consumer satisfied even though they have eaten fewer calories. By studying what actually happens in the gut when you eat, the research will examine whether we can control appetite by hijacking the pathways the gut uses in detecting protein.

Attendees of the event were also treated to a buffet and drinks reception, with entertainment from the ICSMSU’s resident barbershop quarter and Music Society’s jazz band. Details of the School’s 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards and Inaugural Lecture event will be available in the new year, and listed on the College’s events page.

If you were unable to attend the event, the evening’s presentations and Professor Murphy’s lecture are available on Panopto.

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