by Anjali Wijnhoven, MSc Student, School of Public Health
The Dangers of Superspreading – A Conversation with a 5-Year Old
There I am, babysitting 5-year old Thomas, when suddenly the ever-dreaded question comes up: “What do you do at work?” I would have expected this from relatives, friends even, but not from this little boy who I am trying to get to sleep. I guess it’s his way to stay up a little longer. Ah well, since this is the most interest anyone has shown in my work for a while, I decide to go for it.
Me: “Remember that virus that everyone has been talking about?
by Federica Raguseo, PhD Student, Department of Chemistry
Tears and raindrops make the same sound when they hit the ground
“Tears and raindrops make the same sound when they hit the ground” I once told my grandma when I was no older than seven.
She had smiled and told my entire family I was going to become a poet. But truth being told, I wasn’t trying to be foretelling or poetic. There was no second layer, no hidden meaning, no metaphor in my words. I was simply making an observation.
And so, I became a … scientist.
My fascination with water started early and did not falter through the years.
by Alice Brown, PhD Student, Institute of Clinical Sciences
Parasitic Worms: Master Manipulators in Disguise
by Kanya Alifia, MSc Student, Department of Chemical Engineering
Insect Cell Versus mRNA: Which Vaccine is Better?
The roads of London are alive once again after months of lockdown. Museums, galleries, pubs, and restaurants attract large crowds to enjoy the lifted restrictions. Cautious hugs are exchanged, elbow bumps replaced handshakes, and groups of six expanded into thirty when gathering outdoors. The transition from lockdown period to this joyful normalcy is thanks to the successful vaccination program in the United Kingdom. By 9 June 2021, 77% of adult population has been given the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and 54% are already fully vaccinated .
by Dr Sonia Wolf, Department of Infectious Disease
In January 2020, talk of a new virus in Wuhan emerged. As whispers spread about what it was and where it had come from, my curiosity was only that of an interested PhD student in the Department of Infectious Disease. As the epidemic grew and spread, however, I became increasingly aware that, as a medical doctor, my skills on the frontline were going to be needed. As college shut down, my research samples sat sadly in the freezer, while I tried (and failed) to write from home. The email came at the end of March; I was going to Newham Hospital, as an Acute Medical Registrar.
by Aina Roca Barceló
On the 29th of January 2020, a group of students and staff members from Imperial College London gathered with one objective: to identify the barriers to a more sustainable workspace. This was part of the 1st MRC Centre for Environment and Health’s Sustainability Workshop, organised by the MRC Researchers Society’s co-chair Aina Roca Barceló (1st year President PhD Scholar), supported by the MRC Centre for Environment and Health, within the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (EBS), represented by Drs Fred Piel and Eduardo Seleiro. This was kindly funded by the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund.
My name is Niamh Sayers and I’m a third year PhD student based at Hammersmith Hospital in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, and also a Student Rep for this cohort. As I am nearing the end of my PhD (as are many of the friends I started with) I realised we may all be looking for things we want to do after our PhD, therefore I decided to organise this ‘Careers Talk with a Difference…’. We attend many scientific talks during our PhDs, from Work in Progress’ to conference seminars, but I realised we do not have access to many talks outside of the realms of science.
On 28th February, the researchers from the Geotechnics Section explored some of London’s hidden tunnels in a fascinating tour run by the London Transport Museum. With the financial support from the Graduate School cohort building fund, we were able to enjoy this social event and get closer as a group while also learning more about the tunnels that many of us study as part of our research projects.
On Friday afternoon, we all made our way to Euston station and joined the brilliant team from ‘Hidden London’ who first gave us a presentation on the history of the London Underground. Once we all had our high-vis jackets on, we were led down into the tunnels, past the busy crowds of commuters into the parts of the station that are normally hidden from the public.
On Saturday 29th February 2020, the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) held its second annual Graduate Students’ ball, an event which aims to bring together postgraduate students from across each campus, each department and either research or taught Masters’ or PhD courses for a night of fun, and relaxed socialising. The Leap Year Ball was held at the Under the Bridge venue in Fulham and was a roaring success for both the GSU organising committee and attendees alike.
The first of these GSU Postgraduate Balls’ ran last year and was well-received, with just under three-hundred students attending. This year, the GSU team were more ambitious.
After weeks of online SuperTuxKart championships, it was time for the PhD members of the SPIKE research group to race in real life. On Sunday, 8 March, 2020 (just before a pandemic took over the world), SPIKE members enjoyed an eventful evening of go karting followed by a group dinner.
The evening was a chance to help foster the team spirit of the research group, and enable collaboration that goes beyond the day to day activities of each member’s individual research journey. As one PhD student put it:
“Karting was an unequalled experience: the wind on my face, the speed making the kart almost fly… It would have been that, if I had not worn a helmet, and I had not driven as slow as a stroll in the park (cit.).