Month: September 2014

Androgens conference a huge success

6623938Imperial College hosted a three day Androgens 2014 conference entitled “Precision Medicines Targeting Androgens in Health and Disease” on 17-19th September 2014.

The conference, which was organised by Prof Charlotte Bevan and Prof Simak Ali (Cancer), was opened by the President of Imperial College, Prof Alice Gast. The conference included speakers from USA, Australia and Europe and covered sessions on androgens in reproductive health and disease, androgens in development and aging, androgens in cancer biology particularly prostate cancer and therapeutic targeting of androgen signalling.

Speakers from Imperial College included Prof Charlotte Bevan (Cancer) and Prof Stephen Franks (IRDB). The keynote address on the opening day was given by Prof Malcolm Parker (IRDB).

Poster Prizes: (with thanks to Faculty of 1000, Astellas and Janssen for sponsoring the awards)

• Himisha Beltran
• Félicie Cottard
• Flavia Fioretti
• Ailsa Sita-Lumsden
• Lien Spans

Prostate Cancer UK Travel Bursaries: (for PhD Students presenting at Androgens 2014)

• Matti Annala
• Mahsa Azizyan
• Rosie Bryan
• Félicie Cottard
• James Grey
• Victoria Harle
• Dominic Jones
• Matias Knuuttila
• Aaron Leiblich
• J.M. Moll
• Amy Monaghan
• Kasturi Rao
• Ioannis Simitsidellis

Dr Tom Hopkins wins prestigious Sylvia Lawler Prize

Congratulations to Dr Tom Hopkins (Clinical Research Fellow in Cancer) who was last night awarded the Sylvia Lawler Prize for his Oncology research by the Royal Society of Medicine. The prize is very prestigious and the competition fierce so well done to Dr Hopkins for his achievement.

The Sylvia Lawler meeting is the prestigious annual prize meeting for the Royal Society of Medicine oncology section and provides a forum for clinicians and scientists in training to present their research.

Success with Athena SWAN!

AS_RGB_Bronze-AwardGood news!  The Department has been successful in achieving its Bronze Athena SWAN award, which has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of our Academic Opportunities Committee led by Prof Lesley Regan.

We now need to work on implementing the aspirations identified in the Bronze application and Prof Jeremy Nicholson looks forward to discussing this further with you at next week’s Departmental Staff meeting on Wednesday the 1st October from 15:30.

To read the Surgery & Cancer application and find out more, please visit the Surgery & Cancer’s Athena SWAN webpage.


Departmental Staff Meeting Wednesday 1st October

Professor Jeremy Nicholson and Professor Lesley Regan invite all staff to attend the Surgery and Cancer Departmental Staff meeting

WEDNESDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2014 from 15:30 , Room 122 Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Main areas for discussion:Program

  • 2014 Staff Survey
  • Application for a Bronze Athena SWAN Award


15:30 – Tea

16:00 – Intro & Presentations

16:40 – Panel Discussion

17:00 – Wine Reception


We very much hope you will be able to attend – Please RSVP to Kathryn


CSM news

Professor Jeremy Nicholson

  • lectured (together with Prof Zoltan Takats) at Queen’s University Toronto as visiting scientists 10 August 2014
  • gave a plenary lecture at the Federation of European Physiological Societies (FEPS) in Budapest 28 August 2014
  • gave a keynote lecture ‘”Big Data for Personalized Medicine” at the Imperial College-Huawei Workshop on Big Data, Imperial College London 17 Sept 2014
  • gave a lecture on ‘Meeting the analytical challenges of systems medicine and molecular phenotyping’ at the 30th International Symposium of Chromatography, Salzburg Austria 14-18 August 2014
  • gave a lecture on ‘Systems Biology’ at the official opening of Waters Corporation Lab in Wimslow, Manchester where the George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, attended the demonstration of the iKnife

Professor Elaine Holmes

  • gave a plenary lecture at the Metabomeeting 2014, Royal Institution, London. 10-12 September 2014
  • gave a lecture and review of the core NIH facilities at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, USA. 8 Sept 2014

Professor Zoltan Takats

  • gave the keynote lecture at the 20th International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Geneva. 24-29 August 2014. This was also attended by a few of the CSM post-docs and students
  • gave the opening plenary lecture ‘Direct Mass Spectrometric Characterization of Fluids, Cells and Tissues – The Benefits and the Price of Real-Time Analysis’ at the Mass Spectrometry Application to the Clinical Lab, Salzburg, Austria. 2 Sept 2014

Professor Naomi Chayen and Dr Lata Govada

  • gave an outreach lecture with live demo of crystals growing under a microscope at a conference for 140 executives from companies and organisations (e.g. Expedia, BT, Ministry of Defence) (the conference was called ITT Vanguard – European Next).

Dr Tim Ebbels

  • has been re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Metabolomics Society for a further 2 year term starting October 2014

London Health Commission bus hits the streets of London today

Darzi bus montage

After the London Health Commission global city comparison reveals obesity crisis in the capital the new London Health commission bus was out on the streets today with Prof Darzi and London Mayor Boris Johnson, giving interviews on what they’re planning to do about it.

The London Health Commission, led by Professor the Lord Ara Darzi is an independent review of health and health services in the capital. In addition to speaking to over 15,000 Londoners and working with experts from a range of fields to help understand the current state of health in London, the Commission, undertook a global comparison of 10 major world cities. London’s health was compared with Sydney, Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Madrid and São Paolo. more


George Osborne trials the iKnife

Osbourne iKnife

George Osborne last week attended the opening of the new Waters lab facility in Wilmslow, which will now be home to the largest site globally committed to the support and development of mass spectrometry systems.

Walters Corporation secured a deal with Imperial in July to acquire the technology behind the surgical “iKnife” developed within Surgery and Cancers CSM and this new site in Wilmslow will play host to the continued development of the iKnife and its future applications more.

Academic Promotions 2014

We are pleased to announce the 2014 academic promotions and wish to congratulate all the successful staff who have been listed below with their new titles:

Charlotte Bevan – Professor of Cancer Biology
Gina Brown –  Honorary Professor of Gastrointestinal Cancer Imaging
Long Jiao – Professor of Surgery
Nick Sevdalis – Reader in Patient Safety
Zoltan Takats – Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Julian Teare – Honorary Professor of Gastroenterology
Elizabeth Want – Senior Lecturer

Adjunct titles:

Dr Caroline Alexander – Adjunct Reader
Dr TG Teoh – Adjunct Professor

Xenon gas protects the brain after head injury



Dr Robert Dickinson (lecturer in Anaesthetics for the Division of Surgery), led the study which looked at how treatment with xenon gas after a head injury reduces the extent of brain damage, according to a study in mice.

“After a blow to the head, most of the damage to the brain doesn’t occur immediately but in the hours and days afterwards. At present we have no specific drugs to limit the spread of the secondary injury, but we think that is the key to successful treatment.” more


Social networking can help people lose weight

Social mediaHealth policy researcher and Clinical Lecturer in general surgery Dr Hutan Ashrafian, was the lead author of a study released today looking at whether social networking programmes, designed to help people lose weight could play a role in the global fight against obesity. 

The researchers compiled data from 12 studies spread across the US, Europe, east Asia and Australia which trialled social networking services for weight loss, involving 1,884 participants in total. The amalgamated results showed that people who used these services achieved a collective decrease in body mass index by a value of 0.64, which the authors describe as modest but significant. More

Dr Euan Stronach speaks about his work with Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre


Senior cancer research fellow Dr Euan Stronach, was recently interviewed about his work at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, which works in partnership with Imperial.

What keeps you motivated on a hard day?
“We have a fantastic tribute wall at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre that bears the names of loved ones who have or had ovarian cancer, and messages and memories from their families. It does not take long looking at the wall to remind yourself why we do what we do.”

What do you dream of achieving?
“I want us to work together as a global research community to really pick apart ovarian cancer and learn all its secrets so we can develop an arsenal of weapons to treat it. I want ovarian cancer to become something people genuinely feel they can beat rather than be beaten by.”

Find out more about Dr Stronach’s work at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre.