Month: April 2015

Prof Jeremy Nicholson involved in major study on colon cancer risk for Americans and Africans

Food beansProf Jeremy Nicholson was the team leader from Imperial College on a study to investigate the possible roles of diet and gut bacteria.

An international team including scientists from the University of Pittsburgh and Imperial College London carried out a study with a group of 20 African American volunteers and another group of 20 participants from rural South Africa. The two groups swapped diets under tightly controlled conditions for two weeks.

Read more on this via the coverage below and the BBC World Service interview which features Prof Nicholson (32 minutes in).

Guardian: Bowel cancer risk may be reduced by rural African diet, study finds
Imperial: Diet swap has dramatic effects on colon cancer risk for Americans and Africans
BBC: Diet swap experiment reveals junk food’s harm to gut

Mental Health Awareness Week @ Imperial College 11 – 15 May 2015

Mental Health Awareness Week Provisional posterMental Health Awareness Week was created by the Mental Health Foundation and is celebrated every year from the 11th – 17th May. The aim is to get the public to talk more openly about the issues that surround mental health and to raise awareness of the issues people face. It is also a time to get people thinking about their own mental wellbeing.

This year the theme is Mindfulness, which is all about focusing on the here and now; to forget about the past or worrying about the future, and only concentrate on what is happening in the moment.

To celebrate MHAW this year, the Equality & Diversity Unit alongside the Learning & Development Centre, Occupational Health, and Ethos have put together a range of activities, training, and events.

During this week we also encourage you to wear green to support our campaign and take part in our twitter competition where we ask you to tweet us at Imperial_LDC a photo of your lunch break – the most creative lunch break will win a prize. To find out more about our #reclaim your lunch Twitter competition for Mental Health Awareness Week visit our webpage.

We will keep you updated with tweets, emails, newsletters and posters with ways you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness week.

Please see the poster for a quick guide to what we have running that week and see the webpage for more information and bookings.


Julia Anderson celebrates 40 years at Imperial

JuliaImperial staff came together to mark milestone anniversaries at the College’s annual Long Server celebrations.

Staff who had reached 20, 25 and 30 years of service in 2014 gathered at a drinks reception on Tuesday 14 April and those marking 35 and 40 years with Imperial attended a formal dinner on the 20th April.

Surgery and Cancer’s very own Departmental Manager Julia Anderson was there to join in the festivities and celebrate her 40 years at Imperial and features in the College news story of the event.

First prize winner



Congratulations to Sarah Onida (Clinical Research Fellow working within Vascular Surgery) who won first prize for her poster entitled ‘Analysis of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in Varicose Veins Surgery’, at the 6th Venous Symposium which took place in New York this month.

‘Teaching the Teachers’ Human Anatomy for Biology Teachers Course

Biology Teaching Day

On Friday the 17th of April, the Human Anatomy Unit hosted an outreach event for A level biology teachers, in conjunction with the Anatomical Society and the Society of Biology. Twenty five teachers from England and Wales attended the day long course designed to give a practical overview of human anatomy to underpin their biology teaching.

Feedback from the participants was excellent and a similar event is now likely to take place annually.

More information on the Human Anatomy Unit can be found here.

Biobanking for environment, nature and clinical medicine Conference

ConferenceImperial and the National History Museum are co-hosting the next Annual Conference of the European Society for Biobanking from Wednesday 30th September to Friday 2nd October at the Olympia Conference Centre.

The conference theme is: Biobanking for environment, nature and clinical medicine and will feature a wide variety of fascinating content from across the biobanking spectrum. There will be sessions on Cryobiology, Biobanking for Metabolomics and Proteomics, ‘Big Data’, Environmental Biobanking, Biobank Assessment, Biobanking Education and ELSI in Biobanking. There will be contributed paper sessions where talks are selected from submitted abstracts as well as poster viewing and discussion sessions, with prizes for the best posters.

At the conference exhibition, vendors from around the world will demonstrate the latest products, services, and technology in the field of repository and specimen collection. In addition, there will be commercial workshops, and the “Mission Possible” vendor-guided practical sessions. As usual, there will also be a full social programme including a cocktail reception and a Gala Dinner.

Please join us in London this October for what promises to be a truly outstanding conference for the field of biobanking!

More information can be found on the ESBB’s 2015 Annual Conference webpage.


Institute of Global Health Innovation March update


  • IGHI logoWill Warburton left CHP with Gianluca Fontana replacing him as Acting Director of Operations.

Publications/media coverage:


  • Ryan Callahan gave a 30 minute talk at NHS England Event on Digital Maturity on 3rd February 2015 and another on “Integrated primary and secondary care data to improve patient care” at Westminster Health Forum: Electronic health records and IT in the NHS: data protection, and implementing Personalized health and care 2020 on 10th February 2015.
  • Professor Darzi gave a talk on ‘Digital Health and Disruption of Health Care Delivery’ on 3 March 2015 at Olympia as part of UK E-Health Week.
  • Julie McQueen presented the GDHI study “Diffusing innovations in healthcare” at the “Tag-IT” conference in Tromso, Norway on 18 March.
  • Professor Darzi gave the Inaugural Arthur KC Li Oration on ‘Innovation in Healthcare’ on 19 March 2015 at the International Minimally Invasive Surgery Conference in Hong Kong.

Awards granted:

  • Sarah Jones awarded the finalist of the Breakthrough Innovation Prize and recognition of ‘Moonshot Thinking’ from Google X’s Solve for X program at Imperial College on 19 March 2015 for her PhD project in digital mental health. Solve For X also retweeted on Twitter.
  • Health Education England Tender won

Prof Wilson becomes Fellow of the DMDG

WilsonProfessor Ian Wilson has been given the status of Fellow of the Drug Metabolism Discussion Group (DMDG) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Drug metabolism pharmacokinetics sciences in industry and now academia, along with all his excellent support of the DMDG itself.

The Drug Metabolism Discussion Group (DMDG) is an informal World-wide association for scientists engaged in research and development within the drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics and related disciplines of the pharmaceutical industry.

As further recognition of his achievements Prof Wilson has also been invited to give the DMDG Fellowship Lecture at the Open Meeting in September.

Crystal based outreach

Science FairDr Lata Govada and Prof Naomi Chayen participated at an outreach event at the British Crystallographic Association’s stand ‘The structure stuff is sweet’ in the UK’s biggest Science and Engineering event, The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham NEC Arena. They gave an overview of the importance of protein crystallization and its applications, followed by hands on setting up of crystallisation experiments by the audience with real protein and watching crystals grow. The visitors to the exhibition were fascinated to watch the crystals form in real time and were keen to take them back home.

Dr Lata Govada has also been involved in the mentoring of Year 12 students in a programme organised by The British Science Association Crest Awards. The project under investigation was: Can crystals of Piezometric protein be used as a vaccine for malaria?

Surgery and Cancer news

AnaDr Ana Costa Pereira has been appointed as Joint BSc Programme Development Lead and Head of the BSc in Biomedical Science (BMS) course with Dr Christopher John from the Department of Medicine. They will lead on a key Faculty initiative to expand the Faculty’s BSc provision, heading up a team who will review current provision and identify areas for development, which likely include the expansion of the existing programmes and the introduction of new ones. They will lead the current BMS programme by ensuring the development, implementation and management of the curriculum and assessment.



Dr Paul Strutton has been awarded a grant from the Dunhill Medical Trust for £176,510 to study “Optimising diagnosis and prediction of outcome of spinal decompression surgery in older people”.




Prof Jeremy Nicholson has been featured in an article entitled: Collaborative research: New opportunities for scientists in the UK, which was published in Nature last month

Upcoming Mentor workshops

MentoringThe Surgery and Cancer mentor scheme is now underway and we are organising a lunchtime session for active mentors to come and talk with each other about mentoring and any challenges they are experiencing. The objective of this session is to support the growing community of mentors across the FoM and to encourage, strengthen and share good practice across the schemes.

The session will take place at Hammersmith on Wednesday the 8th of July from 12:30 – 14:00.

Lunch will be provided so if you would like to attend please contact Kathryn Johnson

Remember if you would like to learn more about the Surgery and Cancer mentor scheme, sign up to become or get a mentor then please see the mentoring pages or sign up to attend one of the up coming workshops detailed below:

  • Thursday 16th April       1 – 4          Hammersmith
  • Wednesday 20th May    10 – 1        St Mary’s