Author: Kathryn Johnson

Annual Athena Lecture: Passion, parasites and people

newseventsimagesNext week will be the Imperial Annual Athena SWAN lecture, which this year is given by Professor Deborah Smith OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, University of York

Surgery and Cancer recently submitted their Bronze application at the end of April and are awaiting the result of this some time in the Autumn. Expect to hear more on this in the coming months as we begin to implement our action plan.

Dr Paul Strutton wins President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

StruttonCongratulations to Dr Paul Strutton (Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology) who this week received news that he was winner of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2014.

The award celebrates and acknowledges staff who are considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of teaching, who consistently gain excellent feedback from their students. Presentations will take place in due course.

Well done Dr Strutton!

Surgery and Cancer secures 3 Master’s Scolarships

Surgery and Cancer has managed to secure 3 of the 14 Master’s Scholarships, with winners coming from almost every division:

  • Awarded the Dean’s Master’s Scholarship for HEU students (Fees + £17.5K stipend):
    Louise Kenny (Med Surgical Education)
  • Awarded the Faculty of Medicine Master’s Scholarship (for HEU & OS: £17.5K to use flexibly for fees or living expenses):
    Home/EU: Emily Barnes (Cancer Biology)
    Overseas: Mei Ran Abellona U (Biomedical Research)

Dr Charlotte Bevan to host Androgens 2014 conference

C BevanDr Charlotte Bevan is hosting an Androgens 2014 conference: “Precision Medicines Targeting Androgens in Health & Disease 17th – 19th September. 

The opening address will be given by the new President of Imperial College, Professor Alice Gast.

Registration is now open – for further details please visit the website:

Prof Lam and his research group scoop “Research Team of the Year” Award

research-team-of-the-yearProfessor Eric Lam and his research group have scooped Breast Cancer Campaign’s sought-after ‘Research Team of the Year’ award for their pioneering study into why women with breast cancer can become resistant to chemotherapy treatment. Laura Bella and Pasarat Khongkow, pictured here with Prof Lam form part of the lab which is made up from 15 females.

With Breast Cancer Campaign funding, made possible by support from Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, Professor Eric Lam and his team were crowned winners for their pioneering research, which aims to discover what reactions happen within individual cancer cells to make tumours stop responding to chemotherapy.

Professor Eric Lam and his team were announced as the winners at Breast Cancer Campaign’s awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 May at the House of Lords.

Read more news on the Division of Cancer in their May update.

Surgery and Cancer news round up

  • Professor Jeremy Nicholson, delivered the Robert Stowell lecture: The Challenge of Implementing Systems Medicine Paradigms in a Changing World, at the University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, California – 14 April 2014.
  • Professor Elaine Holmes, was Visiting Scholar at the University of Purdue, Indianapolis – 1–2 May 2014.
  • Lord Darzi was introduced as an Honorary Fellow to the American Surgical Association meeting in Boston – 10th April 2014. He also presented a lecture at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust Inaugural Symposium on Patient Safety in Acute Cardiac Care entitled ‘Improving safety, effectiveness and the patient experience” – 24th April 2014.
  • Scott Armstrong’s prize winning Max Perutz essay titled  “Saving the brain from itself” was published in the MRC Network Winter Bulletin.  (Supervisor – Dr Robert Dickinson – Anaesthetics).
  • Dr Daqing Ma, Reader in Anaesthetics, has been elected a Fellow of Royal College of Anaesthetics.
  • Dr Carsten Bantel, NIHR CSL in Anaesthetics, has been invited to become a founding member and Assistant Editor of the new Journal of Observational Pain Medicine.
  • Professor Lesley Regan gave the opening plenary lecture for the Presidential Program (the Samuel A. Cosgrove Memorial Lecture) on ‘Human Rights and Women’s Health in the 21st Century’ at the 62nd Annual Clinical Meeting of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 26-30 April 2014, Chicago. As well as giving two lectures on ‘Key Issues in Women’s Health’ and ‘Management of Fibroids’ at the 23rd European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 7-10 May 2014, in Glasgow.
  • Dr Diana Romero attended the EMBO/ EMBL Symposium on Tumour Microenvironment and Signalling in Heidelberg where she gave a short oral presentation entitled ‘Dkk-3 and TGF-b/Smad signalling in normal prostate epithelial and prostate cancer cells’. Dr Romero also received a Non-Student Travel Award from the British Association of Cancer Research to attend this symposium.
  • Dr Kim Jonas, Postdoctoral Researcher working with Professor Ilpo Huhtaniemi and Dr Aylin Hanyaloglu, won the Clinical Endocrinology Trust’s prize for best Basic Science abstract at the British Endocrine Societies annual meeting and also received a highly commended oral communication prize. At the same meeting, Silvia Sposini, PhD student, won the poster prize for Reproduction Both Kim Jonas and Silvia Sposini were selected for oral communications at the Keystone conference- G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Structural Dynamics and Functional Implications, Snowbird, USA. Kim Jonas was awarded a Reproductive Science Prize and has also been selected for a prize oral communication at the up-coming International Congress of Endocrinology, Chicago, USA (June 2014).

Dr Jia Li from CSM visits Brazil

JiaDr. Jia Li has recently returned from a three-week visit to Brazil in the Department of Chemistry, the Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, (Maceió is a medium size city on the north east coast of Brazil). Jia was accompanied by Prof. Geoff Hawkes (a visiting researcher in the Department), and their visit was funded by the Brazilian national research organisations CNPq/CAPES under their Science without Frontiers programme.

The funding award is to enable a crop protection project which seeks to identify changes induced in the metabolome of sugar cane subjected to herbivorous attack by the parasitic larvae diatraea saccharalis. This parasite is responsible for significant loss of sugar production in Brazil (and indeed it is a global problem).

The methodology is to use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, coupled with multivariate statistical analytical methods to determine changes in metabolite levels in extracts from the plant, before and after the herbivory. The metabolic response by the sugar cane may then direct GM, with the aim to produce cane species more resistant to the parasite.Jia Brazil visit

Jia spent her time in Maceió teaching postgraduate students about the relevant multivariate statistics, and how to use the software available for the analysis. She also found time to present a faculty seminar on her own research at IC (Metabonomics in clinical research), and to meet with the university Principal, Prof. Eurico Lôbo, who is very keen to promote the Science without Frontiers programme, and to hear first hand of progress on the sugar cane project.

Geoff’s input was to work with the postgraduate students to optimise the collection of the experimental NMR data. Like Jia he also presented a faculty seminar describing progress on a parallel project (working with Jia at IC) using NMR to search for therapeutic compounds in extracts from plants used in traditional S. African Zulu medicine.

At the same time that Jia and Geoff were in Brazil, Prof. Elaine Holmes was in Lima, Peru as a key member of the organisation for the first meeting of the Latin American Metabolic Profiling Society (LAMPS). This international meeting attracted more than 100 participants, mostly from Central and South America. Geoff Hawkes was able to travel the breadth of the continent to give an oral presentation on progress on the sugar cane project.

By Prof Geoff Hawkes
Visiting Researcher

Surgery and Cancer at the Imperial Festival

Montage 650Surgery and Cancer were showcasing their research at the Imperial College Festival on the 9th and 10th of May with members of CSM promoting the Centre for Digestive and Gut Health, Prof Kneebone and his team with the Pop up Surgery, Dr Zoltan Takats and his team with the iKnifeDr Robert Dickinson explaining about Neuroprotection, Dr Kirsty Flower discussing genes, as well as representatives from the HELIX Centre and MSk Lab showing what the’re up to.


Prof Andrea Frilling announced as first ever female President of The European Surgical Association

Congratulations to Professor Andrea Frilling who last week was elected as President of the European Surgical Association (period 2015-2016).

This is one of the most prestigious surgical societies and Professor Frilling is the first female to ever be elected for this post.