Blog posts

Dr Tony Gordon appointed as Professor

TonyCongratulations to Dr Anthony Gordon who has been appointed as Professor in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, within the Section of APMIC, with effect from 1 April 2016.

This is a strategic chair as the core element of APMIC’s new academic initiative, jointly supported by Imperial College and ICHT.  The Chair will play a key leading role to develop clinical translational research in the peri-operative and critical care area at ICHT as well as the whole Imperial community.  The post was advertised internationally, and the Appointment Panel unanimously recommended Anthony for the post.

Dan Elson shortlisted in Student Academic Choice Awards

ElsonThe Student Academic Choice Awards (SACAs) are run by Imperial College Union, and allow our students to nominate individuals (both academic and administrative) who have supported them throughout their student life. Categories include: Best Feedback; Best Support Staff; Best Innovation; Best Tutoring; Best Teaching for Undergraduates; Best Teaching for Postgraduates; Best Graduate Teaching Assistant; and Best Supervision.

This year, Dr Dan Elson, has been shortlisted for the Best Supervision category.  The winners of all categories will be announced in the 2016 SACA Ceremony on the 16th May.

New Masters Healthcare and Design Programme Launched

DSC01402Last week, the HELIX Centre hosted an information evening for those interested in the new Healthcare and Design Master’s that is run by Imperial and the Royal College of Art.  There were over 20 attendees from a range of backgrounds: clinical; designers; healthcare managers; product and service designers; and healthcare professionals.  All attendees were interested to learn more about the programme which is launching in October 2016.

Clinical Research Fellow Wins First Prize for Best Oral Presentation

image1Congratulations to David Phelps – a Clinical Research Fellow working with Prof Zoltan Takats who has won Best Oral Presentation First Prize in the Blair-Bell competition. With over 120 abstracts accepted, only 12 were chosen for oral podium presentations, with David winning for his presentation entitled “Diagnosis of borderline ovarian tumours by rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS) using the surgical intelligent knife (iKnife)”. David’s success has earned him £1000 towards presenting his work at an international conference.

The Blair Bell Research Society holds yearly ‘competition’ meetings, bringing together all clinicians and scientists working in the UK and Ireland in the field of O&G, who are invited to submit abstracts to the meeting, which are ranked by the Blair Bell Research Committee. The highest scoring abstracts are included in the programme as oral presentations.

The Blair Bell Research Society awards a prize to the best presentation, and a separate prize to the best undergraduate presentation. Poster prizes are also awarded. The winning oral presenter is invited to represent the Society by submitting and presenting their research at an annual meeting of their choice with the costs of their meeting attendance covered by the society. There are also prizes for poster presentations and plenary talks.

IRDB take all prizes at Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology annual academic meeting

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology holds an annual academic meeting which incorporates the Blair Bell Research Competition for Academics in Training from across the UK. At this year’s meeting, on the 3rd and 4th March, Imperial Trainees from IRDB took all of the prizes!

  • The William Blair-Bell Memorial Annual Lectureship was awarded to Mara Kyrigou, who gave an excellent 45 minute presentation on ‘Challenges in the management of pre-invasive and early invasive cervical disease and the impact on reproduction’
  • Best Presentation Prize went to David Phelps (I-knife and ovarian cancer)
  • Second Best Presentation Prize went to Richard Brown (Vaginal microbiome and preterm premature rupture of membranes)
  • Best Platform Poster Presentation Prize went to Lindsey Kindinger (Interactions between vaginal microbiome and cervical length)

Huge congratulations go to all four prizewinners!

Bridging the Gap – Learn how to achieve impact with industry

Bridging the gap graphics_Graphic 1 (1)
Imperial Innovations, Imperial Consultants, and Imperial Corporate Partnerships are jointly organising a range of courses which will explore how researchers can engage and work with industry, commercialise technology and demonstrate impact, called Bridging the Gap.

Academic research staff are now expected to be able to commercialise their work and demonstrate social and economic impact. Bridging the Gap aims to educate academics and provide them with skills to take on these tasks effectively and confidently.

Courses are free for Imperial Staff. The initial pilot courses will last between a half and a full day and cover topics such as:

  • What resources are available to Imperial academics?
  • What is REF Impact, why does it matter, how can it be achieved and evidenced?
  • What form can industry collaboration and engagement take?

Dr Ma Wins Major Research Grant Award

MaCongratulations go to Dr Daqing Ma who has been awarded the British Oxygen Company Chair of Anaesthesia Research Grant award, which provides £240,000 over 4 years towards his research project entitled Potential role of anaesthetics on cancer reoccurrence following surgery: from bench to bedside. Dr Ma was selected from 5 shortlisters for interview out of 19 project applicants.

This award will help Dr Ma to build up a dedicated research team for developing himself and educating other researchers for future anaesthesia research in the UK. The impacts of this research are likely to:

  • change anaesthesia and perioperative care for cancer patients
  • find molecular targets for the development of next-generation anti-cancer therapy
  • inform other cancer researchers for how to choose anaesthetics for their research


28th Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum

The 28th Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum (AVF) took place between the 24-26th February in Orlando (Florida, USA). The AVF provides evidence-based guidance in the field of venous and lymphatic diseases and its annual meeting is one of the most important phlebological meetings in the world.’

The Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture commemorating one of the AVF’s founding members and past presidents. This award recognises significant contributions made to the field of venous research, education and clinical investigation and the person delivering this lecture is chosen by the president of the AVF and confirmed by the AVF Executive Committee. This year, this honour fell onto Professor Alun H Davies (Department of Vascular Surgery, Imperial College London.

(Left) Professor Alun H Davies delivering the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture at the American Venous Forum (Right) Professor Alun H Davies receiving the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture Award from Dr Lowell Kabnick at the American Venous Forum
(Left) Professor Alun H Davies delivering the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture at the American Venous Forum
(Right) Professor Alun H Davies receiving the Dr D. Eugene Strandness Memorial Lecture Award from Dr Lowell Kabnick at the American Venous Forum
(Left) Miss Francine Heatley presenting at the American Venous Forum (Orlando, Florida, USA) (Right) Miss Sarah Onida presenting at the American Venous Forum’
(Left) Miss Francine Heatley presenting at the American Venous Forum (Orlando, Florida, USA)
(Right) Miss Sarah Onida presenting at the American Venous Forum’


Engagement through simulation:  Raising money for the More Smiles Charity Appeal

PICU 2Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), led by Prof Roger Kneebone and Dr Fernando Bello, have been using their pioneering work around engagement and simulation to help benefit the More Smiles Appeal.

The appeal is raising funds for the redevelopment and expansion of the paediatric intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital.  The ICCESS team designed and delivered a simulation event at Wetherby Preparatory School on 2nd February 2016 that featured a team of clinicians from the unit demonstrating the high level of care they provide despite the constraints they are placed under in terms of space.  The school is supporting the appeal and the event was held for a group of parents, many of whose children were born at St Mary’s.

This was the second simulation that ICCESS have delivered in support of the appeal, the first taking in place at the Home House private members club in June 2015.  The Wetherby school event was a huge success, raising a six-figure sum in donations.  Maurice O’Connor, Appeals Manager at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, is directly involved with the More Smiles Appeal, and was delighted with what the event achieved: ‘We could not have achieved this without the help and support of ICCESS.  In the right circumstances simulation is a powerful fundraising tool!’

ICCESS are pioneers of Sequential Simulation, which is the physical re-enactment of a patients care pathway through the healthcare system. It utilises real clinicians and clinical props to provide expertise and context to the issues being explored.   ICCESS’ Sharon-Marie Weldon, who has developed the concept and successfully designed and delivered numerous simulation events, has seen first-hand how Sequential Simulation serves as a valuable means of engaging people with the world of medicine: ‘Sequential Simulation is a way of utilising the benefits of simulation to recreate aspects of care, but with a much wider scope, creating a juxtaposition of the healthcare system that can be used for a variety of objectives; education and training, evaluation, care re-design, quality improvement, and patient and public engagement – as we saw with the More Smiles Appeal event’.

To hear more about the More Smiles Appeal contact Maurice O’Connor on 02033125696 or to donate to the appeal, please visit

For more information about Imperial College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), please contact Duncan Boak at

More Smiles Appeal - Email Signature - December 2015 3

Prof Nicholson gives Royal Society of Medicine Lecture

Prof Nicholson with President of the Royal Society of Medicine Mr Babulal Sethia
Prof Nicholson with President of the Royal Society of Medicine Mr Babulal Sethia

Prof Jeremy Nicholson last week gave the 2016 London Clinic Lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine, entitled: Developing new systems medicine technologies and approaches to meet healthcare challenges in a changing world.

Professor Nicholson’s lecture spoke about some of the major challenges in personalised medicine and public health, looking at how developing new clinically actionable technologies can both help guide new choices in personalised acute medicine and surgery and inform future healthcare policy in the changing face of human disease.

Prof Takata takes on new advisory role

Masao TakataProfessor Masao Takata has been appointed as ‘Designated Professor’ by Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo Japan, from 1-10-2015 to 31-3-2017.

This specially appointed honorary professorship is designed to advise the Rector on the university’s global/international and educational strategies, through meeting with the Rector and his top management board.

The role will also give research/educational sessions to graduate students and provide the opportunity to discuss potential research collaborations.

Distinguished Scholarship Award

Left, Zainab with Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi and the Minister of the Interior; Right, Zainab at the podium.
Left, Zainab with Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi and the Minister of the Interior; Right, Zainab at the podium.

Zainab Al Shareef, a PhD student in the Wnt team of the Prostate Cancer Group in the Division of Cancer, has been awarded a prestigious Distinguished Scholarship Award in the category of Innovative Ideas by the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is the first year for these awards, which were created to honour Emirati scholarship students from government and private agencies from around the world. Zainab was presented with the award by General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

The ceremony, held in the presence of Her Excellency Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council, took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Abu Dhabi on January 6th. Zainab’s proposal was to establish a Tumour Bank in the UAE with the dual aims of tackling the genetic causes of cancer that are most prevalent in this region and improving the academic and financial sectors through establishment of a postgraduate research plan that integrates with the global biotechnology market. Zainab was previously honoured by the UAE embassy in London for high academic achievement.

New staff health and wellbeing pages for all staff

The new Health and Wellbeing web pages bring together the support, training and development that is offered for staff, from across the College.

They cover a range of topics including resilience and stress management, mental health, physical health, meditation, and more. Events and new resources will be added throughout the year so keep checking the pages and following updates via the LDC Twitter.

The Impact of Drug Design Conference

Prizewinners’ presentation with organiser and DMDG Chairman Peter Kilford
Prizewinners’ presentation with conference organiser and DMDG Chairman Peter Kilford (L-R) Pete Bradshaw (Best Student Poster Prize), Amanda Race (Best Poster Prize), Peter Kilford (Organising Committee), Filipa Atunes (Best “Flash” Presentation)

Toby Athersuch (Conference Organiser; Lecturer in S&C) write up of the event:

Over one hundred delegates attended the 3rd New Perspectives in DMPK conference at RSC Burlington House on 8-9 February 2016. The meeting was jointly organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (RSC-BMCS), the Drug Metabolism Discussion Group (DMDG), the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), and the Drug Metabolism Group (DMG). The meeting was directly supported by several industrial exhibitors – Agilent Technologies, Biopharma Group, HiChrom, Hypha Discovery, Selcia, XenoGesis – and received additional promotion through Future Science Group /

Keynote speaker Charlotte Allerton (Pfizer Worldwide R&D) started proceedings by provided an excellent framework for discussion through her presentation “Evolution of DMPK sciences and drug design”, ahead of the main conference sessions – each based around a key theme linking aspects of DMPK and drug design.  In the theme of “Understanding and exploiting endogenous drug targets”, contributions included those focused on understanding the role of transporters (Scott Summerfield, GSK), selective metabolism for improved targeting of therapies (Klaus Pors, University of Bradford), (Rowan Stringer, Novartis), and chemical aspects of using deutero-substituted compounds for tuned PK and metabolism properties, and compound reactivity for optimising covalent inhibitors (Nicola Colclough, AstraZeneca). Chemical reactivity was also discussed through the different lenses of being included by intention, requiring minimisation, and representing a safety risk – “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” (Philip MacFaul, RedX Pharma). Rick Schneider (Pfizer Worldwide R&D) concluded the session with a review of the strategies employed to reduce candidate attrition through the identification of reactive metabolite liabilities in the R&D pipeline

Subsequent sessions turned the focus to exploring the current state of in silico approaches across DMPK and medicinal chemistry drug design. Neil Berry (University of Liverpool) provided an excellent overview of available strategies, and illustrated real world impact that they have had in recent projects (anti-malarial therapy, chronic pain, and filariasis). The wider context for these – and other – tools was provided by Marcel Hop (Genentech), who described how computational methods can potentially inform the lead optimisation process, and help achieve an appropriate balance of the “5Rs” the right target / right patient / right tissue / right safety / right commercial potential.  Other contributors to these sessions focused on in silico prediction of metabolism (Robert Glen, Imperial College London / University of Cambridge), and the support that PBPK / PDPK models can make in directly supporting stages in both drug design (Nicolas Frances, Roche) and the prediction of appropriate clinical treatment schedules that can both optimise dose/response profiles, and feed back to chemists to inform compound design for improved pharmacokinetics (Owen Jones, AstraZeneca).

The changing landscape in which DMPK operates was also illustrated by Owen Jones, who commented on the increased interactivity of DMPK scientists within the R&D activities. These comments echoed those by Richard Weaver (XenoGesis) who provided a perspective on how the changes in how R&D knowledge is obtained and used within large pharmaceutical companies have provided opportunities for CRO engagement across multiple research activities, but that continued efforts to highlight the centrality of DMPK are needed to ensure value and impact are demonstrated and appreciated within the wider R&D context.

Awards for best ‘flash’ presentation, was made to Fillipa Antunes (Albumedix) for her elevator pitch of her poster “New pre-clinical model for studying and optimizing the pharmacokinetics of albumin-linked drugs”. Poster prizes were awarded to Peter Bradshaw (ICL) and Amanda Race (University of Bradford), who each received recent DMPK book titles, kindly provided by RSC Publishing.

The Organising Committee wish to thank all those who made platform or poster presentations, exhibitors, and conference delegates for making the conference a success, prompting excellent debate, enabling networking, and fostering collaborative work and knowledge-sharing in this exciting research area.

If you attended and have further feedback that would help guide future events, please send it to the conference coordinator:

For more information on the New Perspectives in DMPK series, please visit the website:

Surgery and Cancer Postgraduate student shortlisted

icimagesLaura Bella – Research Postgraduate student working in the Division of Cancer has submitted an image which has been shortlisted in Imperial’s Art of Research competition, aimed to find images which celebrate the diversity of scientific research at Imperial.

Laura’s image illustrates the research she is doing on cancer spread, showing a zebra fish embryo which has been implanted with a tumor, shown in red. The small red dots spread around the embryo’s body are cells which were able to escape to form new cancers.

A selection of entries will be displayed at an exhibition in the College Main Entrance from Monday 15- Friday 19 February. The winners will be announced on the final day of the exhibition.