Blog posts

Research Associate Presents at International Society of Lumbar Spine Conference

LumbarDr Chloe Chiou (Research Associate) gave a presentation at the International Society of the Lumbar Spine Conference held in Singapore from the 16th to 20th May. The presentation described work on using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to assess compressed lumbar nerve roots in patients with sciatica and associations between the structure and function of the nerves and clinical symptoms. This work is supported by the Networks of Excellence scheme, the Wellcome Trust ISSF.

Dr Paul Strutton, Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology

Helping Inspire Underprivileged Students to Study Medicine

imperialmed-215--tojpeg_1439822743046_x2Dr Frankie Bolt (Research Associate in Microbial Metabonomics) is involved in planning an event on the evening of the 8th of September at Charing Cross Hospital as part of the Imperial Pathways to Medicine programme, which encourages students from underprivileged backgrounds to apply for medical school. As part of this event two workshops will be running for students on the programme:

Discussing cancer diagnostics:  Clinical research fellows and scientists will work through case studies with the students and a presentation on the iKnife and cancer diagnostics will be given.

Introducing students to diagnostics for clinical microbiology:  The team will demonstrate how Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) is being developed for microbial diagnostics. The students will then work in teams lead by Clinical Research Fellows and scientists to solve and curb an outbreak.

Find out more about the Imperial Pathways to Medicine Programme.


Best International Trainee Scholarship Award

ATS 2016 Best International Trainee Scholar Nikhil TirlapurCongratulations to Dr Nikhil Tirlapur a current Clinical Research Fellow working in Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care (APMIC) who has been awarded the Best International Trainee Scholarship Award from the American Thoracic Society (ATS) at this years ATS meeting that took place this month.

This conference attracts close to 7000 abstracts per year, with over 30% of abstracts from international participants. There were 55 international trainee scholarships awarded this year and Nikhil’s award for the 1st place was based on a research project carried out in the APMIC Section at Chelsea and Westminster campus.

iKnife Showcased at NIHR 10 Year Celebration

zoltan and Iknife photo
Professor Zoltan Takats demonstrating the iKnife

Professor Zoltan Takats iKnife team were invited along to showcase their research at the NIHR at 10 celebratory conference on 18th May 2016. The day comprised a series of talks and panels to discuss the impact that the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has had on health research since its conception in 2006, with key contributors including Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies and the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, speaking about the world class research funded and supported by the NIHR.

Along with Professor Takats, Clinical Research Fellow Edward St John and Research Technician Emma White were in attendance to exhibit the iKnife in the NIHR gallery, showcasing the possible future direction for the NIHR’s work and allowing attendees to experience some of the technology that will be changing the lives of patients in years to come. The exhibit proved popular amongst visitors, and the iKnife was heralded as one of Imperial College London’s most ground-breaking pieces of health research by Professor Lord Darzi of Denham in his opening address.

Engineering Solutions for Cancer Conference 14-15 July 2016

2401179Precision Medicines conferences showcase international, cutting-edge research & technology that is transforming how we detect and treat cancer.   The 2016 ‘Engineering Solutions for Cancer’ meeting is focused on the interface between molecular science and engineering and is targeted at ALL biologists, engineers, clinicians, chemists and data scientists interested in multidisciplinary cancer research.  If you want to learn more from world-leading scientists about how cancer biology can benefit from nanotechnology (Molly Stevens), novel surgical and imaging methods (Zoltan Takats, Uwe Oelfke, Tony Ng), novel methods for liquid biopsy screening (David Klug, Charles Coombes), innovations in molecular bioengineering (Marianne Rots, Valerie Weaver) or advanced proteomics (Ruedi Aebersold) then register now at

Please submit your abstracts for proffered talks to

Registration Fees – includes unrestricted access to the conference, lunch and refreshments on both days

  • Student Registration: £150.00
  • Academic / Clinical Registration: £250.00
  • Corporate Registration: £400.00

New Clinical Trial Opens

GAPSThe Imperial College sponsored GAPs trial has recently opened to recruitment at Imperial College Healthcare Trust. The multicentre GAPS trial is examining the benefit of graduated compression stockings as an adjunct to low-dose low molecular weight heparin in the prevention of venous thromboembolism in elective surgical inpatients identified as moderate or high risk for venous thromboembolism. The importance of preventing patients from developing VTE is widely recognized.

The aim of this study is to look at whether patients who wear elastic stockings as well as taking anticoagulant medication have a lower chance of developing VTE than patients who take anticoagulant medications only. Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups:
1) Graduated compression to wear during their hospital stay, as well as taking low molecular weight heparin OR
2) low molecular weight heparin only

Vernisha pic
Imperial Research Nurse Vernisha Ali

The trial team are all based in the Vascular department and consist of the Chief Investigator, Professor Alun Davies; Co-Investigator, Joe Shalhoub; Trial managers Francine Heatley and Rebecca Lawton and the Imperial research nurse, Vernisha Ali.

If you would like more information regarding the study please contact Vernisha at / 0203 311 7304 or email the Trial team at


Research Councils UK launch action plan to drive cultural change in equality, diversity and inclusion

CA7FE503-DED3-4E14-B694471246017843_newsteaserResearch Councils UK (RCUK) has today launched an action plan to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in research, recognising its leadership role in driving a change in culture.

This follows RCUK’s Statement of Expectations for Equality and Diversity, published in 2013, and outlines ambitions to lead by example in ensuring a diverse workforce; challenge bias and work towards fair and inclusive funding processes; and lead and support change in our research community. Work has already begun with the roll-out of unconscious bias training for peer reviewers and funding decision-makers.

Read more the MRC website.


CSM win College’s 2016 Health and Safety Team Award


Huge congratulations to the Health and Safety Champions in Professor Zoltan Takats’ Group, for their outstanding work in devising and implementing a health and safety management system. The team received their award from Provost James Stirling at a ceremony last week. Read more about the teams success on the Colleges coverage of the event Imperial recognises excellence in health and safety.

Prof Takats makes shortlist for £20 million CRUK grand challenge award

42680bc_cruk_gc_infographic_2016_design_stage02_v3Last year, CRUK set seven Grand Challenges opening an international call for bold ideas which would benefit from £20 million funding. After receiving 57 applications from 25 different countries they shortlisted 9 international teams. Charting unknown territory: mapping what we don’t know about a tumourheaded by Dr Josephine Bunch (National Physical Laboratory) is the challenge Professor Zoltan Takats forms part of.

Grand Challenge awards are the most ambitious cancer research grants in the world. They’re intended to catalyse a revolution in how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer by bringing together the brightest minds from around the globe.

Find out more about the group Charting unknown territory: mapping what we don’t know about a tumour as well as all the other teams.

BBC Correspondent visits MSk Lab

(left to right) Dr Chloe Chiou (Research Assistant), Dr Paul Strutton (Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology), Fergus Walsh and Professor Peter Ellaway (Emeritus Professor of Physiology)
(left to right) Dr Chloe Chiou (Research Assistant), Dr Paul Strutton (Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology), Fergus Walsh and Professor Peter Ellaway (Emeritus Professor of Physiology)

BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh visited the Nick Davey laboratory (part of the MSk lab) on 26th February to interview Professor Peter Ellaway (Dept. of Medicine) and see demonstrations of how transcranial magnetic stimulation will be used to assess motor pathways in subjects with spinal cord injury as part of an ongoing project working towards a cure for spinal cord injury.

Read more on the walk again project and read Fergus’ story entitled The paralysed man who can ride a bike.