NHLI Newsletter 11-2019
Imperial College London
National Heart & Lung Institute

NEWSLETTER                      NOVEMBER  2019

Letter from the Head of the Institute

Valuing our teaching and teachers
I fear a chunk of our academic staff may not be reading this, having perhaps been put off just by the title, but if you’re still on the page, then great!  Research and teaching are integral partners and feed off each other; many of the most inspiring teachers also run elite research teams, and, in my experience, the very best scientists delight in teaching and seeing the reward and inspiration this brings.  For the majority of us this mix should be a natural and organic blend of activities and its vital that educational contributions are recognised and rewarded. 

The appraisal cycle is about to gear-up once again, and since I’m intending to read all of the PRDP returns for our senior academic staff, I intend to have a careful look at everyone’s teaching contributions.  If I reflect on my own academic life, and if I’m honest to myself, I think editing three editions of ‘Davidsons Principles and Practice of Medicine’ might have to rank as one of my most impactful contributions; this textbook sold over two million copies and helped to educate student and junior doctors around the globe. This puts into the shade much of my science.
So… this article is aimed at applauding and thanking our teachers, and those of you who enjoy, value and trump this aspect of academic life.  The teaching contribution of the NHLI is of the highest order, and I know fully appreciated at Faculty level.  The Department contributes at scale to undergraduate, PGT and PGR level and I am deeply proud of this contribution; thank-you, and don’t stop!  If you are feeling a tad guilty, on this front, this is easy to sort!  Our Director of Education, Professor Sue Smith and new Educational Manager Dr Katerina Koutsantoni, would love to hear from you, as would Dr Mike Emerson.
Can I offer my congratulations to our new group of NHLI Research Fellows Dr Angharad Roberts, Dr Ahran Arnold, Dr Susanne Sattler and Dr Franz Puttur, who will be taking up post in 2020.  I look forward to seeing you at the NHLI Christmas Party from 16:00 on Monday 2nd December – there is a lot to celebrate!

Warmest regards,
Professor Edwin Chilvers
Head of Institute.

Publication highlights


We have renewed our partnership with Times Newspapers Ltd for a second year, giving students and staff a free 12 month digital subscription to The Times, the Sunday Times and the TLS, as well as a host of offers. If you took up the offer last year your subscription will now have expired and you will need to re-subscribe.
Sign up for your free subscription


Media Skills for Academics - this one day course provides an introduction to the media. It involves interactive exercises, group work and discussion relevant to participants’ specialisms. The style will be informal and fun to encourage confident and effective communication. Further details online.

Science and Social Media - exploring the potential benefits of using social media in a scientific context, and reflecting on how to successfully interact with it. Further details online.


The BBC are looking for academics to take part in the a radio quiz show called the 3rd Degree which is hosted by comedian Steve Punt and broadcast on Radio 4.  A team of three academics will be selected and are then pitched against three students from their own Departments to answer both general knowledge and specialist questions. The show is likely to be recorded at Imperial in February or March and will then be broadcast later in the year.

If you are interested in testing your knowledge against undergraduates then please get in touch with
Heart of the Matter
Professor Cesare Terracciano and Samuel Guymer have published a new textbook that introduces readers to the scientific basics of cardiovascular medicine and biology. Samuel is a medical student at St. George's, University of London and graduate of our BSc Cardiovascular Sciences, for which Cesare is the Director.

The book covers developmental, cellular and molecular aspects of vasculature and the heart, as well as the mechanisms leading to and involved in specific cardiovascular diseases. All chapters were written by lecturers on our BSc Cardiovascular Sciences in collaboration with students from the course.

Find out more from the excerpt below or download the book here - which is free from any device connected to the Imperial network due to College subscriptions.

Excerpt from Preface by Cesare Terracciano

“In order to fulfil this background role, this textbook has two main features: firstly, it is simple and broad in its scope. It only requires a basic understanding that every student at this stage of learning should have. It is not designed to be comprehensive but to provide a manageable list of reading material that should kick-start and engage the students to proceed in the correct direction when they need more in-depth details. Secondly, the chapters have been written by our teachers in close collaboration with previous students of the BSc course in Cardiovascular Sciences. Each chapter is authored by at least one student and one lecturer. The contribution of the lecturer is to ensure scientific rigour, topical and relevant directions and experience, while the students contribute by suggesting the correct level of pitching, a more amenable language and a modern twist. The combination of these two roles results in an essential learning tool, a springboard to be used by everyone around the world with a biomedical background who wants to start the journey into science in the context of cardiac disease."
For further news visit the Reporter or Imperial News
On 7th November we organised a Female Clinician Q&A session where Professor Jane Davies, Professor Sejal Saglani and Dr Claire Hogg spoke about their career trajectories, gave advice and answered questions from staff and students about the specific challenges female clinical academic staff may experience.
We ran six focus group sessions on the 26th and 27th November at ICTEM and South Kensington facilitated by Fiona Richmond, Learning and Development Coordinator. These were arranged for research, lecturer/senior lecturer, reader/professor, student, PTO, and clinical staff. NHLI members within these groups were chosen to come and contribute their views on how to create a positive working environment as part of the staff survey action plan.
In December suggestion boxes will be appearing across the four NHLI campuses. These are for you to let us know your thoughts and suggestions on how we can continue to improve culture at NHLI.
We will be presenting our annual Athena lecture in spring. The programme is set to include talks by Sheffield SWIM (Senior Women in Medicine), Dr Anne Marie Coriat on changing research culture and Dr Mark McBride from Equal Engineers.
The Faculty of Medicine’s mentoring scheme will be expanded to include PTO staff and cross Faculty matching. The Learning and Development Centre are also looking for people who would like to be involved in reverse mentoring senior executives within the College. Please contact Fiona Richmond if you would like to know more about this initiative
Selected research publications from across NHLI 

Walsh SLF, Lederer DJ, Ryerson CJ, Kolb M, Maher TM, Nusser R, Poletti V, Richeldi L, Vancheri C, Wilsher ML, Antoniou KM, Behr J, Bendstrup E, Brown KK, Corte TJ, Cottin V, Crestani B, Flaherty KR, Glaspole IN, Grutters J, Inoue Y, Kondoh Y, Kreuter M, Johannson KA, Ley B, Martinez FJ, Molina-Molina M, Morais A, Nunes H, Raghu G, Selman M, Spagnolo P, Taniguchi H, Tomassetti S, Valeyre D, Wijsenbeek M, Wuyts WA, Wells AU (2019) Diagnostic Likelihood Thresholds That Define a Working Diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 200(9): 1146-1153.
Flaherty KR, Wells AU, Cottin V, Devaraj A, Walsh SLF, Inoue Y, Richeldi L, Kolb M, Tetzlaff K, Stowasser S, Coeck C, Clerisme-Beaty E, Rosenstock B, Quaresma M, Haeufel T, Goeldner RG, Schlenker-Herceg R, Brown KK, INBUILD Trial Investigators (2019) Nintedanib in Progressive Fibrosing Interstitial Lung Diseases. New England Journal of Medicine 381(18):1718-1727.
Vissing J, Johnson K, Töpf A, Nafissi S, Díaz-Manera J, French VM, Schindler RF, Sarathchandra P, Løkken N, Rinné S, Freund M, Decher N, Müller T, Duno M, Krag T, Brand T, Straub V (2019) POPDC3 Gene Variants Associate with a New Form of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Annals of Neurology 86(6):832-843.
Berrocal-Almanza LC, Harris R, Lalor MK, Muzyamba MC, Were J, O'Connell A-M, Mirza A, Kon O-M, Lalvani A, Zenner D (2019) Effectiveness of pre-entry active tuberculosis and post-entry latent tuberculosis screening in new entrants to the UK: a retrospective, population-based cohort study. Lancet Infectious Disease 19(11):1191-1201.   
Mitchell JA, Shala F, Elghazouli Y, Warner TD, Gaston-Massuet C, Crescente M, Armstrong PC, Herschman HR, Kirkby NS (2019) Cell-Specific Gene Deletion Reveals the Antithrombotic Function of COX1 and Explains the Vascular COX1/Prostacyclin Paradox. Circulation Research. 125(9):847-854.
Peghaire C, Dufton NP, Lang M, Salles-Crawley II, Ahnström J, Kalna V, Raimondi C, Pericleous C, Inuabasi L, Kiseleva R, Muzykantov VR, Mason JC, Birdsey GM, Randi AM (2019) The transcription factor ERG regulates a low shear stress-induced anti-thrombotic pathway in the microvasculature.  Nature Communication 10(1):5014.
Researchers discuss how to tackle drug-resistant infections

12:00 - 13:00 on Monday 2 December

Lecture theatre 3, Wolfson Education Centre, Hammersmith campus

At the next AHSC seminar, an expert from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will pair up with an academic from Imperial College London to talk about their latest work on tackling drug-resistant infections.

Register in advance.

Raising Awareness of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

12:00 - 14:00 on Thursday 12 December

427/428 4th Floor ICTEM, Hammersmith Campus

In this talk Professor Rankin explores the strengths and weaknesses associated with being neurodiverse and how this plays out in the workplace for employers and employees. 

Open to all - find out more.

Professor Fiona Watt presents 'Adventures in Skin Biology'

Hammersmith and White City Campus Distinguished Christmas Lecture

17:00 - 18:00 on Thursday 12 December

Lecture Theatre 1 Wolfson Education Centre, Hammersmith Campus

Open to all - find out more.

Imperial 'SAID' seminar series

Scientists Advocating for Inclusivity and Diversity

During the spring term of 2020 Imperial SAID seminars (scientists advocating for inclusivity and diversity) will launch. Imperial SAID will be the largest collaborative seminar series created for and delivered by the Imperial College London community, focused on raising awareness of biases in STEM to redefine workplace culture within the university.

NHLI Christmas Party

Monday 2nd December

Tickets: £10 tickets can be purchased from the following staff:
  • EKB – Jenny Welch
  • GSB – Jacqui Simmonds
  • St Mary’s Medical School – Seema Vekaria
  • SAF – Gill Martin
  • ICTEM – Dawn Burby or Natasha Richmond
There will be a buffet and a pre-set amount of money behind the bar. 
What to wear? If you would like to wear a wig for the contest or other fancy dress you are most welcome to, but please come in your ordinary (or not so ordinary!) clothes if you prefer not to dress up.
Details of all Regular Meetings
For all upcoming NHLI events check the website

Upcoming Imperial events


Tweets from the @ImperialNHLI account have earned 81,900 impressions in the last 28 days. Our top tweet with 10,013 impressions and 51 engagements was about  Dr Alexandra Nowbar's weekly review of medical research in the BMJ.

Thanks to Dr Ryan Thwaites and Dr James Harker for taking over the NHLI account for their event at Imperial Lates - get in touch if you have an idea for a Twitter Takeover.

Somayeh Rostamian joined Professor Peter Sever’s Team as a Research Data Manager in October. She is working on an exciting project looking at the health records available from NHS Digital for the 18 year follow up of almost 10,000 patients originally recruited into the ASCOT Trial in the UK. We hope to be able to confirm long term benefits of cholesterol reduction with statins and optimal treatment strategies for blood pressure lowering, using this unique data base of over 100,000 health records.
Dr Claire Peghaire was awarded an NHLI Foundation travel award to attend the European Congress of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in Glasgow.

Claire comments "This congress was a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in the field of haematology and thrombosis research, and gave me a lot of inspiration for the direction of my future work and potential collaborations."

Read Claire's full report on attending the conference

Apply for your own travel award

Joe Brook won the best poster award at the Validate AI conference at the Royal Society on the 5th November. The award was for Joe's work on ‘Using Machine Learning to predict functional abnormalities in the intact human heart from the contact electrogram’ as part of a PhD in the ElectoCardioMaths Programme within the Imperial Centre for Cardiac Engineering.

Professor Uta Griesenbach was named among the '50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness' by Miranda Weston-Smith.

Royal Brompton Clinical Trials team scores hat trick at Clinical Research Awards the Rising Star award went to Dr Rebecca Dobra, Outstanding Principal Investigator was awarded to Professor Jane Davies, and the multidisciplinary team took home the award for outstanding collaborative working.
Master's students Genesys Santana from Genomic Medicine, and Zuzanna Jablonska from Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells - Novel Therapies, have been awarded the Faculty's Dean's Master's Scholarships for 2019/20. Congratulations to them both!

More on the Master's scholarships.
Dr Brian Halliday won a poster prize for his research at the Academy of Medical Science’s Winter Science Meeting.  Brian has also been awarded a Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers by the AMS to fund a collaboration with Professor Marc-Emmanuel Dumas involving metabolomic analyses of samples collected from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who were enrolled in TRED-HF. This aims to characterise metabolomic signatures of recovery, remission and relapse in dilated cardiomyopathy.
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