Introduction from Professor Anna Dominiczak Vice Principal and Head of College
It has been a busy summer for the College. In July, Her Majesty The Queen opened the Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre – Stratified Medicine Scotland in addition to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children. These new facilities will give Glasgow, Scotland and the wider United Kingdom one of the most modern and well-equipped centres for treatment, medical research and teaching.
In July I was delighted to learn that the Medical Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have awarded the University £3.4m to create the largest MRC Molecular Pathology Node in the UK. Based in the purpose-built Laboratory Medicine Building at the new hospital, the Node will enable scientists, pathologists and clinicians to collaborate with industry partners in developing new diagnostic tests with the ultimate aim of providing the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time.
It is with great pleasure that I can announce the achievement of a Silver and Bronze Athena Swan award by the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and the School of Veterinary Medicine, respectively. This is a fantastic achievement for both the College and the University. Congratulations to all involved!
I am pleased to welcome three new senior members of staff to the College: Professor Simon Guild, Head of School of Life Sciences; Dr Fabio Quondamatteo, Professor in Anatomy, who will take up his position on 1 January and Fergus Brown, Head of Human Resources, who will take up post later this month. I wish them every success in their new roles.
We received many excellent entries for our Impact in Sixty Seconds competition, in which early-career researchers had to explain their research, by video, to a lay person in one minute. A panel of internal and external judges, including Aridhia and Glasgow City of Science, have picked the winners. The shortlisted entrants can be found in the ‘Impact’ section and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Glasgow Science Centre later in the year.
Professor William Martin, Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology in the School of Life Sciences, retired at the end of September. Billy takes with him the good wishes of friends and colleagues the length and breadth of the University.
Dr James Going, from the Institute of Cancer Sciences, retired from his post as Senior Clinical Lecturer in Pathology in August.
Malcolm McColl, from the School of Veterinary Medicine, retired from his post as Stock Worker in September after 40 years’ service. Colleagues at Cochno Farm and Research Centre held a buffet lunch to celebrate and presented him with a Border Fine Arts Sculpture.
Many current and former staff, colleagues and friends gathered at the Biology Teaching Centre in September to bid a fond farewell to Joyce Pugh, Biology Technician at the School of Life Sciences, who retired after over 36 years with the University. Joyce was the technician in charge of the first year biology teaching labs for 30 years and helped prepare tens of thousands of students for success in their degrees. Speeches by Profs Rob Aitken and Richard Cogdell were followed by a presentation of flowers and gifts.
Professor Andy Baker, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, has left for pastures new at the University of Edinburgh, after 16 years at Glasgow. Andy will remain a Visiting Professor at Glasgow.
New lead contact in Communications & Public Affairs Office
Ross Barker has been appointed Senior Communications Officer following the departure of Stuart Forsyth who has left to take up a new post. Researchers with interesting projects that are soon to be published, or reaching a particular milestone, or are at some other point suitable for publicity, are encouraged to get in touch with Ross. It is important the College promotes and publicises its publically-funded research to showcase its achievements which helps to attract students, staff and bolsters our reputation. Email Ross at email@example.com or phone 330 8593.
Professor Phillip Cotton, from the School of Medicine, on his recent appointment as Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda. He says: “Our ambition is to be one of the top universities in Africa within 10 years. I think we are going to see Rwanda setting the standard for health care across east Africa”.
Professor Iain McInnes, from the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, on scooping four awards for the Cytokine Signalling Forum (CSF) in the latest round of the Global Digital Health Awards. The CSF is an online educational resource, run under the auspices of the University of Glasgow and provides resources, accredited Continuing Medical Education Courses, and publication reviews on Cytokine Signalling and IL-6 therapies, to over 16,000 registered physicians worldwide.
Professor Rhian Touyz, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, on winning the prestigious Harriet Dustan Award and Lecture from the American Heart Association Council on Hypertension for Redox Biology and the Vascular Phenotype in Hypertension. The award recognises female investigators who have made outstanding contributions in the field of hypertension. This award was established to honour the memory of Dr Harriet Dustan, an outstanding clinician and investigator who was a tireless worker on behalf of the Council on Hypertension and the American Heart Association for over 50 years. Professor Touyz delivered her lecture at the Council on Hypertension 2015 Scientific Sessions in Washington DC in September.
International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team gets Gold
A team of ten Glasgow undergraduate students participated in the 12th annual iGEM competition, a summer-long synthetic biology project, culminating in the giant Jamboree in Boston in September. More than 250 teams from around the world presented their projects aimed at solving real-world problems using Synthetic Biology. The Glasgow team developed ‘Furri-Lux’, an educational nightlight powered by bioluminescent bacteria, with the aim of teaching children and their parents about Synthetic Biology. Their project won a prestigious gold medal and nominations in two special prize categories – Best New Application and Best Integrated Human Practices!
Image: iGEM logo drawn using the team's bioluminescent bacteria
Professors Godfrey Smith and John McMurray on being appointed Deputy Directors of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, following the departure of Professor Andy Baker.
Professor William Cushley, Professor of Molecular Immunology, on his recent appointment as International Dean: Eurasia and South Asia.
Dr Imran Ahmad, Clinical Lecturer in Urology at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, who has been awarded a prestigious CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship for a project entitled ‘Identification and Validation of New Therapeutic Targets in Enzalutamide-Resistant Prostate Cancer’. This 4-year fellowship has a total value of over £1m, and is the largest CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship ever to be awarded to the University and to any Urologist in Scotland. Dr Ahmad, who is currently on a clinical Robotic Surgery Fellowship in UCLH, London, will return to Glasgow in February as a Clinical Senior Lecturer within ICS and CRUK: Beatson Institute and Honorary Consultant Urological Surgeon specialising in Robotic Prostatectomy and Cystectomy at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. He will help to set up the Robotic Pelvic Cancer service for the West of Scotland.
Dr David Blane, CSO Clinical Academic Fellow in General Practice, who has been awarded a Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Great Expectations Bursary. This popular and competitive bursary will fund him to attend the RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference, to be held in Glasgow in October.
Dr Patrick Mark, Clinical Reader at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, on his election to Chair of the British Medical Association’s Scottish medical academic staff committee. Following his election, Dr Mark has expressed concern about doctors being discouraged from careers in teaching and learning by issues faced by those working in higher education: “Scotland has long maintained an excellent reputation in medical education and research, but recently the committee has become concerned about the possibility of redundancies in some Scottish universities and changes to pensions, both of which could have serious implications for academic medicine in Scotland.” Dr Mark said that the committee would continue to fight against any compulsory medical academic job losses.
Dr Sharon Irvine, Clinical Research Fellow in Infectious Disease and Microbiology at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, who volunteered at the Save the Children Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone. Sharon was awarded a medal by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street in July.
Veterinary Medicine student, Ruby Shorrock, who won the Outstanding Contribution from a Student award in the Herald Higher Education Awards for ‘Trusty Paws’, a project which helps maintain the health of the pets of homeless people. The postgraduate Masters Programme in Stratified Medicine received the award for Outstanding Employer Engagement and the University was named the Higher Educational Institution of the Year. Final year PhD student at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Carla Brown, received a commendation in the Outstanding Contribution from a Student category, for her app-based game “Bacteria Combat”, which aims to educate the public on the role of antibiotics and the dangers of over/misuse. The Herald Higher Education awards celebrate the impact colleges and universities have on national life and their role in society.
Andrew Maclean, who has been awarded the 2015 Glasgow University’s Ede and Ravenscroft Prize in recognition of his outstanding performance on the BSc (Hons) Immunology course. Dr Pasquale Maffia, final year course coordinator, said: “Andrew was the top student of this year’s class and a very deserving winner of the Prize. His performance in the final Honours examinations and indeed throughout his entire time at the University was outstanding”. Andrew, who received his prize at the graduation reception, said: “I would like to convey my gratitude to the University of Glasgow and School of Life Sciences for not only the award of the prize, but also all the support received throughout my time at the University. I have found the Immunology course at Glasgow thoroughly enjoyable and am excited to have the opportunity to research in this field”.
Photo: Andrew Maclean receiving his prize from Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, Chancellor of the University, University of Glasgow, 02 July 2015.
Vet student and 1500m runner, Laura Muir, on achieving 5th place in the final of the women’s 1500 metres event at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in August. Laura’s other achievements this year include winning the IAAF Diamond League in Norway in June and the 1500 metres final of the UK Athletics Championships in Birmingham in July.
Photo: Laura Muir storms down the home straight to claim her 1500 metres win. Picture: Getty
Practical Flow Cytometry Course
In the run up to this year’s Advancement of Cytometry Conference in June, the ‘Practical Flow Cytometry’ course was organised by Derek Davies (Francis Crick Institute) and Rachael Walker (Babraham Institute) and held at the University of Glasgow. Over 50 delegates learned the basics of flow and had hands-on experience. Four modules consisting of a presentation and data being generated in real time were available to each delegate. New technologies, such as Life Technologies Attune nXt, using acoustic focussing rather than traditional hydrostatic focussing, and the Merck Millipore FlowSight collaboration between cytometer and microscope, allowing the user to visualise their cells of interest in real time, were available. The course was aimed at users with a varying experience of flow cytometry, offering the chance to see different technologies available.
Viral Bioinformatics and Genomics training
The first 5-day Viral Bioinformatics and Genomics training course was delivered in August and focused on the bioinformatic challenges posed by the current deluge of sequence data. Through hands-on training, participants developed the skills to understand and deal with high-throughput sequence datasets and also got the chance to share ideas. Organisers were delighted by the broad mix of delegates who attended the course - from NHS professionals working in areas throughout the UK, through to researchers who had travelled from as far as Uganda and Australia to attend the course. For more information about course content, visit: http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/iii/cvr/events/
Impact in Sixty Seconds Competition
There was a fantastic response to the Impact in Sixty Seconds competition, which invited early-career researchers to make an original video explaining their research to a lay person in just sixty seconds. Entrants were encouraged to be as imaginative as possible and they were! Following a review of the videos by senior College staff, ten videos were shortlisted and showcased at Industry Day in September. The ten finalists are: Sonia Mitchell (Diversity), Joseph Crisp (Bovine TB) and Jordan Clark (Understanding viruses: what makes them so picky?) from the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine; Kamilla Laidlaw (Sugar Rush Science), Natasha Lewis (Magnetic Marrow) and Karen McClymont (The C Factor: recognising harmful bacteria) from the Institute of Molecular Cell and System Biology; Amber Yu (Amber’s Research) and Alex Binks (“You are terminated”: reprogramming viruses to kill cancer cells) from the Institute of Cancer Sciences; Claire Fisher (The biology of makeup use) from the Institute of Psychology and Neuroscience and Amelia Mordas (Getting into Mitochondria) from the School of Life Sciences. The videos have now been reviewed by judges, including Aridhia Informatics, Glasgow City of Science and the BBC, and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Glasgow Science Centre on 19 November.
£1million award from the Stroke Association & British Heart Foundation
Professor Keith Muir, from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, together with Professor Ian Ford of the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics and collaborators in Oxford & Edinburgh, has been awarded £1 million from the Stroke Association and British Heart Foundation for a five year study, entitled Alteplase-Tenecteplase Trial Evaluation for Stroke Thrombolysis (ATTEST 2). The ATTEST 2 trial will be a multicentre UK-based clinical trial in approximately 1400 patients with acute ischaemic stroke, comparing the current standard thrombolytic drug alteplase with the newer agent tenecteplase, and builds on the recently published single-centre ATTEST trial (Lancet Neurol 2015).
Researchers join Colombian partners to tackle neglected tropical diseases
Glasgow Polyomics is looking for postgraduate students interested in undertaking a funded research project to study neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Awardee, Dr Richard Burchmore and colleagues at the Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas in Colombia, hope to translate findings into applicable treatments for affected populations. Twelve of the 17 NTDs identified by the World Health Organisation are endemic in Colombia. Dr Richard Burchmore (III) said: “We will use state-of-the-art biochemical mass spectrometry to understand the biology of NTDs such as leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis and malaria. We wish to build upon our existing research collaboration, based on the application of ‘omic’ approaches to understand factors which influence Leishmania pathology and therapeutic response, and expand it to the institutional level by developing and sustaining a reciprocal training programme for Colombian and UK investigators engaged in NTD research.” Funds will support research visits of 3-4 months to Colombia. If interested, contact: Christina.Naula@glasgow.ac.uk.
Glasgow study raises lungworm awareness for dog owners and vets in Scotland
New research has shown that Angiostrongylus vasorum lungworm, a potentially fatal parasite for dogs, is established in slugs in central Scotland. Angiostrongylus vasorum is a nematodal endoparasite of the pulmonary arterial tree of domestic dogs and a host of other carnivores. A vasorum has an indirect life cycle involving molluscs and frogs as the intermediate hosts and paratenic hosts respectively, each acting as a reservoir of infection for the final host. There is now strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that the parasite is well established in the Glasgow area and Jenny Helm from the Small Animal Hospital is promoting lungworm awareness amongst pet owners and vets: “It’s very important that we don’t scare the pet owning public but we should aim to encourage pet owners to visit their vets to talk about all round anti-parasite care and we should educate pet owners about the clinical signs that they should look out for.”
Paper published in Immunity by Dr Pasquale Maffia’s group
Prof Andreas Habenicht (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich) and investigators from 3Is and ICAMS (led by Dr Pasquale Maffia) have shed light on the role of artery tertiary lymphoid organs in atherosclerosis. The group have discovered that during aging, immune cells infiltrate the vessel wall and organize in form of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs) to protect against atherosclerosis. Dr Maffia and Prof Habenicht said: “Our data suggest a new paradigm of disease-specific adaptive immune responses.
The aging immune system assembles and selectively employs a TLO within the atherosclerotic aorta adventitia to control primary T cell responses while bypassing secondary lymphoid organs including spleen and lymph nodes. Thus, ATLOs are instrumental to understand adaptive immunity in advanced atherosclerosis and to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention”.
Photo: From L to R: James Brewer, Gianluca Grassia, Pasquale Maffia, Paul Garside, Iain McInnes.
Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Catalyst Grant awardees
Glasgow Polyomics are pleased to announce the 2015 Catalyst Grant awardees:
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health, and Comparative Medicine
Institute of Cancer Sciences
- Simon Babayan and Rowland Kao: Transcriptomic predictors of acquired immunity to Bovine TB in vaccinated Eurasian Badgers.
- Collette Britton, Graham Hamilton (Polyomics) and Tom McNeilly (Moredun): Profiling microRNAs associated with immunity to parasitic nematode infections.
- Jean Rodgers, Elmarie Myburgh (WTCMP, III) and Nick Dickens (WTCMP, III): Comparative transcriptomic analysis of central nervous system and bloodstream -resident trypanosomes in a murine model of human African sleeping sickness.
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
- Shafiq Ahmed, Anthony Chalmers, Karl Burgess (Polyomics, III), Pawel Herzyk (Polyomics, MCSB): Integrative polyomics approach to identify metabolomic and genomic signatures of glioma stem cells for therapeutic intervention in glioblastoma.
- Vignir Helgason, Stephen Tait and Pawel Herzyk (Polyomics, MCSB): Identification of mechanism(s) of acquired drug resistance in CML using a genome-scale CRISPR-knockout screening approach.
- Xu Huang, David Vetrie and Mhairi Copland: Identification & validation of downstream targets of the histone demethylase KDM4A(JMJD2A) in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).
Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation
- Lesley Graham, Sandosh Padmanabhan, Martin McBride, Nicholas Ferreri (NY Medical College) and Niall Fraser (Dundee): Global regulation of gene expression in the Thick Ascending Limb of the Loop of Henle by TNFalpha: implications for salt-uptake and blood pressure regulation.
- Tansy Hammarton, Leandro Lemgruber Soares and Terence Smith (St Andrews): Mapping lipid distribution in Trypanosoma brucei during cell division.
- PI: Vicky Morrison; Co-I: Simon Milling: “Use of transcriptomics to determine how integrins regulate migratory dendritic cells and inflammation”.
- PI: Andy Roe; Co-I: Pawel Herzyk (Polyomics, MCSB). “Unravelling the secret lives of bacteria: RNA-seq for exploring niche-specific gene expression.
- PI: Christine Wells; Co-I: Ruaidhrí Carmody, Julia Edgar, Carl Goodyear, Pasquale Maffia, Iain McInnes, Megan McLeod, Neal Miller, Simon Milling, Alan Mowat, Jagtar Singh Nijjar, Tomasz Guzik (CAMS). “The Glasgow – FANTOM6 consortium investigation of the role of LncRNAs in specifying tissue macrophage phenotypes”.
Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre Lecture Theatre
August saw the inaugural use of the 500-seat lecture theatre for welcoming back Phase 4 students to the start of session 2015-2016. After some bad tempered hectoring (!) from the Director of Year 5, Professor Matthew Walters and Mr Iain Swan jointly held a Q&A session, calming fears and spreading joy and happiness throughout the Phase 4 Year groups. The new Teaching and Learning Centre is already proving to be an excellent facility, and the students and staff are finding the range and quality of the facilities to be a great boon for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate education.
Dates for your diary
Biology Week: 10-18 October, Glasgow Science Centre
As part of the Meet the Expert programme, biologists are invited to deliver fun, interactive, drop-in public engagement activities at Glasgow Science Centre in celebration of Biology Week 2015. Researchers interested in delivering activities to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks and the use of the HeLa cell line in cell biology, are also welcome, as part of Biology Week and Black History Month. If you would like to be involved, please contact Dr Laura McNamara: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Biology Week, see: http://www.rsb.org.uk/get-involved/biologyweek
Thinking Big for the Future - Transforming the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Nation, 19 October
Venue: Glasgow Central Hotel. Organised by the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Group, this conference will facilitate the sharing of up-to-date evidence for maximising the mental health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland. It aims to bring together established and early career researchers, health professionals and policy makers to improve health and social care delivery for people with mental health problems. Register here.
Scottish Imaging Network: A Platform for Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE) Events, 19 & 21 October
The next phase of SINAPSE will be launched on two dates to accommodate the diverse locations and schedules of imaging researchers and clinicians in Glasgow: 1.00-2.00pm on Monday 19 October in the Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and 1.00-2.00pm on Wednesday 21 October in the Gannochy Seminar Room at the Wolfson Medical School Building. Both events will feature short talks on the past, present and future of SINAPSE, time for networking, and light refreshments. Membership in SINAPSE is open to researchers in Scotland involved with imaging including MRI, PET, SPECT, CT, EEG, ultrasound, and human optical imaging: http://www.sinapse.ac.uk/.
Research Club’s Wall Street Wednesday – 1st Wednesday of the month
In September the Centre of Cell Engineering launched its first ‘Wall Street Wednesday’ event at The Research Club on Ashton Lane. Scientists from different research groups were brought together to create a niche research club, where ideas were exchanged through a variety of disciplines to expand thinking and collaborations in biomedical science. Building on the success of the first event, further events will be scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month from 4-6pm. All MVLS researchers are welcome to attend.
Impact in Sixty Seconds awards ceremony and Images on the Clyde celebration, date 19 November
Details to follow.
Zombie Science: Genes of the Damned - 7, 8 and 13 November
For those of you who like your biomedical science with a sprinkling of beer, comedy and zombies, why not come along to see Zombie Science: Genes of the Damned.
- Dow’s on Saturday 7 November, 6.00-7.15pm
- Committee Room No.9 on Sunday 8 November, 6.00-7.15pm
- The Griffin on Friday 13 November, 7.00-8.15pm.
Remember to put the dates in your diary. Thanks to sponsorship by the ESRC and the Wellcome Trust, these events are free! For further information contact: Kevin.O’Dell@glasgow.ac.uk
BioBeat 15: Translating Genomics into Biobusiness Conference, 20 November
Venue: Cambridge. Women scientific leaders, including keynote speaker, Professor Dame Sally Davies, will present their perspectives on challenges and successes in starting and growing biotech business. More information is available at: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/about/events/biobeat-2015
The Federation of Infection Societies (FIS) - Action on Infection 2015, 21-23 November
Venue: Glasgow SECC. Topics include: Anaerobic infections; Antimicrobial therapy in an age of resistance; Lessons in microbiology and infection; Microbes: an (un)suspected cause of disease from autoimmunity and obesity to cancer and back pain; Paediatric infections; Scottish medical mycology workshop; the future of out of hospital care and Vaccines and diagnostics. Register now at: www.actiononinfection.com
Women in Research Network Event, 26 November
The first meeting of the Women in Research Network will take place in the Senate room, Main Building, on 26 November from 1200-1400. This is a network for female researchers (at all grades) across the Colleges of MVLS and Science and Engineering, and is funded by the University Chancellor’s fund along with all Schools and Institutes in the two Colleges. The meeting will include guest speaker, Dr June McCombie MBE, Senior Researcher in Chemistry at Nottingham University and discussion on the challenges of moving locations in order to progress in academic careers. Lunch will be provided. Please register using Eventbrite.
MVLS Inaugural Lectures
New professors are invited to give an inaugural lecture to mark the occasion of their appointment/promotion. Emails with registration details will be circulated nearer the time. Lunch is provided. There are two lectures at each event and attendees are strongly encouraged to attend both. Please come and listen to some of the brightest minds in the College – it would be great to see you there! Videos of previous lectures can be accessed here.
- Monday 19 October
Barbara Mable, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Evolutionary genetics of plants and animals
Chair: Professor Eileen Devaney
Christian Delles, Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Vascular research and proteomics: from the kidney to pre-eclampsia
Chair: Professor Rhian Touyz
- Wednesday 28 October
Edward Tobias, Professor of Genetic Medicine, School of Medicine
Using cutting-edge technologies to identify genetic causes of human disorders and to enhance teaching
Chair: Professor Matthew Walters
Olivia Wu, Professor of Health Technology Assessment, Institute of Health and Wellbeing
Evidence Synthesis – the art of seeing the wood and the trees
Chair: Professor Jill Pell
- Tuesday 3 November
Anna Amtmann, Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology, Institute of Molecular Cell and System Biology
How do plants deal with stress?
Chair: Professor Neil Bulleid
Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Health and Wellbeing
Maltreatment and Mental Health
Chair: Professor Jill Pell
- Wednesday 11 November
Harry de Koning, Professor of Parasite Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
Resistance to anti-microbial drugs: The story of African sleeping sickness
Chair: Professor Gerard Graham
Colin McCowan, Professor of Health Informatics, Institute of Health and Wellbeing
“Where’s Wally? I can’t find him”: Using routinely collected clinical data for research in a safe, secure environment
International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry Conference 2015, Glasgow
With a week’s programme of tutorials, lectures and workshops, there was something for everyone, including keynote lectures on super-resolved fluorescence microscopy and engineering T cells for cancer therapy. State of the Art Lectures were given by Mark Davis (Stanford) on The Characterisation of Immune Cells using Mass Cytometry, Mario Roederer (NIH) on Accelerating Discovery of Autoimmune Mechanisms and Vladimir Zharov (Arkansas Nanomedicine Centre) discussed Advances in In Vivo Flow Cytometry for Detection of Circulating Biomarkers in CLL Patients. Professor Graeme Milligan delivered a keynote lecture about his work developing fluorescent sensors to probe G protein receptors, while Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation (III) graduate, Calum Bain, co-chaired the Mucosal Immunology workshop and spoke about his work on intestinal macrophages. Dr Mhairi McGrath presented her work on the Cytometric Determination of Mobility of Memory Lymphocytes. The highlight, however, was Howard Shapiro singing flow cytometry lyrics to the tune of Oklahoma at the closing reception!
Glasgow Science Festival
In June, Dr Jana Anderson, Research Associate in Public Health, joined the Glasgow Science Festival to talk to children and parents about the importance of the healthy balanced diet. They also had an opportunity to learn about the Dahlgren and Whitehead's 1992 representation of the wider determinants of health and connected research in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Jana was helped by PhD students, Liya Lu and Uduak Efanga Ntuk. Around 50 people plus their families engaged in the activities, in which they answered three questions before starting and the same three questions at the end, all related to preferred food choices and general health awareness. More than 80% of these were children. 63% of children included at least one healthy meal in their choice of three favourite meals, with significantly more girls opting for healthy meals. Following the activities, the health awareness reflected in the answers of 52% of participants, improved.
BHF leadership visit to ICAMS
In August, ICAMS was delighted to host a visit from the CEO of the British Heart Foundation, Mr Simon Gillespie, and BHF Medical Director Professor, Peter Weissberg. Professors Anna Dominiczak and Rhian Touyz provided a summary of the innovative research being conducted in the Institute, with an interactive poster session, where PIs, post-docs and students presented their latest findings to Mr Gillespie and Prof Weissberg. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and a great opportunity for research scientists to engage with senior BHF leaders, and to demonstrate the diversity of cardiovascular research currently funded by the BHF in Glasgow.
British Society of Cardiovascular Research – Autumn Meeting
In September over 100 delegates from across the UK and abroad gathered for the Autumn Meeting of the British Society of Cardiovascular Research (BSCR) - “Translation of Cardiovascular Science to the Clinic”. The local organisers were Drs Ashley Miller and Scott Johnstone and Professor Colin Berry and Eamonn Bolger from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences. One of the key aims was to give scientists practical insights into how to translate their research from the laboratory into the clinic. There were opportunities for interaction and sharing ideas and feedback was excellent. Emma Low (pictured) was the recipient of the 2015 BSCR Best Poster Prize. Emma presented her 2nd year PhD research describing the molecular mechanisms underlying transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-mediated intimal hyperplasia. Overall, Emma’s preliminary data suggest that the ALK1/Smad1/5/8 TGFβ signalling pathway is activated following vascular injury and induces specific transcriptional changes to promote vascular smooth muscle cell migration. Emma hopes to investigate this further in the final year of her PhD. For information on how to join the BSCR, see: http://www.bscr.org/index.html.
Inspiring City Awards 2015
The Herald and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, in association with PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW, joined forces in August to host the third Inspiring City Awards, celebrating the people and organisations that make Glasgow great. Glasgow has a long and distinguished history of innovators, pioneers and traders who have made their mark on the world stage. This year, the Judges’ Award went to the University of Glasgow and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, in recognition of their contribution to the wellbeing of Scotland’s largest city over the past twelve months and their commitment to the learning and development of the people of Glasgow. To view the winners please click here.
Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE)
August also saw the launch of SHARE, a partnership between NHS Scotland, Scottish Government and the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. The purpose of SHARE is to develop a Scottish register of people aged 16 or over and living in Scotland, who have said they are interested in helping with medical research. SHARE was launched jointly by Professor Anna Dominiczak and Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, at an evening reception at the new Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre. For more information or to register, visit: http://www.registerforshare.org/
Bovine Tuberculosis Workshop 2015
Hosted jointly with the School of Veterinary Medicine, the second bovine Tuberculosis workshop took place in September, organized by Rowland Kao, Liliana Salvador and Daniel Balaz under the umbrella of the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health. The workshop brought together 25 international scientists from the fields of veterinary epidemiology, disease ecology, immunology, transcriptomics and bioinformatics, coming to Glasgow from as far away as Spain, Portugal, the USA and New Zealand (and even Edinburgh). The aims of the workshop were to focus on two important topics: the immuno-epidemiology of bovine Tuberculosis and the uses of bacterial whole-genome-sequencing to quantify characteristics of disease transmission between livestock and wildlife. The workshop was a combination of insightful presentations and fruitful group discussions warmed by a well-received round of whisky tasting on the Thursday evening. The third workshop is planned for 2017. More information is available here.
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Minor Research Awards – Call for Applications
Applications are invited for and minor research awards (for deadline email: email@example.com). Project grants are also available to support research into the aetiology, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and/or social aspects of chest, heart and stroke illness. Projects will be funded up to £90,000 up to three years. A research fellowship is also available for clinical or basic scientific work related to chest, heart or stroke illness, worth a maximum of £120,000 and is open to doctors completing their general professional training, preferably already with their MRCP or equivalent. Funding is also available for small-scale projects up to £5,000. See the website for further details: http://www.chss.org.uk/.
Yorkhill Research Support Scheme – 2015 Call for Applications Round 2 (Projects), deadline 3 November
Through funding from Yorkhill Children’s Charity, the Yorkhill Research Support Scheme invites applications for two Project Support Grants (<40k) and two Small Project Grants (<5k) in any area of children’s health, plus one Project Support Grant (<40k) specifically on Vitamin D Deficiency in childhood. The phrase ‘children’s health’ has been used in its broadest sense to include the health and well-being of the foetus, neonate, infant, child, adolescent as well as the long-term outcome of a person with a condition originating in childhood. Applicants, or at least one of their supervisors, should be based in a West of Scotland academic or healthcare institute. Applications are welcome from all disciplines. Full details and application forms are available on the YRSS website or from firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals should be emailed to Jillian by midday on 3 November 2015.
Institute of Cancer Sciences:
Scottish patients’ own cells to be used in cancer treatment trial
A pioneering new treatment for cancer, using patients’ own cells to attack the disease, is being trialled in Scotland. The research will see patients with skin, lung and kidney cancer undergo the therapy, involving a type of white blood cell which naturally battles cancer, but which struggles to fight the disease when it starts taking hold. The cells are known as gamma delta T-cells. TC BioPharm Chief Executive, Dr Michael Leek, whose Scottish company has brought the treatment to the UK, said: “These cells are amazing because they have the ability to detect cells that have been transformed by cancer and then attack them and kill them.” Patients from the Beatson will be the first to start receiving the treatment when the trial kicks off later this year. Professor Jeff Evans, chief investigator, said that TC BioPharm’s approach represented “a new way of trying to manipulate the immune system to eradicate cancer cells.”
Cancer Research UK Award
Senior Lecturer, Dr Stephen Tait, has been awarded a Programme Foundation Award from Cancer Research UK. This funding scheme is for experienced cancer researchers to develop an independent research group. Dr Tait’s research is focussed on cell death and cancer. Inhibition of cell death allows both cancer to develop and makes it more difficult to treat. Dr Tait aims to improve understanding of how cancer cells inhibit cell death with the goal of improving the tumour killing properties of anti-cancer therapies. This CR-UK Programme Foundation Award will allow Dr Tait to build on his group’s recent work, demonstrating that cell death signalling also has a dark-side that actually promotes cancer. Further investigation of this unanticipated effect should lead to the development of approaches that enhance anti-cancer therapy while minimising harmful side-effects. The award will fund three people to work on this project for six years.
Oncologist wins fellowship to join Roche Pharmaceuticals in New York City
Dr Patricia Roxburgh, clinical lecturer in medical oncology at the Beatson Institute, has been awarded a £20,000 fellowship to undertake a placement with Roche Pharmaceuticals in New York City. Dr Roxburgh was awarded the Davies Foundation Travelling Fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and will work with Roche on their MDM2 inhibitor programme (anti-cancer drugs, designed to reactivate tumour suppressor p53). Dr Roxburgh said: “I completed my PhD in Professor Karen Vousden's lab working on manipulating the p53 pathway to treat cancer. My role will be as part of the study management team developing protocols and biomarker studies for the early clinical studies of these compounds. I am so excited to be given the opportunity to learn about the pharmaceutical industry, work on the most advanced MDM2 inhibitor programme and to work and spend time living in New York.”
Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation:
Top Asian rheumatologists visit
A delegation of twelve senior rheumatologists from China, Hong Kong and Singapore visited the University in early August. The purpose of the visit was to foster partnership and clinical exchange between Scottish and Asian Rheumatology teams. The goal was to share updates and best practices on medical and strategic approaches to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of rheumatologic diseases. Professor Iain McInnes and Dr Stefan Siebert, through the Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence, hosted the visit in conjunction with the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR). The programme was delivered with colleagues at the University of Glasgow, the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley NHS and Glasgow Caledonian University. The possibility of hosting a visiting Fellow from Singapore is currently being investigated.
Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Personal Research Fellowship
Dr Lilach Sheiner is one of only three individuals from Scotland to have been awarded the RSE Personal Research Fellowship this year. The scheme aims to provide outstanding researchers, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. Lilach’s award is for five years and relates to her research on Toxoplasma gondii parasites, which live within human (or animal) cells and cause severe disease in babies and the immunocompromised. Toxoplasma is also an experimental model for the parasites causing malaria (Plasmodium). Lilach’s research contributes to the unveiling of essential differences between human and parasite mitochondria, and aims to use these observations to understand how parasites evolved. It is hoped that this will eventually provide a basis for the development of new therapeutics. The focus of this fellowship is how the parasite cell maintains synchrony with its single mitochondrion.
Sir Michael Stoker Building officially open
The new £23 million facility for virus research was recently officially opened on the Garscube Estate. The Sir Michael Stoker Building supports world-leading scientific research by the UK’s largest group of virologists. The building takes its name from the first Chair of Virology at Glasgow University and one of the country’s most pre-eminent post-war scientists. Professor Sir Mark Walport FRS, Chief Scientific Adviser to the government, presided over the ceremony. Professor Massimo Palmarini, Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, said: “The facilities we have here provide us with the very best environment in which to conduct our research and the building is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Sir Michael Stoker".
Wellcome Trust award
Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology Principal Investigator and Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine member, Dr Annette MacLeod, has just been awarded £110,000 by the Wellcome Trust, as an enhancement to her Senior Research Fellowship in basic Biomedical Science. The enhancement will be used to further explore an exciting and important discovery which Dr MacLeod has found in the course of her current research. Dr MacLeod said "I am very grateful to the Wellcome Trust for this enhancement to my existing award. This enhancement will allow me to investigate an interesting phenomenon that we have uncovered which may have implications for how the parasite is transmitted and spreads disease”.
3Is Summer FlowJo
In July, Dr Tim Crawford, an application scientist from FlowJo, presented an interesting and informative seminar to 3I staff and students in the Kelvin Gallery. By taking attendees through his own data, Tim clearly demonstrated the best ways to analyse and display flow cytometric data. A key message was how to analyse data more efficiently, which would help staff and students work more effectively to get the most out of their data. Tim spent the afternoon with small tutorial groups providing tailored advice. A highlight was a discussion on the potential to create a more automated form of flow analysis for large datasets. Feedback from both new and experienced FlowJo users was very positive with everyone keen to get back to their desks to analyse their latest experiments!
Lunchtime seminar – Professor Vincent Racaniello
The Institute was delighted to receive a visit from Vincent Racaniello, Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University, who gave a lunchtime seminar in June. Vincent is the current president of the American Society for Virology and a past winner of the CVR Stoker prize. He is well known for his popular podcast series: 'This week in... virology, microbiology or parasitology'. Vincent was in Glasgow as part of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy Conference and to take part in the Glasgow Science Festival, where he recorded two live TWiV podcasts featuring CVR researchers. You can listen to the podcasts online at http://www.twiv.tv/2015/07/05/twiv-344/ and http://www.twiv.tv/2015/06/14/twiv-341/
BASL Foundation for Liver Research Award for Basic Science
Dr Rachael Swann, a Centre for Virus Research (CVR) Clinical Research Fellow, was awarded the BASL Foundation for Liver Research Award for Basic Science in July for her study on 'Broad cross-genotypic antibody responses to HCV E1E2 in clinical cohorts: epitope targets and clinical associations'.
American Society for Virology
CVR scientists participated in the annual American Society for Virology meeting in London, Ontario, Canada in July. Dr Xiaohong Shi, from the Bunyavirus lab, discussed bunyavirus glycoprotein processing during one of the workshops. CVR PhD student, Veronica Rezelj, was awarded the Joel M. Dalrymple Student Award at the meeting, in recognition of her outstanding research presentation at the ASV meeting. The award is given in memory of Joel M. Dalrymple, a pioneer in Bunyavirus research.
Immunobiology PhD Student & Postdoc Symposium
The Centre for Immunobiology’s young researcher symposium took place in August. This annual event brings together PhD students, postdocs and fellows for a day of talks and scientific interaction. Dr John Grainger, from the University of Manchester, delivered an excellent keynote presentation on monocyte function during intestinal infection. Postdocs and final year PhD students from the Centre then took to the stage. The quality of the presentations and active discussions was extremely high, a point which was noted by many attendees, including the keynote speaker. The afternoon’s scientiric careers session included an academic fellow, a researcher development manager, a public engagement officer and a senior research scientist from the blood transfusion service. The panel discussion that followed the presentations was so engaged, it ran over time! Thanks to the speakers, sponsors (Almac, Biolegend & Qiagen) and attendees for making the symposium a great success.
International Meeting on Arboviruses and their Vectors
The conference took place at the University of Glasgow in September and featured an array of well respected, international experts in the field of arbovirus research, including Dr Mariana Varela who represented the Centre for Virus Research. For more information see: http://www.sgm.ac.uk/conferences/focused-meetings.cfm/focused-meeting-2015-international-meeting-on-arboviruses-and-their-vectors.
Stoker Prize Award and Lecture
Winner of the Sir Michael Stoker award, Professor John Yewdell, who is the Chief of the Cellular Biology Section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland, joined the Centre for Virus Research in September. He delivered an interesting and motivational talk for early career scientists followed by a seminar, where he received his award and delivered the Stoker Prize Lecture. This was followed by a drinks reception in the Sir Michael Stoker Building.
Researcher in the field: a series of podcasts from Africa
For the latest podcast in the Researcher in the Field series, in which Prof Paul Garside visits Prof Stephen Gordon, Director of the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, see: http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/iii/wtcmp/field/
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology:
Dr Marios Philiastides – publication in Nature Communications
Dr Marios Philiastides’ lab published a paper in Nature Communications on the role of feedback processing during reinforcement learning. Using cutting edge multimodal neuroimaging (simultaneous EEG-fMRI), Dr Philiastides’ team uncovered the spatiotemporal dynamics of two separate but interacting value systems that shape reward learning in the human brain. Their research approach opens up new avenues for the investigation of the neural systems underlying value-based decision making in humans. Crucially, their findings have the potential to further improve our understanding of how everyday responses to rewarding or stressful events can affect our capacity to make optimal decisions, as well as facilitate the study of how mental disorders - such as chronic stress, obsessive-compulsive-disorder, post-traumatic disorder and depression - affect learning and strategic planning.
Face Facts at the 2015 Royal Society of London’s Summer Science Exhibition
Researchers from the Institute presented an interactive exhibition of their research at this year’s Royal Society of London Summer Science Exhibition. “Face Facts” showcased new computer-graphics methods for studying face perception, including techniques developed with industrial partner, ‘Dimensional Imaging’. Drs Lisa DeBruine and Rachael Jack and Professors Philippe Schyns and Benedict Jones led the exhibition team. The exhibition was attended by over 13,000 people.
Institute of Health and Wellbeing:
Scottish Parliament commendation for CRESH Alcohol and Tobacco Density Map of Scotland
Professor Rich Mitchell and colleagues, Dr Niamh Shortt and Professor Jamie Pearce, from the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH), celebrated being the subject of a Scottish Parliamentary motion in June. Proposed by Jim Eadie MSP, the motion commended them for their work on alcohol and tobacco retail environments in partnership with Alcohol Focus Scotland and ASH Scotland. The team created data sets which show the density of places to buy alcohol and tobacco across Scotland, and made these data publicly available via an online tool. The motion noted that the maps will be a valuable tool for local authorities when weighing new licence applications, empowering local communities by offering better evidence about their environment. CRESH is an inter-disciplinary and inter-institute research centre, shared between the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow, and GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. The maps and data are freely available at http://cresh.org.uk/webmap/.
Scientists discover link between childhood IQ and bipolar disorder
Professor Daniel Smith and a team of scientists from Cardiff, Bristol and Texas, have published new research in the British Journal of Psychiatry which links higher childhood IQ with features of bipolar disorder in young adulthood, supporting the possibility of shared genetics between intelligence and bipolar disorder. One interpretation is that serious disorders of mood, such as bipolar disorder, may be the price that human beings have had to pay for more adaptive traits such as intelligence, creativity and verbal proficiency. Click here to read: the full paper, the Guardian article.
First prize at World Congress for PhD student
MRC-funded PhD student in e-health and digital health, Ruth Agbakoba, has won 1st Prize at the World Congress on Medical IT. Ruth was part of a cohort of students on the UK’s first clinically led undergraduate biomedical informatics course at St George’s Medical School, University of London. She graduated in 2009 with a first class honours and then was offered an informatics scholarship at City University London, where she completed an MSc in health informatics. Following a year in the NHS as an information analyst, she secured a MRC studentship at the University of Glasgow in 2012. Ruth would like to combine academic research with working with a company in the field such as a large technology company or non-governmental organisation.
First UK Trial into Interventions for Weight Loss Maintenance in Adults (WILMA)
Dr Sharon Simpson, from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, has just published a Health Technology Assessment monograph, describing the results of the first UK trial of an intervention for weight loss maintenance in adults. Obesity, the fifth leading risk for global deaths, has significant cost implications for the NHS. Relatively small weight reductions can have important benefits, but long-term weight loss maintenance is challenging and weight regain is common. The WILMA study was the first trial of an intervention for weight loss maintenance in the UK. Patients in the two intervention arms received individually tailored motivational interviewing, incorporating planning and self-monitoring. The study found that the intensive intervention may facilitate long-term weight maintenance, with high retention and adherence. Read more here.
Global Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing – Summer School
The Institute of Health and Wellbeing in conjunction with the University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), organised a 5-day summer-school in Kigali, Rwanda that focused on ‘Global Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing’. The aim was to provide a platform for exchanging knowledge about the development and delivery of contextually sensitive approaches for promoting mental wellbeing. Organised by Dr Ross White (IHW), Dr Stefan Jansen (CMHS) and Dr Darius Gishoma (CMHS), the event was open to professionals and students with an interest in mental health related issues. There were over 100 registered attendees from across the world, including nine from countries outside Africa, 23 regional African attendees plus many local people from Rwanda. Dr Yvonne Kayiteshonga (National Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Rwanda) and Professor Phil Cotton (Principal of College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda) were guests of honour. Twitter users can access further information via #GMWrwanda.
Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) - Summer School Scholarship
Siobhán O’Connor, a 2nd year PhD student in General Practice and Primary Care, and recipient of an ACU Summer School Scholarship, attended an international summer school on "Big Data and the Digital Divide" in Ontario, Canada. Over 20 postgraduate researchers from across the commonwealth participated in a series of workshops and presentations on Big Data. The multidisciplinary group worked together to come up with innovate ways to collect large datasets and use cloud based analytics platforms to solve pressing health and wellbeing issues in developing countries. Siobhán, who is supervised by Professor Frances Mair and Kate O’Donnell, said: “I was really excited to attend as I could see the potential for Big Data research at postdoctoral level and I was really impressed by what we learned during the week, both from the academic and industry speakers and each other. It was a great intercultural and multidisciplinary research experience and will definitely help me in my future career”. Read Siobhán’s blog here.
Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology
University of Ilorin, Nigeria visit
In July, Postdoc, Dr Femi Olorunniji and Professor Marshall Stark visited the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, to present a 4-day series of lectures and interactive sessions for postgraduates and staff, on molecular cloning and related topics. A graduate and former lecturer at the University of Ilorin, Femi came to Glasgow in 2003 to study for his PhD in Marshall Stark's lab. The University is regarded as one of the leading universities in Nigeria and has around 3,000 staff and 20,000 students. Femi and Marshall were welcomed by the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali, who expressed strong support for continued and strengthened links with the University of Glasgow. The lectures were well attended by postgraduate students and staff, and were received with great enthusiasm. A return trip next summer is planned to organise a short practical laboratory session for the postgraduate students on cloning and basic microbiological techniques.
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training Alumni Network (EAN)
Following her award of a MVLS Skills Training Award, PhD student, Georgia Ladbury organised “Outbreak anthropology for epidemiologists”, a workshop for EAN members in London earlier this year. The workshop explored how epidemiologists could incorporate anthropological approaches and insights to improve outbreak response measures. Before her PhD, Georgia worked as a field epidemiologist and was frustrated by how infrequently local knowledge, behaviours and perceptions were used to tailor disease management strategies. Georgia’s current research applies interdisciplinary methods to identify infectious disease risks arising along dairy supply chains in Tanzania, aiming to develop risk mitigation strategies that work “in the real world”. The workshop provided a fantastic opportunity to forge links between her current academic and former professional worlds, as well as develop her project management, teaching and leadership skills. Georgia strongly encourages other students to apply for a Skills Training Award.
Fisheries Society of the British Isles award (FSBI) for Dr Kathryn Elmer
This FSBI medal is awarded to scientists who are deemed to have made exceptional advances in the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science. Dr Kathryn Elmer was presented with her medal at the FSBI Annual Symposium, held in Plymouth at the end of July. Kathryn, a lecturer in the Institute since 2012, uses comparative approaches to test a range of fundamental evolutionary theories about the origins of biodiversity, by exploring the role of adaptive change in both phenotype and genotype.
Photo: Kathryn being presented with the Medal by the President of the Fisheries Society, Dr Ian Winfield.
Committed to Capacity Building – One Health Course
Institute researchers, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), delivered a training course on One Health at the NM-AIST campus near Arusha, Tanzania over the summer. The course welcomed 30 delegates from across sub-Saharan Africa and covered topics such as surveillance of endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases, quantitative aspects of One Health and disease control policy development. Led by Jo Halliday and Tiziana Lembo, and supported by a Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Award and the AfriqueOne consortium, the course gave delegates the opportunity to learn from leaders in the One Health field, including Institute Professors Dan Haydon, Barbara Mable and Sarah Cleaveland. This was the first of three such capacity-building courses that will be offered over the next three years and is one of the ways the Institute continues to support capacity building in developing nations.
Training the Next Generation of One Health Researchers
The ZELS-AS programme is a unique venture between the lead and partner institutions of nine Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) projects to provide a concentrated focus for doctoral training in ZELS-related research. The programme funds a single intake of 15 studentships in the UK and developing countries, commencing later this month. Lead by the Professors Sarah Cleaveland, Ruth Zadoks, Jo Sharp and Dr Jo Halliday, the programme represents almost £1.5m investment in training the next generation of scientists.
Follow the Leader at the British Science Festival
Dr Shaun Killen, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute, gave an invited talk: “Follow the Leader: the social lives of animals and humans” at this year’s British Science Festival in September. Researchers from across the UK gathered in Bradford to present their work to members of the public. Shaun, who is supported by both a NERC Advanced Fellowship and a European Research Council Starting Grant, provided an overview of group behaviour and the surprising ways human behaviour is not that different from the rest of the animal kingdom. Featuring interactive components and lively audience discussion, this event was a great success for the Institute’s outreach and knowledge exchange portfolio.
2015 Emerging Explorers
Following the summer edition’s article about Dr Daniel Streicker’s selection by National Geographic as an Emerging Explorer, find out more about his interest in bats and the connection with Ebola at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/2015/daniel-streicker/
School of Medicine
Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference 2015
The Medical School recently hosted 3500 delegates from 92 countries at Glasgow’s SECC, to share experiences and innovation in Medical Health Education. Fifty presentations from the University, ranging from workshops, posters and short presentations, showcased scholarly activities undertaken by staff and students at the School and the wider College. Highlights focussed on innovation in learning, teaching and assessment, student selection, professionalism and inter-professional education, all of which are central to the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy. The conference was preceded by an e-learning symposium featuring technological innovations in learning and teaching, as well as a range of pre-conference workshops. As a Russell Group University, Glasgow is a great place to train as a health professional and the AMEE conference has helped to demonstrate that to the world.
Photo: From left to right; Dr Ann Marie Rice, Prof Matthew Walters, Dr Aileen Lin, Dr Joanne Burke, Dr Sharron Sneddon, Dr Nana Sartania, Dr Viv Binnie, Dr Carol Ditchfield
University of Glasgow students were given the opportunity to be part of the sixty-strong student task force at the conference. The students from medicine, dentistry and nursing made up almost half the task force and represented the inter-professional nature of the College. Students were involved in conference logistics, assisting delegates, IT support, as well as presenting their own research and participating in conference events. There was also a lively social programme for the task force that was enjoyed by all. Students reported that “it was an amazing experience” and that “it was a great opportunity to meet other students and experts in healthcare education from across the globe”. AMEE would not be a success without them!
Photo: University of Glasgow and International Student Task Force
School of Veterinary Medicine:
Internal Medicine Specialist, Gerard McLauchlan, recently completed a prestigious six month Fellowship in Interventional Radiology (IR) at the Animal Medical Centre in New York. During this time, Gerard undertook advanced training under the two pioneers of veterinary IR in multiple minimally invasive procedures including tracheal stenting, urethral/ureteral stenting, transjugular coil embolization of intrahepatic shunts, chemo-embolisation of non resectable liver tumours and many other techniques. As the first non US specialist to undertake this training, Gerard now plans to launch an advanced IR clinic at the University’s Small Animal Hospital alongside fellow specialist in Cardiology, Professor Anne French, and Soft Tissue Surgeons, Cameron Broome, Josep Aisa and Malcolm Booth.
Launch of the Thoroughbred Health Network
Research Assistant, Laura Friend and Dr Tim Parkin, Head of the Division of Equine Clinical Science and Director of the Weiper’s Centre Equine Hospital, launched the Thoroughbred Health Network at a series of racecourses in the north of England and Scotland over the summer. This new knowledge exchange initiative is designed to maximise the impact of years of equine clinical research on the health and welfare of the racehorse. Over the next three years the aim is to translate all available research on the most common health and performance-limiting problems affecting the Thoroughbred into easily understandable tips to maximise the health of horses in training in Britain. Racehorse trainers, owners, veterinary surgeons and racecourses are currently being recruited to the network. For more information see: www.thoroughbredhealthnetwork.co.uk and Twitter: @ThoroughbredHN.
The Bioelectronics webpages have been updated with few examples of projects; if anyone is interested please have a look at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/bioelectronicsunit
Charity Zip Slide
The cold wet weather did not dampen the spirits of the 27 brave participants who took part in the zip slide across the River Clyde in September. The majority of the funds raised were for the Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, with some participants also fundraising for the Beatson Pebble Appeal and Think Pink Scotland. Thanks to all who came along to support the zip sliders and to those who generously sponsored them. Your support of cancer research at the University of Glasgow is much appreciated.
Charity Golf Day
The Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation recently held a charity Golf day at Buchanan Castle Golf Club. The event, attended by the Glasgow business community, was a great success and raised hundreds of pounds for Arthritis Research UK. Those leading the golfing challenge included Institute Director, Professor Iain McInnes and Head of Immunobiology, Professor Paul Garside, who won the best dressed golfer trophy. The silver Quaich winner's trophy was carried off by life sciences company, VWR. The event was so successful, it will be added to the Institute's annual charity calendar.
Health promoting from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Professor Jill Pell, from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, has just completed her 967 mile cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just nine consecutive days – that’s 68 hours of cycling, ascents of 14,011 metres (46,236 feet) and 64,385 calories expended! All donations are going towards the new campus and Jill has raised more than £1,700 so far. The link below will take you to the donations page, which is still open: https://www.justgiving.com/GU-RI-HealthandWellbeing/. Well done Jill - a fantastic achievement!
Jason's Lake Zurich and Lake Windermere Marathon Swims
Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, has just successfully completed the second of his two marathon swims of the summer to raise money for the charity Frankwater. who are dedicated to improving access to safe and clean water to some of the world’s poorest and most deprived communities.
Seven weeks after placing first in the 26.4 km Lake Zurich marathon swim, completing the distance in 6 hours 52 minutes, Jason completed the 16.1 km of Lake Windermere in September in 4 hours 1 minute, placing him second in the event. He has raised over £1300 for Frankwater so far, and hopes to push the total to over £1500, so if you would like donate, please visit his Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/jasongillswim. Thanks to everyone for their support.
The quarterly College Newsletter welcomes submissions from all MVLS staff and honorary staff. Articles should be up to 150 words long, and it would be helpful to include an accompanying photograph/graphic (in jpeg format where possible). Please send your articles, feedback on the Newsletter, ideas and suggestions, to email@example.com. Thank you!