Imperial College AHSC seminar series returns with innovations in foetal medicine

The Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) seminar series returns for a second year with an event on innovations in foetal medicine.

This will be the first of three events that will bring together experts from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to showcase the work of the AHSC.

The first event will be held on Monday 30 October at Hammersmith Hospital from 12.30. It will focus on pioneering treatments and technologies to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies.

The Imperial College AHSC is a unique partnership between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. Its aim is to improve patient outcomes by harnessing scientific discoveries and translating them as quickly as possible into new diagnostics, devices and therapies for patients, in the NHS and beyond.

The AHSC seminar series first launched in July 2016 at the Trust and events also took place at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. The event series has led to further collaborations between academics at the College and clinicians at the AHSC’s NHS partner trusts.

Professor Jonathan Weber, director of Imperial College AHSC, said:

“Following on from a very successful pilot series, we have decided to bring the AHSC seminar series back to the Trust. This is an exciting opportunity for our staff and patients to learn more about how AHSC research is helping to make a difference to the health outcomes of many of our patients. We have a line-up of world-class researchers and clinicians who are making breakthroughs that are shaping the future of medicine. This is significant work and we want more of our staff and patients to be involved.”

By pairing researchers at the College and clinicians at the Trust, the series will present examples of how research evolves from hypotheses, into innovative approaches, to patient treatment and care.

Innovations in foetal medicine – Monday 30 October

The first presentation will be jointly delivered by Dr Niamh Nowlan, senior lecturer at the College, and Professor Waljit Dhillo, professor of endocrinology at the College and consultant endocrinologist at the Trust.

Dr Nowlan will speak about her research on how abnormal fetal movements in the womb can impact the formation of joints. Dr Nowlan will also discuss a fetal movement sensor she has developed in collaboration with colleagues at the College and the Trust to measure and monitor infants’ movements throughout pregnancy. The aim is to detect and treat joint conditions such as hip dysplasia at an earlier stage, as well as help to prevent stillbirths.

Professor Dhillo will discuss how he has used a natural hormone found in the body called kisspeptin to safely trigger ovulation in women who are at risk of experiencing complications during IVF treatment. Sixty-three babies have been born as a result of this treatment.

The second event in the series will be on, ‘new cancer drugs and treatments’, and will take place on Monday 30 November.

This presentation will be delivered by Professor Ed Tate, professor of chemical biology at the College, and Professor Charles Coombes, professor of medical oncology at the College and honorary consultant medical oncologist at the Trust.

Professor Tate will talk about his research on how a disease-causing enzyme known to be involved in a range of diseases can be stopped, potentially leading to new treatments for cancer.

Professor Coombes will share his research on developing and testing new cancer drugs to treat some breast cancers that have become resistant to hormone therapies.

This seminar will be at Charing Cross Hospital in the Reynolds building, Rooms 2 and 3 from 12.30.

The third, on ‘new surgical innovations and tools’, will be on Monday 29 January 2017 at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington from 12.30.

This talk will be delivered by Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, director and co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery at the College, and Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham, director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation and consultant surgeon at the Trust.