Imperial launches Academic Health Science Centre vision

Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre held a special event last week to mark its recent award of AHSC status.

At the event, AHSC leaders launched the AHSC’s vision for 2014-19, which aims to improve the quality and length of lives of their patients and populations by translating pioneering discoveries into medical advances, new therapies and techniques.

The prestigious designation from the Department of Health recognises Imperial College AHSC – a partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – as a centre of excellence in healthcare, research, education and value creation.

Leaders from the NHS, universities, industry and charities came together to meet some of Imperial College AHSC’s key players. They heard presentations outlining how the AHSC plans to translate research into new treatments and healthcare applications.

The special event also showcased outstanding innovations in healthcare within the Centres for Translational Medicine (CTMs) through a number of interactive displays and posters presented by staff from the College and the Trust. CTMs are AHSC delivery groups that bring together College and Trust staff to accelerate the translation of science into health discoveries.

Exhibition highlights included Professor Roger Kneebone’s research group’s live surgery simulation using a pop-up operating theatre to recreate an angioplasty, where a balloon catheter is inserted into an artery narrowed by coronary heart disease (pictured).

The CTM for Brain Sciences and Diseases featured “EEG Pong”, a mind-controlled video game in which players use their brain waves to play table tennis.

Speaking at the event, Sir Gordon Duff, chairman of Imperial College AHSC, said:

“We’re creating an AHSC that will drive – not follow – the healthcare agenda in the UK and Europe.”

Professor Dermot Kelleher, vice president (health) of Imperial College London and chairman of the joint executive group of Imperial College AHSC, said:

“Our strategy puts the patient at the centre of everything that we do. All of our research is designed to support patient care. This will transform quality of life in our community.”

Bill Shields, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“For the Trust, the AHSC is integral to our core business. Innovation, efficiency and safety are central to everything that we do, and the AHSC helps us to achieve this.”

Professor David Taube, director of Imperial College AHSC, said:

“The AHSC is an integrated structure, bringing together all aspects of the College and Trust. This will allow us to, for example, use new technologies to put first-class healthcare not just by patients’ bedsides but in people’s bedrooms.”

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