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Archive for the 'Population Health Sciences' Category

Could this be the way to get your research into the public eye?

ucyow3c15 December 2015

pencil-icon  Written by Olivia Stevenson & Greg Tinker with Michael Kenny, Catherine Miller & Graeme Reid

Scientists and researchers from across academia are engaged in research that could make a difference to the world, but until you take it beyond the university doors its impact and reach will remain low.

Select Committee noticeUCL and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, teamed up to host a public event with parliamentary insiders and evidence experts, exploring how academia could engage the world of government, particularly through select committees.

The question on everyone’s mind was ‘can this type of academic-government engagement generate real world impacts?’ Here is what our speakers told us:

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UCL Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (III) Symposium 2015

ucyow3c19 October 2015

pencil-icon Written by Susan Liu (UCL Pharmacy)

Symposium audience

On Wednesday 14 October, academics from top London institutions flocked to the UCL Institute of Child Health for the annual UCL Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (III) Symposium. This year saw the symposium expand its breadth to new topics never covered previously, ranging from inflammatory eye diseases to applying mathematical modeling to CD8+ T cells.

Immune pathology in tissues
Starting the day strong, Professor Tom MacDonald (Barts Health and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London) highlighted the importance of his research in his talk ‘Proteolytic degradation of therapeutic antibodies in the inflamed gut’.

This talk highlighted the effects the body’s microenvironments may have on drugs, emphasising the future of medicine towards becoming more personalised, a vision that UCL aims to direct its research towards through the UCL Personalised Medicine Domain. The reversibility of fibrosis and cirrhosis and T cell cardiotropism were also explored in this session.

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Sir Michael Marmot in conversation: “Social injustice is killing on a grand scale”

ucyow3c6 October 2015

pencil-icon Written by Helen Stedeford (UCL Life & Medical Sciences)

Sir Michael Marmot speaks to audience members

Public health expert Sir Michael Marmot introduced his book The Health Gap by sharing the story of Mary, a First Nations Canadian who hanged herself aged 14. Every case is tragically unique, however the suicide rate among young First Nations members is five times higher than for other young Canadians – why? The suicide rate for Indian cotton farmers is much higher than for Indians in other rural occupations – why? Poverty – at least that’s part of the answer.

Using case studies and population statistics, Marmot illustrated the social gradient in health, which is found in all societies; those at the top of the income ladder have low levels of disease and long lives, and with each step down the ladder the chance of physical and mental illness, and early death, increases. So began a fascinating evening of discussion between Marmot, The Lancet’s Tamara Lucas and audience members.

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Who attends foodbanks in the UK and why? The impact of food poverty on health and wellbeing

ucyow3c3 August 2015

pencil-icon Written by Edwina Prayogo, UCL Centre for Behavioural Medicine PhD student

(from l–r) Dr Angel Chater, Dr Mary Barker, Edwina Prayogo and Dr George Grimble

(from l–r) Dr Angel Chater, Dr Mary Barker,
Edwina Prayogo and Dr George Grimble

UK foodbank use has unmasked food poverty – a condition that leads to poorer health and reduced wellbeing in millions of British people. I have been involved in interdisciplinary research that combines health psychology and clinical nutrition, with the aim of uncovering who attends London foodbanks and why.

Alongside members of our UCL Grand Challenges-supported research group, as well as other experts, I was privileged to present our research to an audience of academics, health professionals and people working in NGOs at an event on 20 July.

To start, Dr Angel Chater (UCL Life Sciences) described how the research arose from my MSc project at UCL. For this, I investigated fruit and vegetable consumption and the psychological wellbeing of London foodbank clients, and this developed into my current PhD project.

Then, Dr George Grimble (UCL Medical Sciences) explained how his interest in the area of food poverty was piqued by his involvement as advisor to Channel 4’s The Food Hospital, during which he assisted in a ‘fibre challenge’ smartphone app experiment. He went on to replicate the experiment for an MSc project with foodbank clients, and in doing so exposed the very poor diet of many participants.

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