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UCL Neuroscience Symposium 2014: an overview

ucyow3c2 July 2014

pencil-iconWritten by Jack Moore, BSc student at St Mary’s University

With over 800 people attending and almost 200 posters being presented, there was a real sense of excitement around the halls of the Institute of Education (IoE) where the 5th annual UCL Neuroscience symposium was held on 19 June.

James Rothman

Professor James Rothman

With so many people at the event, and so much being presented, it was a great opportunity to discover what other researchers have been doing and share thoughts on the latest developments. Over the years the event has only got bigger, with the entry queue this year winding all the way up the stairs of the IoE.

The day began with last year’s Nobel Prize winner, Professor James Rothman (Yale University), giving a thought-provoking opening keynote speech on how calcium controls neurotransmitter release to a packed auditorium of both students and staff. As Professor Rothman is a Professorial Research Associate in the UCL Institute of Neurology, it seemed a fitting way to begin a symposium in which such a diverse and successful domain get a chance to come together and learn about what is being achieved by different institutes and laboratories.

After the applause for Professor Rothman had quietened down, everyone finally had a chance to see all 180 posters on offer at the event. Dr Martine Groen, who was on the panel deciding this year’s Laboratory Poster Prize, told me the winning poster would have to be one that was nice to read and walk through, making clear what the research question is and why it is interesting.

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UCL’s got talent: a microcosm of communications brilliance

Ruth Howells8 April 2014

Michael Arthur

What do a supernova discoverer, a sex researcher, a chemistry demonstrator, a doctor of fluid dynamics, a materials scientist/engineer, a toilet festival and a history project about slave ownership have in common?

As well as being a brilliant microcosm of the breadth of activity and expertise bubbling away at UCL, they were all recipients of UCL Communication & Culture Awards at an event on 2 April in the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre.

Organised by UCL Museums and Public EngagementUCL Communications and Marketing and the UCL Development and Alumni Relations Office, this is the first time that the awards have taken place.

They were designed to recognise the hard work that the UCL community put in to sharing their research, teaching and learning through media and cultural partnerships – to include activities such as television, radio, blogging, festivals, public events, arts projects and exhibitions.

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Infection, immunology and inflammation research on show at annual Symposium

news editor23 October 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Andy Kumar (MRes Biomedicine 2012-13 ,UCL Institute of Child Health)

Symposium

The Symposium audience

There is no doubt about it. Medical research has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Much of this is down to the vast amount of research being conducted worldwide, with both scientists and doctors working tirelessly to discover novel treatments for a vast array of medical conditions.

The annual Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Symposium held at the UCL Institute of Child Health showcased the research of a number of passionate UCL academics and its partners. With an almost fully packed auditorium, there was a real buzz among the attendees.

Cutting edge research
The morning session on infection contained some excellent presentations on microbial genome  sequencing of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the effects of antibiotic resistance upon the population delivered by Professor Sharon Peacock, as well as the genes involved in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Dr Kristine Arnvig.

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Science for everyone by everyone – the re-emergence of citizen science

Katherine Aitchison29 January 2013

Citizen science is something that has undergone a major revival in the past 10 years or so and in the Lunch Hour Lecture on 22 January, Professor Muki Haklay explained why and where the field is going.

The iBats logo

The iBats logo

It may sound like a load of middle-aged men playing with chemistry sets but actually citizen science has encompassed some great thinkers. Like say… Charles Darwin, I imagine you’re familiar with his work?

Darwin wasn’t affiliated with any university or other organisation; in fact, he was only on HMS Beagle as a companion to the captain rather than in any professional capacity.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1833 that William Whewell coined the word ‘scientist’ to distinguish the professional from the amateur. He used interested amateurs to collect data relating to tidal patterns and likened himself to the jeweller who strung these ‘pearls’ of information together to make the necklace.

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