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UCL 2013 Prize Lecture in Clinical Science with Professor Gary Rukvun

news editor6 November 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Lucy Bell, UCL MBPhD student

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Professor Gary Ruvkun

The UCL Prize Lecture in Clinical Science, held this year on 30 October,  is one of the university’s most exciting events – the annual invitation of one of the world’s most distinguished scientists to receive an award and speak about their career and research to a UCL audience.

This year’s recipient was Professor Gary Rukvun of Harvard Medical School, whose pioneering work in the discovery of microRNAs – small RNA species with potent regulatory effects – has arguably changed the accepted paradigm of cellular function over the past 20 years, showing that the functional products of genes are not always proteins.

It has also paved the way for a brave new world in genetic research, in which the functions of genes can be rapidly deleted and reconstituted; a level of manipulation unprecedented in molecular biology.

After an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Berkeley, California, and several years of travelling and tree-planting across the Americas, Professor Rukvun embarked on doctoral training in genetics at Harvard that would eventually bring him to his research into the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Most first year students get a welcome – ours get a welcome back!

news editor4 October 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Alice Salmon, Senior Access Officer (Museums and Academic Skills)

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Harshad Karia and Jazib Mahboob

The UCL Widening Participation and UK Undergraduate Recruitment Department welcomed first year students who have previously attended prospective student activities at UCL at a celebratory event on Tuesday 1st October.

The  students and staff enjoyed an informal reception and presentation. This gave them the opportunity to catch up with friends made from our programmes, share their experiences of their first week and celebrate becoming UCL students.

Students who attended the event have participated in a variety of sustained engagement programmes designed for prospective students. Examples of these include the Year 10 Horizons Saturday School, Year 11 Explore UCL Summer School, Mature Student Masterclasses, Sutton Trust Summer School, and the Language and Study Skills Summer School, to name just a few examples.

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University College Opera performs I Lombardi

news editor21 March 2013

pencil-icon Written by Professor Mark Ronan, UCL Mathematics

After UCOpera’s production of a Rameau work last year, which suffered from over-ambitious direction that didn’t gel, I was unsure what this year’s I Lombardi would be like. I need not have worried — it was terrific.

Giselda, image ©UCOpera

Giselda, image ©UCOpera

Suits of armour and chain mail are expensive, so director Jamie Hayes has updated it to warring gangs from the 1960s, with guns and the occasional knife. I Lombardi meets West Side Story, but it really works, and Charles Peebles produced wonderful playing from the orchestra.

Early Verdi is so full of energy, and UCL have made a perfect choice for his bicentenary year. This is the opera that followed Nabucco, which starts a new run at the Royal Opera House on Easter Saturday, so here is an excellent chance to see the next collaboration between Verdi and his early librettist Temistocle Solera.

As an enthusiast for Italian unification and the Risorgimento, the story of Lombards fighting Islamic warriors formed an attractive background that would have resonated with Verdi’s audience, but the First Crusade no longer inspires us, so I applaud the change of location in time and space.

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Aid for Health simulation

news editor17 December 2012

UCL students and staff taking part in the ‘Aid
for Health’ negotiations at the Institute for
Global Health

Written by Rebecca Seglow Hudson (BSc Anthropology undergraduate).

UCL’s Institute for Global Health (IGH) was the site of some heated negotiations on Saturday 8 December.

A collection of 72 students, with an enormous range of experience and disciplinary backgrounds, spent the day simulating the discussions behind international aid deals.

Students represented organisations such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF and governmental departments of the simulation country, Malawi. Three parallel simulations took place in three separate rooms, with each room reaching a different conclusion on the use of the $200 million that donors were offering to improve Malawi’s health system.

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