Emerging leaders prize and international collaboration: News from the College

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From a prize for ‘disease signature’ research, to a visit by Vietnamese university leaders, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Research prize

Dr Myrsini Kaforou , from the Department of Infectious Disease , has picked up first prize in the Medical Research Foundation ’s Emerging Leaders Prize in Antimicrobial Resistance.

When patients are sick with fever, their genes ‘switch on and off’ their expression in different patterns. Dr Kaforou’s research focuses on these patterns, hoping to find disease signatures that could be used to identify a range of conditions.

The approach could identify patients who genuinely need antibiotic treatment, limiting antibiotic misuse and further development of drug-resistant infections. Dr Kaforou said the prize would be “transformative” for her research, and “assist our efforts in identifying the best gene markers” for new tests.

Read more about the winning projects from the third Emerging Leaders Prize

The professor of Cardiac Pharmacology, who is based at the National Heart and Lung Institute , engaged with the community on the social media platform Reddit in an Ask Me Anything session on Tuesday 12 November.

She fielded questions on a wide range of topics, including her initial inspiration for entering the profession, the root causes of cardiovascular disease and heart failure, and the use of animal models in her research. The session proved very popular with the online community, garnering over 5,000 ‘upvotes’ - the primary marker of approval on Reddit - and 700 questions.

Read the full Reddit AMA

Life Scientific

Two researchers feature in the latest book from The Life Scientific - the Radio 4 show that talks to scientists about what inspires and motivates them. The new book, focusing on inventors, features Professor Chris Toumazou and Professor Molly Stevens.

Professor Toumazou, from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering , works on electronic devices for medical diagnosis and therapy. He talks about genetic testing on a USB stick, and his inspiration: worrying the fuse would blow while his mother watched Coronation Street!

Professor Stevens, from the Departments of Materials and Bioengineering , focuses on regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. She talks about her bone repair gel, and her inspiration: seeing a photo of a boy with kidney failure.

Read more about the new book: The Life Scientific: Inventors

Vietnamese visit

University Presidents and Vice Presidents from Vietnam visited White City to learn about how Imperial’s new campus is becoming London’s centre for enterprise, innovation and tech transfer.

The delegation, led by President of Hanoi University of Science and Technology Hoang Minh Son, toured the Molecular Science Research Hub (MSRH), the I-Hub ’s Incubator and the Agilent Measurement Suite. researchers and peers in Vietnam publish around 85 scientific papers together every year.

The Vietnamese Government has committed to making Vietnam a ‘start-up nation’. With as many as 30000 start-ups, it is already the third largest start-up ecosystem in Asia.

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Madeleine Stone
Communications and Public Affairs

Hayley Dunning
Communications and Public Affairs

Andrew Youngson
Communications and Public Affairs

Ryan O’Hare
Communications and Public Affairs

Stephen Johns
Communications and Public Affairs

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  • Professor Sian E Harding
    National Heart & Lung Institute
  • Professor Molly M Stevens FREng
    Department of Materials
  • Dr Myrsini Kaforou
    Department of Infectious Disease
  • Professor Christofer Toumazou FRS, FREng
    Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Department of Bioengineering
  • Department of Infectious Disease
  • National Heart and Lung Institute
  • Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Department of Materials
  • College and campus

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