Media coverage of our research

Reports on the research we do and expert comment by our academics.

Below is a summary of the coverage we achieved in 2010.

Please note that we do not monitor for broadcast coverage.

December 2010 

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Wonder drug leads war on breast cancer’

Daily Express p.4

http://bit.ly/hlPzTD

A major trial of a drug to treat breast cancer shows that it can prevent or delay 80 per cent of tumours for women at the highest risk. Scientists testing arimidex argue this treatment should now replace tamoxifen, which was developed more than 30 years ago. Professor Cuzick said: “These results provide further support for using arimidex as the first-line treatment.”

Barts and The London NHS Trust

‘Hospital death rate lower than expected in East End’

East London Advertiser

http://bit.ly/g8GFb6

In a survey of hospitals across the UK, the Barts and The London trust fared well in most areas of patient-mortality. The Dr Foster hospital study found that mortality rates for the trust were low, gaining a score of 89, lower than the national average of 100.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Dr Denise Syndercombe-Court

‘The danger of unreliable paternity tests’

New Scientist

http://bit.ly/fEazim

An investigation into prenatal paternity tests conducted at a Canadian clinic reveals that errors are being made, leaving the parents-to-be with incorrect results. One lady who used the clinic was given the wrong result, but only discovered this after a second successful test conducted by Dr Syndercombe-Court who said: “Paternity testing can have profound effects on people's lives and, when there is an unborn child involved, may lead to a termination.” The findings from the New Scientist investigation show the potential dangers of allowing such companies to exist without regulation and control.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu, the killer virus that actually saved lives’

The Independent p.8

http://ind.pn/hpCxZQ

Experts say the swine flu epidemic might have actually saved lives last year as it drove out the seasonal flu, which attacks the vulnerable. Winter deaths fell dramatically last year, 30 per cent lower than 2008/09, which has been linked to a decline in the seasonal virus. Professor Oxford said: “The swine flu virus was the fittest virus last year in the Darwinian sense. It dominated the whole scene and pushed out influenza viruses that would normally kill the elderly. So the elderly couldn't be killed by the normal epidemic viruses and they couldn't be killed by swine flu as they had some immunity.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Graham MacGregor

‘High salt levels in ready made Sunday lunch warning’

BBC News website

http://bbc.in/fnfZ7p

The Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), based at Queen Mary, warns that ready-made items used in Sunday roasts contain unnecessary levels of salt. The charity, chaired by professor MacGregor says that preparing and cooking with fresh foods reduces the level of salt intake. He said: “Unnecessary amounts of salt are still being hidden in our food. This puts both adults and children at risk of developing high blood pressure which causes strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the commonest cause of death and disability in the UK. It is the food industry's responsibility to take the salt out.”

This story also features on Telegraph.co.uk:

http://bit.ly/gGAqTN

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford

‘The bacteria timebomb in your home’

Daily Mail p.38

http://bit.ly/gWGqfZ

Seemingly innocent household objects can harbour potentially harmful bacteria regardless of how often they are cleaned. Professor Oxford comments on several objects around the home that should be washed and eventually discarded including wooden spoons, plastic chopping boards, toilet brushes and dish cloths.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford
The flu jab you will need only once in your life’

Daily Mail p.7

http://bit.ly/fD9jGM

A vaccine to provide life-long protection against the flu could be available in three years, according to SEEK, the London-based makers of the jab. Professor Oxford remains cautious arguing the vaccine may only make symptoms milder, rather than completely preventing the illness.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford

Daily Mail p.13

http://bit.ly/fmVDcR

Experts are warning that the reappearance of the swine flu infection could be more deadly than predicted, after several people have already been killed by the bug. Professor Oxford said: “It’s a virus that needs to be given some respect. People are probably dying because they don’t want to bother their GP. But this delay can prove fatal, particularly amongst pregnant women. We’re not at the panic stage yet but we certainly wouldn’t want the situation to get any worse.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Sir Nicholas Wald

‘Goodbye to folic acid deficiency?’

MSNBC

http://on.msnbc.com/eLgFTF

A survey of the Canadian population reveals very few people are deficient in folic acid and 40 per cent have high levels of vitamin B in their blood. Dr Wald warned that people should not be too concerned about high levels of folate as there is no evidence it can cause problems. He said: “It is a mistake to talk about dangerously high levels of folate. The important message is that folic acid fortification has worked and has been shown to be successful in improving health without evidence of harm.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford
‘Young not taking swine flu vaccine’
The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/young-not-taking-swine-flu-vaccine-2164554.html
Professor Oxford warns that young people are at greatest risk from swine flu, although they are more reluctant to get vaccinated. He said that pensioners would have been exposed to the virus back in the 1940s and 1950s so would be more immune to the strain. He warned: “The problem is that on websites like Twitter people are saying we're all going to die from the vaccine, but that is utter nonsense. It's not a great start to the season, but it's a tricky virus to deal with. It's certainly not a walkover for people. I do expect trouble with it, but what came out from last year is that the vaccine was 95% effective.”

This story features widely in the media including:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20101219/thl-at-risk-avoid-swine-flu-vaccine-d831572.html

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/850939-twitter-nonsense-hits-swine-flu-jabs

http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Warning-over-young-people-and.6665897.jp

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/latestnews/view/168174/At-risk-avoid-swine-flu-vaccine-/

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu: What you need to know’

Daily Mail p.42

http://bit.ly/hKBfjP

Professor Oxford offers advice on how to avoid swine flu. He says young people should take the threat more seriously and that further research should take place about vitamin D before people are advised on taking higher doses.

November 2010 

Institute of Health Sciences Education: Professor Trish Greenhalgh

‘Barts and The London researcher publishes new guidelines on how to measure the success of e-Health programmes’

Health Canal

http://bit.ly/dgtvtc

New guidelines for evaluating eHealth initiatives, authored by Professor Greenhalgh, have been published in the Public Library of Science Medicine. Professor Greenhalgh says one-off experiments in eHealth technologies offer little to highlight the benefits of such systems. She says: “Technologies often have important social, political and ethical dimensions because they profoundly affect our lives, our civil liberties and our ability to access healthcare. Robust evaluations of e-Health technologies must balance engagement with these complexities with scientific objectivity.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:

http://bit.ly/b5sRCc

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Dr Claudia Estcourt
‘Want to know if you’ve got an STD? There’s an app for that…’
Daily Mail
http://bit.ly/9JRMgc
Researchers in the UK are developing a self-diagnosis system for sexually transmitted infections, which will analyse a urine sample and send the results to a mobile phone screen or computer display. The system could even automatically make an appointment at a clinic or direct the patient to the nearest pharmacy, where treatment would be waiting. Dr Estcourt's group at Queen Mary, along with other consortium partners, have joined the GBP5.7 million (US$9.19 million) eSTI project that will use nanotechnology to create the small device to test for such things as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine:Professor Peter Sasieni
‘Cervical jab ‘cuts screening need’’
Press Association
http://bit.ly/dBVBnA
Young women who receive the cervical cancer vaccine may only need screening twice in their lifetime, says Professor Sasieni. Girls who have the jab when they are 12 or 13 years old would only need testing for the disease when they are 30 and 45, he said. The vaccine protects against key strains of the sexually-transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer.

This story was reported widely in the media, including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, ITN and BBC television and radio news.

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre: http://bit.ly/bkSZGp

Institute of Dentistry: Professor Wagner Marcenes
‘Oral health study scoops funding’
Dentistry.co.uk
http://bit.ly/b9yaQW
The Shirley Glasstone Hughes Trust Fund has awarded more than £88,000 to a mixed methods study that will investigate the effect of concepts of health in socially deprived areas on oral health in north east London. It will be hosted by Professor Marcenes in the Institute of Dentistry at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and led by Dr Russ Ladwa, Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, who said: "The award of this grant represents a great boost to research in primary care".

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Peter Sasieni
‘Cervical cancer jab could replace smear tests’
The Telegraph
http://bit.ly/ayG6zY

Girls who have the cervical cancer jab may only need screening twice in their lifetime. Cervical cancer should become a "rare disease" thanks to the introduction of the vaccine, said Professor Sasieni.

Institute of Dentistry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry: Dr Muy-Tek The
‘Rogue Gene Hijacks Stem Cells To Jumpstart Human Cancer’
San Francisco Chronicle
http://bit.ly/brIgGC

A gene thought to be responsible for initiating human cancer has been identified by researchers at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, led by Dr The. This paves the way for developing early cancer diagnostic tests, and finding new treatments that prevent or stop the spread of cancer cells at an early stage. A gene called FOXM1 exploits the inherent self-renewal property of stem cells causing excessive cell proliferation. Dr Teh said: "Understanding the origin of cancer initiation may unveil new research opportunities for finding effective anti-tumour drugs that stop or prevent cancer at its earliest incipient stage."

Institute of Health Sciences Education: Professor Seif Shaheen
'Research Strengthens Evidence Of Link Between Paracetamol Use In Pregnancy And Childhood Asthma'
Biocompare
http://bit.ly/duzGcb
Evidence has been found suggesting that the risk of childhood asthma, associated with prenatal paracetamol exposure, may depend on the mothers' antioxidant genes. Professor Shaheen said: "Our latest findings add further weight to the evidence implicating prenatal paracetamol exposure in the development of childhood asthma."

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre: http://bit.ly/csBmdn

Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer): Dr Yong-Jie Lu
'Prostate cancer 'breakthrough''
Press Association
http://bit.ly/bimE1K
Working with the prostate cancer charity Orchid at St Barts Hostpital, Dr Lu has published research that highlights the role male hormones play in promoting a specific genetic change that causes around 50% of tumours. He said: "This is a significant discovery and a major breakthrough in the future prevention of the disease. It could also lead to new treatments."

Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer): Professor Finbarr Cotter
Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Dr Paul Telfer 
'Britain’s top doctors: Haematology'
The Times
http://bit.ly/c99bcw
Professor Cotter and Dr Telfer have features in the latest of The Times' series listing Britain's top doctors. Professor Cotter is Chair of Experimental Haematology and Clinical Lead for Molecular Pathology at Barts and the London NHS Trust, Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Haematology and recently appointed President of the British Society of Haematology. Dr Telfer is developing treatments for sickle-cell anaemia and involved in projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bangladesh, as well as acting as an adviser to the Cypriot government on thalassaemia.

William Harvey Research Institute: Professor Atholl Johnston
'Hair tests 'detect sustained drinking''
BBC Radio 4: Today
http://bbc.in/bqvMM6
Hair tests have been typically used as in family courts to determine whether a parent suspected of 'sustained drinking' should be allowed to care for their child, but now a high court judge has cast doubt on the reliability of the test. Commenting on their reliability, Dr Johnston says: "I think it's just one think you have to take into consideration when looking at these cases." He went on: "You're looking for sustained drinking, and it really is a lot of drinking these tests detect, roughly 60g per day, the order of a bottle of wine per day."

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Stephen Duffy

‘Yearly breast check urged for ‘high risk’ women’

The Daily Telegraph p.14

http://bit.ly/9lgX6X

Professor Duffy, one of Britain’s top cancer screening experts, says women with a family history of breast cancer should be offered mammograms before they are 50. This move could save 50 lives a year and offer others peace of mind as some women below 50 still fall into the moderate or high risk group. He said: “It's only a small minority of women who fall into this category but it's worth doing because nowadays people are more and more aware of relatives with cancer and it causes a lot of worry.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:

http://bit.ly/9VOVgz

This story features widely in the media today including:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11780186

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40239414/ns/health-cancer/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/17/eu-med-breast-cancer-testing/

William Harvey Research Institute: Professor Mark Caulfield

‘Simple surgery offers hope to millions with high blood pressure’

The Independent p.14

http://ind.pn/bPfaS8

Millions of people suffering from untreatable high blood pressure have been given fresh hope after a new surgical procedure is to be trialled at universities including Queen Mary. The operation would include deactivating nerves in the kidneys that regulate blood pressure. Professor Caulfield said: “I am delighted that this study has shown substantial falls in blood pressure in patients with severe uncontrolled hypertension on multiple medicines. It offers a novel route to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular risk in people who have exhausted conventional treatment.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:

http://bit.ly/adEmYt

This story has featured widely in the media. Dr Mel Lobo was interviewed on the BBC News Channel about the findings and said this procedure has the potential to save thousands of lives. He said: “To be able to drop somebody's blood pressure by this much as a result of a relatively simple quick procedure is of ground-breaking importance.” Read more here

http://bbc.in/dCunGS

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11764730

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8139513/Operation-to-cure-high-blood-pressure-could-benefits-thousands.html

Sky News

Institute of Health Sciences Education: Professor Trisha Greenhalgh

‘Just one in 750 patients invited to take part sign up to Government's online records programme’

Pulse

http://bit.ly/cfOa7j

A study by researchers at Queen Mary reveals that an online system allowing patients to email their GPs and access their Summary Care Records is largely unwanted. Led by Professor Greenhalgh, the study found that less than 1 per cent of those invited to take part got as far as activating the system in its entirety.  She said: “Unless personal electronic health records align closely with people’s attitudes, self-management practices, identified information needs and the wider care package, the risk that they will be abandoned or not adopted at all is substantial. The findings raise questions about how eHealth programmes in England are developed and approved at policy level.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:

http://bit.ly/aiK3nL

Barts and The London: Professors Finbarr Cotter, Rodney Reznek, Neil Barnes, Nicola Maffulli and Dr Paul Telfer

Britain’s Top Doctors

The Times Magazine (13 November)

http://bit.ly/d2QRqT

Dr Mark Porter introduces a list of Britain’s most celebrated doctors, who are “leaders in their particular field”. Five specialists from Barts and The London feature including Professors Cotter, Reznek, Barnes, Maffulli and Dr Telfer

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:

http://bit.ly/apOwd5

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

'A fair chance for all'

The Guardian (Society) p7

http://bit.ly/dXXrUQ

A pre-medical school work placement scheme aimed at widening-participation in medicine, has been awarded the Guardian Public Service Award 2010 in Innovation and Progress. The Newham Doc Scheme helps students whose social and economic circumstances may have prevented them achieving the required A-Level grades to enter medical school. The students complete four eight-week placements in different hospital departments and attend Barts and the London for problem-based learning modules. David Brindle, the Guardian's Public Services editor, said: "With a new government in place and spending cutbacks at the top of its agenda, never before has it been so important to celebrate and honour the extraordinary contribution that those who deliver our public services make day in, day out.”

Centre of the Cell
‘Prince Edward and Sophie visit Whitechapel education centre’
East London Advertiser
http://bit.ly/fyocHN
The royal couple and East End school pupils visited Centre of the Cell yesterday. The students are using the futuristic, interactive education project as an addition to their science learning. Pupil Shuma Begum, 12, from Mile End’s St Paul’s Way school, said: “I was really excited because we were sitting just a few seats away from them. I was quite nervous though.” The Earl and Countess of Wessex are patrons of the Centre of the Cell.

October 2010 

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Graham McGregor

‘The scone that's as salty as a Big Mac’

Daily Mail (Saturday) p.41

http://bit.ly/dlSiVg

Research by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, reveals that scones and muffins bought in coffee shops contain high levels of salt. The worst offender was a fruit scone from Café Nero, which contains 2.1g salt, or a third of the recommended daily allowance. Lead researcher Professor McGregor said: “It is absurd that a sweet muffin contains more salt than a Bacon and Egg McMuffin. Every gram of salt removed from our diet is estimated to prevent 6,000 deaths each year from heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, creating potential healthcare savings of £1.5billion per year.”

Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer): Hemant Kocher

‘Stroma may provide key to better cancer treatment’

First Science

http://bit.ly/bJKOUq

Scientists at Queen Mary are hoping to develop treatment for pancreatic cancer by targeting scar tissue, known as stoma, surrounding tumours. The project, funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, is being led by Hemant Kocher who will study stoma and its role in tumour growth. He said: “The pancreatic cancer stoma has not, to date, been targeted as a potential route for treatment. The survival rate for pancreatic cancer hasn't improved in around 40 years, and we're hopeful this research will shed greater light on this area.”

William Harvey Research Institute: Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

‘Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure’

Kaumudi Online

http://bit.ly/bJatAB

A team of scientists at Queen Mary, led by Professor Ahluwalia, reveal that the nitrate content of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure. She said: “The investigation was able to demonstrate that the nitrate found in beetroot juice had beneficial effects upon cardiovascular health by increasing the levels of the nitric-oxide in blood.”

 September 2010

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor Karim Brohi
‘Sangart reports positive Phase IIa data for novel oxygen therapeutic agent MP4OX in trauma patients’
Wall St Online
http://bit.ly/cdFMZk
Biopharmaceutical firm Sangart Inc has revealed positive results from its trial that treats severely injured trauma patients with hemorrhagic shock. Commenting on the trial of MP4OX (oxygenated pegylated haemoglobin), Professor Brohi said: “We are excited by the results from this study as they suggest that MP4OX has the potential to improve patient outcomes compared to the current standard of care in trauma.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Dr Catherine Rothon
‘Social class affects white pupils' exam results more than those of ethnic minorities – study’
The Guardian p.4
http://bit.ly/9oM9zl
A study by researchers at Queen Mary and the Institute of Education has revealed a white school pupil’s social class is more likely to determine their academic performance than that of those from an ethnic minority background.  The gap in performance among white pupils is 32 per cent, while for Bangladeshi children the gap is only 7 per cent. The study also found that Chinese pupils from families with routine and manual jobs perform better than white children whose families are from managerial and professional backgrounds.
 
The research features widely in the media including:
http://bit.ly/dl1N7J
The Mirror 

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor Graham Hitman
Panorama
BBC One (Monday)
http://bbc.in/b6v7IF
Professor Hitman was interviewed about diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to a raised risk of heart failure. He said: “There is a small group of patients who are well controlled on the drug and at this moment I wouldn’t like to withdraw the medication. We’ve got to think what we can replace it with. Some of the drugs we want to replace them with don’t always come with a clean bill of health.”

Centre of the Cell
‘Shortlist for Visit London Awards’
Evening Standard
http://bit.ly/aHyZvR
Centre of the Cell, based in the Blizard Building at Whitechapel, has been shortlisted for a Visit London Award in the ‘Best New Tourism Experience’ category. The winners will be announced in December. See the full shortlist here:
http://bit.ly/dvIZKA

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Stephen Stansfeld
Newsnight
BBC Two - Monday
http://bbc.in/a1T15I
Professor Stansfeld was interviewed on Newsnight about the health effects of noise pollution - including on blood pressure and cardiovascular health, and on children's education - reading comprehension and recognition memory. Click on the link above to watch again.

Institute of Health Sciences Education: Professor Nicola Maffulli
‘Antonio Valencia can return to his top speed despite leg break, insists medical expert’
Goal.com
http://bit.ly/b12xOw
Professor Maffulli commented on Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia’s injury sustained whilst playing Glasgow Rangers. Valencia broke his leg and dislocated his ankle, although professor Maffulli is optimistic he can return before the end of the season. He explained: “He will be in a plaster and be non-weight bearing for six weeks after surgery. Then he will need to be rehabilitated to get a good range of motion and strength, and this normally takes another four-to-six weeks. You are looking at least three months before he can do light training. He is a professional and will have the assistance of a whole team around him.”

William Harvey Research Institute: Professor Martin Rothman
‘News & commentary’
Stock Market News
http://bit.ly/ayGwuJ
Professor Rothman is joining Miracor Medical Systems as an advisor focusing on clinical and commercial strategies.

Queen Mary, University of London
‘THE Awards 2010’
Times Higher Education p.12
http://bit.ly/9Iv4GI
Queen Mary has been shortlisted for three Times Higher Education awards. Professor Elizabeth Davenport and Dr Jon Davis are up for ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’, while the College is also shortlisted in ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’ for Professor Jane Wills’s work on the ‘living wage’.

Centre of the Cell
‘Whitechapel science centre nominated for award’
East London Advertiser
http://bit.ly/b7Ogfk
Centre of the Cell has been shortlisted for ‘Best New Tourism Experience’ in the BT Visit London Awards. The Centre, which is celebrating its first anniversary, is the first in the world to be located within a working medical research laboratory.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science: Professor Marco Falasca
‘Protein key to growth of pancreatic cancer’
First Science
http://bit.ly/cImIfH
Scientists at Queen Mary have linked the growth of a protein known as P110γ to pancreatic cancer, Britain’s fifth most common cause of cancer death. The researchers are hoping the discovery may help develop potential treatments for the disease and to enable earlier diagnosis. Lead research professor Falasca said: “It is a striking number of patients who present with high levels of P110γ. The fact that P110γ is needed for pancreatic cancer cells to grow shows that it is likely to have a critical role in the progression of the disease, which makes it a potential target for developing new treatments.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:
http://bit.ly/aiIbBz

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine: Professor Stephen Duffy
‘Mammogram benefit seen for women in their 40s’
New York Times
http://nyti.ms/bNJRf9
Researchers have revealed mammograms reduce breast cancer death rates by 26 per cent for women in their 40s, although the results have been greeted with scepticism. Professor Duffy is one of the authors of the study alongside academics from the Uppsala School of Medicine in Sweden.

 August 2010

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Katharine Jenner

‘Kellogg's pledges to reduce sugar levels in cereal range’

Guardian.co.uk

Kellogg’s has responded to health groups and reduced the amount of salt and sugar in various Coco Pop branded products. Katharine Jenner, Campaign Manager at the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, said “We are pleased to see Kellogg's are responding to consumer demand and have not put so much salt into their new Coco Pops Choc 'N' Roll product. But all their breakfast cereals, not just this one, should be lower in salt.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Dr Kambiz Boomla

‘Firms to bid to run GP consortia if they fail’

Healthcare Republic

Dr Boomla believes some GP-led consortiums are likely to fail once they take over from the role of Primary Care Trusts and this will lead to a number of private acquisitions. He said “It seems odds-on that a number of GP groups will be struggling financially. If you marry that with the explicit pledge that the government will not tolerate failing organisations, groups will be either taken over by neighbouring groups or private organisations.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh

‘NHS patient record leaflet campaign halted’

Channel 4 News

Professor Greenhalgh was interviewed about her report on the Summary Care Record, detailing patient information, which has divided GPs and the British Medical Association (BMA). She said “Sometimes the information is going to be life saving but our analysis suggests those cases are so rare that the amount of infrastructure and effort and resources being put in order to create the potential for accessing that record may or may not be worth the trade off.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Clive Seale
‘Atheist doctors 'more likely to hasten death'’
The Guardian p.2
http://bit.ly/atYRbJ
Researchers at Queen Mary have found that atheist or agnostic doctors are twice as likely to make a decision about ending a person’s life as medics who are deeply religious. Professor Seale, who led the research also found religious doctors might not even discuss such decisions with their patients. He said: “If I were a patient facing end of life care, I would want to know what my doctor's views were on religious matters - whether they are non-religious or religious and whether the doctor felt that would influence them in the kinds of decisions they were looking at.”

Professor Seale’s research is publicised widely in the media today including:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11083891

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/25/news/la-heb-doctors-religion-20100825

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=35&storycode=4126894&c=2

http://www.healthcarerepublic.com/news/1024290/Religious-doctors-less-likely-hasten-death/

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre:
http://bit.ly/bwvxOd

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Janusz Jankowski
‘Throat cancer in men rises sharply’
The Daily Telegraph (Saturday) p.16
http://bit.ly/9R8BwU
The number of throat cancer cases in men has shot up by 50 per cent in 25 years, caused by obesity and bad diets. In the eighties, there were 2,600 cases of oesophageal cancer diagnosed and now this stands at 5,100. Professor Jankowski explains: “We think the obesity epidemic may be a big reason behind the increase. We know that being overweight significantly increases the risk of adenocarcinoma - the main type of oesophageal cancer that’s on the up. Our changing diets are also likely to be influencing the rise with people eating less fruit and vegetables.”

This news story features widely in the media including:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11108218

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38887980/ns/health-cancer/

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/196100/50-rise-in-male-food-pipe-cancer

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Ashley Grossman
‘Is your medicine making you fat?’
Daily Mail p.49
http://bit.ly/bigfjr
This feature looks at a number of medications that have the potential to boost appetite that can lead to weight gains. Steroids are prescribed for conditions including asthma, allergies and arthritis, yet they cause an extra release of sugar into the bloodstream, which is stored as fat and causes fluid retention. Professor Grossman said: “Normally you make steroid hormones yourself, but if by taking these drugs you have excess in the body, you can balloon out.”

 July 2010

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jeremy Coid

Sky News

Professor Coid was interviewed yesterday about the language police will have to use when appealing to suspected armed killer Raoul Moat.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Dr Kambiz Boomla

‘'Hidden agenda' behind NHS reforms?’

BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme

Dr Boomla was commenting yesterday on the proposals to reform the NHS, which will see GPs gain financial control of their services. He said there was a “hidden agenda” behind these proposals and that healthcare provisions could fall into the hands of shareholders, to the detriment of patients.

Dr Boomla has also voiced his concerns for the reform in a comment piece for the Daily Mirror and BBC News website

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Universal flu jab

The vaccine that will protect you against EVERY strain is just years away’

Mail Online

Scientists are developing a universal flu vaccine that would protect against all strains of the virus. Two injections would give up to a decade of protection, while the current vaccination in given annually. Professor Oxford is optimistic about the future of the vaccine, although he still remains cautious. He said “Making a universal flu vaccine would be expensive, but it would allow stockpiles to be built up ahead of a pandemic. But there's a big jump from animals to humans and not every vaccine that works in an animal works for people.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Universal Vaccine That Could Fend Off All Types of Flu on the Anvil’

MedIndia

A team of American researchers have identified a single-shot 'universal' flu vaccine.  John Oxford, Professor of Virology, from the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Britain's leading flu expert, highlighted that they are a respected group and added "They seem to have identified a universal or general antibody that attacks many different types of virus.  This is something that we have been after for a long time but the next stage is crucial."

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Dr Attila Lörincz

'Study from first Latin American Country to implement national HPV testing program shows successful cervical cancer control'

Biovalley Life Sciences Network

A study released today in Cancer Causes & Control demonstrates a new drug that improves the control of the human papillomavirus (HPV), that can cause cervical cancer. "Our paper provides clear evidence for expanding HPV testing more broadly in Mexico and similar countries. As a practical implementation pilot, the study was designed to have the everyday issues and problems faced by clinicians and administrators in a routine clinical setting." said study co-author Dr Lörincz.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

‘Beetroot’s back in fashion with a healthy sales boost’

Daily Mail p.5

Beetroot sales have surged since researchers at Queen Mary revealed its juice can help significantly lower blood pressure. Fresh beetroot sales have shot up by ten per cent as health-conscious consumers look to improve their general wellbeing. The vegetable is one of the richest sources of folic acid, contains vitamins - A, B6 and C and also a variety of powerful antioxidants.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Anthony Mathur

‘Stem cell cure hope for rare heart disease’

The Observer p.16 

Doctors from Queen Mary are studying whether patients with irreversible heart conditions could have their lives prolonged if they had stem cells taken from their leg or hip injected into the defective organ. The investigation with the London Heart Attack Centre could help up to 30,000 sufferers with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Professor Mathur said “We are using stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine to try to improve the heart's function and maybe prolong their lives. These patients have such a poor prognosis, so it's very important for them to be exposed to a potential new therapy that might change the outcome of their condition.”

Wolfson Institute Of Preventive Medicine

Professor Attila Lorincz

‘HPV DNA is Superior to Cytology for Cervical Cancer Screening’

Labmedica

Attila Lorincz, PhD, a professor at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK) said, "The advantage of this new cervical cancer screening approach is that women who are HPV DNA positive can be quickly referred to colposcopy (within one year), thus catching the vast majority of the precancers and cancers. In contrast women who are HPV DNA negative can be safely made subject to much longer screening intervals saving considerable costs for the Mexican health system." The study was published in July 2010 in Cancer Causes & Control.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Saudi homes need good scrubbing, finds study’

Gulf News

The Hygiene Council has found that the dirtiest areas in a typical home in Saudi Arabia are filthier than the global average. The dirtiest areas were revealed as window seals, inside of fridges and kettle handles. The study found that in almost 90 per cent of homes these areas were heavily contaminated. Professor Oxford warned that those areas which appear to be clean to the naked eye could still contain unhealthy mould spores. He said “This means that precautions need to be taken to reduce mould spores just as with other bacteria they might be aware of.”

 June 2010

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘Post-Jamie Oliver, the junk food danger that still lurks at school gates’

Evening Standard (Friday)

A study by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, has revealed that pupils eating takeaway meals for lunch may be consuming their recommended salt intake in one meal. This will re-fuel fears of childhood obesity, despite attempts by Jamie Oliver to encourage healthier eating. Professor MacGregor said “Research shows that children who eat higher-salt diets go on to have higher blood pressure, and are therefore much more likely to have heart attacks and strokes than those who eat less salt. A high-salt diet is also linked with stomach cancer, osteoporosis and obesity.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

‘Tower Hamlets student uncovers ground-breaking cancer research’

East London Advertiser

Queen Mary student Claudio Raimondi has been awarded the Emerging Investigators Poster Prize at the Breast Cancer Campaign research 2010 conference. His prize is for research into a specific molecule that could be used to slow down the growth of breast cancer tumours. He said “It is an exciting area of research and could have significant impact for people with metastatic breast cancer. Further work has to be accomplished in order to collect all the experimental data needed to allow the transition to clinical trials.”

Centre of the Cell

‘The science of inspiring kids’

AV Interactive

Centre of the Cell is helping to inspire young scientists in one of the poorest areas in London and it uses audio and visual technology to spark their interests. Nicola Jagger, who helped with the AV integration, said “Without the AV it wouldn't have responded to the needs of the visitors - it couldn't achieve the learning aims that it does. It certainly wouldn't spark the excitement and interest that it does.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jeremy Coid

BBC News at 10

Professor Coid commented on Derrick Bird, who shot dead 12 people yesterday in Cumbria, arguing that his actions were a reaction to the way he had been treated.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

‘Tower Hamlets student uncovers ground-breaking cancer research’

East London Advertiser

Queen Mary student Claudio Raimondi has been awarded the Emerging Investigators Poster Prize at the Breast Cancer Campaign research 2010 conference. His prize is for research into a specific molecule that could be used to slow down the growth of breast cancer tumours. He said “It is an exciting area of research and could have significant impact for people with metastatic breast cancer. Further work has to be accomplished in order to collect all the experimental data needed to allow the transition to clinical trials.”

Centre of the Cell

‘The science of inspiring kids’

AV Interactive

Centre of the Cell is helping to inspire young scientists in one of the poorest areas in London and it uses audio and visual technology to spark their interests. Nicola Jagger, who helped with the AV integration, said “Without the AV it wouldn't have responded to the needs of the visitors - it couldn't achieve the learning aims that it does. It certainly wouldn't spark the excitement and interest that it does.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jeremy Coid

BBC News at 10 

Professor Coid commented on Derrick Bird, who shot dead 12 people yesterday in Cumbria, arguing that his actions were a reaction to the way he had been treated.

Centre of the Cell

‘Pro AV, Architect and InfoComm International Announce 16 Winners of the Third Annual PRO AV Spotlight Awards’

Yahoo Finance

An international audio and visual prize has been awarded to Centre of the Cell in the category of Best Entertainment Project. The technology is provided by multimedia company D J Willrich Ltd.

Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Fran Balkwill

‘Making cancer history’

Times Online

Professor Balkwill will be on the Eureka Live panel at the Cheltenham Science Festival to discuss the next decade of cancer care.

See below for more information:
Cheltenham Festivals

Warden's Office (School of Medicine and Dentistry)

Professor Ajay Kakkar

‘Ajay Kakkar addresses House of Lords for the first time’

ArticleAnt.com

Professor Kakkar made his first speech at the House of Lords and spoke of his affection for the NHS, which brought murmurs of approval from the Lords Chamber. He said “So much has been achieved yet there is so much more we need to do if we are going to retain a sustainable NHS for the benefit of all. The nation’s continuing commitment to the NHS offers both opportunities and important challenges to the medical profession.”

Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine

Dr Peter Malliaras

‘The perfect penalty and other science behind winning the World Cup’

Daily Telegraph

An expert in treating football injuries, Dr Malliaras spoke at a press conference on Monday at the Science Media Centre, alongside  researchers studying the psychology of goal scoring, soccer-ball engineering and sports physiology. He corrected a common assumption that there is a rising rate in metatarsal injuries - the bane of England players in recent tournaments - and talked about a possible link between boot weight and injuries, "There is no evidence linking the boots with injuries. In fact injuries per match peaked in the 2002 World Cup at 2.7 per match and dropped back again to 2.3 per match in 2006."

This news story also features in the Times Higher Education today.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Dr Klaus Schmierer

‘Doubts over vein blockages in people with MS’

HealthCanal.com

Research by a team of scientists at Queen Mary casts doubt over previous claims that blockages in veins play a significant role in MS. The study, in conjunction with University Hospital Charité in Berlin, had very different outcomes from the original research, with only one person out of 76 having abnormal blood flow. Dr Schmierer said “Although some people have tried interventional procedures to ‘unblock veins’ we would strongly advise against this until further investigations into CCSVI and its possible role in MS are conducted.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre http //www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/30597.html

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Karim Brohi

‘Cheap drug could save tens of thousands’

MSNBC

Researchers have found that a drug to stop bleeding in fresh injuries could help to saves thousands of lives around the world. Tranexamic acid, or TXA, increased survival rates from haemorrhaging by 15 per cent and also protects against organ failure and head injuries. Professor Brohi said “This is not just something for developing countries. We could probably use tranexamic acid on a daily basis.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor David Rampton

‘Living with bowel disease 'as bad' as life with cancer’

Irish Times

Those who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) lead just as poor lives as individuals suffering from cancer. Professor Rampton told delegates at an event in Cork that patients and doctors should be addressing the causes of the incurable condition that affects the digestive system. He said “There are some factors we can’t change like the patient’s diagnosis, age, gender and personality, but there are other causes of poor quality of life in patients with IBD that can be addressed such as fatigue, anaemia, drug side effects and quality of medical treatment.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh

‘Patients in the dark as files are put online’

The Daily Telegraph p.1

As the confidential information of millions of patients is uploaded to a new database called the Summary Care Record, a report warns that people remain unaware of this development because they ignore notification letters sent to them. Professor Greenhalgh led the evaluation of the scheme and has warned up to eight out of nine people will not have given their consent. She said “This research shows that the significant benefits anticipated for these programmes have, by and large, yet to be realised - and that they may be achieved only at high cost and enormous effort.”

This story also features on the Mail Online

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Dr Anne Cushing

‘Playing sick to teach doctors’

BBC News website

A BBC medical drama series interviews Queen Mary medical students and actors about medical role play, which is used to test communications skills of trainee doctors. Commenting on the actors, Dr Cushing said “It is important they play at the same level, that they are consistent for each student. They need to act as real people and not show off or over perform. It is no good for medical students to know or watch a procedure - they need to try it out.” A video featuring the students and actors is available on the link above.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘Salt warning on barbecue meals’

Yorkshire Evening Post

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, warns a typical barbecue meal could contain double the recommended daily salt intake. Foods including burgers, sausages, crisps, sauces and dips can help push the recommended intake over 6 grams, although some supermarkets offer healthier options. Professor MacGregor said “The fact that some manufacturers can keep the salt content right down in these foods highlights how unnecessary it is for the rest to have such a high salt content.”

Read the Cash media release here

Queen Mary BioEnterprises

‘Scientists to find cure for cold in Queen Mary University centre’

East London Advertiser

Leading research into the common cold and flu viruses will now take place in Queen Mary’s BioEnterprises Innovation Centre. Retroscreen Virology is re-locating to the Centre in Whitechapel and is the first main tenant in the building.

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre

http //www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/30664.html

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Peter Hajek

‘Quitting smoking may stub out stress’

MSNBC

A study by researchers at Queen Mary shows that once a smoker quits, then their stress levels may go down. The findings, which tested 469 smokers, will be a relief to those worried that they will be without a stress-reliever once they have quit. Lead researcher Professor Hajek said “When dependent smokers cannot smoke, as the period without cigarettes lengthens they tend to feel more and more edgy, irritable and uncomfortable. A cigarette relieves this stressful state, and this is probably the main reason smokers think that smoking relieves stress.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen’

E! Science News

A new study shows that women taking tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer who develop blood clots were more likely to carry a gene to encourage clotting. Professor Cuzick was enthusiastic about the study, which differs from previous research. He said “Continued follow-up and research on the relationship between the FVL mutation and tamoxifen, especially in the prevention setting, will be the only way to clarify these apparently contradictory settings.”

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Ron Cutler

‘The germ breeders’

Daily Mail - Good Health p.53

Stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, including the legionella bug, so diseases can spread through everyday objects such as windscreen wash bottles, hand dryers, shower heads, sandpits and even religious communion cups. Dr Cutler says “I would advise anyone to run their shower for 30 seconds before exposing themselves to any stagnant water… Uncovered sandpits are a real health hazard because of roaming cats defecating in them. Sandpits trap water and contain plenty of air and other matter which bacteria and other harmful parasites need to survive and multiply.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre

http //www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/30250.html

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh

'Government plans new model for Summary Care Record’

Pulse

The Summary Care Record is set to be reformed after research, led by Professor Greenhalgh, revealed the scheme is riddled with problems. She said “I cannot see how they are going to solve the problems we have found. The whole idea of a shared summary record sitting on a shared database is problematic. If the Government ignores this report it will be a disgrace. If we’d found out there were real benefits to health, that it saved lives, them maybe we’d think it was worth it. But it hasn’t.”  

Queen Mary, University of London

‘Lord Brain Memorial Lecture is launched in recognizing outstanding contribution to neuroscience’

Bio-Medicine

Professor Andrew Lees, from UCL, is the first recipient of the Lord Brain Memorial Medal and was presented with the prize following his inaugural lecture at Barts and The London Medical School on Thursday.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

‘Beetroot juice, an unbeatable boost for the heart’

Daily Mail p.3

Drinking beetroot juice can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes as it contains the chemical nitrate, which dramatically lowers blood pressure. The study, led by researchers at Queen Mary, found that those drinking a glass of beetroot juice a day had a significantly lower blood pressure just 24 hours later. Lead author Professor Ahluwalia said “We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure.”

This news story features widely in the media today including : BBC News, Times of India, WebMD.

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre

http //www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/31048.html

 May 2010

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Trish Greenhalgh

‘Appointments’ - Times Higher Education p.23

Trish Greenhalgh has been appointed Professor of Primary Care at Queen Mary “because of its very strong links to the local community, its organisation and its delivery of health services”, she says. Professor Greenhalgh comes from UCL and will help to set up the Healthcare Innovation and Policy Unit at an important time when “lots of research now doesn't get done in ivory towers, it gets done in the community”.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Adrian Clark

'Growth hormone stopped the bullying'

BBC News website

Hayley Cowan was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency when she was 14, but after being treated by Queen Mary scientists, she has now grown four inches. Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry have launched an appeal to help fund the child research centre, which has helped teenagers including Hayley. Professor Clark said “New research is urgently needed to increase our understanding of these serious health problems as, if they are not treated early, they can cause even greater difficulties in later life.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre

http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/28650.html

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Graham Foster

‘Screen high-risk visitors for hepatitis’

The Times p.24

Various academics have written to

The Times

warning about hepatitis B and C, including Professor Foster. They call for greater global awareness for the disease, which is just as necessary in the UK “We call upon the Department of Health to implement a screening programme for people from high-risk countries to identify those who need treatment at a stage when it is still cost-effective.”

Centre of the Cell

‘Queen Mary's science centre wins top award’

East London Advertiser

The new science centre in east London has been awarded with a museum ‘Oscar’. Queen Mary’s Centre of the Cell won Educational Initiative award at the 2010 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence. Centre director Professor Fran Balkwill said “It is incredibly exciting to gain this recognition. We seek to have a positive influence on the lives of the young people we work with.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre

http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/29276.html

William Harvey Research Institute

Centre for Clinical Pharmacology

East London Advertiser

Beetroot juice could be the key to beating high blood pressure, according to experts at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Scientists at the new Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit are investigating how drinking beetroot juice on a daily basis could lower blood pressure levels and therefore reduce the risks of heart disease. Professor Amrita Ahluwalia who is leading the trial said it is the chemical nitrate which is found in the juice and in green, leafy vegetables, that is the key ingredient. "When the healthy volunteers drank the beetroot juice their blood pressure lowered immediately, so it should be fantastic for someone with high blood pressure."

Institute of Dentistry

Professor Raymond Croucher

‘Tobacco chewing causing cancer among Tower Hamlets women’

East London Advertiser

NHS Tower Hamlets has revealed that Bangladeshi women are more likely to suffer from oral cancer than white women because they chew tobacco. Professor Croucher said “Evidence shows that smokeless tobacco users in South Asia have a two and a half time greater risk of developing oral pre-cancer and cancer.”

 January 2010

William Harvey Research Institute

Dr David Collier

‘One-hour cure for high blood pressure’

The Daily Telegraph (26 December) p.1/4

Scientists have developed a new technique that could effectively cure high blood pressure, offering hope to thousands of sufferers in the UK. The simple procedure, which is carried out cheaply on the NHS in under an hour, could help to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes by up to a half. Dr David Collier said “This procedure can bring patients within the normal blood pressure range and may enable some to come off their medication. It is the equivalent of them taking two types of drugs. They could be considered cured, at least in the medium-term and we hope long-term.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Stephen Bustin

‘Scientists develop cheap, rapid test to tackle bug deadlier than MRSA’

The Guardian (2 January) p.5

Scientists from Queen Mary have developed a new test for clostridium difficile, which accounts for 40 per cent or 6,000 deaths a year caused by infection. The new test is fast, cheap and trustworthy but the NHS will not be funding its development so the team is now looking for commercial partners. Professor Bustin said “It will give us a clearer idea of how much C difficile is out there. It is one of the great killers in our hospitals. It's nonsense that the death rate should continue at the current levels.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu’

The Observer Magazine (27 December) p.24

In a review of 2009, Professor Oxford writes about the outbreak of swine flu.  He said “My greatest fear is that the virus will mutate next year, to enable it to infect older people. If it does, then the death rate next year will be much worse than this, perhaps even as high as the winter of 1999-2000.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Adrian Newland

New Year honours list

Guardian.co.uk

Professor Newland was awarded with an Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to medicine.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Silvia Marino

‘Kids' brain cancer can arise from stem cells’

The Times of India

A new study by researchers at Queen Mary has shed light on one of the most common forms of children’s brain tumours. Scientists studied the equivalent cells from mice brains and found that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell, which could call for a completely new form of treatment. Speaking about this research, lead investigator Professor Marino commented “It could help us to tell which cancers will respond well to treatment and which will need a more aggressive therapy.

Centre of the Cell

‘The Royal Institution must be saved’

The Daily Telegraph p.22

In a comment piece, Professor Colin Blakemore writes that the Royal Institution (Ri) represents a melting pot of science and public engagement. Since Sir Walter Bodmer’s 1985 report that recommended increased efforts to publicise science, the Ri and other organisations including the Royal Society have successfully communicated a range of scientific research, organisations, centres and debate. Professor Blakemore says:

“Even the idea of putting public science centres in the heart of active research labs is all the vogue. The new Centre of the Cell…has won plaudits for its novel approach to the communication of science.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu taskforce's links to vaccine giant

More than half the experts fighting the 'pandemic' have ties to drug firms’

Daily Mail

Just days after a health expert branded swine flu a “false pandemic” fuelled by drug companies, it has emerged over 50 per cent of scientists on the swine flu advisory taskforce have links to the pharmaceutical industry. Leading flu expert Professor John Oxford said it was right to have people with different types of experience. He said:

“If you are giving advice about vaccines or anti-viral drugs, you can't sit in your ivory tower and think you know everything about it.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Jonathan Grigg

Traffic fumes increase the risks of child pneumonia

The Observer p.5

A new study shows that children who live close to main roads are at an increased risk of catching pneumonia, due to the pollution damaging their lungs. Professor Grigg found that those living within 100 metres of a main road were 65 per cent more likely to suffer from pneumonia, where previously the complications were linked to conditions including asthma and wheezing. “These findings strongly suggest that particles pollution is a major factor in making children vulnerable to pneumonia. We've shown a very firm link between the two,” he said.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Dr Peter Sasieni

‘Weaker wine 'may lower the risk of some cancers'’

BBC News online

The World Cancer Research Fund says swapping a glass of wine to a weaker alternative will reduce the risks of several cancers. The charity said some might benefit from drinking a wine with an alcohol content of 10 per cent as opposed to 14 per cent. Dr Sasieni said it was a good idea for people to opt for wine with lower alcohol contents. He said “Given that alcohol can be bad for you even in fairly low amounts, that would start to suggest that people should take note of the percentage of alcohol in their wine.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Adrian Newland

‘Tennis rival saved my life’

Daily Express p.31

Tennis player Jamie Baker discovered he was suffering from a rare blood infection called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) whilst on tour in Mexico. Commenting on the potential life threatening condition, Professor Newland said “The symptoms of ITP include spontaneous bruising, which can be very alarming. It is a serious condition that can be fatal.”

‘Fast track test can spot early signs of pancreatic cancer’

Daily Mail p.44

Scientists at Queen Mary have developed a reliable urine test that will be able to tell in two hours if a patient has pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer has one of the highest death rates in the UK because it is so hard to detect. The test can detect higher protein levels and will help to increase survival rates by 30 per cent.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Vaccine will ‘cut cervical cancer rates by two thirds’’

The Daily Telegraph p.4

Scientists have predicted that the vaccine for cervical cancer will help to reduce the number of women under 30 developing the disease by two thirds within 15 years. By 2025 experts say the number of cases will have dropped by 63 per cent as eight out of ten girls are now receiving the vaccine. Professor Cuzick said “Our predictions are really encouraging. If girls continue to take up the vaccine, thousands in the future could be prevented from developing cervical cancer and many more would avoid treatment to remove abnormal precancerous cells.”

This story also appears in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘New drugs cut pain and the risk of relapse for MS victims’

The Daily Telegraph p.13

Researchers at Queen Mary have found that a new pill to treat multiple sclerosis could dramatically reduce the chance of returning symptoms. Two new treatments could save sufferers having to face painful injections and frequent hospital visits. Professor Giovannoni worked on the Cladribine study and said “We think ours has the advantage because it only has to be taken a few times a year – instead of every day which is the case with fingolimod. Cladribine will make a major difference to people with MS and we hope it will be available to patients by the summer.”

This story features widely in the media today including the Financial Times, Times Online and on Bloomberg.

 February 2010

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Katharine Jenner

‘Most unaware of salt risks – study’

Virgin Media News

A survey conducted by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, has found that nine out of ten people acknowledge salt can affect their health but do understand the specific risks. “It is not surprising people are reluctant to reduce salt in their diets when they think eating too much salt will not affect them, however the problems of eating the current high amount of salt could affect anyone,” said Cash campaign manager and nutritionist Katharine Jenner.

Institute of Dentistry

Dr Paul Anderson

‘Chemistry bites’

Chemistry World

A range of new dental techniques and damage preventions are being introduced to dental surgeries because of advanced developments in chemistry. Dr Anderson is interested in how saliva helps to protect against acidic erosion of the teeth. He said

“If you replicate the conditions of acid attack on tooth enamel in the test tube, and coat the enamel with statherin the dissolution rate drops by about half. We are working with colleagues in the US to try to understand the mechanism for this.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘MS sufferers hear about the latest research in the East End’

East London Advertiser

A conference organised by academics at Queen Mary showcased some of the revolutionary research taking place in the battle against multiple sclerosis. Patients and their families from the local area attended the event in Whitechapel, that included researchers discussing various trials and studies to improve the treatment of the disease. Professor Giovannoni said “Those with MS do not really have a forum for engaging with others while they are taking part in the research. But the conference on Saturday was a way of communicating with them and keeping them up to date on the latest research.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Jonathan Grigg

‘When kids wheeze, steroids don't help’

The Vancouver Sun

A team of scientists have found that steroids prescribed to children who wheeze are ineffective. The study conducted by Professor Grigg and his colleagues found that children given the steroids stayed in hospital for the same duration as those on placebo drugs. “Most kids at home or presenting to their doctor with moderate wheezing that doesn't require many days in the hospital, steroids are not going to be of any benefit,” said Professor Grigg.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Was swine flu ever a real threat?’

Telegraph.co.uk

Drug companies have benefitted from the outbreak of swine flu through Tamiflu sales and vaccines, however some conspiracy theorists are accusing the World Health Organisation (WHO) of faking the pandemic, arguing the body is overly influenced by industry. The original stockpiles of Tamiflu were brought in for bird flu and Professor Oxford explained “The concern was that if bird flu suddenly went pandemic, it could trigger mortality on a massive scale. The last thing anyone was expecting at that point was a pig virus from Mexico.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Karim Brohi

‘NHS trauma services in England 'not good enough'’

BBC News website

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that hundreds of trauma patients are dying due to poor care. The study shows that death rates are 30 per cent higher in the UK compared to the US and the NAO argues that services for the patients have barely improved over two decades. Death rates at the Royal London hospital have fallen by 50 per cent because of an improved coordination among ambulance and hospital services. Consultant surgeon, Professor Brohi, said “I think there's very good evidence now that if we carry on as we are, with the sickest people in the hospital being looked after by the most junior doctors, you get poor outcomes.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/24598.html

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor A J Kakkar

‘Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson nominated as 'people's peer'’

BBC News Online

Professor Ajay Kakkar, an expert in the treatment and prevention of blood clots at Barts and The London Medical School, is set to join the House of Lords. He will be one of four new cross-bench peers recommended to the Prime Minister by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The others are Design Council chair, executive director of the Institute for Government and former Whitehall mandarin Sir Michael Bichard, Royal Opera House chief executive and former BBC journalist Tony Hall, and Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson.

More information available on the Queen Mary Media Centre http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/24607.html

Centre of the Cell

‘East End science centre to be open for half-term’

East London Advertiser

Families are being given the chance to have a look around the East End's unique new science centre during the half-term holiday. The Centre of the Cell is opening its doors from Monday February 15 to Friday February 19 when families can book a slot for a free session and learn more about the science of cells. Visitors can book a slot by visiting www.centreofthecell.org

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘Most unaware of salt risks – study’

Yahoo News UK

More than nine out of 10 people accept too much salt can damage their health but most do not realise what the risks are, according to new research. The survey was carried out for the charity Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), formed by a group of specialists concerned about the potential effects of salt on health, to mark National Salt Awareness Week which is under way. Cash chairman Professor Graham MacGregor, a cardiovascular medicine expert at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine said "The unnecessarily high amount of salt we eat leads to stroke and heart disease, and there is increasing evidence that salt intake is linked to stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and kidney stones and kidney disease.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Dr Sally Hull

and

Dr Kambiz Boomla

'New vitamin D preparations needed'

British Medical Journal

Drs Sally Hull and Kambiz Boomla have written to the BMJ to highlight the plight of vitamin D deficiencies in the socially deprived - commonly associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They write that the ethnically diverse inner city population has much higher insufficiency rates than the 50% UK average and the NHS needs a coherent public health response including the reintroduction of free vitamin drops for children and mothers; food supplementation; and production of suitable and palatable vitamin D preparations.

Centre of the Cell

‘You can work for nothing, but it'll cost you’

The Times – Times2 p1-3

Charity auctions have started to offer work placements for young people at high-profile organisations including media outlets and popular retailers. Some argue this is favouring those from middle class backgrounds who can afford to give their children valuable experiences that will assist them on the career ladder. The government is also investing in schemes to help disadvantaged young people with career advice and providing them with opportunities. One project includes Centre of the Cell, which inspires young people to take up a career in science.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Nicola Maffulli

‘The magic wand that cured my tennis elbow - without the need for surgery’

Mail Online

A pioneering new treatment called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) can help sufferers with tennis elbow to overcome the condition. The wand is used to emit shockwaves to the affected area and this can trigger the healing process almost instantly. Permanent results can be achieved six to twelve weeks after the final treatment, leaving patients able to get on with their normal activities. Professor Maffulli is currently assessing this new technology and says it is very useful when treating chronic injuries. “While this isn't a short-term fix like steroids, it offers a long-term cure and is a much better alternative to surgery as it is non-invasive and you are left with no scar,” he said.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Clive Seale

The Report BBC Radio 4

Professor Seale discusses his research on the use of sedation in UK medical practice in this programme about assisted suicide.

Dr Chris Gallagher

‘New treatment targets ovarian cancer’

Evening Standard

The lives of hundreds of women suffering from ovarian cancer could be saved by a new method of injecting chemotherapy into the womb, which is being trialled by scientists at Queen Mary. The research is in conjunction with Canadian scientists and it is hoped survival rates will increase by 20 per cent. Dr Gallagher said

“By giving the treatment directly into the area where the cancer is located we have the potential to expose the tumour to much higher concentrations of the drug.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘Our fight for the sunshine vitamin that prevents MS’

Daily Express (Tuesday) p.37

A campaign has been launched by the MS Society to highlight the benefit vitamin D has for sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers found that the disease was more prevalent further from the equator, particularly in Scotland, and now they are linking this to the exposure to the vitamin D created through sunshine. Professor Giovannoni said

“The incidence of the disease has been increasing over the past few decades, particularly in women. It’s no coincidence that this has happened at the same time women have begun to avoid the sun and that sunblock has been put in make-up products.”

Queen Mary, University of London

‘East End experts to lead the way in cancer research’

East London Advertiser

Scientists and medics in East London will be able to improve their research after the new Barts Cancer Research UK Centre opened this week. The centre has received £2m funding from Cancer Research UK and will specialise in pancreatic, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer as well as leukaemia and lymphoma.

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/25666.html

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘The cartons of soup with as much salt as 16 bags of crisps’

Daily Mail p.34

Popular soups served in takeaway shops and in supermarkets are overdosing customers with extremely high levels of salt. Many have relied on soup through the freezing temperatures and Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) has revealed some portions contain more than the recommended daily salt intake. Professor MacGregor said “It is the very high levels of salt that are put in our food that leads to thousands of unnecessary stroke and heart deaths. Furthermore there is increasing evidence that salt intake is linked to stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and kidney stones and kidney disease.”

This story features widely across the media today including BBC News, Metro, Daily Mirror and the Express.

Centre of the Cell

‘Awards double for Hants multimedia AV experts’

Southern Daily Echo

An audio-visual company based in Hampshire has won a brace of awards including one for their work on Centre of the Cell. DJ Willrich Ltd won the award in the education category at the EMEA Project InAVation Awards.

 April 2010

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

‘Common copy number variations unlikely to contribute significantly towards common diseases’

Health Canal

Scientists from Queen Mary studying conditions including diabetes, heart disease and bipolar disorder have found that commonly occurring copy number variations are unlikely to play a major role in the diseases. Professor Mark Caulfield said

"The ability of the UK to be the first in the world to do an experiment of this scale is a testament to vision of the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK who funded creation of the cohorts and this ambitious experiment.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Steven Duffy

‘On the Agenda - Breast screening proves its worth’

PR Week

Professor Duffy’s research on breast cancer screening, which shows two lives are saved for each patient treated unnecessarily, generated widespread media coverage. The research appeared in outlets including: BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and Sky News.

Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer))

Dr Dan Berney, Honorary Reader in Histopathology

was interviewed by Sky News and BBC Breakfast over the weekend on the inherited link to prostate cancer. He was raising awareness about the genetic connection as part of a fundraising week for cancer charity Orchid.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology

Dr Thomas Vulliamy

BBC1

Dr Vulliamy, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology, appeared on BBC1’s Bang Goes the Theory programme.

He talked about telomeres - a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration - with the show’s presenters. An extended version of the chat is on the website www.bbc.co.uk/bang/

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Chris Griffiths & Dr Adrian Martineau

Case Notes

BBC Radio 4

Professor Griffiths and Dr Martineau commented on the health benefits of Vitamin D on Tuesday evening's Case Notes.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Atholl Johnston

‘Generic drug switch 'may cost more'’

Pulse

Plans for pharmacies to change medicine from branded items to generic treatments may increase costs rather than reduce them, according to a study led by Professor Johnston. The research focused on hypertension and found that additional clinical visits and tests could make treatments more expensive than traditionally prescribed drugs. Professor Johnston said “The general perception among physicians is that an approved generic is identical to the branded original. However, for marketing approval a generic only needs to demonstrate equivalent average pharmacokinetic properties, not safety or equivalent efficacy.”  

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Jury still out on swine flu handling a year on’

Independent online

Experts are calling the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) decision to brand swine flu as a pandemic last year as over-dramatic, tainted by commercial benefits. Professor Oxford has defended the actions of the WHO and said “A lot of the criticism is political. I've not heard criticism from any virologist.”

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Peter Vanezis

‘Forensics' evidence could be bruised’

Physorg

Research conducted by scientists at Queen Mary has revealed determining the age of bruising on victims through photographs could be flawed. The study, conducted by Professor Vanezis and medical student Margaret Pilling found significant errors have been made when using photographs. Professor Vanezis said “Forensics are often asked to give their expert opinion as to when bruising had occurred on a victim based on photographic images, yet we now realise they can’t accurately determine when the bruise occurred.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘HPV test improves cancer detection’

The Scotsman

Queen Mary scientists have found that gaps between cervical cancer checks could be extended to five years for women over 30 if human papillomavirus (HPV) tests are used in screening. The disease affects up to 2,800 women a year and is one of the few cancers that can be detected in its pre-cancerous stages. Lead author professor Jack Cuzick said “Using HPV testing as the primary screening method for cervical cancer would not only mean women could be screened less often but it would also mean efficiency savings for the NHS.”

This story appears widely in the media today including:

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘Too much salt in your curry?’

GMTV

Curry is one of the most popular dishes in the UK, however new findings by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) show some dishes contain dangerous amounts of salt. The survey reveals supermarket curries and those from a takeaway contain very high levels of salt, plus the extra items such as naan bread and chutney can double the intake. Professor MacGregor said “The shockingly high levels of salt in many of these products mean that many people in the UK are consuming huge amounts of salt when they enjoy a curry.   We urge all these manufacturers and providers to reduce their salt content immediately.”

This story features widely in the media today including

 March 2010

Queen Mary, University of London

Dr Chris Gallagher

‘Can new 'super chemotherapy' conquer ovarian cancer?’

Daily Mail p.44

A revolutionary new technique of delivering chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer that is up to 1,000 times stronger is offering new hopes to those suffering from the disease. The drugs, which go straight into the abdomen via a catheter instead of through the bloodstream, are being trialled by scientists at Queen Mary. Dr Gallagher said “By giving the treatment directly into the area where the cancer is located, we have the potential to expose the tumour to much higher concentrations of the drug.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Bone pills 'may cut breast cancer risk'’

Daily Express p.7

New research reveals that women who take drugs to prevent osteoporosis may reduce their chance of developing breast cancer by up to 40 per cent. Those taking the drug bisphosphonates saw their risk plummet after two years say researchers at Cancer Research UK. Professor Cuzick said “These findings now need to be confirmed with direct random prevention trials in high-risk women.”

Queen Mary, University of London

‘The Dispossessed

I see undernourished children with bloated stomachs... like in Africa’

Evening Standard

East End GP Dr Sam Everington says the health of the local children is so poor from malnutrition that it resembles the wellbeing of those in Zimbabwe. His patients, who live within sight of the luxuries of Canary Wharf, are plighted with tuberculosis and vitamin D deficiency. Studies at Queen Mary have found that the population of Tower Hamlets are increasingly prone to heart disease, stomach and bowel cancer and other respiratory problems such as asthma.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Karim Brohi

‘How trauma leads to inflammatory response

mitochondria may be at root of dangerous complications from injury’

Science Daily

Researchers have learnt more about how and why physical injury can lead to a dangerous inflammatory response. The study led by investigators including Professor Brohi, reveals that the body releases mitochondria into the bloodstream that fights against the immune system.

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Roger Corder

‘Take all that healthy eating advice with a pinch of salt’

The Scotsman

We are constantly being told to improve our lifestyle by reducing alcohol, intake, fatty foods and salt from our diets, although there are still a few ways to indulge. Research by scientists at Queen Mary shows that red wine can help to interfere with the clogging of arteries. There are also a number of other studies from around the world that reveal chocolate and coffee can also help to combat the risk of a stroke and heart disease.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Peter Hamlyn

‘Women's boxing at the London 2012 Olympics

raging belle’

Telegraph.co.uk

Women’s boxing will be recognised as an Olympic sport for the first time at the London 2012 games and Britain’s two-time and current amateur lightweight Katie Taylor is aiming for a gold medal. Many have criticised the introduction of the event to the Olympics although Hamlyn says it is no more dangerous than male boxing. He said “The medical risks associated with women boxing aren’t any more serious than for men. There are no medical statistics to say female boxing is not as safe, and I can’t see a physiological reason why it would be more dangerous.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Stephen Duffy

‘Home cervical cancer testing kit boosts diagnosis’

BBC News website

New research from the Netherlands has found that at-home cervical cancer screening tests could help to identify other strands of the disease. The kits could help double the number of women diagnosed with the HPV virus as there are known to be more than 100 types. Professor Duffy said “While it's important for women to attend cervical screening appointments, some find it difficult to do so for cultural or other reasons. For these women, self-sampling for HPV may be an option. Its acceptability and effectiveness are currently being researched here in the UK.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Sir Nicholas Wald and Dr David Wald

‘Energy firm npower gives its workers daily 'cure all' pills - before they fall ill’

The Mail on Sunday p.10

Energy firm npower is offering a drug to its healthy employees that is used to combat heart disease and strokes. The ‘polypill’ is a combination of several drugs, normally prescribed to people diagnosed with high blood pressure. Professor Wald and his son Dr Wald developed the drug in 2006 and last year a successful pilot at the energy business led to more than 100 workers being prescribed the medication. Professor Wald said “If a worker suffers a heart attack it is not only a tragedy for that person and his family, it is also a tragedy for the company who trains and employs him. This project is an attempt to see if preventative medication can be used for occupational health purposes.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘World Cup fans urged to get swine flu vaccine’

BBC News website

The Department of Health is urging football fans travelling to South Africa for the World Cup to be vaccinated against swine flu. New cases of the virus are at low levels in the UK although the flu season is about to begin in the southern hemisphere. Professor Oxford said “At this precise moment the World Health Organization is worried about the African subcontinent - it looks like a potential hotspot. Everybody going to the World Cup, especially young people, would be well advised to have a dose of this vaccine.”

William Harvey Research Institute

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

‘Beetroot juice is the best BP buster’

One India

Researchers at Queen Mary have found that beetroot juice can help to fight against hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Led by Professor Ahluwalia, the study discovered drinking just 500ml of juice every day can considerably reduce blood pressure. She said “Our research suggests that drinking beetroot juice, or consuming other nitrate-rich vegetables, might be a simple way to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Setback for cervical cancer test hopes’

BBC News website

A study funded by the Medical Research Council has found that testing for HPV during cervical screening does not help to identity women at risk from cancer. A positive test does not reveal which women require urgent follow-up screenings, although other studies have shown they can help to expose abnormalities. Professor Cuzick said “The results of this study are surprising, as they're very much out of line with most other studies in the field. One thing to note is that the type of test used isn't commercially available, so we need to be careful when considering these results in the context of our national screening programme.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Jonathan Grigg

BBC London News

Professor Grigg was speaking about air pollution in London after a report by MPs claimed it caused too many early deaths. He said it can lead to many complications including asthma and infection.

Warden's Office (School of Medicine and Dentistry)

Professor Ajay Kakkar

‘'People's' peers take their seats in Lords’

The Scotsman

Professor Kakkar took his seat at the House of Lords yesterday, having been made a “people’s peer” alongside Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall last month.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Stephen Duffy

‘Breast cancer screening may not cut deaths’

The Herald Scotland

Researchers in Denmark have warned breast cancer screening has no impact on death rates from the disease. They found few differences from women who were screened and those who were not regarding its death rate. Professor Duffy criticised the research and said “This study’s methods don’t produce an accurate representation of the benefits and harms of breast screening. For example, it doesn’t directly compare death rate before and after the screening programme was introduced.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Experts debate merits of breast cancer screening, mammograms’

USA Today

Experts have been discussing the implementation of breast screening programmes across Europe and how to target only those that need to be checked. Doctors argue mammograms are the best detection for breast cancer although up to a third of women tested found to have the disease, do not require biopsies or drugs. Scaling back screenings could increase the risk of those who are in need of urgent treatment. Professor Cuzick estimated that for every one death prevented, one woman is over-treated. He said “We need more targeted screening to identify women who can really benefit from it.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Dr Barbara Boucher

‘Top up Vitamin D in the sun or pop a supplement, say researchers’

Times Online

Scientists say Britons should not shy away from the sunshine and ought to take regular vitamin D supplements to address their deficient levels, especially those in northern parts and in Scotland. Dr Boucher says taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day would cause no harm but she has criticised the cost of the pills. She added that skin cancer has also triggered the deficiency over concerns of spending too long in the sun. “You’ve not to be afraid of time in the sun. Some people think five minutes in the sun will put ten or twenty years on their appearance and will give you ten melanomas. It isn’t quite like that,” she said.

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Ron Cutler

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Why hand gel is a waste of money’

Daily Mail p.42 

Sales of hand gels soared last year after the outbreak of swine flu although a recent study found they kill at best 60 per cent of germs and at worst just 46 per cent. Dr Cutler said “Like many cleaning agents, most hand gels will be less effective in the presence of protein matter, such as food, mud, faecal matter or blood.” Professor Oxford said “Norovirus is a very difficult bug to get rid of and non-alcohol gels won't work against it either - little will. The alcohol ones do work and certainly work against things like swine flu.”

Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine

Professor Stephen Duffy

‘Benefits of breast cancer screening outweigh the harms, study shows’

The Times , p16

Breast cancer screening saves the lives of two women for every one who receives potentially unnecessary treatment, a study of 80,000 women has concluded. Stephen Duffy, who led the research, said “This shows that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet got a flawless screening test, and some cases that are picked up wouldn’t have needed treatment. But for every case like this, screening saves two women who would have otherwise died from breast cancer.”

This story featured widely in the national media, including

BBC Breakfast News; Sky News and the Daily Mirror

 February 2010

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Katharine Jenner

‘Most unaware of salt risks – study’

Virgin Media News

A survey conducted by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), based at Queen Mary, has found that nine out of ten people acknowledge salt can affect their health but do understand the specific risks. “It is not surprising people are reluctant to reduce salt in their diets when they think eating too much salt will not affect them, however the problems of eating the current high amount of salt could affect anyone,” said Cash campaign manager and nutritionist Katharine Jenner.

Institute of Dentistry

Dr Paul Anderson

‘Chemistry bites’

Chemistry World

A range of new dental techniques and damage preventions are being introduced to dental surgeries because of advanced developments in chemistry. Dr Anderson is interested in how saliva helps to protect against acidic erosion of the teeth. He said

“If you replicate the conditions of acid attack on tooth enamel in the test tube, and coat the enamel with statherin the dissolution rate drops by about half. We are working with colleagues in the US to try to understand the mechanism for this.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘MS sufferers hear about the latest research in the East End’

East London Advertiser

A conference organised by academics at Queen Mary showcased some of the revolutionary research taking place in the battle against multiple sclerosis. Patients and their families from the local area attended the event in Whitechapel, that included researchers discussing various trials and studies to improve the treatment of the disease. Professor Giovannoni said “Those with MS do not really have a forum for engaging with others while they are taking part in the research. But the conference on Saturday was a way of communicating with them and keeping them up to date on the latest research.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Jonathan Grigg

‘When kids wheeze, steroids don't help’

The Vancouver Sun

A team of scientists have found that steroids prescribed to children who wheeze are ineffective. The study conducted by Professor Grigg and his colleagues found that children given the steroids stayed in hospital for the same duration as those on placebo drugs. “Most kids at home or presenting to their doctor with moderate wheezing that doesn't require many days in the hospital, steroids are not going to be of any benefit,” said Professor Grigg.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Was swine flu ever a real threat?’

Telegraph.co.uk

Drug companies have benefitted from the outbreak of swine flu through Tamiflu sales and vaccines, however some conspiracy theorists are accusing the World Health Organisation (WHO) of faking the pandemic, arguing the body is overly influenced by industry. The original stockpiles of Tamiflu were brought in for bird flu and Professor Oxford explained “The concern was that if bird flu suddenly went pandemic, it could trigger mortality on a massive scale. The last thing anyone was expecting at that point was a pig virus from Mexico.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Karim Brohi

‘NHS trauma services in England 'not good enough'’

BBC News website

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that hundreds of trauma patients are dying due to poor care. The study shows that death rates are 30 per cent higher in the UK compared to the US and the NAO argues that services for the patients have barely improved over two decades. Death rates at the Royal London hospital have fallen by 50 per cent because of an improved coordination among ambulance and hospital services. Consultant surgeon, Professor Brohi, said “I think there's very good evidence now that if we carry on as we are, with the sickest people in the hospital being looked after by the most junior doctors, you get poor outcomes.”

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/24598.html

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor A J Kakkar

‘Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson nominated as 'people's peer'’

BBC News Online

Professor Ajay Kakkar, an expert in the treatment and prevention of blood clots at Barts and The London Medical School, is set to join the House of Lords. He will be one of four new cross-bench peers recommended to the Prime Minister by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The others are Design Council chair, executive director of the Institute for Government and former Whitehall mandarin Sir Michael Bichard, Royal Opera House chief executive and former BBC journalist Tony Hall, and Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson.

More information available on the Queen Mary Media Centre http//www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/24607.html

Centre of the Cell

‘East End science centre to be open for half-term’

East London Advertiser

Families are being given the chance to have a look around the East End's unique new science centre during the half-term holiday. The Centre of the Cell is opening its doors from Monday February 15 to Friday February 19 when families can book a slot for a free session and learn more about the science of cells. Visitors can book a slot by visiting www.centreofthecell.org

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘Most unaware of salt risks – study’

Yahoo News UK

More than nine out of 10 people accept too much salt can damage their health but most do not realise what the risks are, according to new research. The survey was carried out for the charity Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), formed by a group of specialists concerned about the potential effects of salt on health, to mark National Salt Awareness Week which is under way. Cash chairman Professor Graham MacGregor, a cardiovascular medicine expert at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine said "The unnecessarily high amount of salt we eat leads to stroke and heart disease, and there is increasing evidence that salt intake is linked to stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and kidney stones and kidney disease.”

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Dr Sally Hull

and

Dr Kambiz Boomla

'New vitamin D preparations needed'

British Medical Journal

Drs Sally Hull and Kambiz Boomla have written to the BMJ to highlight the plight of vitamin D deficiencies in the socially deprived - commonly associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They write that the ethnically diverse inner city population has much higher insufficiency rates than the 50% UK average and the NHS needs a coherent public health response including the reintroduction of free vitamin drops for children and mothers; food supplementation; and production of suitable and palatable vitamin D preparations.

Centre of the Cell

‘You can work for nothing, but it'll cost you’

The Times – Times2 p1-3

Charity auctions have started to offer work placements for young people at high-profile organisations including media outlets and popular retailers. Some argue this is favouring those from middle class backgrounds who can afford to give their children valuable experiences that will assist them on the career ladder. The government is also investing in schemes to help disadvantaged young people with career advice and providing them with opportunities. One project includes Centre of the Cell, which inspires young people to take up a career in science.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Nicola Maffulli

‘The magic wand that cured my tennis elbow - without the need for surgery’

Mail Online

A pioneering new treatment called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) can help sufferers with tennis elbow to overcome the condition. The wand is used to emit shockwaves to the affected area and this can trigger the healing process almost instantly. Permanent results can be achieved six to twelve weeks after the final treatment, leaving patients able to get on with their normal activities. Professor Maffulli is currently assessing this new technology and says it is very useful when treating chronic injuries. “While this isn't a short-term fix like steroids, it offers a long-term cure and is a much better alternative to surgery as it is non-invasive and you are left with no scar,” he said.

Institute of Health Sciences Education

Professor Clive Seale

The Report BBC Radio 4

Professor Seale discusses his research on the use of sedation in UK medical practice in this programme about assisted suicide.

Dr Chris Gallagher

‘New treatment targets ovarian cancer’

Evening Standard

The lives of hundreds of women suffering from ovarian cancer could be saved by a new method of injecting chemotherapy into the womb, which is being trialled by scientists at Queen Mary. The research is in conjunction with Canadian scientists and it is hoped survival rates will increase by 20 per cent. Dr Gallagher said

“By giving the treatment directly into the area where the cancer is located we have the potential to expose the tumour to much higher concentrations of the drug.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘Our fight for the sunshine vitamin that prevents MS’

Daily Express (Tuesday) p.37

A campaign has been launched by the MS Society to highlight the benefit vitamin D has for sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers found that the disease was more prevalent further from the equator, particularly in Scotland, and now they are linking this to the exposure to the vitamin D created through sunshine. Professor Giovannoni said

“The incidence of the disease has been increasing over the past few decades, particularly in women. It’s no coincidence that this has happened at the same time women have begun to avoid the sun and that sunblock has been put in make-up products.”

Queen Mary, University of London

‘East End experts to lead the way in cancer research’

East London Advertiser

Scientists and medics in East London will be able to improve their research after the new Barts Cancer Research UK Centre opened this week. The centre has received £2m funding from Cancer Research UK and will specialise in pancreatic, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer as well as leukaemia and lymphoma.

Read the Queen Mary news release via our online media centre: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/25666.html

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Graham MacGregor

‘The cartons of soup with as much salt as 16 bags of crisps’

Daily Mail p.34

Popular soups served in takeaway shops and in supermarkets are overdosing customers with extremely high levels of salt. Many have relied on soup through the freezing temperatures and Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) has revealed some portions contain more than the recommended daily salt intake. Professor MacGregor said “It is the very high levels of salt that are put in our food that leads to thousands of unnecessary stroke and heart deaths. Furthermore there is increasing evidence that salt intake is linked to stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and kidney stones and kidney disease.”

This story features widely across the media today including BBC News, Metro, Daily Mirror and the Express.

Centre of the Cell

‘Awards double for Hants multimedia AV experts’

Southern Daily Echo

An audio-visual company based in Hampshire has won a brace of awards including one for their work on Centre of the Cell. DJ Willrich Ltd won the award in the education category at the EMEA Project InAVation Awards.

 January 2010

William Harvey Research Institute

Dr David Collier

‘One-hour cure for high blood pressure’

The Daily Telegraph (26 December) p.1/4

Scientists have developed a new technique that could effectively cure high blood pressure, offering hope to thousands of sufferers in the UK. The simple procedure, which is carried out cheaply on the NHS in under an hour, could help to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes by up to a half. Dr David Collier said “This procedure can bring patients within the normal blood pressure range and may enable some to come off their medication. It is the equivalent of them taking two types of drugs. They could be considered cured, at least in the medium-term and we hope long-term.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Stephen Bustin

‘Scientists develop cheap, rapid test to tackle bug deadlier than MRSA’

The Guardian (2 January) p.5

Scientists from Queen Mary have developed a new test for clostridium difficile, which accounts for 40 per cent or 6,000 deaths a year caused by infection. The new test is fast, cheap and trustworthy but the NHS will not be funding its development so the team is now looking for commercial partners. Professor Bustin said “It will give us a clearer idea of how much C difficile is out there. It is one of the great killers in our hospitals. It's nonsense that the death rate should continue at the current levels.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu’

The Observer Magazine (27 December) p.24

In a review of 2009, Professor Oxford writes about the outbreak of swine flu.  He said “My greatest fear is that the virus will mutate next year, to enable it to infect older people. If it does, then the death rate next year will be much worse than this, perhaps even as high as the winter of 1999-2000.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Adrian Newland

New Year honours list

Guardian.co.uk

Professor Newland was awarded with an Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to medicine.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Silvia Marino

‘Kids' brain cancer can arise from stem cells’

The Times of India

A new study by researchers at Queen Mary has shed light on one of the most common forms of children’s brain tumours. Scientists studied the equivalent cells from mice brains and found that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell, which could call for a completely new form of treatment. Speaking about this research, lead investigator Professor Marino commented “It could help us to tell which cancers will respond well to treatment and which will need a more aggressive therapy.

Centre of the Cell

‘The Royal Institution must be saved’

The Daily Telegraph p.22

In a comment piece, Professor Colin Blakemore writes that the Royal Institution (Ri) represents a melting pot of science and public engagement. Since Sir Walter Bodmer’s 1985 report that recommended increased efforts to publicise science, the Ri and other organisations including the Royal Society have successfully communicated a range of scientific research, organisations, centres and debate. Professor Blakemore says:

“Even the idea of putting public science centres in the heart of active research labs is all the vogue. The new Centre of the Cell…has won plaudits for its novel approach to the communication of science.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor John Oxford

‘Swine flu taskforce's links to vaccine giant

More than half the experts fighting the 'pandemic' have ties to drug firms’

Daily Mail

Just days after a health expert branded swine flu a “false pandemic” fuelled by drug companies, it has emerged over 50 per cent of scientists on the swine flu advisory taskforce have links to the pharmaceutical industry. Leading flu expert Professor John Oxford said it was right to have people with different types of experience. He said:

“If you are giving advice about vaccines or anti-viral drugs, you can't sit in your ivory tower and think you know everything about it.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Jonathan Grigg

Traffic fumes increase the risks of child pneumonia

The Observer p.5

A new study shows that children who live close to main roads are at an increased risk of catching pneumonia, due to the pollution damaging their lungs. Professor Grigg found that those living within 100 metres of a main road were 65 per cent more likely to suffer from pneumonia, where previously the complications were linked to conditions including asthma and wheezing. “These findings strongly suggest that particles pollution is a major factor in making children vulnerable to pneumonia. We've shown a very firm link between the two,” he said.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Dr Peter Sasieni

‘Weaker wine 'may lower the risk of some cancers'’

BBC News online

The World Cancer Research Fund says swapping a glass of wine to a weaker alternative will reduce the risks of several cancers. The charity said some might benefit from drinking a wine with an alcohol content of 10 per cent as opposed to 14 per cent. Dr Sasieni said it was a good idea for people to opt for wine with lower alcohol contents. He said “Given that alcohol can be bad for you even in fairly low amounts, that would start to suggest that people should take note of the percentage of alcohol in their wine.”

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Adrian Newland

‘Tennis rival saved my life’

Daily Express p.31

Tennis player Jamie Baker discovered he was suffering from a rare blood infection called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) whilst on tour in Mexico. Commenting on the potential life threatening condition, Professor Newland said “The symptoms of ITP include spontaneous bruising, which can be very alarming. It is a serious condition that can be fatal.”

‘Fast track test can spot early signs of pancreatic cancer’

Daily Mail p.44

Scientists at Queen Mary have developed a reliable urine test that will be able to tell in two hours if a patient has pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer has one of the highest death rates in the UK because it is so hard to detect. The test can detect higher protein levels and will help to increase survival rates by 30 per cent.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Professor Jack Cuzick

‘Vaccine will ‘cut cervical cancer rates by two thirds’’

The Daily Telegraph p.4

Scientists have predicted that the vaccine for cervical cancer will help to reduce the number of women under 30 developing the disease by two thirds within 15 years. By 2025 experts say the number of cases will have dropped by 63 per cent as eight out of ten girls are now receiving the vaccine. Professor Cuzick said “Our predictions are really encouraging. If girls continue to take up the vaccine, thousands in the future could be prevented from developing cervical cancer and many more would avoid treatment to remove abnormal precancerous cells.”

This story also appears in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record.

Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

‘New drugs cut pain and the risk of relapse for MS victims’

The Daily Telegraph p.13

Researchers at Queen Mary have found that a new pill to treat multiple sclerosis could dramatically reduce the chance of returning symptoms. Two new treatments could save sufferers having to face painful injections and frequent hospital visits. Professor Giovannoni worked on the Cladribine study and said “We think ours has the advantage because it only has to be taken a few times a year – instead of every day which is the case with fingolimod. Cladribine will make a major difference to people with MS and we hope it will be available to patients by the summer.”

This story features widely in the media today including the Financial Times, Times Online and on Bloomberg.