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Students from the Physical Sciences for Health CDT organised TransMed2017, a UK-wide CDT conference that attracted students from centres as close by as AMRI at Aston University and as far away as OPTIMA at The University of Edinburgh, which was held at The University of Birmingham 20-21 June 2017. Through eight student talks and 18 poster presentations over two days the conference addressed the themes nanomaterials and their effect on biological matter; analytical chemistry within a bio-medicinal setting; and the development of new imaging techniques, and computational and mathematical methods for medical devices.


Conference attendees visited the on-campus Lapworth Museum of Geology on the first day.

Keynote speakers were Mark Bagley, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Sussex, and Liam Grover, Professor of Biomaterials Science at the University of Birmingham. Professor Bagley’s talk focussed on the use of microwave-enhanced synthesis to improve yields and reaction time in the synthesis of p38 inhibitors to combat syndromes of accelerated ageing such as Werner Syndrome. Professor Grover spoke about a number projects in manipulating bone formation, ranging from artificially growing mineralised tissue in a petri dish, to using micro vesicles to promote healthy bone growth.

In addition, four invited speakers delivered ‘enrichment sessions’ on careers, commination and outreach. Dr Alex Phipps from Roche spoke about careers in the pharmaceutical industry, with a particular focus on the journey of a drug through the clinical trials process. Dr Jess Wade of Imperial College London spoke about her experiences engaging school aged girls in science and shared some of the lessons she has learned. Ryan Brown of The University of Birmingham, and a graduate of the PSIBS CDT, described how he came to work in intellectual property, and the range of careers available in research support roles. Mahvash Siddiqui – Environment, Science, Technology and Health officer at the US Embassy in London, talked about her work encouraging women in STEM to take part in multidisciplinary events such as hackathons. These talks sparked many an idea, and lengthy discussions were had over lunch-time.

The conference showcased many excellent pieces of research from CDT students. The Poster Prize was awarded to Lana Woolford of the OPTIMA CDT at The University of Edinburgh, for her poster “Point of care cervical cancer diagnosis using antibody-conjugated nanoparticles”, and the Student Talk Prize was awarded to Jamie Foubister of the Biophotonics CDT at The University of Glasgow, for his talk on “Spectral auto-fluorescence imaging of the retina for drusen detection”. These presentations were chosen as the winners as examples of excellent work and brilliant dissemination of complex ideas and methods to a broad audience.

Thank you from the organisers to everyone who attended and contributed to the conference. We hope that everybody enjoyed the event and left feeling inspired and encouraged in their work.

Hamid Dehghani judging posters

Professor Hamid Dehghani judged the poster presentations and engaged in discussions with students. 

LiamGrover (2)

Keynote speeches were delivered by Professor Liam Grover (top) and Professor Mark Bagley (bottom).

MarkBagley (2)

Environment, Science, Technology and Health officer at the US Embassy - Mahvash Siddiqui (second from left), with members of the Transmed organising committee (L-R) Anna Simmonds, Emma McCarthy and Megan Cooke.

Mahvash Siddiqui and organisers

Physical Sciences for Health CDT students Megan Cooke (top) and Dan Lighter (bottom) presenting their research on producing models of osteoarthiritis and developing a diagnostic imaging system for rheumatoid arthritis, respectively.

Meg Cooke presenting on osteoarthritis models
Dan Lighter presenting rheumatoid arthritis imaging system