Nature vs nurture and the future of healthcare: Institute of Clinical Science Postgraduate Guest Lecture Series at the School of Dentistry

The Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith

Institute of Clinical Sciences welcomed two guest lecturers to the University of Birmingham

The Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith gave the second guest lecture in the series entitled “The future of health care in Birmingham”.  The lecture was held on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at the Birmingham Medical School.

The Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith is the Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Health Partners and Vice Chair of the Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Board. She is also Chair of the newly formed Sandwell Children’s Trust, a Trustee of the Kings Fund and Chair of West Midlands Charity, the Precious Trust and the Lunar Society.

She works in Jordan and Egypt on political development projects and is a frequent media commentator on Sky, BBC and through her weekly podcast with LBC. Following a teaching career, she was MP for Redditch between 1997 and 2010, served as a Minister for ten years in the Education, Health, Industry and Equality portfolios and in the Cabinet as Chief Whip and was the UK’s first woman Home Secretary.

The Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith’s lecture examined the political and policy context for healthcare development, the societal issues that govern the provision of health care, the relationship between research and the provision of healthcare, the structure and provision of heath care in Birmingham and the drivers for the future and the way forward to better provision.

Professor Dame Amanda Fisher gave the first lecture in the series to postgraduate students and staff on 26th October 2017. The title of her lecture was “Epigenetics and the effects of nature versus nurture’.

Professor Dame Amanda Fisher uses lymphocytes as models to study the transmission of gene expression patterns through cell division, and to explore the molecular basis of lineage choice. Her lecture examined the extent to which nurture versus nature influence the epigenome and cell behaviour. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2014) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2003) and has received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award (2015), the EMBO Gold Medal (2002) and the Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET (2010). She is also Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Imperial College, London.

Professor Chapple introduced Professor Dame Fisher whose lecture provided an understanding of the nature of the epigenome and chromatin marks, the role nurture plays in chromatin marks, the role nature plays in chromatin marks, chromatin marks and gene expression and the importance of the epigenome to cell behaviour and decision-making.

Professor Fisher not only delivered a superb lecture, engaging at all levels, but also devoted significant time after her lecture to judge research posters and discuss with students and staff their individual research projects and programmes. Professor Geoff Brown invited questions and Professor David Adams as Pro-VC and Head of College presented the vote of thanks.