Monday, 23 November 2009

Research Degree Administration (MDRes/MPhil/PhD)

3:30pm, Monday 23rd November, Lower ground floor lecture theatre(Clark-Kennedy) Innovation Centre.

Do you know the importance of transferable skills training?
Do you know the difference between registration and enrolment?
Do you really know what write-up status means for you?
Do you know our admin processes for research degrees?

Paul Allen will explain the research degree administration required in the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science! Includes an address from Prof Mike Curtis, Institute Director. Supervisors welcome.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Research Techniques in Biomedical and Life Sciences Course

This course, organised by the Graduate Schools of SMD and the School for Biological and Chemical Sciences, starts again next week.

The subject is DNA Sequencing and Sequence Analysis and will cover DNA sequencing, genomic sequence analysis and methods in population genetics.

The speakers will be Tom Vulliamy (BICMS) and Richard Nichols (SBCS).

The course is aimed at research students and postdocs but is open to anybody else interested in these techniques.

Date: Wed 11th November
Time: 2:00-5:00pm
Location: GO2 Lecture Theatre, Rotblat Building.
Charterhouse Square Campus (nearest tube station, Barbican)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Communicating your research to the media

ESD are putting on two new courses this year for PhD students and post-docs who would like to get an insight into dealing with the media and communicating their research to a lay audience.

Friday 13th Nov, 9am-5pm

They are being run by a company called Media Players International - two people who have many years experience of reporting and editing for the BBC among other things

If you would like to attend, please book at

All On Board

The first All On Board session will take place on 12th November at Big Cloud 5pm-6pm.

All On Board talks will be informal, troubleshooting-type of meetings between PhD students in the absence of senior investigators and they aim to the dialogue and the scientific exchange between PhD students of the different centres. After the talks, there would be drinks and snacks to foster interaction between students.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

An Introduction to Intellectual Property and its Relevance to Research Scientists

A free afternoon workshop to be held in the Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre, 42 New Road, Whitechapel on Thursday 12th November 2009 between 2.30 – 5pm

The course will have an interactive format, with a mixture of notes and hands-on case studies and will be followed by a drinks reception. The speakers will be available throughout the afternoon to answer any questions that arise from the course and/or answer any general questions you may have that relate to intellectual property and its exploitation.

Please register your interest as soon as possible as places are limited and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. To register, or for further information, please contact Barny Cox at: or p: 0207 882 5278 / 07919 175974.

Please can as many students and post-docs from Neuroscience attend this meeting!

Reminder - 4th UK Cancer Stem Cell symposium

Thursday 12 November in the Perrin Lecture Theatre at BICMS

There is no registration fee for staff however, to help planning for this year’s catering, and to have a record of numbers to help generate future sponsorship, we will require registration for attendance. So, if you wish to attend, please ensure that you register online at by the staff deadline of Friday 30th October. Please select the “internal staff only” category on the delegate details page (page 3 of the online registration process).

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

PhD Comics Talk

Wednesday 28th October at 4pm - 5pm (followed by a drinks reception)
The Perrin Lecture Theatre (WhiteChapel Campus)
Book now on the Courses Section of the ESD website using Course Code R235.

Jorge Cham of 'PhD Comics' fame is coming to give a talk entitled 'The Power of Procrastination' at Queen Mary This humorous talk will focus on the life of PhD students, representing the ups and downs in the form of comic strips. As it addresses some of the issues related to research life in general, it should appeal to both PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

Just a Suggestion...

We know that you have ideas... and lots of them!
In order to help your voice be heard, we have introduced SUGGSTION boxes to help improve the flow of ideas!

The box is located in the South Write-up area in the PhD students’ bay - GWND-C.
Please drop in your ideas, suggestions for improvement, wish lists etc…

You can send an anonymous message, to my email id, using the weblink below.

All suggestions will be treated in confidence and routed through the centre lead.
You can post anonymously or include your name if you would like to be contacted.

With best Wishes

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Book Reviews

How to ... David Allen

Having never really thought of myself as the “self-help” kinda gal I approached this with some trepidation. However, a solution to my time management crisis was acutely required and i was prepared to try anything!

This book is an informal jaunt, through an organisation strategy which has apparently revolutionised half of America. Complete with monologues and streams of consciousness and informal chatty language, it sets out, not just a way out of your endless “to do lists” but a whole new way of running your life. It basically runs along the idea that while your brain is trying to remember all of the stuff you need to do, it is unable to do any of them effectively so the solution is to download your “physic ram” in to a robust collection system which you can review and add to easily. Your newly off-loaded brain will once again process with speed and your effortless productivity will refresh your creativity and see you achieving goals you never thought possible!

I make it sound awful, but really I liked this book. In fact i seriously would like to implement its system.... it requires a serious life rearrangement and he recommends to read it again in 3 months for fine tuning. If I manage to achieve this effectively it will clearly be obvious to you all!?!

I would definitely recommend reading it just for the ideas and a new perspective but as a regime it wont be for everyone.

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre (On order)

A young physician with a penchant for ranting but an appropriate degree of restraint, ben goldacre has written a very entertaining book with a very serious message. Have you thought for sometime that the claims in the magazines your best mate reads about the next detox diet or the nirvana-like benefits of colonic irrigation were just getting a little bit far-fetched? Why is it that we all do science with a view to creating robust data that will benefit the general public in some way and yet the adverts in the chemist tell us confidently that the answer was in conker flowers all the time? What qualifications do these people have to claim such authority...well may you ask...and the disturbing thing is very little! From the correspondence PhD from some kooky american university to the self awarded degree from your own company’s college these self promoting health gurus have influenced our lives more than we might at first appreciate. Ben goldacre applys a little of the evidence-based skills that we all try to live by to the people earning a lot of money in the health-related industry. Some of it is interesting and some is down-right criminal (specifically the South African Government’s stance on HIV and AIDs ). Read it and weep – and work out why it is that no-one believes in real science and what we could do to reverse that.

The rise and fall of modern medicine by james le fanu (On order)

An informal and entertaining journey through some of the most important medical discoveries in the last fifty years. From penicillin to chemotherapy and the development of the heart and lung by-pass machine the dedication and heart-warming passion to achieve these breakthroughs spills out from the pages. Yes it was just after the war and yes time were different but actually some of it was really quite recent. In addition to persistence over adversity there are the stories which just prove what you thought all along...yes doctors are just plain bonkers! From mr charnley who implanted bits of metal in his leg to establish the most inert one from which to make his hip joint replacement and the husband and wife duo who invented the heart-lung bypass machine - he swallowed copious amounts of ice-water while she monitored the temperature changes with a thermometer stuck in his bottom! From small acorns large oak tree grow... the question is where will we be tomorrow?

Reviewed by Jo Manson

Friday, 28 August 2009

The source event

The Source Event, now in its 3rd successful year, is a dedicated science career fair that combines a dynamic exhibition with conference and workshop sessions. The event will promote the UK and Europe as a great place to pursue a career in science, be it in industrial research, research organisations or academia. It will present the best opportunities from the best organisations: public, private, national and international.

Jobseekers will be able to meet with potential employers who are offering hundreds of genuine vacancies. Our plenary and workshop sessions will provide a unique opportunity to meet high profile scientists and gain careers information and advice.

The Source Event London will be held on 25th September at the Business Design Centre, London.

journal club rota

The latest journal club rota can be found by following this lik:

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Journal Club Handout - Paul Smith, Novartis

Once again I would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting on 16th July, and please find below the handout form the talk by Paul Smith from Novartis.

Neural Stem Cells in Development and Disease

DATE: 7th - 10th February 2010
LOCATION: Wilton Park, Steyning, West Sussex, UK

This inter-disciplinary meeting brings together clinicians investigating cancers and developmental defects of the CNS and researchers working on the regulation of neural progenitor cells in invertebrate and vertebrate contexts.
We aim to define similarities/differences between cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating neural progenitor cells in developing, adult and cancerous tissue and to increase our understanding of how cancer stem cells and neural developmental defects arise

View poster:

Journal Club

Dr. Veronica McCabe will be giving a talk at this week’s journal club, and I would request you to attend as far as possible..
THURSDAY 27th August – SPIKEY 4.00 to 5.30 pm

Dr. Veronica McCabe, Director of Grants,
Barts and The London Charity

Friday, 10 July 2009

Next Generation Conference

Date: 19-20 November 2009
Venue: Newport, Gwent

Career planning for academia and industry
International opportunities
Entrepreneurial training
Taking career breaks
Career surgeries for postgraduates and early-career researchers
Open questions and answers with a panel representing a wide range of career paths

This annual event is aimed at final year BBSRC-funded PhD students and early-career researchers funded on BBSRC research grants.

Places are limited. Contact us by 11 September 2009
Registration is free. We will pay for your accommodation and meals but participants are required to pay travel costs.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Next Journal Club

Thursday (16th July) at 4pm in Spikey.

We have an external speaker, Paul Smith from Novartis coming to speak to us about working in Industry. It should be an interesting talk covering everything from drug discovery process, IP, career development, CVs and interview techniques.

As usual there will be drinks and nibbles during the meeting. We have also organised dinner at Rosa’s (Thai restaurant just off Brick Lane)

Could you please confirm your attendance to DINNER at the following doodle:

Laboratory Research Techniques in Biomedical and Life Sciences

Paul Garrod Lecture Theatre Robin Brook Centre,
St Barts Hospital Smithfield
Wed July 15th 2009 2-5pm

This months's course is shown below and is slightly different to the original timetable advertised previously. This course is aimed at our research postgraduate students and postdocs but everybody is welcome to attend.

Registration is NOT required. Please come along. Remember, attendance at this course contributes to your transferable skills training

In Vivo Models
2:00- 2:40pm: Imaging in vivo: The Rise and Fall of the Calcium Ion
Dr Rachel Ashworth, Institute of Dentistry
2:40- 3:20pm Animal Models (as used in studies of Multiple Sclerosis)
Dr Sarah Al-Izki, ICMS
3:20- 3:40pm BREAK
3:40-4:20pm Xenograft Models
Dr John Marshall, Institute of Cancer
4:20- 5:00pm Questions and Answers

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Journal Club Schedule

I attach the current schedule for your reference and diaries, and I will request you to attend the forum as far as possible. We hope to see active representation from each research group.

Also, we will be serving drinks and snacks at these meetings! I will be grateful if you could RSVP your attendance before each meeting for catering purposes.

18th June – Introductory meeting (already held, but due to the low turnout we will cover some items again in the next meeting on the 2nd July)

2nd July – Introductory meeting + Journal club/Ted talk Spikey – 4:00 to 5:30 pm
16th July – Paul Smith, Novartis(Industry v Academia) Small Cloud – 4.00 to 5.30 pm
30th July – SMD Summer BBQ at Charterhouse

13th August – Journal club/Ted talk Small Cloud – 4.00 to 5.30 pm
27th August – Journal Club/Ted talk Small Cloud – 4.00 to 5.30 pm

10th Sept – Journal club/Ted talk Small Cloud – 4.00 to 5.30 pm
24th Sept – Erica Whittaker (Using PhD in business) Small Cloud 4.00 to 5.30 pm

8th Oct – Journal Club – venue tbc
22nd Oct – Laura Camurri (Patent Searches) – venue tbc

With beat wishes!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Free lunch

On Tuesday 7th July the new Chairman of Council, Sir Nicholas Monatgu, will be visiting the ICMS. He would very much like to meet some Research Students and we have arranged for a FREE lunch, 1pm at the Innovation Centre.

Please do come along! It will be an excellent opportunity to meet Sir Nicholas and fellow research students. We are planning on setting up a student forum and would like your comments on what you would like to do and any ideas you have.

Could you please let me know if you are able to attend the free lunch by going to the following Doodle page:

Friday, 12 June 2009

Journal Club Update

Due to the tube strike the first journal club (museum visit) will now be held on Thursday 18th June at 3.30 followed by drinks and food in the small cloud

Library Service Information

Dear PhD students,

I am pleased to inform you that we have now set-up the centre library to encourage extra-curricular reading. As you would appreciate that we have limited space and staff resources, to start, I have set up an initial system for loans/ returns as below:

The library service will operate on a fortnightly basis on TUESDAYs starting from 16th June and then on 30th June, and henceforth recurring likewise…
- Location: Gavin Giovannoni’s office in ICMS building (ON-10, G-98)
- Timings: will be 10:30 – 11:00 AM.
- Duration of loans: 2 weeks
- At present, membership is only limited to PhD/ Research students.
- Please email me your requests for reservations.

As mentioned these are only start-up arrangements, and we will welcome your suggestion for improvement etc…
I sincerely hope that you will find this service useful.

Library List:

With best wishes!
Surinder Tel: 0207 882 8605 Fax: 0207 882 2180

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

First TED talk recommendation

Sir Ken Robinson


Lateral Thinking

I suggest you check this URL out

and read the following book

'Handling large documents in Word' Training course for research students

I think this would be a very good course if you manage to get a place . . .

This course is being run at Mile End on the afternoons of 1st and 8th July. The course will run from 2 to 5pm. It is particularly suitable for students about to tackle their thesis! There are only 6 places available so please only sign up if you are really serious about attending this course. Computer services charge us for these courses so if you do not attend we will charge you.

To book a place please contact Tom Lister

William Harvey Day Call for Abstracts


William Harvey Day 2009 is on Tuesday 20 October 2009
The abstract form and a covering note are at:

This is normally a really interesting day and a great chance to present your work. Don't forget that this can count towards your 70 hours personal development!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Student Event - Museum Visit

A visit to the Royal London Hospital Museum has been arranged for Thursday 11th June at 3.30pm. This will be followed by some light refreshments in the small cloud. The website for the museum is shown below: