Attended two excellent, if very different, seminars yesterday in London. The first was at UCL on targeting the oncogene Ras, given by Julian Downward from the Francis Crick institute – a fascinating tour through the different approaches that have been used to try and develop drugs against the activity of this gene in cancer. The second, by David Willetts at the Policy Institute at KCL (see above), was an analysis of the last hundred years of science policy in the UK. In a wonderful buy-one-get-one-free moment, the closing remarks to Lord Willetts speech were given by Venki Ramakrishnan, Nobel laureate and President of the Royal Society. Very interesting lecture, most notably for what wasn’t mentioned.
And many congratulations to James from my group, who won the first year PhD poster prize (this is James accepting his certificate).
Today was the annual Reading School of Pharmacy PhD showcase, held at Henley Business School on the Whiteknights campus. The day consisted of talks and poster presentations from the PhD students in the School of Pharmacy, and it was great to see a wide range of fascinating topics presented running from analysing the structure of chocolate to investigating new drugs for Epilepsy.
We had a taster day for students interested in studying pharmacy yesterday here at the University of Reading, as part of which I gave the talk above about my research.
I was up in Newark on Monday to talk to the local Parkinson’s branch about how my group is using information from genetic studies of Parkinson’s to understand what causes cell death in the brains of people with PD. Really interesting visit, and was given a rather lovely pen as a thank you, which I hope to use when writing my next paper!
I attended (and spoke at) the Movement Disorders society forum on the genetics and cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s and movement disorders at Queen Square, London, over the past two days. Really excellent meeting, and a packed audience.
Many thanks to the nine members of the Newbury Parkinson’s UK branch who came along to our labs in Reading today to learn a bit more about what is happening in Parkinson’s research. Hopefully they got a good feel as to what our research looks like close up, myself, James (Tomkins, PhD student) and Claudia (Manzoni, postdoc) very much enjoyed hosting the visit!
I attended a great meeting at the Wellcome trust this morning, acting as a scientist for hire at the Social Mobility Foundation event for students from the London area who are interested in a degree/career in the sciences. After a frenetic hour long carousel where pairs of students asked a battery of questions I had the chance to answer a couple of questions on video to go on the SMF website. If I can get hold of a link to this I will post this in the coming days. All told very enjoyable, although very tiring.