St George's knight’s retirement honoured

Leading obstetrics and gynaecology experts have honoured SGUL’s Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran on his retirement after almost 40 years at the forefront of O&G clinical practice and 28 years in academia. Sir Arul’s retirement was marked by a valedictory scientific meeting hosted at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Colleagues from St George’s – both the university and the hospital – and national and international obstetrics and gynaecology experts came together for the event last month, where they discussed the latest advances in the field.

Support from social workers crucial as austerity bites

Britain’s current economic woes are putting vulnerable children and families under growing pressure and social workers have a crucial role to play in helping them cope, according to a senior academic from Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.

Professor Hilary Tompsett, a professor at the Kingston and St George’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, was speaking after joining the governing board of the new College of Social Work. A registered social worker with more than 25 years’ experience working in children and families, mental health and older care as both a practitioner and educator, Professor Tompsett was one of four new board members chosen by the college in its first elections in February.

Learning disability end-of-life researcher joins Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education

An expert in the palliative care of people with learning disabilities has taken up a new role at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.

Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne has been appointed a senior research fellow at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston and St George’s.

Fully funded postgraduate course available to NHS professionals interested in clinical research

Eighteen fully funded studentships in London are being offered to NHS healthcare professionals this year to equip them for careers in clinical research.

The Master of Research in Clinical Practice (MResCP) is aimed at nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, to give them the skills to manage and deliver research in a clinical setting. It is being run by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, and is now recruiting for September 2013 entry. Applications must be received by Friday 17 May.

Dogma among researchers exaggerates threat of resistance to best anti-malarial drugs, says expert on World Malaria Day 2013 (25 April)

Exaggeration over the extent of the malaria parasite’s resistance to the ‘wonder drugs’ artemisinins could jeopardise the fight against the disease, according to a leading expert.

In an opinion article published on World Malaria Day today (25 April 2013) – online in the journal Trends in Parasitology – Professor Sanjeev Krishna of St George’s, University of London argues that much of the evidence of the malaria parasite’s resistance to artemisinins has been misinterpreted. He says this has led to the extent of artemisinin resistance being overstated, and that fears of its demise as an effective treatment are premature.

Malaria parasite protein identified as potential new target for drug treatment

Scientists have discovered how a protein within the malaria parasite is essential to its survival as it develops inside a mosquito. They believe their findings identify this protein as a potential new target for drug treatments to prevent malaria being passed to humans.

The researchers found that when this protein – a transporter responsible for controlling the level of calcium inside cells – is absent during the parasite’s sexual reproduction stages inside a mosquito, the parasite dies before developing fully. They discovered that the calcium transporter protein is responsible for protecting the parasite from potentially lethal levels of calcium during these stages.

Nanomal smartphone-like malaria detection device to be field tested one year earlier than scheduled

A pioneering mobile device using cutting-edge nanotechnology to rapidly detect malaria infection and drug resistance will be ready for field testing this year, one year ahead of schedule.

The €5.2million (£4million) Nanomal project was launched last year to provide an affordable hand-held diagnostic device to detect malaria infection and parasites’ drug resistance in 15 minutes. It will allow healthcare workers in remote rural areas to deliver effective drug treatments to counter resistance more quickly, potentially saving lives.

World Malaria Day 2013, public event launches SGUL 'Spotlight on science' series

St George’s is hosting a free public event on Thursday 25 April 2013, World Malaria Day, to show how its researchers are leading research to fight the devastating disease.

Event: World Malaria Day
Date: Thursday 25 April 2013
Time: 5.30pm
Cost: Free of charge
Reserve your place: Places are limited, so guests are asked to RSVP by Friday 19 April to Tadhg Caffrey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Legal high Benzo Fury may be dangerous due to stimulant and hallucinogenic effects

The ‘legal high’ known as Benzo Fury may have stimulant as well as hallucinogenic effects according to new research presented at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience today (Tuesday 9 April 2013).

In a poster presentation at the meeting, Dr Jolanta Opacka-Juffry and Dr Colin Davidson reported that one of the main ingredients of Benzo Fury (also known as 5-APB) acts on brain tissue like both a stimulant and a hallucinogen – a combination of properties that is often found in illegal drugs and which can make them dangerous to users. The researchers believe this information should be disseminated to let potential users know the possible dangers of the drug.

Researchers identify mutation that causes short-sightedness and hearing loss

Researchers have identified a new disorder caused by a genetic mutation that leads to short sightedness and deafness. They say the new link between the two sensory problems could lead to better understanding of the disease mechanism of each.

The researchers – led by St George’s, University of London and the Miller School of Medicine in Miami – discovered that a mutation in the gene SLITRK6 causes a syndrome symptomised by myopia (short sightedness) and deafness.