International microbiologist Professor Philippe Sansonetti to deliver 2011 Jenner Lecture

Professor Philippe Sansonetti from the Collège de France & Institut Pasteur will deliver this year’s Jenner Lecture entitled ‘The mechanisms of immune subversion by Shigella and their implications in vaccine development’. He will be one of five eminent scientists discussing their specialist field as part of the annual Jenner Symposium and Lecture on Thursday 3 November 2011.

The Symposium will be marked by four lectures delivered by Dr Julian Parkhill from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, and scientists at St George’s, University of London, Dr Jodi Lindsay and Professors Sanjeev Krishna and Paul Heath.

MRC awards SGUL team £2.6million for trial of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis drugs

A group of St George’s, University of London researchers has been awarded £2.6million by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to conduct a trial of two new drug treatments for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis. The team will carry out a four-and-a-half-year trial at three sites in Malawi and Zambia, where cryptococcal meningitis is a major problem and often fatal.

The project is being led by Professor Tom Harrison, professor of infectious diseases and medicine, with Dr Tihana Bicanic, Dr Joe Jarvis and Dr Angela Loyse. Their collaborators include the London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical Medicine, the University of North Carolina, and the permanent secretary at the MInistry of Health in Zambia.

Reasons why women request caesarean sections need to be explored more by clinicians

Clinicians need to explore the reasons behind why women request a caesarean section rather than counsel women about the risks says a new review published today (17 October) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

Caesarean section on maternal request (CSMR) is carried out in the absence of maternal or fetal indications. One of the main psychological causes is tokophobia, an intense fear of childbirth affecting between six to ten percent of women.

Gene mutation shown to cause leukaemia and lymphoedema

Researchers have discovered a gene that when mutated can cause lymphoedema (swollen limbs due to a failure of the lymph system), immune abnormalities, deafness and leukaemia. The identification of the gene responsible for causing this rare combination of medical conditions, known as Emberger syndrome, could allow earlier identification and treatment of those at risk.

This study, which is published online in the journal Nature Genetics this week (Sunday 4 September), showed that it is caused by a mutation in the GATA2 gene.

New score can tell doctors how long cancer patients have left to live

A new scoring system can more reliably predict whether patients with advanced cancer are likely to survive for “days”, “weeks” or “months” finds a study published today.

Patients with advanced cancer and their carers often wish to know how long they have left to live. This information is also important for clinicians to help them plan appropriate care. Clinician predictions of survival are the mainstay of current practice, but are unreliable, over-optimistic and subjective.