St George’s professor named president of United Nations drug control unit

St George’s, University of London professor Hamid Ghodse has been elected president of the global drug law body the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The INCB is an independent United Nations organisation that monitors and supports governments’ compliance with international drug control treaties. This will be Prof Ghodse’s 10th term at the helm of the INCB since his first year of presidency in 1993.

In his role as president, Prof Ghodse will lead the INCB’s engagement with governments around the world, as it attempts to stem the illicit drugs trade.

Fully funded Master’s degree for health professionals

Health professionals in England have the opportunity to advance their careers with a fully funded postgraduate degree at the joint Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences run by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.

The specialist faculty is providing ten studentships on its full-time Masters in Research Clinical Practice (MRes CP) course.

New genetic link shows vitiligo could reduce risk of skin cancer

People with the skin pigmentation disorder vitiligo may have less risk of developing life-threatening malignant melanoma, according to new research at St George's, University of London. The study also further confirms the suspicion that vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, which occurwhen the body’s immune system reacts against its own tissues or organs. This could lead to new treatments for vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a chronic condition that affects one in every 200 people. The study – published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine – argues against the theory that the pale skin patches caused by vitiligo increase the risk of melanoma due to their lack of the pigment melanin. Melanin gives skin its colour, and protects against harmful UV rays from the sun.

Annual Chlamydia screening may not protect women from pelvic inflammatory disease

It is unlikely that single screening for chlamydia will prevent women developing pelvic inflammatory disease in the following year, according to research published today.

The St George’s, University of London study of 2,500 participants found that annual screening is not enough to prevent cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility.

St George’s researchers hope written word will provide Alzheimer’s revelations

Neurologists at St George’s, University of London are conducting a study to investigate how Alzheimer’s Disease affects the written language of those with the condition. The St George’s team, working with colleagues at the universities of Oxford and Southampton, is appealing for people with and without Alzheimer’s disease to come forward with examples of their writing. The scientists hope to identify changes in language use that occur with the condition.

St George’s neurologist Dr Peter Garrard, formerly of the University of Southampton, said: “We will look at the examples of people’s writing and see if it is possible to pick up gradual changes in vocabulary or word usage that may be markers of being on the path to dementia when compared to those who don’t have the condition.”