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Monday Morning Messages
10th June 2024
Latest news

National press coverage of SMA research 
Last Tuesday, the Daily Mail ran detailed coverage of the pioneering work being done by Professor Laurent Servais and his team on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the trials they are running and the real life impact of their work. The online story is available via the link below. 
Read the full story here
New research into early life immunity
New research published by Professor Philip Goulder's team, in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, and the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT and Harvard, USA, shows that male infants are more likely to achieve HIV cure/remission than females. The peer-reviewed study, published by Nature Medicine, assessed 284 children from KwaZulu-Natal in whom anti-HIV therapy was initiated at birth following in utero HIV transmission. Vertical transmission to male fetuses was 50% less common than to females. Affected males had lower levels of the virus in the blood and to date, in this study, four male infants have been identified who have achieved HIV cure/remission (i.e. maintained undetectable levels of HIV in the blood even without therapy).
Read the full story here
Join our Tough Mudder
Staff and students in the department have been so moved by the plight of Anouk Howes and other children with SMA, that they are putting a team together to race the London West Tough Mudder in May 2025. All funds raised will go to AceSMA, the charity founded by Mike and Sophie Howes. If you are interested please email Khaya Rowland to join the team!
London West Tough Mudder
Lands End to John O'Groats
Andy Pollard is out of office this week, supporting his son Sam, who is cycling 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, in 10 days, to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society. Sam, who joined members of the Department of Paediatrics in March, to run the OX5 run for the Oxford Children's Hospital, is undertaking this effort with is uncle, and in support of his grandmother who was recently diagnosed. 
Support their effort here
MSD Pride 2024
This year, for the very first time, the Medical Sciences Division is hosting a series of events to celebrate Pride throughout June. Join staff and students from the Division and beyond, as well as friends from the two Oxford NHS trusts, for a lively and exciting programme of talks and social events on LGBTQ+ themes. Events are taking place in Headington and Oxford from Saturday 8 June. Some activities require registration.
See the full programme to register
Progress quilt
Come together with friends and colleagues to create a beautiful community Progress Pride quilt which will then tour the Division throughout the year. Decorate your own quilt square using your choice of techniques and materials in a relaxed informal local session. No experience or expertise needed and all are welcome. See the full MSD Pride schedule and sign up for a talk or panel via the link below. 
Sign up for progress quilting
StEP summer programme
If you want to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur, this is your chance. Taking place over four weeks from 1 to 26 July, we’ll give you the opportunity to develop an idea and train and support you with loads of people who have been there and done it for real. Deadline for individual applicants Friday 7 June.
Find out more and apply
OVB programme
Are you looking to develop your business idea? Oxford Venture Builder (OVB) is a programme for all members of the University of Oxford, including students, staff, faculty, and researchers. It will provide you and your team with the tools, knowledge and experience you need to research the market, test the viability of your ideas, and develop your products and services.
Apply now
AMR Network event
The Oxford AMR Network is hosting its first event on Thursday 13th June at 3.30pm. This will be held at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory on South Parks Road and feature three talks:
1. The evolution of antibiotic resistance by Prof Craig Maclean; 2. Access to antibiotics by Dr Andrew Farlow; and 3. Antibiotic use and consumption by Prof Christiane Dolecek. The talks will be followed by a Q&A session and drinks reception. The event is open to anyone with an interest in antimicrobial resistance, although registration is required.
Register here
Immunocore CTO talk
The Oxford Personalised Medicine Society (OPMS) is organising an exclusive event featuring a special talk by Annelise Vuidepot, the CTO of Immunocore.
Immunocore is a pioneering, commercial-stage TCR biotech company working on developing and commercialising a new generation of transformative medicines to address unmet needs in cancer, infectious, and autoimmune diseases.

Date: Monday,10June
Time: 5:30 pm
Venue: Dorfman Centre, St. Peter’s College
Sign up here
Oxford Scientific Research Facilities Conference
The University of Oxford’s first SRF Conference will take place on the 26th and 27th September at the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre on South Parks Road. As part of the Technician Commitment Initiative, 40 Scientific Research Facilities (SRF) leads from across divisions and departments will give presentations on the facilities they manage.

Researchers across Oxford University and the private sector are invited to see a wide review of the expertise, capabilities, equipment and services that these facilities hold. Lunch will be provided on both days, and registration is free. Attendees can join for either or both days of the conference. Updates to the agenda will be posted to the SRF Conference site as details are confirmed.
Register to attend here
Medical and Life Sciences Translational Fund
The Translational Research Office (TRO) is pleased to announce the return of Medical and Life Sciences Translational Fund (MLSTF) this summer, which will be launched at the Translational Research Symposium on Wednesday 10 July at the Blavatnik School of Government. At the event, full details of the MLSTF scheme will be revealed which includes the continuation of the “Emerging Translational Innovators (ETI)” route especially for early-career researchers, fireside chats on what a winning translational grant application should look like, the importance of milestones in translational grants, and the potential routes for continuing the development of your commercialisation pathway. This is an in-person event only and places are limited so register your interest asap, via the link below.
Register to attend here
Talking Spectrum: Navigating Neurodivergence
2 July 2024 | Online only | 11am
Dr Cressida Ryan will talk to us about her own neurodivergent journey and what that has meant for her working life. 

Three key takeaways for the seminar will be:
  1. The overall basket of neurodivergent traits is broad and may including contradictory and conflicting traits. This session will enable you to consider and respond more effectively to an individual’s personal “cluster” of traits.
  2. General inclusive practice can improve life for everyone, not just neurodivergent people; this session will put forward some simple ways to be more inclusive without the need for specific reasonable adjustments.
  3. This session will address and unpack a number of standard misunderstandings and myths about neurodivergence, increasing your general knowledge of the conditions covered and the impact of popular misconceptions.
Everybody is welcome to join. Please register via the link below. 
Click here for more information and to register
New Therapeutic Approaches in Translational Mental Health
16 September 2024 | Maths Institute | All day
This in-person conference is hosted by the Oxford Health BRC and sponsored by the UK Mental Health Mission. The event aims to bring together industry, academic & clinical researchers, the regulator and government research funding organisations to discuss the current challenges facing therapeutic development. The overall objective is to forge collaborations that can increase capacity and capability through partnerships to deliver paradigm changes in translational mental health research. The event includes keynotes, lightning talks, roundtable discussion and industry led workshop sessions by Angelini Pharma, Big Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Karuna Therapeutics and Reckitt Benckiser.
Click here for more information and to register
Can you help these malaria trials? 

Oxford Vaccine Group would like to invite you to take part in a study in a challenge study to find a vaccine against malaria. The total study participation time is 18 months. If you would like any further information regarding the study please contact, or call 01865 611400
Click here to register your interest
Oxford Vaccine Group is looking for volunteers to help us understand how our immune systems respond to repeated infection with malaria. By taking part in this challenge study, you could help the research aimed at preventing hundreds of thousands of child deaths. If you are aged 18 to 45 years old, in good health and live in the Thames Valley, then you may be eligible to take part in the BIO-004 study. All participants will be reimbursed for their time, inconvenience and travel up to £9,100.
Access the pre-screening questionnaire here
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