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Monday Morning Messages


24th June 2024

Latest News
Professor Caroline Fall, Profesor of Inernational Paediatric Epidemiologoy within Medicine at the University of Southampton, Dr. Christian Rohlff, CEO at Oxford Biotherapeutics Ltd., Professor Nicholas Harvey, Professor of Reheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology and Director at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre at the University of Southampton, Dr. Michelle Fernandes, Professor Alan Stein, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dr. Michelle Fernandes highly commended in MRC Impact award
Dr. Michelle Fernandes (pictured here second from right), Clinical Lecturer and MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow at the Department of Paediatrics, has been highly commended by the MRC in their Early Career Impact Prize 2023.

The award was for the Inter-NDA: An open-source international toolkit she designed for the simplified, rapid identification of children with developmental delay at age two years. It encompasses her research with the INTERGROWTH-21st Project and the INTERBIO-21st study. The toolkit includes a standardised, developmental assessment, an automated, web-based calculator, a bespoke educational programme and a checklist to ensure its correct implementation in research, clinical practice, and health programmes globally. Click on the link below to take a closer look at the Inter-NDA.

The MRC Impact Prize is designed to celebrate the leadership and dedication of selected early career researchers. It provides financial support for them to further advance the outreach and impact of their research. The winner was Dr. Joan Chang at the University of Manchester who launched the UK National Postdoc Appreciation Week in 2020. 
Photo shows from left to right: Professor Caroline Fall, Professor of International Paediatric Epidemiology within Medicine at the University of Southampton, Dr. Christian Rohlff, CEO at Oxford Biotherapeutics Ltd., Professor Nicholas Harvey, Director at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre at the University of Southampton, Dr. Michelle Fernandes, Professor Alan Stein, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. 
Have a look at the Inter-NDA here
IIC Conference 
Hot topics on Infection and Immunity in Children
The 21st edition of this residential course gets underway this week at the Blavatnik School of Government. The course provides information and updates in key areas of paediatric infection. Delegates come from all over the world with almost equal balance of trainees and consultants. All sessions are plenary and include a mix of lectures and case rounds.
See the programme here
Sign up for Bystander Training
Every day, events unfold around us and we are all bystanders. At times, the events we witness might make us feel uncomfortable, we might see discrimination, harassment or bullying. When this happens, we can choose to say or do something and to be an active bystander, or to simply let it go and remain a passive bystander. 

For the second consecutive year, the department's Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity committee is offering a series of Bystander Training sessions to help you support fellow students and colleagues and act safely and appropriately. The sessions will teach you how and when to intervene, and to shift the boundaries of what is considered acceptable behaviour. The first session will take place virtually via MS Teams on Tuesday 2nd July at 2pmSign up now via the link below. 
Sign up here
Mandatory security training
The new Information Security & Data Protection training is now available for all staff.
Why should you take the training?
  • The training is mandatory for all staff and should be taken annually
  • This will benefit not only your work life, but your personal life too!
  • Encountering cyber security threats and handling personal data are part of all our daily lives
  • The new course reminds you to stop and think about how to keep you and your data Oxford Secure
If you have questions about the course, you may find it useful to look at our additional information and guidance.
Take the training here
Other notices
Looking for a mentor?
Are you looking for a mentor outside of your research group? Do you have a question about the next steps in your academic career? The Department can link you with a mentor. Please contact either Caroline Hartley (if you are a member of staff) or Carlo Rinaldi (if you are a student) for further information, letting them know your research group and a brief statement about why you are interested in being linked with a mentor.
Click here for information on mentoring
Technician Champions
The University has chosen 14 members of technical staff from across the institution to act as Technician Champions, including Magda Timan from the DoP. They will be working on a range of interesting projects, all of which will help to raise the profile and support the career development of technicians at the University. The champions will also help to promote better two-way communication between technicians and the wider University. 
Read more 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
Industry Insight seminar
4 July 2024 | Boundary Brook House and online | 12pm
David Buck, Director of Lab Services at Azenta Life Sciences, will be giving the next talk in the Industry Insights seminar series. Harnessing the Power of Multiomics from a Single Sample to Explore Tumour Heterogeneity and Advancing Immuno-oncology will explore Azenta’s leading capabilities across genomics, cryogenic storage, automation, and informatics. The company is dedicated to sample exploration and management and helps customers bring impactful breakthroughs and therapies to market with greater speed and precision. If you would like a one to one meeting with Dr David Buck please contact
Register for the seminar here
CRISPR workshop
4 July 2024 | Merton College | 1pm
An invitation has been extended to everyone in the department to attend a CRISPR Workshop that is taking place on Thursday 4 July at the TS Eliot Theatre at Merton College. It has a stellar list of speakers – including staff in the Department of Paediatrics – and will be followed by a champagne reception and networking opportunities. You can view the programme by clicking on the link below. The event will start at 1pm and is free to attend. It has been sponsored by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre’s Gene and Cell Therapy theme and is exclusively for Oxford University research staff and graduate students.
View the full programme and register
Fellowship Applications: Lessons learned from recent successes
8 July 2024 | Online only | 2pm
Applying for a fellowship is a key step in the career progression of many ECRs. In this seminar we will hear from two researchers who were recently awarded prestigious fellowships. They will share their experiences such that attendees may be better prepared for their own applications. 
Everybody is welcome to join.
Email for further information
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 trials? 

We need volunteers for a new vaccine against Marburg virus
If you are aged 18 to 55 years old and in good health, then you may be eligible to take part in a study investigating a new vaccine against Marburg virus. All participants will be reimbursed up to £1290 for their time, inconvenience, and travel. For further information please click on the link below. Here is a link to pre-screening questionnaire: Pre-screening Questionnaire or contact Oxford Vaccine Group with any questions: Email: Tel: 01865611400.
Click here to find out more about the trial
Malaria BIO-001
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
Malaria BIO-004
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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