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Department of Life Sciences Newsletter
October 2017
Newsletter Archive
Staff Information
Health & Wellbeing

Welcome to all our undergraduates and postgraduates, whether you have just joined Life Sciences as a new student or are a returning student.


The start of the academic year is a wonderfully stimulating time as our new students join our community and we are fortunate to attract such a talented and diverse group of students. University is an exciting, life-changing experience for many, but it can be daunting at times and we hope you find us welcoming, friendly and supportive.


We look forward to meeting you during the year, which I hope is enjoyable and academically rewarding for us all.

We would also like to congratulate all our graduates who celebrated their graduation on Commemoration Day 2017.

Prof Anne Dell, Head of Department
Dr Huw Williams, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dr Niki Gounaris, Director of Postgraduate Studies

Welcome to New Staff

Regulatory Scientific Officer (Maternity Cover) 
John Connolly
Regulatory Affairs Manager
Geoff Turner
Research Associate
Giorgio Perin (Patrik Jones), Serene Chen Weiyan (Alfonso De Simone), David Schnoerr (Michael Stumpf)
Research Assistant
Jessica Sharrock (Marc Dionne), Cristina Cecchetti (Marie Curie Early Stage, Bernadette Byrne), Shraddha Gang (Martin Buck), Rebecca Johnson (Gad Frankel), Eloise Lockyer (Gloria Rudenko), Shengpan Zhang (Hugh Brady), Emma Walmsley (Tony Southall), Anna Turkiewicz (Colin Turnbull)

Left to right: Prof James Stirling (Provost), Dr Poh-Choo Pang (Post Doc), Dr Alice Grob (Post Doc), Dr Rochelle Aw (Post Doc), Dr Liz Elvidge (Head, Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre).

2017 PDC Reps Awards
The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (previously Postdoc Development Centre) recently hosted the PDC Reps Award Dinner to thank and recognise the significant contribution the reps make to the PDC Reps Network.

Department of Life Sciences Postdoc Committee members were extremely successful in being nominated and awarded the following:
Rochelle Aw was awarded the Individual Rep Award Finalist award  (£100 towards a conference or workshop)

Team award (£250 towards a team celebration)

Reps who were nominated and voted for received a certificate and a token of £25 voucher of their choice. For Life Sciences these were Alice Grob and Poh-Choo Pang.

'Techcelerate' Programme
The College has launched a new ‘Techcelerate’ programme for postdoc researchers who want to fast-track the commercial development of new ideas and build their entrepreneurial skills. If you’d like to find out more, complete the online registration form to attend the information event that will be held at the Enterprise Lab on 30th October (4-6pm).

Website Update

All Staff Info pages on the DoLS Web-Site have been updated and reorganised.

These pages contain information relevant to many aspects of staff support and department info (committees, training courses, funding, events, Equal Opportunities, recruitment and promotion, etc.). The aim of the update is to make them more relevant and more accessible – and to add a friendlier tone. If you have any feedback please email Rebecca Stiffell.

Other News
New analysis reveals that billions of dollars spent on habitat and species conservation have resulted in substantial reductions in biodiversity loss. The study, by an international team of researchers including Dr Joseph Tobias, provides the first hard evidence that conservation spending is having a substantial positive effect across a wide range of national and regional contexts. Find out more here.


Esteban J Beckwith, Quentin Geissmann, Alice S French, Giorgio F Gilestro. Regulation of sleep homeostasis by sexual arousal.  featured in eLife insight: Sleep: To rebound or not to rebound — Stahl BA, Keene AC.

R.G. Endres. Entropy production selects nonequilibrium states in multistable systems. Sci. Rep., accepted

G. Micali, R.G. Endres. Drift and behaviour of E. coli cells. Biophys. J. (letter), in press.

Ashdown G W. Membrane lipid order of sub-synaptic T cell vesicles correlates with their dynamics and function. Traffic. accepted.

Prizes and Awards

Matt Child has been elected to be a member of the the Royal Society of Biology, and independently elected to be a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Vincent Savolainen has been appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Gilestro lab was also awarded an EMBO STF as hosting lab for a visiting postdoc from Barcelona, Delia.

DoLS at Conferences

Dave Briggs gave a talk at the 2017 international Proteoglycans conference in Varese, Italy, on 11th September titled "Recognition of GAG attachment sites by Xylosyltransferase 1".

Nadia Guerra gave a plenary talk at the "Together one step further" symposium organised by the Allergy-Inflammation  & Immunity PhD programs at the Medical University of Vienna (Sept 2017).

Oliver Windram attended BioJapan 2017 where he gave a talk on remote sensing and formed part of a discussion panel discussing the global Bioeconomy. A group of academics went along with Corporate partnerships seeking to establish new connections with Industry in Japan. Find out more here. 


Rob Ewers gave a talk at New Scientist Live last week. As part of New Scientist Live, he took part in a panel discussion for the Science in Action series on the BBC World Service - Listen here.

Giorgio Gilestro gave a TEDx talk titled 'Sleep: what we know and what we think we know, but we don't'.

TAKE NOTICE of your  financial wellbeing, a number of reports on Employee Financial Wellbeing have been published this year, it is a significant personal stressor very often impacting wellbeing and relationships, a complex issue requiring continuous engagement and support.

As part of Nation Stress Awareness Day Imperial is running financial wellbeing workshops:

Financial Awareness: Mid-Career Money Management

02 November

15:00 - 16:00
South Kensington Campus

Book via My Training on ICIS. Search: National Stress Awareness Day.

For more info click here.