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a newsletter for you Hollywood visits the School of Medicine and Dentistry Hallo, and welcome to the October edition of BLStudent. I trust our new intake are suitably recovered from Freshers’ Fortnight and have settled happily and conscientiously down to life as students of medicine and dentistry at our illustrious School! A bumper issue this one – with much to applaud. We congratulate the excellent Liz Davenport on her nomination in the ‘Most Innovative Teacher’ category at this year’s Times Higher Education Awards - and a ‘hooray’ too for the team behind Centre of the Cell, their fantastic project has been nominated for a ‘Visit London’ award…yet another to add to their burgeoning collection.

A touch of Hollywood glamour was bestowed upon Whitechapel when ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Johnny Depp dropped in to the Medical School to pay a surprise visit to the Joseph Merrick based exhibition; Skeletons and Skulduggerey. The actor spent an hour at the School on September 30th perusing the exhibition, taking in the pathology specimen collection in the Thompson-Yates gallery, and visiting the old museum (now the Senior Common Room.) During his visit Mr. Depp asked about the history of the School and the hospital, and was particularly intrigued by Joseph Merrick’s story and the expression of feelings demonstrated in his writings. On his departure Mr. Depp offered his support to fund a preservation project on Joseph Merrick and his death casts, and this is presently being considered by the museum committee.

We learn about a new clinical information system being implemented by the Dental Institute which will seriously enhance the student experience both in the Dental Hospital and in our Outreach Centres, and hear how the important task of providing comprehensive feedback on performance to students is being achieved and improved. Look out too for a great programme of inaugural lectures by some very talented researchers upcoming next month – all students are very welcome. Elsewhere within the ranks we have reached remote summits, produced award winning books…and even had time to play host to a very famous actor indeed! You read it here first… All the best, Professor Sir Nick Wright, Warden

Johnny Depp and Learning Resources manager Steve Moore. Steve’s on the left!

School helps make new film about the life of Merrick A documentary about the life of Joseph Merrick, to be broadcast on Channel 4 next year, is being made with the assistance of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Barts and The London NHS Trust. The focus of the film will be to re-examine Merrick’s skeleton using a multidisciplinary team of experts to assess different aspects of his anatomy. The aim

is to shed light on four key areas including his speech pattern, movement, the progression of Merrick’s disease throughout his life and what proved to be the immediate cause of his death. Production company Windfall Films are behind the new one-hour documentary which will be aired in conjunction with the 120th anniversary of Merrick’s death.

OCT 2010


BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Laura’s column:

Your Jnr SSLC needs you PHEW! What a couple of weeks it’s been! Having made it through Freshers’ Fortnight and lived to tell the tale I hope you are all settling in well to university life/refamiliarising yourselves with the wonders of East London. As I’m sure most of you are aware this year’s Freshers has been incredible! Some highlights have been the infamous Toga and Tequila night on Friday the 24th, with bed sheets and Whitechapel market material donned by all. The Hypnostist and comedy night provided some more laid back evenings and proved very popular with both BL and QM students alike! It just goes to show that there is something for everyone here at BLSA; which brings me nicely onto the storming success that was the Freshers Fayre. We are lucky enough to have our own sports clubs and societies specifically for medical and dental students, and this year we’ve got more variety and loads of different ability level teams so there is no excuse to spend your Wednesday’s with your nose in a book! I’m sure that you signed up to at least ten different clubs and societies at the fayre, and now is the time to get out there and try the new activities and join the teams. Especially as the date for the famous Merger Cup is soon to be decided….keep your eyes peeled for more info on that ladies and gents… Well, I don’t know about you lot, but I am frazzled, so that’s all for this issue! I hope that you’ve met lots of new friendly faces amongst the sea of people at BLSA and wish you all the best for the coming year, we are proud to have you…enjoy yourselves and stay safe! BL Love A very proud (but worn out) Laura

Do you feel that the School could do more for its junior medical students? Would you like to find out more about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of your MBBS course? Do you think you could articulate to senior staff the opinions of yourself and your fellow students? Then the Junior Student-Staff Liaison Committee needs you! It considers all aspects of the course for medical students in Year 1, Year 2 and GEP Year 1, and is currently looking for new student reps. Laura Brenner (BL President) is about to organise elections, so please consider putting your name forward. You can get more information about what the job entails from Laura or from Dr Carroll ( The committee meets once a month or so and gives students a chance to make educational improvements that will benefit them and their peers. Advice and training are available for new student reps, and you can put it on your CV. Why not give it a go?

BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Those of you who completed end-of-year exams recently have received detailed feedback on your performance, which will aid your revision and learning. Feedback will be provided to you in various forms throughout the year. See your handbook and year noticeboard for more info.

From Peru to HEMS… Thank You All! Can Ann do it? Yes she can! I’ve returned from “the Inca” having had the adventure of a life-time! We said goodbye to trains, planes and automobiles and headed out on ‘our’ mission; travelling on foot, we entered into a time wharp – no rush hour traffic here, just horses, donkeys and llamas led by mountain people in their traditional dress By the end of day one reality hit, exhausted, I crawled into my tent and “hit the sack”. Mornings were 5am wake-up calls with a bowl of ice cold water to wash from then back on the trail. The scenery was breathtaking and made up for the lack of home comforts. I quickly realised that my training had been invaluable; the trail was very tough but just manageable because I had prepared for the worst. Every day was exciting, filled with laughter and mountain games – and some screams as we tackled the steep inclines! We made it to the Sun Gate on Day 4 and there was the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ Macchu Piccu! I was over-whelmed with emotion at the beauty of the scenery and the realisation that I had successfully made the climb. I enjoyed mixing with the Andean people - they are shy but very friendly and cared for us just like a family. On the final night we all celebrated by dancing and partying all night. One day I hope to return to this amazing country, it truly was the most fantastic experience. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT – TOGETHER WE HAVE RAISED £490 for HEMS. PLEASE help to keep this invaluable service alive – you can support them by going to:

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BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Still making waves… Cross-Channel swimmer – our very own Trevor Gaunt – speaks to the East London Advertiser about his epic achievement.

News update You may have seen reports in the media recently concerning a Vitomir Zepinic, who held the position of Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry for a six month period ending in March this year. Zepinic was recruited to cover maternity leave within the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry on a contract scheduled to end on the 5 March 2010. He had no clinical practice. In February 2010 it came to the attention of the School that Zepinic had been prosecuted in Australia in 2008 for holding himself out as a doctor. School authorities confronted Zepinic about having lied on his application for employment and suspended him – he responded by submitting his resignation with immediate effect. Since his departure the School has conducted a thorough review of its recruitment procedures to ensure absolute scrutiny of qualifications occurs at interview stage by the interviewing panel.

BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Award nomination for Centre of the Cell Barts and The London’s ground-breaking science education facility - Centre of the Cell - has been nominated for a BT Visit London Award 2010 in the category Best New Tourism Experience. The short-list was announced in September – the month in which Centre of the Cell marked its first anniversary. Over 12,500 young people have visited Centre of the Cell – located inside the Blizard building - in the 12 months since it launched. So successful has the project been that plans are afoot to develop a second Centre of the 'Pod,' in response to demand for additional activities. The new neuron 'Pod' will be created in the mews space which runs between the two halves of the Blizard building enabling Centre of the Cell to expand its educational programme and outreach. The nomination joins a fast growing list of accolades for Centre of the Cell – already this year the project has won a Best Entertainment AV Award in the Professional AV Spotlight Awards, and a Best Educational Initiative Award in the Museums and Heritage Awards. The winners of the Visit London Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 8 December at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top.

School flag crosses the line in Great River Race On the 25 September – a team from the Institute of Cancer, powered a 10-man Dragonboat over 21 miles from London Docklands to Richmond as part of the Great River Race 2010 crossing the finish line in 3 hours 10 mins. Team member Carol See said; “We were so proud to be able to fly the Barts and The London flag on our boat!”

The team aim to raise a total £10,000 for Centre of the Cell (www.centreofthe) and DebRA ( A JustGiving website ( through which they can be sponsored has been set up.

BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Most Innovative Teacher nomination for Professor Liz Davenport The Institute of Dentistry’s Professor Liz Davenport has been short-listed for a Times Higher Education Award 2010 in the category; ‘Most Innovative Teacher.’ It is apt recognition for a highly respected professional who has long been devoted to improving and furthering dental education. Her nomination in this year’s Times Higher Education Awards makes a hat-trick for Queen Mary, sitting as it does alongside the School of Geography’s Professor Jane Wills in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’ category for co-ordinating the College’s Living Wage campaign, and Dr Jon Davis, lecturer in the School of History and executive director of the Mile End Group, also for ‘Most Innovative Teacher.’ The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London on November 25.

Professor Davenport at work

Inaugural lectures You are all warmly invited to the following Inaugural Lectures taking place in November. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to:

Daniel Sifrim BICMS

Clive Seale IHSE

Nicola Maffulli IHSE

Patricia Munroe WHRI

’Understanding the pathophysiology of oesophageal diseases to improve diagnosis and treatments’

’Social surveys, community studies and east London’

’A tender tendon journey’

’Ex-pressure-self: genes and Me’

Venue: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Whitechapel Monday 15 November, 2010

Venue: Willoughby Lecture Theatre, Charterhouse Square Monday 22 November, 2010

Venue: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Whitechapel Tuesday 9 November, 2010

Venue: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Whitechapel Thursday 11 November, 2010

Kairbaan HodivalaDilke Institute of Cancer ’Cutting cancer’s lifeline: Understanding the molecular basis of tumour blood vessel growth’ Venue: Willoughby Lecture Theatre, Charterhouse Square Tuesday 30 November, 2010

BLStudent: a newsletter for you

Success for Barts and The London doctors at BMA Medical Book Awards 2010 Two books by Barts and The London doctors have achieved first prizes in their category at the BMA’s 2010 competition for medical books and patient information material. The annual event attracts around 800 entries a year. Professor Parveen Kumar and Dr Michael Clark’s Clinical Medicine came top in the Medicine category and Professor Susan Dilly’s Basic Pathology – an introduction to the mechanisms of disease (with coauthors from St George’s Hospital Medical School and the University of Queensland) topped the pathology section.

Professor Susan Dilly (left) and Dr Caroline Finlayson (right) receiving their award from Professor Averil Mansfield, Immediate Past President BMA.

New Dental Clinical Information System will fundamentally change the way the Dental Institute operates The Dental Institute is implementing a new dental clinical information system (DCIS) for its dental hospital and school which promises to revolutionise the way it operates. The new system – Excelicare - will bridge the gap between the dental hospital and the medical school IT infrastructure so they can operate as one entity. The new system will support the needs of clinical managers involved in patient care and management, as well as those of clinical teachers behind student clinical training. It will also provide a solid basis for future dental research work, including applying for fund-based research. Students will be able to use the system interactively with staff and develop and review their logProfessor Farida Fortune books/portfolios, enabling reflective learning and improved assessments of core dental skills and competencies. Using Excelicare’s powerful suite of reporting tools research clinicians will have the ability to build up and analyse clinical data to aid their research. The Dental Institute already has an excellent reputation for research, and

the capture of clinical data will greatly support this. Professor Farida Fortune, Dean for Dentistry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry commented: “The system will be invaluable for monitoring student learning, patient management and research. The information provided will enable us to enhance the student experience both in the Dental Hospital and in our Outreach Centres”. In order to make the most of the functionality of Excelicare, the Dental Institute and Hospital are also undertaking a major IT upgrade including a network upgrade, the introduction of wireless voice and data capability, digitalised dental X-ray capability so that images will be instantly available to clinicians, and the introduction of PACS (picture archiving communication system) which will link into the DCIS. The project is being funded by a DoH grant and is expected to take approximately 12 months to implement.

News and notifications: we want to hear from you! Send your ideas and entries for BL Student to Please keep checking the SMD Education website, which is updated regularly to keep you informed about the latest news.

BLStudent Newsletter_October 2010_Issue9  

BLStudent Newsletter_October 2010_Issue9