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Your Medical Fund News Supporting medicine at the University of Glasgow Winter 2018


WELCOME From the Chair of the Medical Fund As a graduate, friend or supporter of the University, we are delighted to bring you news from across the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences (MVLS). We hope you enjoy this edition. The University of Glasgow continues to provide a world-class environment for our students, academics and researchers. In The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 the “four aces” – Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine – have been placed in the top one or two in the UK in each of their subjects. This excellence looks set to continue with the new Institute of Health & Wellbeing planned for the Western Infirmary site. You will read about some of our most successful academics, researchers and alumni, including Professor Tessa Holyoake, Director of the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, who sadly passed away in August last year. Staff, students and graduates from across the College have been busy this year, and we are delighted to announce that Glasgow Dental School are Guinness World Record holders, having created the World’s Biggest Smile earlier this year. Congratulations to everyone who took part! The College of MVLS continues to support our talented students and academics undertaking world-changing research projects. These projects would not happen without the support of our graduates and friends. Many thanks to all of our supporters.

Professor Sir Michael Bond Qualifications Chair, The Medical Fund


PROFESSOR TESSA HOLYOAKE An exceptional scientist and friend 6 Hundreds of people gathered in the University Chapel on 8 September to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor Tessa Holyoake.

Centre. She is remembered for her worldleading contributions to CML, and as an inspiration and friend by colleagues and patients alike.

Professor Holyoake, a world-renowned expert in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) and one of the most exceptional scientists and clinicians of her generation, died peacefully on 30 August, aged 54.

Professor Holyoake made an exceptional contribution to her field, by identifying key CML stem cell survival pathways that can be manipulated to develop potential new treatments. This will have an enormous impact on the lives of patients with CML.

Professor Holyoake was the Professor of Experimental Haematology in the Institute of Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow and Director of the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research

If you’d like to remember Tessa with a gift to leukaemia research E: T: +44 (0)141 330 8007

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia UofG STUDY MAY POINT TO CURE A University of Glasgow led study has found that the antibiotic Tigecycline, when used in combination with current treatment, may hold the key to eradicating Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) cells. Using cells isolated from CML patients, researchers showed that treatment with Tigecycline, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infection, is effective in killing CML stem cells when used in combination with the drug Imatinib - a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and standard first-line treatment of patients with CML. The University of Glasgow led teams now believe that these two drugs together offer an exciting new approach to eradicate leukaemic stem cells in CML patients and potentially enhance cure rates. To support leukaemia research at the University of Glasgow E: T: +44 (0)141 330 8007

Pictured Dr Vignir Helgason, joint lead author of the study who is based at the University of Glasgow, Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre.

RAISING FUNDS AND A SMILE Dental School’s new world record As you can see from the giant grin in our cover picture, over 1,000 supporters of the Dental Appeal donned red and white ponchos to create the World’s Biggest Smile to highlight the importance of oral health as part of National Smile Month. The Big Smile Big Band event took place at the SEC Glasgow and involved University staff, dental alumni, schoolchildren and teachers from the Glasgow area. The record breakers were entertained by the Glasgow Dental School Big Band led by 2015 dental alumnus Callum Wemyss. The band performed the winning songs from the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Sparkling Star Award competition, written by pupils from Gavinburn Primary School, Old Kilpatrick and St Thomas’ Primary School, Neilston. Professor Jeremy Bagg, Head of the Dental School, said: “I am delighted that we were able to achieve our aim of assembling 1,000 participants in the shape of a big smile.

“The event has been a huge amount of fun to organise and our sincere thanks go to all of the many partners and organisations involved who helped to make this happen. “The promotion of oral health, particularly in children, is an important message to get across. We hope that our record breaking event has been both fun and educational for all involved.” Proceeds from the record-breaking event have been directed towards the Dental Appeal, which is raising money for the refurbishment of the dental technology teaching facilities to ensure they are fit to support a modern, innovative curriculum. To help improve teaching facilities by supporting the Dental Appeal E: T: +44 (0)141 330 3878 Pictured above and below Say Cheese! Our new Guinness World Record holders were entertained at the SEC by the Glasgow Dental School Big Band.


A DOCTOR, AN EXPLORER AND A HUMANITARIAN From Glasgow to Bangui and beyond Erin Kilborn graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2008. A doctor, an explorer and a humanitarian, she works on the front lines of the NHS in Scotland, and also with organisations such as MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders), in environments such as the jungles of Borneo, post-earthquake Haiti, the capital of the war-torn Central African Republic and the Peruvian Amazon. Here she tells us about her life.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE Different perspectives I have always wanted travel to be part of my life, and after school I spent a year in Sri Lanka with Project Trust. I chose to study Medicine in Glasgow because it had a good reputation, and also because it was close to my family and friends. I knew I would probably be abroad in the future, and here I am now based between Paris and Glasgow, with another mission to the Middle East with MSF coming up! MSF is the reason I wanted to become a doctor. It is at the forefront of delivering health care in challenging environments that are socially and culturally diverse, and often difficult to access. Working as part of an international team with limited resources means looking at problems from different perspectives, and learning to prioritise things differently. It’s exhausting, but the impact you can have on an individual, a family and even a whole community is enormous. National staff often need a lot of support and guidance as their skills may be quite rudimentary. However, you learn a lot from them, and it is crucial to nurture the twoway relationship. Working with MSF also fosters quite particular skills, like time management, prioritising, and technical skills like wound and fracture care, in addition to looking after acutely unwell people.

LIFE IN WAR ZONE: A typical day When I was in Bangui, Central African Republic, a typical day would start with an early morning meeting at the hospital. We might discuss security updates, or go over the volume and nature of cases coming through the door, or just ensure all staff were accounted for – it is not uncommon for staff to be crossing active fighting zones or dangerous slums to get to work. Following this, there is a quick round of intensive care to check on the postop cases from the day before, prior to heading to the emergency department to see how many cases they have waiting. Then I would join one of the surgeons for a round of patients in either general or orthopaedic surgery. We’ll check the charts and make sure they haven’t had


any fever, that their pain is under control, that wounds are healing well and that they have the correct dosage and duration of antibiotics prescribed, if indicated. Antibiotic stewardship is really important in this part of the world, as we are seeing increasing cases of significant resistance to treatments, so we try and limit the use of drugs to only essential and specific treatments as much as we can. The afternoon is varied, and either involves a teaching session with the medical staff covering a range of subjects from Tetanus vaccinations, burns care and other trauma and acute care related topics, to going through the lab results posted back to us from the labs and checking that we are acting on the results.

MSF is the reason I wanted to become a doctor. It is at the forefront of delivering health care in challenging environments that are socially and culturally diverse, and often difficult to access.

CAREER PATH: University connections For those looking to work with an organisation like MSF, it is really useful to have some experience of infectious diseases and emergency medicine. MSF are, rightly, quite picky about who they employ, as working conditions can be so challenging. They ask for doctors to have a minimum of two years postgraduate experience, and are particularly interested in those that have experience of living or travelling in developing countries. A language like French, Arabic or Spanish is also useful! Interestingly, there is a shift in focus towards improving psychological care in the field as well, so this may present more opportunities for budding psychiatrists. My degree in Glasgow gave me the opportunity to undertake two electives in India and Kenya, giving me valuable

experiences that helped prepare me for my work with MSF. However, my fondest memory of my time at University is the people. I still keep in touch with my friends from University, even though we are spread all over the world, and I feel lucky to have had so many adventures with them! I’ve really enjoyed staying in touch with the University, and I was delighted to be able to share my experiences with current students at the TEDx conference in March 2017. I found out about the conference through The Network, which is a fantastic way for graduates to stay connected to people once they are no longer within the bosom of the University. I really enjoy seeing what others are doing, and drawing on their knowledge and experiences.

To see Erin’s TEDx talk What Makes a Humanitarian W: watch?v=FFPB5qjhHgo To find out more about The Network W: To find out more about MSF (Doctors without Borders) W:

Pictured, Pages 4 and 5 Erin with colleagues in Central African Republic and Haiti.


The Institute for Health & Wellbeing SMOKE-FREE IS BEST University of Glasgow researchers across the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences have been influential in the global debate around the benefits of smoke-free legislation. Since the end of March 2006, smoking has been prohibited by law in all enclosed public spaces throughout Scotland, with the specific aim of protecting non-smokers from the effects of second-hand smoke. The Institute of Health & Wellbeing has been at the forefront of this research, and a team led by Professor Jill Pell has examined the effects of the smoke-free law on rates of heart disease, childhood asthma and pregnancy complications in Scotland. The research has shown that prior to the introduction of the smoke-free law, childhood asthma admissions had been increasing by about 5% each year. This figure was reduced by 18% per year following the introduction of the legislation.

Pictured PhD student Tolulope Oyeniyi, whose research was supported by a generous bequest.

More recently, Professor Pell’s team was the first to show a reduction in the incidence of cerebral infarction (which accounts for 50% of all strokes) as a result of the smoke-free law. This evidence supported policy in Scotland, the rest of the UK, and provided guidance for other countries to implement similar legislation. Professor Pell said: “These findings add to the growing evidence of the wide-ranging health benefits of smoke-free legislation and support the adoption of such legislation in other countries which have yet to implement smoking bans. These reductions occurred both in mothers who smoked and those who had never smoked.” To support the work of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing E: T: +44 (0)141 330 3878

MAKING A DIFFERENCE How your bequests change the world Myotonic dystrophy is part of a group of inherited disorders called muscular dystrophies, and is the most common form of muscular dystrophy that begins in adulthood. Marion Heller, who had the disease along with her son who sadly died when he was 12, was a long-term supporter of the Myotonic Dystrophy Support Group (MDSG) and donated £50,000 in her will towards research being led by Professor Darren Monckton in Glasgow. Thanks to this generous bequest, PhD student Tolulope Oyeniyi (pictured above) was given the opportunity to present her research at the 11th International Myotonic Dystrophy Consortium Meeting in San Francisco, where she was awarded the prize for the best poster presentation.

Pictured An artist’s impression of the new building.

The Institute for Health & Wellbeing EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF


With important research of the type described in the article above, the Institute of Health & Wellbeing aims to reduce health inequalities and improve health in Scotland and around the world. To achieve this, a new building, located on the Western Infirmary site, will be built to house the entire Institute on our newly expanded campus.

health and reducing health inequalities such as NHS, third sector, local and national government, and policy makers.

The building will not only improve collaboration and focus research, it will also become the ‘go-to’ place for individuals and organisations interested in improving

To support the work of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing E: T: +44 (0)141 330 3878

The research environment created will attract high calibre staff and international collaborators and provide a world-class teaching environment to nurture the next generation of academics.

Tolulope’s research focuses on developing a high throughput screening tool to detect the presence of myotonic dystrophy, and it is hoped that the method she has helped develop will go a long way in helping families at risk of myotonic dystrophy. Ground breaking research like Tolulope’s would not be possible without the support of many families and individuals, and we are very grateful that Marion chose to remember this type of research in her will. By making a gift in your will to the University of Glasgow you will be enabling future generations of brilliant minds to tackle the global challenges of today and tomorrow. To find out more about making a bequest to the University

YOUR SUPPORT IS VITAL How you can help We value your support which really does make a difference. Your philanthropic donations help to • bring the best staff to Glasgow • attract the brightest undergraduate and postgraduate students • produce pioneering research in veterinary, medical and life sciences.

ALUMNI REUNIONS: Giving back The University’s reunion giving programme allows alumni to celebrate their reunion by giving back to the institution, and we have been delighted to receive support from several groups over the past year. 1957 Alpha Club In May, 14 guests from the 1957 Alpha Club gathered in the Principal’s Lodging to hear about the modern MBChB course and the University’s ambitious plans for the future. The Alpha Club has chosen to support the upcoming Campus Redevelopment, which will create impact for centuries to come, enabling future generations to continue to develop new ideas that tackle the global challenges of today and tomorrow. 1959 Gamma Club Following a successful reunion in May 2017 which included a banquet and visits to the Royal Yacht and the Falkirk Wheel, the 1959 Gamma Club once again chose to donate to the Medical Education Fund.

In the past this fund has enhanced students’ learning experience by funding attendance at conferences and purchasing specialist equipment for our Clinical Skills Facility. 2017 Beta Club Our final year medical students have generously chosen to support undergraduates facing financial hardship. Many students face unforeseen financial difficulties while at University, and this donation will ensure that they are supported through their studies. On behalf of everybody at the University, thank you to all of our alumni groups for their generous support over the years.

They also help our students reach their potential, irrespective of their background.

Please get in touch If you’d like to support Medicine at the University of Glasgow, please get in touch. E: T: +44 (0)141 330 5092

Or you can give online

Connect with us OfficialUniversityofGlasgowAlumni @GlasgowAlumni glasgowalumni

To discuss how you could support the University through a reunion E: T: +44 (0)141 330 3878

Your stories and comments

Pictured The 60th reunion of the 1957 Alpha Club, at the Principal’s Lodging in May last year.

If you have any stories or feedback for Your Medical Fund News, please get in touch to let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

24 MUNROS IN 24 HOURS Holmes Miller’s feat raises funds for leukaemia research Congratulations to everyone at Holmes Miller Architects in Glasgow for successfully scaling 24 Munros in 24 hours and raising over £3,800 for the leukaemia research at the University. The office split into 12 teams and chose Munros across Scotland, including Bidean nam Bian and Ben Lomond. The company chose the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre as their charity of the year and have organised other events to raise funds, including a race night and sports day. Pictured One of the Holmes Miller teams at the summit of Ben Lawers.


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2018 Winter Med News

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Medical Fund News - Winter 2018  

The Winter 2018 edition of the University of Glasgow's Medical Fund News - Supporting medicine at the University of Glasgow

Medical Fund News - Winter 2018  

The Winter 2018 edition of the University of Glasgow's Medical Fund News - Supporting medicine at the University of Glasgow