Women in Medicine: Celebrating the Women of RUMS

‘Women in Medicine’ was a photographic exhibition of historical and contemporary female icons in medicine, held late last year at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Medical institutions across the UK nominated a current female representative of their speciality, who in turn paid tribute to historical women who have inspired them.  The Royal College of Physicians recently ran an exhibition celebrating internationally acclaimed women in medicine, many of whom graduated from UCL Medical School or one of its many iterations. Among the long list of honoured icons were Diana Beck, believed to be the first female neurosurgeon in the…

UCL Medical Society: Anaesthetics and Critical Care

The UCL MedSoc Anaesthetics and Critical Care section has enjoyed an exciting year thus far with plenty going on for our members! We kicked off in December with talks by two consultants at the Royal Free exploring why anaesthetics is such a great speciality and the career routes that will get you there. To take us back to the grindstone after Christmas, we held an anaesthetics revision talk by Dr. Rob Stephens. This event was highly relevant to finalists, who were able to revise everything they had forgotten and to ask questions in preparation for finals. Dr. Mervyn Singer, a…

Xtreme Everest: The Lab at the Top of the World

  In 2007, UCL researchers pulled off an incredible feat- sending a research team to the top of Mount Everest, Braving the harsh and barren surroundings, they performed groundbreaking studies that have greatly informed our understanding of hypoxia and critically ill patients.  History is rife with stories of brave people putting their bodies on the line for the advancement of science. Take Marshall and Warren, for example: these two Australian doctors famously ingested H. pylori to prove that peptic ulcer and gastric cancer could be caused by bacterial infection. Last year marked the tenth anniversary of a similarly heroic endeavour –…

Improving student engagement based on a sample of n = 1 = me

Early experiences of primary care at medical school solely acted to solidify Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein’s ambition to become a plastic surgeon. However, now a Portfolio RAF general practitioner enjoying her career more than ever, Jodie explains the inspirational chance encounter that changed her path, and encourages others to open their eyes to all possible career options; namely one in general practice. Having just finished swiping through last night’s magical photos of the aurora borealis, I sit in a medical centre in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, with mile upon mile of perfectly white snow outside of my clinic window, preparing all…

CAR Immunotherapy: Driving Research from Bench to Bedside

The history of cell and gene therapy is not one without its peaks and pitfalls. This novel type of therapy promised to treat and cure almost any disease by inserting a corrective gene into the cells, with an important caveat: the molecular pathogenesis of the disease had to be properly understood. This year marks the eighteenth anniversary of Jesse Gelsinger’s death, the first directly attributed to gene therapy treatment. Gelsinger had ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down and eliminating the build-up of ammonia. The gene delivery vehicle — a recombinant adenoviral vector…