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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Conference celebrates Southampton's research

Published: 23 June 2017
Research posters the conference
Research posters at the Southampton Medical & Health Research Conference 2017

Our first Southampton Medical & Health Research Conference 2017 was a great success, bringing together a diverse mix of researchers from University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University of Southampton to share their latest research and forge new collaborations.

The Southampton Medical & Health Research Conference on 14-15 June brought together around 400 staff and students for this two-day event showcasing Southampton’s health research.

The conference was opened by the Deans of Health Sciences and Medicine, Professor Mandy Fader and Professor Iain Cameron, who welcomed attendees to the conference, gave examples of existing collaborations and spoke of their desire to continue to work closely together.

Professor Robert Read introduced the hospital's new NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, while Professor Carl May spoke about the challenges of translating basic research into treatments and the importance of considering how it might be used at the outset.  

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Welcome Trust, gave this year’s Annual Wade Lecture, which followed the first day and was run in partnership with the conference. During his talk, he spoke of how he believes it is essential that health scientists are not kept in isolation in an ivory tower, but work alongside clinicians and the patients they treat. He encouraged the audience to engage with the Wellcome Trust for future research.

Fiona Dalton, CEO of the Trust, introduced the second day by saying that she feels that here in Southampton we have achieved this collaborative way of working, with research an integral part of how the hospital strives to improve the care we provide for patients.   

A key goal of the conference was to give those at the earlier stages of their research career the opportunity to present their work at a conference, sometimes for the very first time, with the chance to win a prize. The poster sessions also provided valuable networking opportunities.

Colleagues from Health Sciences were awarded prize certificates for best presentation. Ana-Carolina Goncalves, Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow, presented on evaluating physical activity interventions for people with dementia and Dr Chloe Grimmett spoke about a decision support tool for young women with breast cancer.

The faculty also won prizes for a number of poster categories. Saed Al Bimani for his review of prevalence and common causes of acute ankle sprain presenting in emergency department settings, Amanda Cummings for her work on co-morbidities and quality of life following colorectal cancer surgery, and Sophia Taylor for her work on lung cancer patients following curative intent radiotherapy.

A wide variety of topics were covered, with everything from laboratory science to analysis of patient experiences. They included new devices and tests, regenerative medicine, cancer immunotherapy, treatments for respiratory conditions, the effect of diet before and during pregnancy, diseases of old age and patient perspectives.   

This year marked the launch of Southampton Academy of Research (SoAR), established to support research careers across the university and Trust, with a talk at the start of the conference and a stand where attendees could find out more.

Other stands included research facilities such as the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and WISH laboratory, local organisations, training providers and enterprise opportunities. Throughout the course of the day, one stand produced a bright yellow model of a spinal vertebra on a 3D printer.

Inspirational talks by external companies also provided a valuable insight for those considering enterprise opportunities, including developing their research concept into a spin-out company.

With a wonderful atmosphere, fantastic talks and exciting new research developments, it was a great way to celebrate Southampton's strength in medical and health research.   

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