On Tuesday 7th February 2017 QMUL hosted the second annual Engagement and Enterprise Awards to celebrate and showcase projects demonstrating excellence in the application and dissemination of research and teaching through public engagement, academic innovation, media relations and student enterprise. On the night the William Harvey Research Institute was represented with finalists in both the Public Engagement and Academic Innovation categories.
Public Engagement Category
Interact Award: Recognising the partnerships, collaborations and community connections that are essential to public engagement, so seeks to celebrate excellent engagement and the partnerships which underpin these projects.
Finalists: Muscling In!, Suzanne Eldridge (WHRI/Centre of the Cell)
Muscling In! is a new science show which teaches the musculoskeletal system of the human body that has been developed with 8 local schools and Centre of the Cell. The show covers the ‘muscles and bones’ section of the National Curriculum for Science and is aimed at pupils in key stage 2 and 3.
Over 100 school pupils (aged between 7-14 years) provided a real influence on the content and demonstrations in the show from them thinking about the best ways to interactively communicate the curriculum in a fun way whilst enhancing their retention of the topic, to assisting in the making of props for the show.
(Jump to 2:17 to view 'Muscling In!')
Academic Innovation Category
Proof of Concept Award: This award is for the proof of concept project which has achieved one or a number of milestones that could lead to a significant commercial or non-commercial enterprise in the future.
Finalists: Qm107 A Novel Therapy for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration, James Whiteford (WHRI) and Guilia De Rossi (WHRI)
Wet age-related macular degeneration (Wet AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss amongst the ageing population. Using funds derived from a Queen Mary Innovations Proof of Concept grant we have discovered a potently anti-angiogenic drug, QM107 which targets an alternative pathway to VEGF, can be chemically synthesized and is small enough to be administered as eye drops.
This molecule shows efficacy in the leading murine pre-clinical model of this disease and we are now looking to obtain funding to perform comprehensive pre-clinical toxicology with a view to taking this drug towards phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.
(Jump to 3:10 to view 'Qm107 A Novel Therapy for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration')