03/2021: Computational Biology (Z McVey)

Time: Thursday 18 March 2021 at 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

Title: Computational Biology in Drug Target Discovery

The field of computational biology has exponentially grown in recent years, enabling novel insights into biological mechanisms underlying human disease. This is a diverse field, ranging from the use of advanced genetics methods to machine learning applications. Computational biology has revolutionised the way in which we can identify and develop new drugs for human disease. In this talk we will discuss how advanced analytics of large biological and clinical datasets can be used to gain insight into cardiometabolic disease. We will then discuss how we can use these insights to identify and test novel drug targets.

Speaker: Zahra McVey

I am a Research Scientist working for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. I currently work in a Computational Biology team at Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford (NNRCO), where our focus is the discovery of new drug targets in cardiovascular and metabolic (cardiometabolic) disease. Prior to joining the team in Oxford, I worked in a Data Science team in Copenhagen, where Novo Nordisk’s headquarters are located. I have a diverse background, having completed my PhD at the University of Oxford in leukaemia stem cell biology. Based at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, I worked in the lab as a scientist, while developed my skills in computational biology. My scientific interest is in the use of computational biology to advance our biological understanding of disease, and ultimately develop effective treatments for patients.


02/2021: Mars (R Irshad)

Time: Thursday 18 Feb 2021 at 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Mars – Why we can’t get enough

There have been 49 spacecraft missions to Mars – more than anywhere else beyond Earth. What is it about Mars that we find so fascinating? Why do we continue to return? What remains to be understood about our nearest neighbour in the Solar Systems that has not already been uncovered? With 2020 seeing the launch of three Mars missions, landing in 2021, this talk explores the importance of Mars to mankind, and discusses the impact of the most recent missions to the red planet.

SPEAKER: Rain Irshad

Dr Rain Irshad is the Autonomous Systems Lead at RAL Space and works on large innovation projects for the Science and Technology Facilities Council. She has been involved in numerous space missions over the past 18 years and was the Planetary Protection Officer for the SEIS-SP instrument on NASA’s InSight Mission. Her research also looks at terrestrial applications of space technology including robotics for Agritech and the Mine Action Sector.

01/2021: Proteins (D Doultsinos)

Time: Thursday 21 Jan 2021 at 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Life in the balance: How protein quality control governs health and disease

Every cell in our body exists as part of a hugely sophisticated machinery that strives to prolong life. Our cells must work optimally under stressful conditions and be able to overcome challenges. These stresses arise with every little change of our environment (like eating lunch or exercising) and cells adapt to these stresses through quality control mechanisms. In the first part of this talk we will see how these same mechanisms govern the manifestation of disease using cancer and neurodegeneration as examples. In the second part we will have a look at the diverse landscape of disciplines needed to design a new drug, the challenges behind targeting these quality control mechanisms to combat disease and how a clinical trial for such a medicine is designed.

SPEAKER: Dimitrios Doultsinos

Dimitrios Doultsinos is an Associate Research Fellow in Prostate Oncology at the Department of Surgery at the University of Oxford and the John Radcliffe Hospital. Dimitrios has worked in various NHS Trusts and has a background in Neurology and Oncology with an expertise in small molecule drug development, clinical trial design and cancer biology. Currently he is characterising a new drug candidate for prostate cancer and explores how cancer cell biology can lead to treatment resistant disease.

12/2020: Virtual Interactive Visit of DIAMOND Light Source

Virtual Tour of the DIAMOND Light Source

Date: 9-Dec-2020
Time: 18:30
(Please remember unusal date/time)

We have booked a virtual tour of the DIAMOND Light Source at Harwell for the members and friends of the Atom Society. The tour will be conducted online via ZOOM. There will be a presentation at the beginning and the opportunity too ask questions. The virtual tour does allow us to see parts of the light source (a very fancy particle accelerator) that are not normally visible for visitors.

To attend you will have to register at https://diamondlight.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYode2prTMpGtTM2gaMAy2u0AyjdtGEQthx

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Registration will be open until the start of the event. You can join the tour either by installing the ZOOM client from https://zoom.us/download or directly using your web browser (Only Chrome, Firefox and Safari will support this.=


11/2020: Art & Astronomy (B Kellett)

Time: Thursday 19 Nov 2020 from 19:15 for 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

TITLE: Art & Astronomy

Astronomical objects sometime make an appearance in works of art or literature.  This then gives astronomers an opportunity to delve deeper into these works and discover details that would otherwise have remained a mystery. So what can, two paintings by van Gogh, the Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Edvard Munch’s The Scream tell us?

SPEAKER: Barry Kellett

Barry Kellett has worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for over thirty years. He is an astronomer, space scientist and lunar expert. He has been giving public lectures since he started at RAL Space and now as a catalogue of over 100 lectures.