Conference celebrates Southampton's research

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The Southampton Medical & Health Research Conference 2017 saw a diverse mix of researchers from University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Southampton share their latest research and forge new collaborations.

Over 14-15 June 2017 more than 400 staff and students came together for the Southampton Medical & Health Research Conference, showcasing Southampton’s health research.

Coming together  

Kicked off by a welcome from Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences Deans Professor Iain Cameron and Professor Mandy Fader, collaboration and closer working was the central theme.

Professor Robert Read introduced the new university-hospital 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, closed the first day with this year’s Annual Wade Lecture. He emphasised his belief that health scientists should not keep to isolated academic ivory towers, but work closely with clinicians and the patients they treat.

Fiona Dalton, CEO of the Trust, introduced the closing day of talks by underlining her sense that Southampton has developed a truly collaborative culture, with research an integral part of how the hospital strives to improve care for patients.   

Supporting research careers

A key goal of the conference was to give researchers at an early stage of their career the opportunity to present their work, sometimes for the very first time, with the chance to win a prize. As well as talks, delegates could present through poster sessions that provided valuable networking opportunities.

Topics ranged from laboratory science to studies of patient experiences. Talks included insights into 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.   

The conference also launched the Southampton Academy of Research (SoAR), established to support research careers across the university and hospital, with a keynote talk and a stand where attendees could find out more.

Other stands engaged researchers with the services of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and WISH laboratory, local organisations, training providers and enterprise opportunities.

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

Posted on Friday 23 June 2017