Burns Night

Last night the Hamill team celebrated the life and works of Robert Burns with a night of food, poetry, song and dance with team members, partners, children and friends. It was a fantastic time with much hilarity, delicious food and drink. Many thanks to everyone for coming and for making it such a fun night.

Unfortunately I forgot to the get the camera out ’til later in the evening so missed Valentina’s address to the laddies, Lee’s address to the Lassies (including his primary school poetry!), the haggis (and related shock on many faces in finding out it is fantastic!). Trust me though they were all great!

Its long overdue that we had a team gathering; events like these really cement that I have assembled a fantastic team and am looking forward to a fun and productive times together.

What we were able to capture for posterity was MRes students Kareem, Tobi and Conor displaying a distinct lack of ability at beer pong and, in particular, Tobi’s inimitable technique!

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They grow up so fast – MRes 2016-17 project 1

New year, new poster session with Hamill lab students in action. This time its the turn of two MRes students from this year’s clinical sciences cohort.

Tobi Oyewole’s project looked into changes in LaNt a31 distribution in corneal limbal explants, a model of corneal wound repair in relation to proteins associated with of limbal basal epithelium/wound repair. He generated some pretty nice histology images working closely with Dr Valentina Barrera20170113_130648 including a bunch of images that quite nicely showed that our old rabbit pAb LaNt and new mouse mAb recognise very similar distributions (quite a relief really). Tobi’s work was presented at Mercia Stem Cell conference recently and Vale is continuing on with it and hopefully it will contribute to a manuscript later this year.

Kareem Hassanin did a very different project; he investigated issues with sunscre20170113_131709en application behaviour. Compared with my usual Molecular/Cell Biology/Genetics/histology type projects this was a totally different project (lots of fun) that we decided to do after a few conversations with one of my clinical colleagues (Austin McCormick) an eyelid cancer specialist. It also brought in Harry Pratt and Yalin Zheng as image analysis specialists and Gabriella Czanner as a statistician which has meant this really simple study has generated some really robust data. Conference abstract has
been submitted and the manuscript being prepared for submission very soon. 20161102_151712

The recruitment poster he used for to assemble the cohort could equally well have doubled as a wanted poster for myself (and was modified such in some of the communal areas….) and it was stated today that the people institute were pleased to no longer have my face staring at them every morning!

I also now have a big collection of comedy photos from most of the students and postdocs in the institute and have cool UV camera that we will be using in public engagement events this summer.

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They grow up so fast – Mapstone prize winner edition

Congratulations to PhD student Karen Lester on a prize winning talk at the Department of Eye and Vision Science and St Paul’s Eye Unit annual ophthalmology presentations.

Karen’s studies are trying reverse engineering glaucoma in order to identify new therapeutic targets to treat this blinding disease. She already has some interesting findings and its developing into really nice story. Her studies are under the primary direction of Prof Colin Willoughby with input from  Drs Carl Sheridan, Anshoo Choudray and myself.

Interested in her work? You can see it presented at Asia ARVO in February and hopefully in print sometime soon!