October in Japan

JCS travelled to Japan on Sasakawa-Butterfield award to discuss collaborations with Richard Culleton, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Satoru Kawai, Dept Tropical Medicine & Parasitology, Dokkyo Medical University, Shimotsuga and Takeshi Annoura, National Institute of Infectious Disease (NIID) Tokyo.  Impressions: Japan beautiful, understatedly so efficient – it all just works!


Japanese counterparts polite in a most relaxed inclusive and accessible way – felt immediately comfortable and welcome, Science and research – addressing real questions to improve knowledge first and foremost – the peripheral stuff where it should be….. in the periphery.  A total pleasure to discuss work and research with mutual excitement. A breath of fresh air.  The goal to develop a translational model for malaria pathophysiology. Thanks to the efforts of Satoru Kawai we interacted with key institutes and their scientists working at the frontier.


The network is complete – next step….. the even harder bit – to set the project in motion and find financial backing? Have taken the idea thus far and poised to take the next step.  Huge thank you to Richard Culleton – doing fantastic work, a generous host and a joy to work with in Nagasaki, Satoru Kawai, taking forward our understanding of malaria in vivo, a former student of the great Masamichi Aikawa, an honour to meet, travel with and learn so much from – also a great planner of itinerary!  Last but not least Takeshi Annoura stunning work, super person and can’t wait to see where his reasearch leads. Had the most productive and motivating interactions, thank you Sasakawa-Butterfield and my conterparts in Japan.

From Sarina – my daughter on leaving the EU

This time last year, along with a few of my favourite people, I was gearing up to drive to Croatia from the UK. Having not seen much of mainland Europe before, I was mesmerised and I fell in love with more places than I could count. We crossed borders with no indication other than the changing languages on the road signs. I understand the EU is far from a utopian fairyland however I am excited by the diversity and opportunity that lies within it. I don’t know what the future will bring for this ‘independent’ UK and I’m not about to predict it. But, i feel a real sadness in the ugly xenophobia that has been expressed across the country during the course of this referendum. We now sit, wait and watch how this result will affect our people, our politics and our economy. There will be some positive and there will be some negatives and only time will tell how Little Britain will stand on its own two feet. I only hope for just a little more love to be shown, more kindness, more truth and more dignity. #eureferendum #peace #diversity #hope

Scott Millar Travel Award

Travel Scholarship for Scott from Royal Scoiety of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine to continue his transfection work in Rob Moon’s lab @R0bMoon, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

MRC-Newton-DIPI workshop (JCS)

IMG_2494April 25th Janet Cox-Singh arrived in Jakarta to participate in a workshop for the joint UK-Indonesian health research call coming up in May (Focus on Infectious Diseases). Initial steps towards formalizing a research partnership between the MRC, Newton and DIPI (MOU signed during the workshop).
What is DIPI? DIPI stands for Dana Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia or the Indonesian Science Fund. DIPI was set-up early in 2016 to provide a mechanism for and funding to support sustained R&D excellence in Indonesia. There were delegates from UK Institutes and from our Indonesian counterparts – approximantely 30 people.  The welcome address was given by Professor Sangkot Marzuki, President of the Indonesian Academy of Science and the inspiration behind DIPI.

Day 1 – presentations from top notch Indonesion scientistis and summary of research gaps and opportunities for collabroration. Very positive.

Details of newton mrc dipi callDay 2 UK counterparts presented to highlight research expertise in their particular institutes and their own personal research interests. There were plenty of opportunites to network and discussions were lively and exciting. Many links made and collaborations born. The call for joint proposals will be launched mid-May.


Day 3
We , tIMG_2415he UK contingent, visited three institutes: The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, The Institute of Human Virology and Cancer Biology (IHVCB) and the Mochtar Riady Institute for Nanotechnology (MRIN). Impressive designated task – specific lab spaces planned to high specification at all sites visited (Image a lab space in IHVCB). MRIN a state of the art new fEijkman what they doacility. The Eijkman Institute founded as the medical laboratory in 1888 and re-named the Eijkman Institute in 1939. Named for the first Director Christiaan Eijkman who won the Nobel prize for making the link between Beri Beri and Thimine deficiency caused by polishing rice. The Eijkman Institute keeps its beautiful building – original fittings and distinctive doors in corridors hiding high end facilties behind.

Was IMG_2397an inspirational few days in Jakarta – the UK scientists talking real research with Indonesian scientists – openly no other agenda- just fresh and motivating. Threads of networks forming between UK and Indonesian scientists but also between like-minded dedicated UK scientists. The workshop opened new opportunities for collaborative research and  Janet Cox-Singh will put serious effort into consolidating sustainable capacity building collaborative links with Indonesia.

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Sasakawa logo

JCS delighted to receive travel support through the Butterfield Awards for UK-Japan collaboration in medical research and public health practice.
Janet will travel to Japan to consolidate collaborative links with Richard Culleton and colleagues, Nagasaki University, Arbab Pain and colleagues, Hokkaido University.

MD4002 students 2016

From front left: Katharine, Yuxuan, Scott, Matt & Ben

From front left: Katharine, Yuxuan, Scott, Matt & Ben

Katharine, Yuxuan, Matt and Ben, 3rd year medical students who elected to join the malaria group for their final semester dissertation project/ literature review. They all stepped up to the task and were a joy to work with. Photograph taken at one of our Thursday breakfast meetings. Wishing them well as they move on to complete their degrees.