The Spring Meeting is a unique event designed to bring clinical academic trainees together to present their work, network and connect with senior scientists and Fellows of the Academy.
This year, the meeting also marked the launch of the Academy’s new campaign, #MedSciLife, which brings together personal stories of those working in medical sciences to promote different working practices and inspire the next generation of researchers to develop dynamic, creative, and forward thinking approaches to the way they work.
A key highlight of the meeting for attendees is the opportunity to participate in the poster competition, the oral plenary competition, or the Young Investigator competition. All finalists presenting on the day have their abstract published in a special edition of The Lancet.
The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Prize of £2,500 was awarded to the winner of the poster competition, Dr Anjum Khan, of University College London, for his research focussing on T Cells.
The Oral Plenary competition is open to Pre-PhD and PhD students. Four finalists were required to present their research, in front of the meeting’s audience and a panel of judges. A prize of £3000 was jointly awarded to Dr Ester Coutinho, of the University of Oxford, working on the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders in children during pregnancy, and Dr Felicity Fitzgerald, of University College London, for her work diagnosing Ebola in children in Sierra Leone.
Dr Fitzgerald said: “I'm delighted to have had the chance to present my work to such an eminent audience. The quality of the science presented was incredibly high so I am delighted to have won".
The runners up were Dr Dimitrios Chanouzas, of the University of Birmingham, and Dr Krishnaraj Rathod, of Queen Mary University of London.
The Young Investigator Award, supported by the Lancet, requires finalists to give a talk about their work in a plenary session and undergo an in-depth interview with a panel of senior research leaders chaired by Editor of the Lancet, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor Richard Horton.
Two joint winners shared a prize of £2500 and receive the opportunity to write an editorial about their research in the Lancet.
This year winners were Dr Shishir Shetty, of the University of Birmingham, presenting his work on new treatments for chronic liver injury and Dr Tom Wingfield, of the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, with a talk on tuberculosis treatment and prevention in Peru.
Dr Wingfield, also affiliated with Innovation for Health and Development, commented:
“I am grateful to the Academy for producing such a creative environment and thrilled to be awarded the 2017 Young Investigator Prize alongside Dr Shetty."
“What was really encouraging about the day was the importance that the Academy places on strong mentoring to motivate Young Investigators to develop within a supportive network. It is this collaboration, supervision, and encouragement that propels science forward.”
Two joint runner-up positions were awarded to Dr Iain Murray of the University of Edinburgh and Dr Panagiotis Sergouniotis, of the University of Manchester.