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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Call for papers for 4th International Symposium on Poetry & Medicine, London: 18th May 2013

Registration is open for the 4th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine to be held on Saturday 18th May 2013 in London at the Wellcome Collection rooms on the Euston Road. The symposium will include poster sessions, lectures, round table discussions and poetry readings (Hippocrates Awards judge Jo Shapcott) and the 2013 Hippocrates Awards will be announced at the end of the Symposium. 

The programme includes keynote lectures from Anne Hudson Jones from Texas, USA and Hugues Marchal from Basel, Switzerland.  

Listen to these speakers discussing poetry and medicine. 

There will be sessions on historical and contemporary themes, illness and poetry, poetry as therapy, poetry in the education of medical students, nurses and doctors, and poetry as an aid to health professionals. The programme of lectures, round table discussions, poetry readings and the Hippocrates Awards Ceremony will be published on the Symposium website

Oral abstract submission is open - deadline 28th February, 2013. 

 Poster abstract submission is open - deadline 31st March 2013.

The Hippocrates initiative was named winner of the Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts in the 2011 Times Higher Education awards, announced on 24th November 2011 in London. This award aims to recognise the collaborative and interdisciplinary work that is taking place in universities to promote the arts. 

Entries are open until 31st Jan 2013 for the 2013 Hippocrates Prize for poetry and medicine, which is for unpublished poems in English.  

The Hippocrates poetry and medicine initiative was co-founded by a team from University of Warwick, and has been supported by several external organizations interested in medicine and the arts, including the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the Wellcome Trust, the Cardiovascular Research Trust and Heads, Teachers and Industry. 
We are delighted that the National Association of Writers in Education is supporting the inaugural International Hippocrates Prize for Schools 

In its first 3 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 4000 entries from 45 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia.

With a 1st prize for the winning poem in each category of £5,000, the Hippocrates prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In each category there is also a 2nd prize of £1,000, 3rd  prize of £500, and 20 commendations each of £50.  

Judging panel for the 2013 Hippocrates Prize: 
Jo Shapcott, winner of the 2011 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
Theodore Dalrymple, doctor and writer
- Roger Highfield, science writer and Executive for the Science Museums Group.

For more on the 2012 Hippocrates Awards and the Hippocrates initiative see update

Progress on stroke prevention

Stroke is an increasingly common cause of death and disability worldwide. See the summary below and comments related to our new research report just published online in the major American Heart Association journal Stroke, based on results from the Warwick Carotid Artery Disease Registry

See media interest in the research, both in the 'tests for spotting 'minuscule “breakaway” blood clots which usually go undetected' and in this potential new treatment approach. 
Finding and reducing high risk of stroke

Narrowing of carotid arteries in the neck is a very important cause of stroke. A major reason for the increase stroke risk is that the roughened carotid artery surface can trigger formation of small clots that can then dislodge into the brain circulation. These microemboli can block brain arteries to lead to weakness, disturbed speach, loss of vision and other serious stroke syndromes.
Doppler trace: red line shows micro-embolus signal.
A team of scientists at the University Hospital Coventry and University of Warwick led by Vascular Surgeon Professor Chris Imray and Professor of Therapeutics Donald Singer have developed a Carotid Research Group to find new ways to predict and prevent high stroke risk in patients with carotid artery disease. Using ultrasound scanning they are able to detect microemboli to find out which patients are at very high risk of stroke.

The major US journal Stroke has now published a report from Imray and Singer's team with two main findings. Despite single or dual anti-platelet treatment with aspirin and clopidogrel before carotid artery surgery, patients can develop high rates of microemboli. And the team looked at different rescue treatments aimed at stopping these microemboli. The anti-platelet drug tirofiban had previously been shown to be helpful in treating patients with acute coronary artery syndromes. In StrokeImray and Singer's team report that with rescue tirofiban there was a large decrease in the half-life of micro-emboli (23 vs. 60 minutes) and in time for these microemboli to be resolved (68 vs. 113 minutes), compared to an alternative treatment using infusion of the clot-preventing polysaccharide dextran-40.

Professor Imray said: 'These findings show the importance of ultrasound testing for micro-emboli in carotid disease patients. These biomarkers of high stroke risk cannot be predicted just from assessing the severity of risk factors such as smoking history, cholesterol, and blood pressure.'

Professor Singer  added 'These findings show that the choice of rescue medicine is very important when carotid patients develop microemboli despite previous treatment with powerful anti-platelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel. We now need to go on to further studies of anti-microemboli rescue treatments, to aim for the right balance between protection and risk for our patients.' 

Press contacts

Meet Senior Policy makers in Health Policy and Technology

@HealthMed @FPGMed
The UK Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, in partnership with international publisher Elsevier, has launched a major new international journal - Health Policy and Technology, now coming to the end of its first year of publication

Initial issues have included papers on UK Biobank and on the pioneering new Centre for Health Technology Assessment of Devices and Diagnostics within the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and papers on health policy, and technology from drug discovery to personalised medicine and e-health from the USA, Europe, the Middle East and India. 

There is also a series of interviews in print, online and as podcasts, with international leaders in the field of health policy and technology.

Listen to the first 4 podcasts
Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman of NICE
Since Sir Michael Rawlins was appointed its founding Chairman in 1999, NICE has released 800 individual pieces of guidance covering not just guidelines and technological appraisals but also public health matters. NICE has also recently started looking at medical devices started to assess diagnostics, and the quality, safety and effectiveness of new interventional procedures.

Gonzalo Calvo, Chairman of EACPT
The European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics represents the National Clinical Pharmacology Societies from the 29 established and accession countries in Europe and their ~4000 clinical pharmacologist members.

Alexander von Gabain, Chairman of EIT
The European Institute of Innovation & Technology is an Agency of the European Union established in 2008 to address Europe's innovation gap. The EIT budget from 2008-2013 is 308.7million.

Andrew Kicman on Drugs in Sport
Dr Andrew Kicman is Head of Research and Development in the Drug Control Centre, Kings College, London, which is a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory, dedicated to drug control in sport. 

Background to the new journal and to the FPM

Home page for Health Policy and Technology

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets

@HealthMed The Hippocrates Initiative has launched the international Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets for an unpublished poem of up to 50 lines in English on a medical theme. 

To date there have been entries from young poets from the UK, USA, Hungary and Australia.

Entrants may be young poets from anywhere in the world aged 14 to 18 years. 

New deadline: midnight GMT 31st March, 2013. 

The Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets will be judged by poet Clare Pollard who published her first collection of poetry at the age of 19.

This new award offers a prize of £500 for the best poem (in English) on a medical subject, no longer than 50 lines, by a schoolchild (anywhere in the world). There will also be ten commendations. 

A medical subject may be anything from experience of illness, birth or death, to hospitals, ambulances and doctors’ surgeries, to the nature and history of medical instruments, processes, drugs, and much more. The field is vast. Poems may be entered individually or in batches by schools, and submission costs £2 per poem or £15 for a group of ten. 

The deadline is midnight GMT 31st March 2013 and the winner will receive his/her prize at an award ceremony at the annual international poetry and medicine symposium at the Wellcome Collection in London on 18 May 2013. 

The first prize is GBP 500 for the winning young poet, with a further 10 awards of commendation for the most highly rated entries.

Judge Clare Pollard said:  “The great thing about poetry is that age doesn't matter. It's hard as a teenager to find the time and stamina to write a perfect novel, but you can write three perfect verses.  If you put down the things you really want to say about our world, in your own voice, you will have written a powerful poem.”

She added 'I'm very pleased to be judging the first Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets - in bringing science and art together, I hope it will deepen students' understanding of both, and uncover poets of the future.'

Awards will be announced on Saturday 18th May, 2013 at the end of the 4th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine, at the Wellcome Collection Rooms, Euston Road, London. 

Clare Pollard has published four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Changeling (Bloodaxe, 2011) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She published her first collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, with Bloodaxe in 1998 aged 19. Her play The Weather premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and her documentary for radio, ‘My Male Muse’, was a Radio 4 Pick of the year.  She co-edited the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century and her new version of Ovid’s Heroines will be published by Bloodaxe in 2013.

The inaugural Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is supported by the UK medical charity the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine and the UK National Association of Writers in Education.

NAWE said it is delighted that it is becoming a partner in the Hippocrates initiative and will be sponsoring the first Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets.

Full details and rules, and the name of the young poets competition judge, are posted on the Hippocrates initiative website (

'The Hippocrates initiative was established in 2009 and already offers two successful annual poetry prizes, one open to submissions from anyone anywhere in the world, the other restricted to NHS employees (present and past) and UK health students. In each category a first prize of £5,000 is awarded. The Hippocrates Prize has attracted thousands of entries from 44 countries, from the Americas to Fiji, from Finland to Australasia, and prizewinners have come from New Zealand and the US as well as the UK. Judges have included poets Gwyneth Lewis, Marilyn Hacker and Dannie Abse, journalists James Naughtie, Mark Lawson and Martha Kearney, and NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Professor Steve Field CBE, and Professor Rod Flower representing the medical profession. In 2011 the Hippocrates initiative received a Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

Professor Donald Singer and poet Michael Hulse, of Warwick University, said: “We are delighted to welcome NAWE as the sponsor of the £500 Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets, and look forward to reading exciting work by a new generation of poets.”

Further information on the Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

More on senior health policy leaders - Alex von Gabain

The December 2012 issue of Health Policy and Technology features a discussion with Professor Alex von Gabain, founding chairman of The European Institute for Innovation and Technology. The EIT is an agency of the European Union established in 2008 to ‘address Europe's innovation gap’. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Heidelberg before research posts at Stanford University, USA and the University of UmeĆ„ and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and later from 1992-1998 Chair of Microbiology at the University of Vienna.

In 1997, he co-founded Intercell AG and led the company as CEO until 2005. Chairman of the HPT Advisory Board Professor Donald Singer interviewed Professor Alex von Gabain at the Transatlantic Policy Network meeting in Washington in May 2012 where they were both panel discussants.

To hear the podcast and read the full transcript of the interview, see the Winter issue on HPT journal website.