Last week we held the 107th Annual meeting of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland in Cambridge. My understanding is that the Annual Meeting progresses on a rotation around the county which is pre-determined. In 2014 it was Cambridge’s turn and as a result I was President. The meetings are always well attended. This is in part because the standard of presentation is very high. Illustrating this, I was told that an analysis of oral presentations suggest the work is subsequently cited over 150 times when it is published. But I think that the main reason for the good attendance is that there is a rule that if you do not sign the attendance register at least once in every three year period then you are removed from membership! The abstracts for the 18 oral presentations are selected blind to the names of the authors and the originating institution. I was delighted that 7 of those selected were from Cambridge. Just to reassure you, I had nothing to do with the selection process… The prize for best oral presentation went to Jamie Weaver, a Cambridge MBPhD student, for his work on Barrett’s oesophagus with Rebecca Fitzgerald. He was introduced by Salim Khakoo as “Dr. Weaver” and there was much amusement when he began by pointing out that he wasn’t yet a doctor but hoped to be one day. I would especially like to thank the 26 poster presenters from across the School. The prize for the best poster went to ‘First in human’ clinical study of a novel biased apelin agonist, first author Aimee Brame and presented by Anthony Davenport. Overall, the feedback from the meeting was really excellent.
Changing topic, one of the challenges in the current funding environment is ensuring we have state of the art equipment. As many of you will be aware there is a one-off opportunity at the moment with a call from the MRC for Infrastructure for Stratified and Experimental Medicine. The call is under three themes and has been a multi-stage process. Initially we submitted expressions of interest under each theme, followed by outline applications. I am delighted to say that our three outlines have all gone through to full applications. This has involved an enormous amount of work by many people across the School. It has been very rewarding to see people work together so effectively. I am particularly grateful to Bertie Göttgens, Carlos Caldas, Kevin Brindle, Fiona Gilbert, James Brenton, Adrian Carpenter, Franklin Aigbirhio, Eamonn Maher, Andrew McCaskie, John Todd, Ken Smith, Sharon Peacock, Paul Lehner, Steve O’Rahilly, John O’Brien, James Rowe and Ed Bullmore. Many others have also made important contributions. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the hard work will pay off!