Nanotechnology to repair and rebuild human organs: bench to patients

Thursday, 14 December 2017 at 2.00 pm, Chadwick Amphitheatre

Prof. Alexander Marcus Seifalian
CEO/Professor of Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine
Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine Commercialisation Centre (Ltd)
The London BioScience Innovation Centre, London, UK

Nanotechnology is revolutionising the repair and replacement of human organs. Nanomaterials have the unique physical, chemical, mechanical, and optical properties that naturally occur at that nanoscale. We have developed a family of nanocomposite materials for clinical application. The nanocomposite materials have been used in repair and development of human organs. The materials have been fabricated to the 3D scaffold using coagulation, casting, electrospinning as well as 3D printing. Then the scaffold has been functionalised with bioactive molecules and antibodies for capturing and differentiation of stem cells to mature cells either in vitro or in vivo using the body as a bioreactor.

In this talk present the research and development as well as route of taking laboratory research to patients and towards commercialisation. The organs will be discussed in details world first synthetic trachea, tear ducts, small diameter bypass graft for replacement of coronary and vascular arteries. Taking organs to patients and commercialisation is challenging in term of regulatory as well as manufacturing under GMP/GLP. In this talk will discuss the pathway and timescale taking the organs to the clinical trial from laboratories products.


Scientific and technical challenges on the road towards fusion electricity

Friday 3 November 2017 at 11.00, Chadwick Amphitheatre

Prof. Tony Donné
Programme Manager,
EUROfusion Consortium, Garching, Germany

The European Roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy breaks the quest for fusion energy into eight missions. For each mission, it reviews the current status of research, identifies open issues, proposes a research and development programme and estimates the required resources. It points out the needs to intensify industrial involvement and to seek all opportunities for collaboration outside Europe.
The presentation will focus on the strategy behind the fusion roadmap and will describe the major challenges that need to be tackled on the road towards fusion electricity. Encouraging recent results will be given to demonstrate the outcome of the focused approach in European fusion research.


Genèse et naissance d'un pôle scientifique international : Grenoble d'un siècle à l'autre...

Vendredi 8 Septembre 2017 à 14.00, Amphithéatre Chadwick

Dr. Denis Guthleben

Attaché scientifique au Comité pour l'histoire du CNRS Rédacteur en
chef d'Histoire de la recherche contemporaine


Octobre 1940. Dans une France qui vit les heures les plus sombres de son histoire, un jeune physicien de 36 ans, exilé de l'Université de Strasbourg, décide de s'établir à Grenoble. Avec le soutien du doyen de la faculté des sciences et du directeur de l'Institut Polytechnique, il parvient à fonder un petit « laboratoire de ferromagnétisme » dans des locaux fraîchement aménagés près du centre-ville. L'aventure de Louis Néel débute ainsi, sur les rives de l'Isère, entre pénuries et menaces. Rapidement, d'autres naufragés, emportés comme lui par le tourbillon des événements, viennent le rejoindre. Louis Weil, tout d'abord, un spécialiste des très basses températures, qui fuit les persécutions anti-juives. Puis Noël Félici qui, major de sa promotion à l'École normale supérieure, se passionne pour la construction des machines électrostatiques. Et Félix Bertaut, de son vrai nom Erwin Lewy, le fils d'un rabbin de Haute-Silésie qui a trouvé refuge en France où il a acquis une solide compétence dans le domaine des rayons X. Autour de Louis Néel, ces quelques chercheurs vont poser les bases d'une grande épopée scientifique et humaine qui ne s'est jamais interrompue depuis et a fait de Grenoble une capitale de rayonnement international.

Relativity in Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Thursday 27 June at 2.00, Chadwick Amphitheatre

Prof. Neil Ashby 
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 
Boulder, Colorado 

Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BEIDOU, and related augmentation systems have revolutionized a number of scientific disciplines and industrial activities, and have an impact every day on hundreds of thousands of people.   Careful consideration of fundamental relativity concepts such as proper time, coordinate time, clock synchronization, the constancy of the speed of light, and the Equivalence Principle is required.  Numerous relativistic effects must be accounted for, including time dilation, gravitational frequency shifts, and the Sagnac effect. The importance of a relativistic effect arising from orbit adjustments was realized only in 2000.  Relativity in the GPS was controversial from the beginning and up until recently. The success of GPS has led to the development of other similar navigation systems.  These relativity concepts will be explained from the point of view of the GPS and some interesting applications will be discussed. 


Status and Developments of the NIST Center for Neutron Research

Wednesday, 17 May 2017, at 2:00 p.m. Chadwick amphitheatre.

Dr. Robert Dimeo
Director, NIST Center for Neutron Research
NIST Gaithersburg campus

In this talk I will describe the NIST Center for Neutron Research, a national neutron user facility operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In particular I will describe the latest instrument developments, planned facility upgrades, and future opportunities at the NCNR as well as selected scientific highlights. The science highlights will be presented as sketchnotes which are one-page, hand-drawn visual summaries of the research.


Amyloid, amyloidosis and therapeutic progress

Thursday 4 May 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Chadwick amphitheatre

Prof. Sir Mark Pepys
Director, Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit
Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins
Royal Free Campus, University College London

Words and names are important in science and medicine.  Amyloid and amyloidosis provide an instructive paradigm of this eternal truth.  Although the definition of these terms is simple, straightforward and unequivocal, they are widely and grossly misused, to the detriment of understanding and, crucially, potentially also to progress in treatment for major unmet medical needs.  These issues will be defined and discussed in relation to the very exciting and encouraging recent progress in development and testing of novel therapeutic approaches to systemic amyloidosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

CH3NH3PbI3 hybrid halide perovskite: beyond photovoltaics

Friday, 24 March 2017, at 2:00 p.m. Chadwick amphitheatre.

Prof. Dr László Forró

Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne

Recently, it has been shown that CH3NH3PbI3 is very promising material in photovoltaic devices1 reaching light conversion efficiency (η) up to 22%2. A strong research activity has been focused on the chemistry of the material to establish the most important parameters which could further improve η and to collect photons from a broad energy window. The major trend in this field is in photovoltaic device engineering although the fundamental aspects of the material are not yet understood.

In my lab we have devoted considerable effort to grow high quality single crystals at different length scales, ranging from large bulk crystals (up to 100 mm3) through nanowires3,4 down to quantum dots of tens of nanometers of linear dimensions. The structural tunability of the material allows to study a broad range of physical phenomena including electrical and thermal transport, magnetism, optical properties, spectral features by photoemission etc. Furthermore, we have discovered that with a suitable doping the material becomes ferromagnetic, which could be modulated by photoelectrons via the RKKY interaction5. A selected set of measurements will be reported in this presentation together with some device applications6, 7.

Acknowledgement: The work has been performed in collaboration with Endre Horvath, Massimo Spina, Balint Nafradi, Peter Szirmai, Alla Araktcheva, Andrea Pisoni, Jacim Jacimovic, Andrzej Sienkiewicz, Claudio Grimaldi, Hugo Dil, Henrik Ronnow and many others.

1. Lee, M. M. et al.,Science 338, 643-647 (2012).
2. see reports of the Gaetzel and Hagfeldt groups
3. Horvath et al., Nano Letters 14, 6761, (2015)
4. Spina et al., (2016) Scientific Reports, 6, 1
5. Nafradi et al., Nature Communications, 7, 13406, (2016).
6. Spina et al., (2015) Small, 11, 4823 ; Spina et al., Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 4888
7. Nafradi et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 2520

ESA space research and technology: highlights and opportunities

Thursday, 2 March 2017 at 14.00, Chadwick amphitheatre

Dr. Bernard Foing

Executive Director, International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG). 
European Space Agency
Noorwijk - Netherlands


The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens.

Space research contributes to answer fundamental questions: How did our Earth and our Solar System evolve? Where are we in the Universe? Where are we going? Where did life come from, and are we alone?
We shall present some highlights of recent and upcoming ESA science missions: astronomical observatories or planetary probes.

ESA's Living Planet Programme comprises a science and research element, which includes the Earth Explorer missions, and an Earth Watch element, which is designed to facilitate the delivery of Earth observation data for use in operational services.
Copernicus most ambitious Earth observation programme (in partnership with EU) will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

For the development of future spacecraft, ESA staff and contractors work at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) to design and manage the building of spacecraft and their instruments in European industry and academia. Space research is a strategic asset. With it, ESA ensures technological independence, it safeguards a European cultural identity, it supports a science-based society, and clearly demonstrates European capability and vision.
We shall discuss opportunities of collaborations in research & technology, for instance in future science missions or exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Cryo-electron microscopy in structural biology - revolution or evolution?

Friday 3 February at 14.00 - Chadwick Amphitheatre

Prof. Helen Saibil
Professor of Structural Biology Crystallography,
Dpt of Biological Sciences
Birkbeck College London


Cryo-EM provides a powerful set of approaches to understanding the operation of macromolecular machines, both in isolation and in their cellular context. The methods have been developing over the last half-century in parallel with macromolecular crystallography, but lagging behind it by several decades. The recent major acceleration in the pace of development has brought cryo EM to prominence with a wider audience of structural and cell biologists, and the methods are also broadly applicable in materials science. In this lecture, I will cover the main principles and capabilities of cryo EM for molecular and cellular structure determination, and present examples of its application to the operation of macromolecular machinery, specifically molecular chaperones involved in protein folding, unfolding and disassembly of protein aggregates.