King’s in the news - round-up of June 2018

King’s research makes headlines around the world. From a record-breaking grant for autism research to free courses helping refugees learn English, we’ve selected a few recent stories to share with you.

Declan MurphyProject academic lead Declan Murphy, Professor of Psychiatry & Brain Maturation

World’s largest autism grant will transform research landscape

The largest research grant ever given for neurodevelopmental conditions has been awarded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative to an international consortium academically led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.

More than 1 in 100 people are autistic, but the causes of autism and its associated difficulties remain largely unknown. There are very few effective and autism-appropriate therapies. The €115 million grant (over £100 million) will increase our understanding of autism and help develop new therapies to improve health outcomes and quality of life for autistic people.

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Gene therapy for spinal cord injuries

Researchers at King’s College London and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience have shown that rats with spinal cord injuries can re-learn skilled hand movements after being treated with a gene therapy. The therapy works by regenerating damaged tissue in the spinal cord. A common antibiotic can be used to turn the gene being used on and off. This means the therapy could provide a way of treating large areas of damage with only one injection.

Watch the video and find out more.

Mental Health

New ways of looking at adolescent mental health

King’s mental health and addictions researcher Dr Sally Marlow is presenting a new BBC Radio 4 series Storm and Stress investigating adolescent mental health. In the first episode she asks whether there is a difference in the mental health of teenagers now compared with those growing up in the 1950s.

Listen to the first episode

Learning opportunities for refugeesPhoto by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

King’s takes a lead on providing learning opportunities for refugees

June saw the launch of two new free online courses designed to help tens of thousands of young people whose education has been disrupted due to displacement. The new courses, which are run by the Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access programme (PADILEIA) led by King’s, are designed to help students with their English. It is hoped that the courses will enable many to enrol at higher education institutions around the world.

Read more

Kerry Brown

The threat to liberal values posed by China’s rise

Professor Kerry Brown, Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s, contributed an article to The Economist as part of their debate about the threat to liberal values posed by China’s rise. He contends that

China is a threat to the liberal world order not because it has anything close to a set of ideas and attitudes that the outside world might be easily able to adopt, and that compete with enlightenment universalist liberal values, but because of its clear stance under Xi of allowing non-Chinese to hold these values, while resolutely rejecting them for itself. Its exceptionalism of course offends Western desires for modernisation universalism. If China succeeds in creating a future with no political reform, but a fully modernised economy, then theories of development will need to be rewritten.

Read his full article

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