King’s in the news - round-up of March 2019

King’s and Guy’s, St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital’s research makes headlines around the world. From Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Bush House to the benefits of running marathons in your eighties, we’ve selected a few recent stories to share with you.

Her Majesty The Queen and The Duchess of Cambridge at the opening of Bush House

Her Majesty The Queen comes to King’s

King’s was honoured to host Her Majesty the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge to officially open our new facilities at Bush House on 19 March. The Royal Party met researchers, scientists, social scientists and students, who are undertaking ground-breaking research across multidisciplinary subjects, as well as providing an inspirational education to develop the world’s leaders of the future.

The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge aren’t the only royal visitors we’ve welcomed recently. The Duchess of Sussex shared her views at our international Women’s Day panel discussion on 11 March, alongside former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s, The Hon Julia Gillard AC.

Finally, Prince Harry returned to King’s for the fifth annual Veterans’ Health conference on 14 March. The conference brings together leading academics, charities and policy makers to network and to hear the latest research on military mental health.

Read more about the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit.

Read more about the Duchess of Sussex’s visit.

Read more from Julia Gillard on gender equality in The Guardian.

Read more about Prince Harry’s visit.


Packet of pills

King's signs major drug development deal

King’s and the Wellcome Trust have signed an agreement with US pharmaceutical group, Merck, to develop a new generation of painkilling pills. The collaboration is based on research by Professor Peter McNaughton who discovered that the HCN2 protein plays an important role in chronic pain. His laboratory has been looking for chemicals that block the activity of that protein.
The deal could generate up to $340m for the university and the Wellcome Trust over the next few years if it produces a commercially successful drug.

Read more in The Financial Times.


A group of students

King’s leading the conversation on Widening Participation

A consortium from King’s, Nottingham Trent University and the Behavioural Insights Team has been set up by the Office for Students (OfS) to help universities meet challenging targets to eliminate equality gaps in higher education within 20 years. The new centre will promote equality of opportunity by providing evidence on the impact of different approaches to widening access. It also aims to improve outcomes and progression for disadvantaged students.

Read more from the Office for Students.


A group of older people cycling along a lake side.
Can exercise reverse the ageing process?

Stephen Harridge, Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King's, and Norman Lazarus, Emeritus Professor at King’s, discuss the anti-ageing effects of regular exercise.

'We often confuse the effects of inactivity with the ageing process itself, and believe certain diseases are purely the result of getting older.

Actually, our modern sedentary lifestyles have simply speeded up our underlying age-related decline. While our average life expectancy has increased quite rapidly, our 'healthspan' - the period of life we can enjoy free from disease - has not.

Physical activity is one of the cornerstones of a healthy life. Even if you can't be a competitive athlete, starting to regularly exercise in your 20s and 30s is likely to pay off later on. And if you're past that point, just gently becoming active will do a huge amount of good.'

Read more on BBC News.


Cannabis plant

The link between potent cannabis and psychosis

New research from King’s is the first to show the impact of cannabis use on the rates of psychosis in populations, highlighting the potential public health impact of changes to cannabis legislation.

The study found that daily cannabis use, especially of high potency cannabis, is strongly linked to the risk of developing psychosis. Observational studies and biological evidence support a causal link between cannabis use and psychosis, but until now, it has been unclear whether, at a population level, patterns of cannabis use influence rates of psychosis.

Read more

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