College of Medicine, Swansea University - 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making - BEACON
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College of Medicine, Swansea University 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making www.medicine.swansea.ac.uk
Contents 01 09 Vision 10 years of success 02 10 Highlights Learning and teaching 06 18 Rising to the challenge Research 07 30 From vision to reality Enterprise and innovation 36 Making an impact 38 Towards 2020 40 Get in touch Front cover image based on an original idea First published in 2014 by All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be by Leifa Jennings. College of Medicine, Swansea University reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in Research as Art 2013 Swansea any form or by any means, electrical, mechanical or Undergraduate award: SA2 8PP otherwise, without the prior permission in writing of College ’Cobalt, Celeste, Cyan and Me‘ Wales of Medicine, or the copyright owner(s), or as expressly Leifa Jennings (College of Medicine) permitted by law. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside © College of Medicine, Swansea University. the scope of the above should be sent to the Marketing “This photo shows a rail of blue theatre scrubs, ready to Team, College of Medicine, Grove Building, Swansea be worn. It is a visual representation of how it feels to be ISBN 978-0-9929905-0-3 University, Swansea, SA28PP a medical student entering the operating theatre for the first time. The authors’ moral rights have been asserted. Copywriter: Jane Fraser – www.janefraserwriter.com Everyone else has a role to play and a place to be, but as Photographers: www.philboorman.co.uk and All images are © College of Medicine unless stated a student you stand there, bright red ‘Student’ lanyard www.philipgriffithsphotography.com otherwise. around your neck, feeling like you definitely don’t fit in. Printed by: Zenith Media My research project on theatre etiquette aims to create a piece of work to inform new students of the unwritten rules of the operating theatre, hopefully allowing them to feel more confident the first time they enter the operating theatre environment.“
College of Medicine, Swansea University 01 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Vision History in the making We train tomorrow’s doctors and life scientists in an environment offering an interdisciplinary approach to translational medicine, from basic science to healthcare delivery, and an innovative approach to building the knowledge economy.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 02 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Highlights History in the making The long and the short of it The College of Medicine has come a long way in a short time and is now acknowledged as one of the fastest growing medical schools in the UK. The journey started with small incremental steps. Momentum gathered. It is now in full stride. 1960s 2001 1980s In the 1980s EPSRC sites its UK National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre at Swansea University becomes one of the first Institutions in the UK to offer BSc Genetics degrees. Swansea University establishes a Clinical School under the leadership of Professor Julian Swansea University Hopkin. 1970s Genetics and 2003 Biochemistry The original concept 2004 departments for the Institute of Life develop at Swansea Science (ILS) is University. captured on a napkin in a New York diner. In 2004 the Clinical School develops into 1980s a School of Medicine EPSRC sites its UK 2004 National Mass The Clinical School Spectrometry develops into a Service Centre at School of Medicine, 2006 Swansea University, welcoming the first boosting an existing cohort of Graduate centre of excellence. Entry Programme (GEP) students. In 2006 The Blue C Supercomputer is given a permanent home at Swansea 1990s University Swansea University 2005 founds a Building work on Postgraduate ILS begins with a Medical School. groundbreaking ceremony featuring local school children. 2006 The Blue C Supercomputer is given a permanent home at Swansea University as part of a high profile collaboration with IBM.
2007 The Ibadan Swansea ILS1 opens its doors Partnership wins for business with the second prize in the Boots Centre for Tropical Health and Innovation (BCI) as Education Trust (THET) its flagship tenant. Health Links competition. American Astronaut of Welsh descent, Professor Gareth Dafydd Rhys Morgan takes over Williams, presents to leadership of the school children and School of Medicine. scientists at ILS. The School of The School of Medicine hosts its Medicine partners first Christmas Ball for ILS with the School of staff and students. Medicine in the Gambia to establish 2009 the Swansea-Gambia Medical student ILS1 opens its doors for business in 2007 link with support from Nathan West is the Tropical Health selected as the first and Education Trust student to receive the 2008 (THET). Mullany Prize for Excellence. 2008 Prime Minister Swansea and Bro Morgannwg NHS The School of Medicine enjoys spectacular Gordon Brown visits Trusts combine and results as part of the Research Assessment ILS during his term are granted University Exercise (RAE2008) of office. Hospital status to First Minister for become Abertawe Bro 1st Wales, Rt Hon Rhodri Morgannwg University Morgan, describes Health Board. ILS as the ’jewel in the crown of Wales’. Swansea University partners with the NHS Medical student Nathan West is selected The School of to secure significant as the first student to receive the Mullany Medicine enjoys funding for a second Prize for Excellence spectacular results as phase of the ILS. part of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008).
College of Medicine, Swansea University 04 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Highlights History in the making 2009 ILS launches the £21m The centre for NanoHealth is developed, a joint initiative worth £21 million The Schools of Medicine and Engineering collaborate to develop the Centre Affiliate Membership Scheme to encourage life science and healthcare companies to access the expertise and state-of- for NanoHealth, a joint initiative worth the-art facilities. £21 million. 100% ILS establishes The first cohort of E-Health Industries students begins Innovation (EHi2) studying on the Centre with grants Graduate Entry Medicine students achieve Graduate Entry worth nearly half a 100% pass rate in 2010 Medicine (GEM) million pounds. programme entirely at Swansea Graduate Entry University. Medicine students £17.3m achieve 100% pass The Haemostasis rate. Biomedical Research Construction work begins on the Data Unit is opened at 2011 Morriston Hospital’s Rector of Medicine Science building to house the £9.3 million emergency and Health, Professor Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research department. Julian Hopkin, is and the £8 million Administrative Data awarded a CBE in Research Centre Wales Edwina Hart AM the New Year’s OBE officially Honour List for launches ILS2. Services to Medicine. 2010 The School of BEACON project Medicine becomes begins, a the College of collaboration Medicine. between Aberystwyth, Bangor ILS2 and the Centre and Swansea for NanoHealth open Universities for business. dedicated to harnessing the State-of-the-art MRI power of plants in equipment arrives medicine, science from Siemens. and manufacturing.
2012 Health Minister 2014 The Joint Clinical Mark Drakeford MRC bioinformatics Research Facility visits ILS and centre is won in (JCRF) is launched launches ‘Help is at collaboration with in collaboration Hand’, a support Warwick University, with ABMU Health publication for becoming the Board’s Clinical people bereaved College’s fourth Research Unit through suicide. research council (CRU). centre in two years. First minister Genetics and Carwyn Jones The GMC adds biochemistry officially opens the Swansea University programmes are Centre for to the list of recognised for Improvement in institutions able to high graduate Population Health award Primary employment rates through E-records Medical with over 80% of Research (CIPHER), Qualifications graduates in a multinational (PMQs). employment or partnership to further study within improve population The College of 6 months. health and Medicine celebrates wellbeing through its 10th Anniversary. Professor Keith health informatics Lloyd is appointed research. The College of Dean and Head of Medicine wins the College of Biochemistry Athena SWAN Medicine. teaching is bronze award for enhanced with commitment to new teaching advancing women’s 2013 laboratories. careers in science EPSRC National subjects. Mass Spectrometry Construction work Facility replaces the begins on the Data BEACON wins service centre to Science building to RegioStars award provide a house the £9.3 for sustainable comprehensive million Farr Institute growth. mass spectrometry of Health Informatics service for Research and the First cohort of GEM university research £8 million students graduates groups throughout Administrative Data from Swansea the UK. Research Centre University. Wales.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 06 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making Rising to the challenge Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard B. Davies applauds the College of Medicine’s distinctive approach and rapid growth, and its contribution to positioning Swansea University for the 21st century. Those decisions have enabled the College further strengthened within our ambitious to develop world-leading strengths and Science and Innovation campus build up its recognition with remarkable development and Singleton campus speed, initially attracting substantial Welsh developments, many led by the College Government and European Investment Fund of Medicine. support for the Institute of Life Science and, recently, large MRC and ESRC funds for the The College of Medicine’s approach purpose-designed Data Science building. reflects the distinctive Swansea strengths This will open in 2015 and will house that are particularly relevant for a 21st the £5 million Farr Institute of Health Century University: multidisciplinary Informatics Research, the £4.3million research, collaboration with industry and Centre for the Improvement of Population an international perspective. We are Health through E-records Research confident at Swansea that we have the staff (CIPHER) and the new £8 million commitment and ambition to maintain our Swansea’s efforts to establish a medical Administrative Data Research Centre impressive momentum and spectacular school date back at least to the 1960s. (ARDC) Wales. growth, and that the College of Medicine However, Swansea lost out then when has a big role to play in that success. the new schools went to Universities in The big challenges of today do not respect England, and lost out again in a further the artificial boundaries between traditional I wish the College of Medicine well in round of new medical schools in the disciplines. Swansea’s Institute of Life its next phase of development and in its 1990s. Science has eliminated several disciplinary ambitious plans for further expansion boundaries to foster world-class research of learning and teaching, research All changed in 1999 with devolution. that delivers high-technology solutions and innovation. With fresh thinking in Wales came a fresh to major healthcare challenges in opportunity, and the arguments by the collaboration with industry and the NHS. University and clinicians in the region began to receive a sympathetic hearing. The growth in research income achieved Professor Richard B. Davies Importantly, the population in the region by the College of Medicine is impressive, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University could begin to look forward to the health particularly the high proportion of and wider benefits associated with living prestigious research council income which close to a medical school. In 2001, the in 2013-14 accounted for 62% of the Welsh Government, with the support of the £14.5 million secured by the College. Welsh Assembly, established a medical school at Swansea. The results of the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 (RAE2008) demonstrated Step-by-step, the College of Medicine took unequivocally that Swansea University is shape. Key early decisions have proved to fast achieving its ambition to be a world- be crucial: it was not to mimic other class, research-led University. Since then, medical schools elsewhere in the UK, but to progress has accelerated even faster and focus on graduate entry, adopt a distinctive Medicine is very much a part of that multi-disciplinary approach to research, success. Already Swansea is fourth in the and commit uniquely in the UK to effective UK for the amount of collaborative research collaboration with industry. with industry. Our industrial links will be
College of Medicine, Swansea University 07 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making From vision to reality Professor Julian Hopkin, founding Head of Swansea Clinical School (2001-2004) and School of Medicine (2004-2008) sits in Café Glas, ILS1, and discusses how the College of Medicine arrived at where it is today. become fully aware that it was under- formed the basis of us putting the case to doctored by international standards and Assembly politicians and other interested new Schools were being established in parties in order to build a growing base of England as a result of the findings. Wales support for the venture. I have to say here was lagging behind in both training new that Andrew Davies and Dai Lloyd put our doctors and in recruiting doctors to work case boldly and, in so doing, crucially in Wales. There was additional and much- secured support for the embryonic plans needed opportunity outside the capital for at a formal Welsh Assembly debate. a fresh approach in medical teaching and research. What were the many challenges you mention? What benefits did you see for Swansea Initially, there were Civil Service strategic and south west Wales generally? doubts: they held the belief that the Wales’ second centre in Swansea would concentration of medical, academic people What was your vision for the College of in turn foster both recruitment and retention and resources in the capital, Cardiff, would Medicine at Swansea University? into the NHS of the west and through that – produce ‘critical mass’ with better results It was 1999 and I’d returned from Oxford and research – would drive medical for medical training and especially medical to Swansea with the aim of just doing advances of international importance, research. There was also concern from medical research when talk of the advancing medicine at large whilst at Cardiff Medical School itself, fearing that possibility of a new medical school arose the same time being rooted in its local resources would be siphoned away from again in the Swansea Hospitals – there’d community, which was integral to our them. And then there was the simple case been a failed bid to UK Government in the vision. of economics – that both capital and 1960s and later the establishment of a revenue can be hard to come by. postgraduate medical school led by John You had the vision, so what about the Williams. The 1999 vision was for an process – how did you make it happen? So how did you overcome these exciting and strategically sound medical We had to ensure that there was a vibrant challenges? school that placed innovation at the heart and committed support for the project Many of the strategic doubts voiced by the of our proposal to the, by then, devolved across Swansea NHS and University – we Civil Service were neutered when Andrew Welsh Assembly Government: innovation anticipated there would be challenges. Davies and Dai Lloyd fought our corner that would apply to the excellence of And there were! But, at the outset we had at the Assembly. But then came all the medical teaching and medical research. 96% of the consultant workforce onside, detailed planning of the School to be We envisaged the creation of a second voting for the development, and recording rigorously developed in voluminous medical school for Wales that truly that they would be ready to provide clinical business plans that would require final complemented rather than duplicated the teaching. The support was boosted by formal support. And here, I’ll reiterate, the established Cardiff Medical School model. Professor Robin Williams (Vice-Chancellor elements of cooperation and competition We also saw the benefits of healthy of the University at that time) and Dr Pat we saw working across the two centres, a competition as well as cooperation Steane (Medical Director) and Mr. David ‘diversity model’ if you like, which we felt between the two Schools in Wales’ Williams (Chief Executive Swansea NHS would offer more productivity. We also put two major cities. Trust) declaring their full backing. With this forward an incremental, small step model strong local team in place we were able to for Swansea rather than a single giant Was there a need as well as a desire for spearhead our mission and therefore able stride approach, which would allow us to a second medical school for Wales? to develop our vision. We assembled and prove ourselves by performing brilliantly in Absolutely. At that time, the UK had considered very early practical plans which all areas and demonstrating that brilliance
College of Medicine, Swansea University 08 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making in our results: success driving momentum so that the next phase in our development could be secured. It was proven success that was to be the practical cornerstone of the advance of the School. There were some tough times, but outrageous ambition and team spirit were key right from the start. What pedigree did Swansea have at that time to drive the agenda forward and endorse its case? Swansea had a substantial hospital complex with high standards of practice; the physical infrastructure was in place. In addition to a comprehensive range of general hospitals services it also had specialist units – cardiac, renal, burns, from all around the world – medical, and distinction rates for the Graduate Entry neonates, etc. It was also blessed with a scientific, technical, administrative – and Programme. Out of our first 2 cohorts, a strong set of local general practices and it’s those people who are responsible for Swansea student won the all-Wales best a University with diverse departments and the outstanding success of the School – medical student award in both 2008 and strengths: there was already a School of now a College – in teaching, research and 2009 final examinations. And then of Nursing here and a very powerful School innovation – and have made the robust course, there was Prime Minister Gordon of Engineering that were committed to entity it is in 2014. And again innovation Brown’s visit in 2008: he was, quite rightly, the local vision of a new medical school in medical training: while the UK was duly impressed and sent a warm letter of building on the research base of the strongly focused on School-Entry medical fulsome congratulations. existing postgraduate medical school. In training, we dared Swansea we also had a University whose to be different, campus abutted onto one of the major following the USA “I’d like to be remembered simply as the NHS sites (Singleton), which promised and German approach by founding boss whom I hope folk found great facilitation of working together in teaching and, vitally, in research. This was attracting Graduate ambitious for medicine in Swansea and a model of excellence and innovation Entry students with Wales, determined and fair minded. between NHS and the University that local their distinct and But it wasn’t just about me.” Welsh Assembly politicians strongly diverse backgrounds Professor Julian Hopkin CBE endorsed and which led to its approval. and maturity which College of Medicine, Swansea University has enriched the Do you remember how you felt when talent and potential the first phase of the Clinical School of the medical came to be in 2001? workforce in terms of medical care and It’s been quite a journey and I know it’s I’ll never forget the moment when I received research. We were able to offer a highly only just begun. How would you like the phone call from Andrew Davies – I was innovative medical degree programme with your involvement to be remembered? at home and he told me that the Welsh thorough integration of medical care and Simply as the founding boss whom I hope Assembly Government had supported our medical science from day one. folk found ambitious for medicine in application and innovative model to grow Swansea and Wales, determined and fair the School in phases and to work in The rise of the School (College) has been minded. But it wasn’t just about me. cooperation with Cardiff. It all started with continuous and I know it will continue in 34 Senior Clinical Tutors who were that vein. The founders of the Swansea What else do you think significant as to appointed from among the Consultant Staff School knew that the now great and where Swansea stands so successfully to lead the medical student teaching in the wonderful Harvard Medical School had poised in 2014? first phase of the Clinical School which started in 49 Marlborough Street, Boston Team spirit, and again team spirit. And lasted from 2001-2004. They produced a in 1810 and just went on to grow! keeping focus on the little matter that the truly brilliant performance with rave formal medical education and medical research feed back from the students and impressed What do you see as your proudest and development of today makes the great politicians and civil servants. It all went moments in the College’s story to date? doctors and powerful medicine of from there… Obviously the establishment of the tomorrow. Swansea Clinical School in 2001 and then And what about 2004, a significant the School of Medicine in 2004 (later to be And the future? milestone, I’m sure? renamed the ‘College’). The Institute of Life Bright, very bright. Successive Heads must Momentum had been gathering towards Science with building 1 in 2007 and sustain outrageous ambition and team 2004, which marked the transition from a building 2 in 2012. In 2008 there was a spirit. Current Head, Keith Lloyd, is doing Clinical School to the School of Medicine highly successful Research Assessment UK just that. with its distinctive Graduate Entry medical Exercise Result when 87% of our research concept – and with the first glimmers of the outputs were classed as world-leading or Institute of Life Science concept. It’s worth internationally excellent and, of course, the emphasising here that business plans are winning of MRC/RSCR Research Centres in one thing but performance is another: Health Informatics and Data, the support of from the word go, the School excelled at EPSRC for the Mass Spectrometry Centre. attracting and appointing staff at all grades I’m proud of our people: the fantastic pass
College of Medicine, Swansea University 09 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making Ten years. Ten snapshots. Together they tell the story of the incredible journey the College of Medicine has made in the last decade, and signpost where that journey might lead in the future.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 10 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making 25/2/14 100%+ Recognition – The General Medical Fast growth – Number of Undergraduate 140 Numbers count – From 3 Postgraduate Council (GMC) adds Swansea students across 3 years is 197 in 2013- students between 2001-2003 there are University to the list of academic 2014 compared with 94 in 2007-2008 now 140 Postgraduate students engaged institutions with the right to award cohort in Taught Masters and Research Primary Medical Qualifications Programmes in 2014 independent of any other institution Learning and teaching 2014 is a doubly special year for medical education at Swansea. September sees the 10th anniversary of the first students who started on the Swansea- Cardiff 4 year Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) in Medicine. July 2014 also sees the first cohort of medical students to have spent all four years of their course at Swansea University qualifying as doctors. Their completion of Swansea’s Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) Programme is a triumph for staff and students alike. But learning and teaching within the College of Medicine is much more. It is the successful coming together of its integral parts: a highly-regarded undergraduate programme in Genetics, Medical Genetics, Medical Biochemistry and a world-class Postgraduate facility comprising taught Masters and Research degrees in areas significant to the advancement of medicine on a global scale.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 11 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making At the heart of the triumph and celebration story of the College “The staff members who walked into the of 2014 are ambition, innovation and from day one. The Purnell Lecture Theatre on that first day – above all, proven excellence in learning tone was always and teaching. Whether part of the deliberately bold 8th September 2004 – of the first year of Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM), and ambitious: our GEP course are unlikely ever to forget Undergraduate or Postgraduate this was a College the feeling of seeing for the first time these programmes, all the students who qualify that was going in the College of Medicine know that they somewhere and young people as a group. We got to know will be equipped to be tomorrow’s doctors only the cream them well as we did each cohort of students and life scientists in the communities they of world class from then on.” will serve: across Wales; across the UK; expertise would Professor Rhys Williams across the world. With them they will suffice. Big Formerly Chair of Learning and Teaching, carry the prestige of one of the UK’s ambitions needed College of Medicine, Swansea University fastest growing medical schools. big thinking. Firm foundations Prestigious teaching challenges – fortunately more of the lesser The story of successful learning and experts were sought out across the world type than those of greater magnitude – and teaching at today’s College of Medicine is and recruited sometimes en masse (six all have been overcome through a spirit of not a new one. The ethos of providing the joined in one day in 2001) attracted by “pragmatic acceptance of setbacks by best learning and teaching was already the vision of the Swansea model, which students and a collaborative culture of firmly established on campus, and realised that a Medical School could not positive thinking and hard work by staff recognised nationally and internationally, be built without major players in the fields members.” One person of many more before the beginnings of the College of of research and teaching nor without deserves acknowledgement: Professor Rhys Medicine. Previously based in the School innovation as a key driver. Williams, who is said to have enabled of Biological Sciences, Swansea University “medicine to be brought to life” at had offered BSC Genetics degrees since Students across all three areas of learning Swansea and who successive cohorts on the 1960s, one of the first Institutions in and teaching have been, and continue to the GEP/GEM Programmes will remember the UK to do so. Swansea University also be, recruited through a stringent selection as the “human face” of their medical boasted a highly regarded School of process comprising UCAS application, education. He has handed on that role to Nursing (which celebrates its 25th open day, interview and assessment. The Professor Judy McKimm and her team. anniversary this year) and a globally best of the best philosophy applies here acclaimed School of Engineering. There too, so that in 2014 only 25% of those Learning and teaching for tomorrow was also a research based postgraduate who initially apply will be considered The three features which follow aim to medical school. All this provided a firm eligible to take part in the ‘Swansea encapsulate the essence, development foundation on which the embryonic Experience’. and successes of the unique ‘Swansea College of Medicine could build, maintain Experience’ of learning and teaching and improve on the quality provision of Making it happen and illustrate where these successes learning and teaching which lays at the It takes great people to turn concepts into are leading. core of the success it enjoys today. tangibles and there have been many people tasked with just that during the Thinking big College of Medicine’s short, but dynamic, Attracting and retaining the best staff and history of learning and teaching to date. students has been a critical element in the This history has not been without its
College of Medicine, Swansea University 12 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Learning and teaching History in the making Tomorrow’s life scientists 2014 sees Swansea University’s Biochemistry and Genetics Undergraduate programmes firmly embedded within the College of Medicine. But the roots reach back over forty-five years to the 1960s when the University was one of the first UK institutions to offer students BSc degrees in Genetics. W hen Swansea did not benefiting from the cross-fertilisation 2007-2008 saw that figure soar to over become Wales’ second achieved through shared learning and 80% where it has remained year on year medical school in 1966 teaching and research expertise available since. the University’s long and within the College. Many teachers on the respected tradition in Biochemistry, Undergraduate Programmes are part of The Undergraduate Programmes also take Chemistry and Genetics continued to the wider research environment and many pride in the fact that they are seeding the flourish. Biochemistry was closely involved teachers are medical professionals, often ‘home grown’ and globally significant with the Chemistry Department prior to working as doctors in local hospitals. research that is so in evidence at ILS. An transfer in the late 1980s to the School Positioned together, the two sciences ongoing cycle of learning and teaching is of Biological Sciences into which Genetics have been strengthened and are jointly developing at the College: Undergraduate was also integrated. When the bid re- contributing to the emerged in 1999, this tradition was critical prestige of the in giving leverage to the articulation of the College as a whole. “We are turning them into professional new vision. With the transfer scientists. I am proud to say, I taught them.” to the College of Professor Paul Dyson, It made sense: there is a substantial link Medicine there Undergraduate Programme Director, between Genetics and Medicine and it has been an College of Medicine, Swansea University was a natural step that linked the people instrumental in helping to birth the Swansea accompanying Clinical School in 2001. In Medicine there increase in status of was Professor Julian Hopkin and in Genetics the Undergraduate Programmes. The rate – Postgraduate – PhD – Staff; retaining that there was Professor James Parry who both of growth has been rapid: during 2007- knowledge base in a local clever economy realised the positive and mutual benefits of 2008 there were 94 students in total across for the benefit of the wider world of Life their separate disciplines forming part of the 3 years. Fast forward to 2013-2014 Science. the envisaged model for the School. and there are 197 – a 100%+ increase and Programmes are almost fully And the future? Such strong performance The fit between medical and molecular subscribed. in such short a time looks set to continue science that was so strategically effective on an upward trajectory. About to launch at the inception of the School, and integral The Undergraduate Programmes are is an innovative one year MSc bolt-on to to its aims and ambitions, resulted in the tuned into the increasing demands of the BSc that will place greater emphasis Genetics Programme being incorporated students as consumers of education, and on research and add even more value to within the School (now College) of since transfer was completed in 2010 have tomorrow’s life scientists. Medicine in 2007, with Biochemistry been proactively evolving the nature and following in 2010. With the new transfers scope of the degrees offered (currently a came a considerable overhaul of total of 5 single and joint honours BSc management and structures, with the Degrees) ensuring that Swansea maintains formation of a joint Board of Studies competitive edge and maximises chaired by a single Programme Director – employment opportunities for its Graduates. initially Professor David Skibinski and currently, Professor Paul Dyson. Increasing employability success is a source of pride: in 2007 only 67% of By 2014, that fit has already been Graduates taught in the Biological Sciences successfully proven, with Undergraduates were employed in work or in further study.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 13 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making George is a an award-winning can hone their skills in business researcher in the College of settings. Evidenced by the > Medicine who combines teaching spectacular employability rate, Dr George Johnson, and research, ensuring that this hands-on experience makes tomorrow’s life scientists are them some of the most sought Senior Lecturer learning from the best of today. after graduates in the UK. College of Medicine, Academics like George who Swansea University keep their fingers on the pulse of research teach students the latest methods and findings and coordinate placements in world- leading organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) so students
College of Medicine, Swansea University 14 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Learning and teaching History in the making Tomorrow’s doctors 25th February 2014 will always be remembered as the day Swansea University’s medical school joined the General Medical Council’s (GMC) prestigious list of UK medical schools entitled to award UK Primary Medical Qualifications (PMQs) independent of any other institution. T his GMC validation is testament to GEM enables Swansea to play its part in GMC’s Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009) outlines the vision and ambition of all those the under-doctoring issue in Wales by both the requirements of a doctor under three who campaigned for Wales’ second increasing recruitment and increasing themes: doctor as scientist and scholar; medical school ahead of it opening retention of doctors, which will in turn doctor as practitioner; and doctor as its doors to the first cohort of thirty-six improve the health and wellbeing of the professional. Those doctors who leave graduates in 2004. This acknowledgement communities they will serve. It has already GEM in 2014 will know that they have to ‘stand alone’ is also an endorsement started to deliver with 59% of this year’s had the best of the best to equip them to of the successive leaders who have been cohort who will graduate with a MB BCh be tomorrow’s doctors. For them, their charged with Graduate Entry Medicine’s in July committed to foundation doctoring lifelong journey is just beginning. stewardship in its ten short years and a in Wales. marker of the responsibility to follow in the years to come. The GMC visiting “In common with best medical practice team highlighted some Back in 2004 the Graduate Entry of the programme’s internationally and in line with Tomorrow’s Programme (GEP) was funded by the unique features Doctors, the Swansea GEM programme Welsh Assembly Government as part of including the Rural incorporates… a high level of patient a joint collaboration between Swansea and Remote Health involvement and a large number of self- and Cardiff Universities, which meant that in Medical Education students on the Programme spent the first (RRHIME) and the selected clinical and research experiences two years at Swansea followed by their value placed on the to develop lifelong learning.” final two years at Cardiff. From its Welsh language Professor Judy McKimm inception in 2004, Swansea had been and culture which Dean of Medical Education, striving to be able to ‘go it alone’ and is embedded in the College of Medicine, Swansea University since 2007 the College of Medicine programme. had worked partnership with Welsh Government, the Wales Deanery, local 2014 is a year to celebrate and also So too for GEM. The programme will Health Boards, hospitals, community to acknowledge that there have been mature with the years and with continued organisations, students and the GMC to challenges along the way. Challenges outward facing thinking will continue to develop the distinctive GEM Programme, that have been overcome with the same attract and retain the best. Small student: which it was able to offer from 2009. ethos of determination, team spirit and teacher ratios and a context that views the pursuit of excellence that is at the core both learners and teachers as professional Swansea’s GEM programme is unique in of GEM’s success. Following the bitter colleagues is a potent mix and combined Wales and one of a small group of similar disappointment – both for students and staff with GMC’s recent validation has boosted programmes of medical study in the UK. – of the 2011 GMC Review, the curriculum Swansea University’s upward trajectory It is an innovative, accelerated medical has been recast, building on and adapting and its ambition to be one of the world’s degree open to high-achieving graduates its inherent strengths so that it has now top universities. with demonstrable first and upper second been deemed ‘fit to go’. It is proof of degrees in the arts, sciences or humanities. the “yes we can…and we did,” mind Competition is tough and only seventy, set of Professor Judy McKimm and her selected from initial applications of over predecessor, Professor Rhys Williams eight hundred, will have the opportunity to who have enabled the GEM Programme benefit from the ‘Swansea Experience’. to come of age.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 15 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making Gaining one of the seventy places intentionally not structured in on the GEM programme is an a traditional ‘body systems’ > achievement in itself, but approach. Instead, it is designed Graduate Entry Medicine becoming one of the seventy to reflect the way in which doctors of tomorrow is something clinicians actually approach Students else. patients, investigating particular College of Medicine, problems and conditions from The GEM curriculum features all possible angles. This gives Swansea University a unique balance of learning Swansea graduates the upper weeks, clinical apprenticeships, hand when it comes to specialty attachments, clinical approaching the uncertainties assistantships, electives and and uniqueness of their future shadowing. Unlike conventional practice and prepares them to medical degree courses, the be tomorrow’s doctors. innovative GEM curriculum is
College of Medicine, Swansea University 16 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Learning and teaching History in the making Growing talent The rapid rate of growth in the number of Postgraduates choosing to progress their studies at Swansea is commensurate with the College’s status as ‘UK’s fastest growing Medical School’. It is affirmation of the demand for its distinctive approach to learning and teaching at the heart of its vision. I n 2014, within the College of Medicine John Baxter, Professor Gareth Jenkins and with the Chair meeting all students at the there are 140 candidates engaged in Professor John White, each retrospectively end of every year to chat about progress highly valued and respected keeping the Chair warm for the subsequent and gaining valuable feedback; four Postgraduate and Continuing Education sitter. Though the stewardship has official joint-appraisal meetings between or in supervised Postgraduate Degrees changed, the focus on increasing Postgraduates and their Supervisors; the use aligned to the research-active groups in Postgraduate numbers and at the same of Skype and the fusion of the internet into the College. In the years 2001-2004 time ensuring high levels of service are the design of projects; platforms for students there were just 3. maintained is paramount. Student surveys to have their voice in quarterly ’Tea with are now all important and Blackboard Tom’ sessions. And in the ethos of the The Postgraduate thread of learning intranet allows the Programmes to monitor interdisciplinary nature of learning and and teaching is now able to offer 4 satisfaction. Vital markers too are statistics teaching and research at the College, open Postgraduate Research Degrees: Doctor from external monitoring benchmark bodies discussions at monthly meetings operating of Philosophy (PhD); Doctor of Medicine such as the Research Excellence in a culture of collective decision making. (MD); Master of Philosophy (MPhil); and Framework (REF). Since 2007 there have been physical the latest addition – a significant milestone for the Programme – Masters by Research The learning and “Postgraduate Day in May has now become (MRes.) introduced in 2013. teaching nurturing approach embodied Postgraduate Week. I’m really proud that the Under its Postgraduate Taught Masters in the PhD number of Postgrads is too big to present and Continuing Education Programme, programme can snapshots of its research on 1 day.” the opportunities continue to expand: all be summed up Dr Tom Wilkinson are linked to the College’s professional in ‘Tom’s method’ – Chair of Higher Degrees, and research expertise and focus on a close mentoring College of Medicine, Swansea University gaining transferable employability skills of apprentice by as well as specialist knowledge. master that progresses over the duration of the structures too that have been the catalysts Year on year, the Postgraduate course from I (the master demonstrating) in attracting and developing progression Programmes are growing talent: talent to We (master and apprentice working from Undergraduate to Postgraduate to PhD: enriched by the experience of study itself together on research in the laboratory) world class innovation and research at work and in turn, enriching the advance of to You (master gradually ‘letting go’ of in the laboratories and facilities of the medical science. Postgraduates are drawn the apprentice who thus becomes a Institute of Life Science (ILS1 and ILS2). from across the globe, the UK, from new master). With the new Data Science building on industry, and from other programmes in track to open in 2015 and ILS3 beckoning the College of Medicine: many of those The Postgraduate Programmes are coming in 2020, things can only go from strength who graduate through GEM or the of age. To reach the point they are at to strength and give more space for Undergraduate Programme are feeding today, a strong strategy and strong developing knowledge to flourish. into Postgraduate study and in so doing structures have needed to be in place. progressing the knowledge pipeline and The restructuring of the Postgraduate helping retain ‘home grown’ expertise. Research Degrees 2011-2012 has resulted in the “best balance of people and ensures Nurturing all the expertise at present everybody’s on the same page.” But (2013-) is Dr Tom Wilkinson, Chair of there are smaller changes in place too: Higher Degrees who succeeded Professor increasing pastoral support for students,
College of Medicine, Swansea University 17 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making Leanne is studying towards a company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PhD at the College of Medicine where she excelled by helping > after being awarded a CASE to improve human health risk Leanne Stannard, studentship funded by assessment. multinational company CASE PhD Studentship AstraZeneca and the BBSRC. The College of Medicine’s ethos College of Medicine, She graduated from the College is that research and industry in 2013 with a first class honours opportunities are made available Swansea University in Medical Genetics. to undergraduate students as well as postgraduates, allowing them Her growing talent was evident to grow into scientists of global after successfully securing a UK- standing. wide recruited and hotly contested placement with global healthcare
College of Medicine, Swansea University 18 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making £25m + Upward trajectory – from £1 million 87% Recognised excellence – over 87% of >140 Strength in depth – over 140 top flight grant income in 2004 to £25 million research judged as world-class or of Researchers working across 4 research in 2014 international importance in RAE2008 themes of global significance in 3 state-of-the-art buildings Research In 2014 the College of Medicine is recognised across the globe for the impact of its Research. This is credit to those whose early vision for the new College realised that Research excellence was integral to the model that would pay dividends and grow profile quickly. Today, Research is firmly embedded within the College of Medicine at its Institute of Life Science (ILS). But its story is shaped by a strong tradition and a track record of success in Genetics and Biochemistry, which have been based at Swansea University since the 1960s.
College of Medicine, Swansea University 19 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making The status and impetus for growth afforded the Institute of Life “We don’t produce clones. I’m really proud by Swansea becoming a fully fledged Science (ILS1). Its of my students – they’re unique and they Medical School in 2004 is nothing short of open-plan and startling. Nowhere is this more in evidence shared core facilities have a unique research environment.” than in the field of Research, one of the of laboratories and Professor Gareth Jenkins three pillars that together, in just a decade, offices embodied Director of Research, have enabled the College of Medicine to the collaborative College of Medicine, Swansea University say, ‘Look at us!’ ethos that was central to Research decided to reorganise the existing structure Perfect strategy at the College of Medicine. It allowed into units of critical mass under four broad Of course the raison d’être of the for ‘clusters of difference’ and a cross- themes that had been identified as giving embryonic College of Medicine in 2004 fertilisation of ideas between different the ‘flavour’ of Research expertise at was to teach doctors, without that it would areas of Research and between the College of Medicine: Patient and have been nothing. But the early strategists, academics, PhD Students and enterprise Population Health and Informatics (PPHI); particularly, Professor Julian Hopkin, and innovation at the heart of the concept Biomarkers and Genes; Microbes and recognised that this on its own was not of ILS. Immunity; and Devices with Data Science enough: the College had to build an central to all. international reputation for Research. The ILS1 WOW factor, combined with the research expertise that was already in Bright spots His strategy was to “get the best quality place, plus the excellence highlighted in In 2014, these four themes remain broad people and get them fast”. At that time the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and will be further refined to highlight a there were no dedicated buildings for (RAE) now re-named the Research series of ‘bright spots’. Research will bring Research, no state-of-the-art facilities to Excellence Framework (REF) drove a these ‘bright spots’ into sharp focus to entice world-wide expertise, no history, second substantial wave of recruitment maintain the upward trajectory that has but nevertheless they came from the outset, of calibre, as did ILS2 in 2011 and the seen grant income rise exponentially from excited by the opportunity of the Swansea launch of the Joint Clinical Research Facility a base of £1million in 2004 to £25million vision conveyed with dynamism and (JCRF) in 2012. Success then quickly in 2014 and by 2015 will see the Data determination by Julian. They came from followed success with a flurry of research Science building open its doors to two the UK; from Germany; and from further council funded centres: mass spectroscopy, research centres, cementing the positioning afield, USA and New Zealand. Many who health informatics and bioinformatics. of Research at the College of Medicine as had started out in Swansea ‘came home’. Translational research at Swansea was world-class. This was a bold strategy which made being seen to make a “real difference in a big statement about intention. It was the the real world”; but perhaps it could make The features which follow aim to give beginning of a virtuous circle and a spiral an even greater difference. snapshots of the four major Research of confidence based on the pedigree of Themes that have been identified at these initial staff that would, in turn, attract Strength in depth Swansea together with the cross-cutting yet more acknowledged experts in their Up until 2012 research in the whole theme of Data Science. The features look respective fields. College was led by 35 Professors and back at the development of each area of consisted of over 130 Research Groups. Research and look forward to where those Room to grow There was general agreement that the particular areas might lead in the future. With more people came the need for more Research was being spread too thinly and space; more space meant capacity for that strength in depth across less breadth more people and 2007 saw the triumph of was the way forward. It was therefore
College of Medicine, Swansea University 20 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Research History in the making Discovery and delivery In 2014 Researchers working within the broad theme of Biomarkers and Genes at the College of Medicine are acknowledged as world leaders in the discovery of novel genetic, immunological and molecular biomarkers and in the delivery of their practical applications in drug development and treatments. G enetics at Swansea has a long influenced the care of rare neurological (HPC) Wales, an innovative collaboration and distinguished history. Its disorders; how their studies of genetic which today gives innovators and origins can be traced back to mutations have affected the studies of researchers in Wales access to world-class, the late 1960s and early 1970s safety of toxins at low dose; the 2013 secure and easy to use HPC technology. when its founding fathers, Professor John EPSRC UK National Mass Spectrometry Beardmore and Professor David Skibinski, Facility; pushing the boundaries of This collaboration is central to the College returned from Cambridge and began their research in Diabetic Nephropathy and of Medicine’s research ethos: inter- pioneering research contributions in the Retinopathy; and of course, the advances disciplinary collaboration with the other fields of genetic toxicology and DNA in Nanotoxicology, now a rising star Research themes and interaction with repair mechanisms, population and within Biomarkers and Genes. industry and spin-out companies so that evolutionary genetics and in the genetics market needs are fully integrated into of microbes and cell organelles. There have been significant milestones research. Central too is the dynamism too in that time that have driven success: of the department that is “creating its Soon after Swansea opened its doors to unquestionably ILS1 Graduate Entry Medicine in 2004, the in 2007 and ILS2 departments of Genetics and Biochemistry in 2011, and before, “It was a really big deal and a coup for the were brought together under the College of in 2006, the IBM R&D College – both exciting and terrifying. Medicine. Rooted in the respected tradition collaboration and the I had the keys to drive this (IBM Blue C of those early days, Biomarkers and Genes Blue C Supercomputer has since evolved as one of the four major (the largest in the UK Supercomputer).” at the time and a Professor Mike Gravenor research themes identified by the College remarkable coup for Theme Lead Biomarkers and Genes, of Medicine as ‘bright spots’. the College). Dedicated College of Medicine, Swansea University The establishment of the fledgling Medical to Life Sciences for School and the impressive research ‘mathematical biology’, standing of early visionaries Professor Blue C has been used in projects including own story as it goes along” with the Julian Hopkin and Professor Rhys Williams numerically intensive analysis of viral flexibility to enquire, explore, discover was a “powerful pull” in attracting genomes, epidemiological modelling, large and deliver. research talent to Swansea. One such clinical data bases and analysis of the talent was Mike Gravenor, now Professor genetics of disease susceptibility. The next ten years will see Biomarkers and Mike Gravenor, Theme Lead for Biomarkers Genes build on the successes of the last and Genes, who took up a Lectureship on The spin-offs from this cannot be decade by expanding its clinical and returning to his “home town” from Oxford underestimated: within the College, the business interfaces and attracting more in 2004. He, like many others who came enablement of the Informatics and Data funding to take its research forward. The at that time, could not resist the challenge Science Base (prior to PPHI) by Professor facilities of ILS and the talent of its people of Professor Julian Hopkin’s words: David Ford and Professor Ronan Lyons and gives the opportunity to do so as they stand “Come here and help us set up something the facility to carry out cutting-edge shoulder to shoulder with the NHS and exciting.” research into the evolution of viruses (the Enterprise and Innovation. paper which was published in 2006 Today, within Biomarkers and Genes, there became the 3rd highest cited paper out are ten Professors each with “a story to of 12,000). Externally, the ‘kit’ and its tell”. Some of the most noteworthy of the outputs became the blueprint for the last decade being: how their research has £44 million High Performance Computing
College of Medicine, Swansea University 21 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 History in the making Shareen's research sits within the better deliver treatment and College of Medicine’s Biomarkers patient outcomes. > and Genes Theme. She has Dr Shareen Doak, established a research programme An award-winning scientist and in nano-genotoxicology looking UK and EUROTOX Registered Reader at how DNA can be damaged Toxicologist, Shareen’s expertise College of Medicine, by very small or “nano” particles is recognised across the globe. that potentially lead to cancer. She sits on the UK Government Swansea University She also leads prostate cancer Committee on Mutagenicity research at the College, and the International Genetic investigating the molecular Toxicology Technical Committee basis of progression to invasive, and is an external expert for the aggressive disease, with an EU Scientific Committee on ultimate aim of discovering a Consumer Safety. prognostic biomarker panel to
College of Medicine, Swansea University 22 10th Anniversary: 2004-2014 Research History in the making Speed and scale In 2014, Patient and Population Health and Informatics (PPHI) is a multidisciplinary research centre with a world-class reputation. It has evolved from pioneering work carried out at Swansea University in the 1990s to make explosive impacts internationally in the field of Health Informatics. P PHI is one of the four major research research groups within Wales, the wider comparison with just 20 in 2004. The themes identified in the restructuring UK and across the world. Informatics Team has grown steadily to of research at the College in 2012 over 100 since the inception of ‘big data’ and now consolidated within the ILS. The growing success of the Centres within projects such as SAIL and CIPHER and is It is currently directed by Theme Lead, PPHI is “phenomenal”. It is home to: the “well set” to continue at the forefront of Professor Helen Snooks (2012-) its Centre of Health Information Research and research as the structures that make for precursor being led by Professor John EvALuation (CHIRAL); the Centre for the success are in place: informatics; clinical Williams who set the scene and played a Improvement of Population Health through trials unit; and research themes. And then major part in today’s story through the early eRecords Research (CIPHER) one of a there’s ILS itself, a physical testament of work of vision and value undertaken at the network of only four world-class Health possibility, growing hand in hand with Postgraduate Medical School (-2001) and eResearch Centres of Excellence funded by research: ILS1 (2007); ILS2 (2011); the Swansea Clinical School (2001-2004). the Medical Research Council (MRC); an new Data Science building due for £8 million Centre of Administrative Data completion in 2015; and the vision for Vision and value remains at the heart of Research and Evaluation; and one of the ILS3 in 2020. PPHI’s remit: to produce and disseminate four major centres that high quality and internationally relevant together form the MRC’s research that will be deemed to be “worth £20 million funded UK “It’s all about impact… about research doing” to both policy makers who plan health informatics results that are not just locally applicable, and deliver health services and to patients research group, who use those services. the Farr Institute. but internationally applicable.” Professor Helen Snooks Theme Lead PPHI, Year on year, PPHI’s growing reputation as This latest award not College of Medicine, Swansea University a global leader in research using electronic only cements the data is being recognised in the form of College of Medicine’s prestigious awards and the capture of reputation for world- millions of pounds in grant funding. class research but will enable PPHI to Going forward, the need for change is not Instrumental in this recognition is the capitalise on its expertise in safely sharing, seen: PPHI is on a solid footing and making innovation and entrepreneurship of combining and analysing diverse data sets a considerable contribution to the College Professor David Ford and Professor Ronan across new boundaries, ‘leading of Medicine. It is on the right trajectory to Lyons and their “solid research rooted in discoveries’ and validating research attract and build capacity at all levels to public health”. findings at a speed and scale not take Swansea to the world and attract yet previously possible. It will also be a more money and more people of the highest The essential component underpinning the catalyst for investment to the UK through calibre to Swansea. Professor Helen Snooks ground-breaking research at PPHI is its collaborations with IT and pharmaceutical states it simply: “Do what we do; and do Secure Anonymised Information Linkage companies and build on its already strong more of it!” (SAIL) system that securely brings together collaborations among UK and International the widest possible array of routinely Researchers. collected patient data for research, development and evaluation, using cryptic Speed and scale is not only pertinent to the codes for anonymity. From its inception in research possibilities, but to the growth of 2006, SAIL is now engaged in a range of the infrastructure in which that research high-profile externally funded research operates: the people and the place. In studies, leading or collaborating with 2014 PPHI supports 200+ jobs in
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