This is the web page of the Medicine and Public Health track of the ABCP 2023 Annual Conference, to be held on Friday 7th July and Saturday 8th July 2023.


Day 1: Friday 7th July 2023 (venue: Alan Turing Building, Room D + Zoom / Webinar ID = 918 0537 9951 + Passcode = 454971)

1-3:20pm Session 1, Chaired by Professor Daqing Ma , Imperial College London, UK, and Professor Huiliang Li , University College London, UK
1-1:20pm New Compounds Delay Myelin Ageing and Enhance Myelin Repair in the Aged CNS
(Online) Professor Jingwei Zhao, Zhejiang University, China
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Professor Jingwei Zhao

Demyelination is not only a key change for brain aging, but also a common key pathology for demyelinated diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Demyelination can be healed through remyelination which is mediated by new oligodendrocytes derived from the adult oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and thus protect the axon and further halt axonal and neurodegeneration. Unfortunately, the efficiency of remyelination declines with progressive ageing which is associated with a declined differentiation capacity of OPCs and the depletion of OPCs following chronic or repeated demyelination. In recent studies, we have identified two small molecules as new drug candidates for myelin repair: β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (β-NMN) delays myelin ageing and enhances remyelination by improving OPCs differentiation; and ZJU-37 enhances remyelination by promoting OPCs proliferation. We have dissected the molecular mechanisms underlying their rejuvenation effects. Our studies have provided potential drug candidates to delay myelin ageing and enhance remyelination during CNS ageing.


Jing-Wei Zhao is a Professor and Principal Investigator in Zhejiang University School of Medicine. He is also Associate Director of Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center Zhejiang University and Associate Director of Department of Human Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Professor Zhao’s Lab is now exploring how to encourage neural stem cells proliferate or become a specific type of cells and how the brain ages? Professor Zhao did his postdoctoral research (Research Associate) on Neuroscience in Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge. From 2014 Zhao is a Professor and PI in Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Professor Zhao has published original papers in SCI journals including Cell Stem Cell, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Communications, Journal of Neuroscience, Glia, Critical Care Medicine and Cell Death Discovery. His papers have been cited over 3500 times so far. Professor Zhao serves as a member of the editorial board for BMC Neuroscience and Review Editor for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

1:20-1:40pm SQSTM1/p62 Droplets-based Autophagy
(Online) Professor Shouqing Luo, University of Plymouth, UK
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Professor Shouqing Luo

Autophagy is a bulk degradation system that mediates the clearance of aberrant cytoplasmic constituents. Autophagy receptors bind the cargo and target it to the growing autophagosome membrane by interacting with autophagosome-associated LC3 family proteins. p62 is the best characterized autophagy receptor. p62 droplet formation, known as the liquid-liquid phase separation/condensation process, is critical for its role in cargo recognition and LC3 interaction.

p62 droplets also serve as platforms for autophagosome formation. p62 droplet surface tension supports the formation of autophagosomal membrane sheets, which bend toward p62 droplets through droplet-sheet wetting, due to the LC3-p62 interaction. Therefore, p62 droplets-based autophagy represents selective autophagy of substrates as well as autophagosome formation. We have been investigating how p62 droplet formation and p62 droplets-based autophagy are regulated. Our studies show that DAXX promotes p62 phase condensation, reduces ROS production, and rescues cytotoxicity. We further found that cytotoxicity induces caspase-6-mediated p62 cleavage, leading to dominant-negative regulation of p62 droplet formation and resulting in attenuation of p62 droplets-based autophagy, including p62 droplets-based selective autophagy and p62-droplets-based bulk autophagy. Our studies suggest that modulation of p62 droplets-based autophagy is a potential approach to tackle autophagy-relevant diseases.


Prof Shouqing Luo received PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Peking Union Medical College and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He then went to National Institutes of Health (NIH) at Bethesda, USA, upon receiving NIH research fellowship, where he worked on the biology of glycogen storage disease. He moved to Northwestern University Medical School at Chicago as Postdoctoral Fellow to study programmed cell death. Subsequently, he studied autophagy and neurodegeneration at University of Cambridge as Research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow. Since 2013, he has been at Plymouth University Peninsula Medical School as Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor. His current research focuses on selective autophagy and protein aggregation toxicity relevant to neurodegeneration.

1:40-2pm Morphological Deviation of Additive Manufactured Porous Ti6Al4V Scaffold
(Online) Professor Chaozong Liu, University College London, UK
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Professor Chaozong Liu

A concise and factual abstract, 11pt Times New Roman is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the key results and major conclusions. It must be able to stand alone, references should be avoided. Non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided.

We demonstrated that the subchondral plate and trabecular compartments exhibit different characteristics with increasing CLS in OA joints; somewhat expected as they serve differing morphology, physical and mechanical roles. The heterogeneous microstructural changes of subchondral bone that are linked with CLS in different regions of the femoral head could be due to divergence in load distribution in the hip joint and proximal femur. The findings suggest that changes in subchondral plate thickness, porosity, TMD and trabecular bone thickness, TMD and separation could be used as imaging markers for early diagnosis of OA. These data indicate that subchondral bone provides mechanical support to the overlying cartilage. There is a direct correlation between the cartilage degeneration and the subchondral bone remodelling. Subchondral bone remodelling is an integral part of the pathology of OA, and structural, biochemical and biomechanical changes in the subchondral bone is association with OA progression.


Chaozong Liu is a non-clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Bioengineering at UCL Institute of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science, in associate with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore. He is the MSc in Musculoskeletal Science Course Tutor, and Group Leader of UCL Orthopaedic Bioengineering within UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science. His current research is directed toward biomedical devices processing for enhancing the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.

2-2:20pm Identification of NaV1.7-interacting Proteins Using Epitope-tagged Sodium Channels
(Online) Dr Jing Zhao, University College London, UK
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Dr Jing Zhao

The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 plays a crucial role in the initiation and propagation of pain signals. However, its interacting-proteins remain unknown. We generated an epitope-tagged NaV1.7 mouse that showed normal pain behaviors to identify channel-interacting proteins. Analysis of NaV1.7 complexes affinity-purified under native conditions by mass spectrometry revealed 267 proteins associated with NaV1.7 in vivo. The sodium channel β3 (Scn3b), rather than the β1 subunit, complexes with NaV1.7, and we demonstrate an interaction between collapsing-response mediator protein (Crmp2) and NaV1.7, through which the analgesic drug lacosamide regulates NaV1.7 current density. Novel NaV1.7 protein interactors including membrane-trafficking protein synaptotagmin-2 (Syt2), L-type amino acid transporter 1 (Lat1) and transmembrane P24-trafficking protein 10 (Tmed10) together with Scn3b and Crmp2 were validated by co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) from sensory neuron extract. NaV1.7, known to regulate opioid receptor efficacy, interacts with the G protein-regulated inducer of neurite outgrowth (Gprin1), an opioid receptor-binding protein, demonstrating a physical and functional link between NaV1.7 and opioid signaling. Further information on physiological interactions provided with this normal epitope-tagged mouse should provide useful insights into the many functions now associated with the NaV1.7 channel. Recently, we utilized HEK293 cells stably expressing human NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7) to identify its interacting proteins. The hNaV1.7-associated complexes were isolated through tandem affinity purification and further characterized by mass spectrometry. A total of 261 proteins were identified as interactors of hNaV1.7, mainly located across the cell membrane and cytoplasm, and primarily involved in biological processes related to protein translation and expression. Comparison between human and mouse NaV1.7-interacting proteins revealed shared proteins (such as Eef1a1, Eef2, Tcp1, Cct2, Cct3, Cct5, Cct6a, and Cct7) as well as protein families (such as kinesin and Rab GTPases family). Knockdown of two of the shared interacting proteins, CCT5 and TMED10, resulted in reduced NaV1.7 current density. In conclusion, the protein interactions of hNaV1.7 were successfully mapped in the current work. These findings provide both new insights into the regulatory mechanisms that regulate the NaV1.7 function, and important implications for developing novel NaV1.7-based analgesics.


Dr Jing Zhao is an Associate Professor working in the Molecular Nociception Group at University College London. Dr Zhao graduated from Shanxi Medical University and was trained and qualified as a Physician. He gained a PhD degree from Fudan University in 1998. After a postdoc training at the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, he joined Professor John Wood in 2003, and became a Senior Lecturer at Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, UCL, in 2013, then Associate Professor in 2018. Dr Zhao’s research focuses on sensory transduction and transmission in the peripheral nervous system, especially in pain signaling pathways. He uses gene-targeting mice as a model, combining molecular biochemistry, electrophysiology, and behavioral approaches to identify the role of voltage-gated sodium channels in pain.

2:20-2:40pm Lifelong Migration and Later Life Depression in Contemporary China
(Online) Dr Nan Zhang, The University of Manchester, UK
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Dr Nan Zhang

Migrating between rural and urban areas over the life course profoundly shapes the conditions of later life. In the Chinese context, living in urban areas with an urban Hukou is associated with socioeconomic advantage. This study is among the first attempt to investigate how migration into urban areas in China is related to these processes and the association with risk of depression in later life by focusing on the timing and the type of migration (rural-urban residential mobility and/or institutional transition of Hukou status) of migration. Using data from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, we found strong associations between migration over the life course and risk of depression in later life in China. The timing and type of migration appears to play an important role. In-situ urbanisation is associated with lower depression scores in later life, and these effects are greater for in-situ urbanisation occurring in middle age compared with young adulthood. Forced urban-rural migration is associated with improved mental wellbeing. Formal social protection, particularly having a private pension, contributes substantially to the mental health advantage of social groups with an urban Hukou. Having an urban Hukou origin has an independent protective role in shaping mental wellbeing in later life in China, potentially partly due to the entitlement to a private pension attached to this status. When informal support has weakened in contemporary China, enhanced formal social protection in the form of adequate pensions should be put in place to mitigate structural inequalities associated with migration in old age.


Dr Nan Zhang a senior lecturer (associate professor) in medical sociology and social gerontology at department of Social Statistics, University of Manchester. My research centers around health inequality, ageing, well-being in later life in the Global South and the Chinese diasporas into the Global North, with a focus on life course perspective and mixed-methods approach. I have held a number of prestigious fellowships and led projects as Principal Investigator externally funded through ESRC, GCRF, Research England, British Academy/Leverhulme. I am the funder and lead of Global Network for Ageing Research on China/Chinese (GNARC) (Twitter: @gnarchina). The GNARC, based at University of Manchester, has over 200 members from all over the world: China, UK, Europe, North America, Australia, Hongkong, Japan, Singapore and India. The GNARC brings together researchers, policy makers and NGOs who are concerned about ageing, well-being and inequality with a particular reference to China.

2:40-2:50pm Short Talks Selected From Submitted Abstracts
  Short Talk 1: Unravelling Effects of Anti-aging Drugs Using Liposomes
(Online) Dr Aihan Zhang , University College London, UK
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Liposome-mediated delivery is meant to overcome several shortcomings in identifying and testing drugs that retard ageing. These include the biotransformation of drugs by Intestinal microbes and the inefficiency of drug absorption. To explore this, we use C. elegans as a biological model and tested liposome-mediated delivery of a range of fluorescent dyes and drugs. Liposome encapsulation led to enhanced effects on lifespan, using smaller quantities of the compound, and enhanced uptake of three dyes into the gut lumen.

Moreover, four compounds can significantly extend lifespan with liposome-mediated delivery after screening (glutathione, trimethadione, thioflavin T and rapamycin). For glutathione, antibiotics abrogated life extension, implying a bacterially-mediated effect. This was attributable to reduced early death from bacterial infection, and associated with alterations of mitochondrial morphology, in a manner suggesting an innate immune training effect. Thioflavin T exhibited antibiotic effects, and also increased lifespan in an antibiotic-dependent fashion. For rapamycin, significant increases in lifespan were only seen when bacterial proliferation was prevented. These results document the utility of liposome-mediated drug delivery for Intestinal microbes. They also show how drug-microbes interactions can determine the effects of compounds on lifespan in a variety of ways.

  Short Talk 2: Transthoracic Super-resolution Ultrasound Localisation Microscopy of Myocardial Vasculature in Patients
(Online) Dr Jipeng Yan, Imperial College London, UK
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Background, Motivation and Objective
Microvascular flow in the myocardium is important clinically but remains poorly understood. Up to 25% of patients with symptoms of coronary heart diseases have no obstructive coronary arteries and have suspected microvascular diseases. However, such microvasculature is difficult to image in vivo with existing imaging modalities due to the lack of resolution and sensitivity. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of transthoracic super-resolution ultrasound localisation microscopy (SRUS/ULM) of deep (up to 120 mm) myocardial microvasculature and hemodynamics in patients.

Statement of Contribution/Methods
The microbubble (MB) signals were acquired using a phased array probe with a central frequency of 2.4 MHz and an amplitude modulation sequence. Diverging waves were steered in 6 angles with a triangle sequence for compounding. MB movement between steering angles was corrected to enhance the contrast signal after compounding. 10-second data was acquired within a single breath hold at a frame rate of 305 Hz. A multi-level motion correction strategy was proposed. Frames in the diastole of cardiac cycles were firstly excluded by a frame intensity correlation-based gating algorithm. A two-level, intra- and inter-cardiac-cycle, image registration method was proposed to correct the complex myocardium motion. MBs in the motion-corrected CEUS images were localised and tracked by a feature-motion-model approach.

Computer Tomography Coronary Angiography (CTCA) scans and SRUS images for a patient are shown in the figure. Figure a is the long-axis views in the diastole CTCA scans approximated equivalent plane as those in the ultrasound scans. White arrows point out the similar structures that are visible in both modalities. Figure b shows myocardial SRUS density map. The yellow dashed lines indicate the chamber regions that cropped out. Figure c shows zoomed-in density map of white box in b, white solid line cut the vessel for cross-section analysis. Figure d is the normalised density profile from the cross-section analysis. The vessels are 300.8 μm apart, compared to half wavelength of ultrasound (320 μm). Compared with the clinical CTCA images, SRUS exhibits increased sensitivity and resolution for myocardial microvessels. This study demonstrates the feasibility of transthoracic SRUS/ULM in human for imaging the myocardial microvascular structure and flow.

2:50-3:30pm Questions and Anwsers & Break
3:20-5:30pm Session 2, Chaired by Dr Chen Qin, Imperial College London, UK and Dr Wen Wang, University of Leicester, UK
3:20-3:50pm Progress in Research and Development of New Drug and Natural Product-derived Drugs in China
(Onsite) Professor Guanhua Du, National Center of Pharmaceutical Screening, State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Peking Union Medical College, China
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Professor Guanhua Du

Currently, the pharmaceutical research and development industry in China is showing a good situation, and the country has continuously introduced a series of policies and reform measures to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to enhance its research and development capabilities and promote the long-term development of the pharmaceutical research and development industry. The domestic pharmaceutical research and development industry started relatively late, and the scale of research and development investment is relatively small compared to foreign countries. However, with the increase in demand for innovative drugs in the domestic market, the increase in policy support, and the enhancement of pharmaceutical enterprise research and development strength, domestic pharmaceutical research and development expenditure shows a rapid growth trend.

Natural products are an important source of innovative drugs discovery. The strategy of developing new drugs from natural products must be carefully considered. Here are several successful cases of natural product-derived new drugs research and development, especially the discovery practices in our laboratory. Let’s analyze together how to go better and faster in the future of new drug research and development.


Guanhua Du is a tenured professor of Pharmacology in Peking Union Medical College; Academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences; Former-President of the Chinese Pharmacological Society; Councilor of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR), Councilor of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologists (APFP); and Director of National Centre for Pharmaceutical Screening.

Professor Du got his Ph.D. degree from Peking Union Medical College in 1995, and conducted his postdoctoral research in University of Liege, Belgium from 1995 to 1998. Dr. Du is mainly engaged in drug discovery and development, screening methods and strategy, and drug effect and mechanism research in cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disease. He originated the national high-throughput drug screening system in China, and provided drug screening services for over 300 million samples for domestic pharmaceutical institutions or enterprises.

In recent 10 years, Professor Du has published more than 500 papers and more than 30 monographs, and applied for more than 90 patents. He has completed preclinical research of 9 new drugs, among which 3 have been in market, and 6 entered clinical trials. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacology Research: Modern Chinese Medicine, Associate Editor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and more than ten other scientific journals.

3:50-4:10pm Pak as A Novel Therapeutic Target Through Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response
(Onsite) Professor Xin Wang, The University of Manchester, UK
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Professor Xin Wang

Secreted and membrane-bound proteins, which account for 1/3 of all proteins, play critical roles in heart health and disease. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the site for synthesis, folding and quality control of these proteins. Loss of ER homeostasis and function underlies the pathogenesis of many forms of heart disease.

We aimed to investigate mechanisms responsible for regulating cardiac ER function, and to explore therapeutic potentials of strengthening ER function in order to treat heart disease. Screening a range of signaling molecules led to the discovery that p21 activated kinase 2 (Pak2) is a stress-responsive kinase localized in close proximity to the ER membrane in cardiomyocytes. We found that Pak2 cardiac deleted mice (Pak2-CKO) under tunicamycin stress or pressure overload manifested a defective ER response, cardiac dysfunction and profound cell death. Small chemical chaperone tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) treatment of Pak2-CKO mice substantiated that Pak2 loss-induced cardiac damage is an ER-dependent pathology. Gene array analysis prompted a detailed mechanistic study, which revealed that Pak2 regulation of protective ER function was via the inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1)/X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1)-dependent pathway. Moreover, IRE1 activator, Quercetin, and AAV9-delivered XBP1s were able to relieve ER dysfunction in Pak2-CKO hearts. This provides functional evidence, which supports the mechanism underlying Pak2 regulation of IRE1/XBP1s signaling. Therapeutically, inducing Pak2 activation by genetic overexpression or AAV9-based gene delivery was capable of strengthening ER function, improving cardiac performance and diminishing apoptosis, thus protecting the heart from failure.

Our findings uncover a new cardioprotective mechanism, which promotes a protective ER stress response via the modulation of Pak2. This novel therapeutic strategy may present as a promising option for treating cardiac disease and heart failure.


After completing my MBChB degree at Wuhan University Medical School, I pursued scientific training and earned a PhD degree. Thereafter, I was awarded a 5-year RCUK fellowship, which allowed me to establish independent research in gene regulation and signaling in cardiovascular diseases. At the end of the fellowship, I took a position as a Lecturer and later as a Senior Lecturer, before being promoted to the position of Professor of Molecular Cardiology. Currently, I serve as the CVS Division Lead for Research Impact at the University of Manchester. Additionally, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Drug Discovery and Pharmacology and a Senior Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacology.

4:10-4:30pm A broad perspective of antimicrobial resistance
(Online) Professor Jian Ren Lu, The University of Manchester, UK
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Professor Jian Ren Lu

Over the past 100 years, antibiotics such as penicillin have drastically changed our lives, with average life expectancies extended by over 20 years! However, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) then emerged. AMR refers to the compromise of an antibiotic or a group of antibiotics by human pathogens. An early AMR development can be shown as the increasing antimicrobial concentration or dosage to achieve the antimicrobial effect, but this process can eventually lead to the loss of the antimicrobial effect. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and many government bodies believe AMR is rising to the dangerously high levels across the globe. While known resistance mechanisms are challenging to cope with, many new resistance mechanisms are also emerging and spreading fast globally, challenging the dwindling number of the life-saving antibiotics on the WHO list and escalating the healthcare costs. This talk aims to praise the good practices from NHS, but misuse and overuse of antibiotics are still widely regarded as the main source of AMR within the global healthcare. Other practices such as pesticides (mainly fungicides) used in agrichemical sprays and animal feed additives produced from microorganisms can add evolution pressures to microbes in the wild, further endangering our living environments. It has been estimated that global AMR-related deaths could amount to 10 millions by 2050, making AMR deadlier than cancers! Despite the current AMR crisis, there is a lack of business incentive to develop new antibiotics or new treatments. The average therapies of infections are far cheaper than cancer therapies. This business scenario casts an adverse impact on investment and innovation. Views on the future development and the global south-north gap in benefiting from infection control are also shared in this talk.


Prof Lu’s research focuses on biomaterials and biointerfaces, with recent research projects falling in antimicrobial peptides, self-assembled peptide hydrogels and use of neutron reflection and scattering and molecular dynamics simulations to unravel how designed antimicrobial peptides bind to microbial membranes, causing structural damage and killing pathogens. His group collaborates closely with biologists and clinicians and this effort is well demonstrated in their research and funding support on the development of novel wound care materials.

4:30-4:50pm The Sweet Sugar Coat on Cancer Cells: Opportunities and Challenges in Cancer Research and Therapeutic Treatment
(Onsite) Professor Lu-Gang Yu, University of Liverpool, UK
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Professor Lu-Gang Yu

Modification of proteins by carbohydrates (protein glycosylation) is a post-translational process and a common feature of cellular proteins in mammalian kingdom. Most if not all cell membrane proteins in human are modified by carbohydrates (becomes glycoproteins). Adequate protein glycosylation is essential to the function and activity of proteins and attributes significantly to the social behaviors of cells in the body. About 2% of the human genome is believed to be involved in protein glycosylation. The carbohydrate structures carried by proteins can directly involve in the action of the proteins, or indirectly by interaction with carbohydrate-binding proteins. Changes of protein glycosylation occurs commonly in human diseases such as cancer but our understanding of the significance of the protein glycosylation change in diseases is still in infantry. It is increasingly recognized however that protein glycosylation likely holds vital information in the process of disease pathogenesis. We will discuss the challenges in the pursuit to understand the role and actions of protein glycosylation in diseases and the opportunities it offers to the development of new treatments and therapies, using cancer as an example.


Lu-Gang Yu is a Professor of Glyco-oncology at the University of Liverpool where he has been working since 1991. His research is focused on the role of cell glycosylation and carbohydrate-binding proteins in cancer development, progression and metastasis. Substantial recent work in his lab has been in translational development of new cancer therapeutic agents from synthetic, semi-synthetic and natural sources. His research has been funded by various national and international agencies in the UK, USA and Japan. He is a member of British Association of Cancer Research and American Society for Glycobiology. He services on a number of journal editorial boards in the fields of cancer and glycobiology.

4:50-5:10pm Deep Learning for Fully Automated Bioprocessing
(Onsite) Dr Jichun Li, Newcastle University, UK
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Dr Jichun Li

Traditional laboratory-based samples preparation for bioprocessing usually involves sample washing, homogenization, concentration, and spotting, which are time-consuming, labor-intensive and difficult-to-scale. This talk presents the design and development of a fully automated system for the preparation of fungal samples for FTIR spectroscopy. The whole system consists of a ultrasonication robot module, a bespoke centrifuge module, a high accuracy electric pipette, a low accuracy syringe pump and a dual robotic arm system with a gripper. Deep learning algorithms are studied to identify the labware settings, which includes the number and positions of well plates and pipette tips. Machine vision on the ultrasonication robot module can detect the sample wells and return the locations to the liquid handling module, which makes the system hand-free for users. Tight integration of all the modules enables the robot to process up to two 96-well microtiter (MTP) plates of samples simultaneously. Performance evaluation shows the deep learning-based approach can detect four classes of labware with high average precision, from 0.93 to 1.0. In addition, tests of all procedures show that the robot can provide homogeneous sample spots for FTIR spectroscopy with high positional accuracy and spot coverage rate.


Dr Jichun Li is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) research group, School of Computing, Newcastle University. He received his Ph.D. degree from Department of Informatics, King’s College London, U.K. And then he took postdoctoral positions at Durham University, Newcastle University, Brunel University London @TWI. He is a Fellow of HE and a member of IEEE and IET. Dr Li has published over 40 research articles in machine learning, automation and control, and robotics with application in life and health in peer-reviewed journals such as: IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics and IEEE Transactions on Robotics. Dr is a regular reviewer for peer-reviewed journals and flag conferences. Dr Li has led (PI/Co-I) or participated as PDRA a number of projects funded by EU, EPSRC, InnovateUK and industries which are worth about £27 millions.

5:10-5:30pm Questions and Anwsers

Day 2: Saturday 8th July 2023 (Virtual only: Zoom / Webinar ID = 943 9601 9366 + Passcode = 236274)

1-2pm Session 1, Chaired by Dr Wen Wang, University of Leicester, UK
1-1:20pm Chinese Surgeons and Careers in the NHS: A Longitudinal Study of Success
Professor Carol Woodhams, University of Surrey, UK & Ira Parnerkar, Queen Mary University of London, UK
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Professor Carol Woodhams

Surgeons have a reputation of being resistant to the incorporation of women and ethnic minorities into their profession (Royal College of Surgeons, 2021; Kellogg, 2011). Using a longitudinal analysis of gender and ethnic career inequalities for a complete cohort of UK NHS surgeons following their progress for ten years, we examine factors that condition gendered/ racialized promotions in surgical training. Referencing relational organizational inequality frameworks, we explore contexts that generate inequalities. We find inequalities rise in workplaces and surgical sub-specialties with higher white male density, pointing toward gendered and racialized cultural explanations of closure. Effects, however, are less severe and frequently reversed for Chinese male surgeons, especially in comparison with white and ethnic female groups and Black male surgeons. Effects are moderated in hospitals with robust HR overview. We conclude with insights for organizational inequality process theories and HRM practice.


Professor Woodhams’ research is interdisciplinary and theoretically grounded in psychology, management, and sociology. She researches subjects bound by an interest in labour market disadvantage, in particular the understanding of causes of pay gaps and pay inequality at the firm level. She argues that intersectional women and men are hindered in their prospects for equality by structures and their application by organisation elites. Professor Woodhams applies her research skills to provide insight for employers – primarily the NHS at national and local levels and UK higher education institutions – diagnosing patterns in wages between men and women, and further at the level of dual and multiple characteristics to co-develop best practice reward strategies to overcome pay gaps and pay inequality. Her work results in ongoing implementation relationships delivering advice on remedial strategies to eliminate pay gaps. It was recognized with the award of a national project – “Mend the Gap: A Review of Pay Gaps in Medicine” sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care published in 2020. She continues to conduct research on inequalities in the NHS. Previously she has researched Chinese female managers and careers, diversity management, equal opportunities in SMEs and financing small business. She has published widely on these topics including articles in Academy of Management Discoveries, Human Resource Management, the Journal of Social Policy, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Journal, and British Journal of Industrial Relations.

1:20-1:40pm Experiences of International Medical Graduates
Professor Mo Al-Haddad, The University of Glasgow, UK
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Professor Mo Al-Haddad

About 42% of doctors on the General Medical Council (GMC) register currently are International Medical Graduates (IMGs). An IMG is a doctor who practices medicine in a country different to their country of primary medical qualification. IMGs (a lot of whom are from ethnic minorities) have a higher rate of complaints made against them, lower pass rates at postgraduate exams, and have worse training outcomes compared to Domestic Medical Graduates. In 2021, the GMC set targets to reduce the disproportionate rates of complaints against ethnic minority doctors by 2026 and eradicate inequalities in medical education by 2031. A progress report published by the GMC in March 2023 documented that no progress has been made towards achieving these targets.

In this talk, I explore the experiences of IMGs and describe how some of these experiences contribute to the negative outcomes described above. The initial period after migration is challenging for most IMGs as they strive to secure their basic human needs at the same time as starting a new job in a different country with a different culture, different language and different healthcare system. There are four main barriers that face IMGs on their journey: Language, Culture, Medical Education and Training, and Belonging. The degree to which these barriers hinder the IMG’s progress depends on the degree of dissonance between the IMG and the host country within each of the four barriers. IMGs adjust in a variety of ways in order to survive the initial challenging period and then thrive.


Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow. National Associate Postgraduate Dean for International Medical Graduates (IMGs), NHS Education Scotland. Graduated from Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad. Trained in Critical Care and Anaesthesia in Scotland.

Professor Mo Al-Haddad has an interest in supporting IMGs. He has conducted research related to experiences of IMGs and have worked with others to instigate interventions designed to support IMGs in Scotland and help with their acculturation. Professor Mo Al-Haddad has also instigated interventions to support supervisors of IMGs.

1:40-1:55pm Questions and Anwsers
2-3pm Session 2, Chaired by Dr Chen Qin, Imperial College London, UK
2-2:20pm Glucose Management Using AI
Dr Kezhi Li, University College London, UK
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Dr Kezhi Li

Diabetes affects over 422 millions of people worldwide, with an increasing number opting for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) over self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG) due to its convenience and real-time monitoring capabilities. This talk will discuss the use of AI techniques to manage glucose levels, including glucose prediction, insulin advising, personalized modeling, simulator building, and system development. With the integration of intelligent algorithms and modern medical devices, AI-enabled systems have shown to play a crucial role in preventing hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, helping individuals with diabetes maintain a healthy lifestyle. Clinical trials have shown promising results, highlighting the potential for AI to revolutionize the way we manage diabetes.


Kezhi (Ken) Li is currently a lecturer of AI in Healthcare, at Institute of Health Informatics (IHI), UCL. He is passionate about solving physiological, medical, clinical and operational problems in healthcare using AI techniques. Specifically, he has been a leading researcher in biomedical time series analysis using wearables, diabetes management, patient flow optimization, and risk management using clinical data. He has published over 70 research papers in top-tier journals and conference proceedings and received multiple awards. Several of his researches have been translated to hospitals and clinical trials. He is the Director of MRes programme (UKRI UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in AI-enabled Healthcare Systems), and has been the Module leader & co-leader of four modules in AI and healthcare.

2:20-2:40pm Development of Future-proof Healthcare Facilities
Dr Kangkang Tang, Brunel University London, UK
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Dr Kangkang Tang

Serious COVID-19 nosocomial infection has demonstrated the need to consider our health services in a different manner. Triggered by the current crisis and the interest in rapid deployable hospitals, this project reviews the lessons learned from COVID-19 concerning hospital-based design intervention strategies and explore the vision of future-proof hospitals with the reconfigurability ability to pivot when future demands change.


Dr Kangkang Tang current areas of research include the development of resilient infrastructures through modern methods of construction (MMC) and agent-based modelling (ABM). Inspired by the previous design experience in healthcare projects, I developed the computer simulation procedures to assess the nosocomial infections through computer simulations.

2:40-3pm Questions and Anwsers
3-4pm Session 3, Chaired by Dr Wen Wang, University of Leicester, UK
3-3:20pm Doctors’ Employment Transition Under Uncertainty
Dr Wen Wang, University of Leicester, UK
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Dr Wen Wang

Between March 2021 and March 2022, 799 Foundation Year doctors dropped out in the Midlands (dropout is defined as remaining inactive during or after training, NHS digital, 2022), this is equivalent to 15 doctors every week. This is concerning given NHS England faces – a shortage of 12,000 doctors in 2022 (UK Parliament, 2022a), areas include the Midlands have a higher than national average shortage. On the other hand, pay-dispute has resulted in the longest strike-96 hours in 2023 among junior doctors in history. Funded by the British Academy, this project intends to capture the employment transition experiences of trainee doctors. We would share preliminary research findings to understand how current foundational year doctors navigate under the unprecedent uncertainty.


Dr Wen Wang is an Associate Professor in HRM at the University of Leicester. Her research explores how management practices in responding to external uncertainty (resulted from economic, technological, political or legal change) impact on its workforce and good practices which can enhance performance, innovation and productivity. My research has three main themes. First, I investigate the unintended consequences of people management in the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector (charities and public sector) since the new public management in 1990s. I unpack how business-like transformation has unintendedly reinforced or reproduced social inequality- thus contradict the purpose of most NFP organisations. Second, I identify management practices to improve productivity through an inclusive approach including working with trade unions, an ageing working population and a diverse workforce. Third, I exploit triangular data sources to better understand organisational behaviours and its impact on workers in different contexts or under different business conditions: automation, recession, Brexit, Covid, etc.

3:20-3:40pm Smart Retail Service Design for Healthy Ageing
Dr Yuanyan Yin, University of Southampton, UK
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Dr Yuanyan Yin

Grocery shopping has a significant impact on older people’s health, which not only contributes to the fundamental need to access food but is also an essential part of their social interactions. However, one in five (19%) people aged 80-84 have difficulty shopping for groceries, and this rises to 60% for those aged over 90 (Age UK,2021). The main challenges that some older shoppers face during grocery shopping can be categorised into two parts: 1) Grocery service accessibility, which includes product accessibility, store layout, customer services, in-store navigation, checkout, transportation, and online shopping; 2) Shopping for healthy ageing, which links with food choices, social isolation, low income, impaired health, digital divide, and low levels of physical activity. Meanwhile, there is a trend towards omnichannel retail, offering a seamless shopping experience across numerous channels, including in-store and online shopping using computers, tablets, and smartphones, with options such as delivery, click & collect in-store, at a drive-in point, pickup at a parcel shop, locker or elsewhere. However, these services are not designed for easy use by older people and can be challenging for some. Although CoVID-19 led to increased adoption of online-based shopping among older customers, approximately 4.2 million over 65-year-olds in the UK do not have access to the internet, and online grocery shoppers aged 65+ represent less than 5% of the overall online population. There is an urgent need for new smart retail services to support older consumers and make grocery shopping more inclusive. Therefore, this project aims to investigate and develop an age-friendly smart grocery retail service to improve ageing customers’ grocery shopping experience and encourage healthy shopping and eating behaviour.

Key supermarket shopping-related issues have been identified via two focus groups, which include difficulties to find items in store, design issues of a trolley, basket, shelf and checkout, trust issues of online payment, issues of online shopping interaction and interface design, shopping for healthy foods. Based on the identified shopping issues, a smart grocery retail service prototype has been developed which is a smart trolley with a built-in smart shopping system that can support older customers to have an easier and more effective in-store shopping experience via functions such as auto-shopping list creation based on customers’ historical shopping transaction data, in-store navigation, self-checkout on the smart trolley, call for staff support, and providing shopping suggestions based on their shopping budget, allergies, nutritional needs, recipes, and store promotions.

The prototype was evaluated by 10 older customers and four grocery retail managers. The vast majority of older customers who participated in the study felt confident and comfortable using the proposed smart grocery retail service prototype. Both customer and retailer participants provided positive feedback on the prototype function design, especially the shopping recommendation for cheaper and healthier products, and in-door navigation functions. There was concern among some participants that smart retail might reduce social interaction opportunities for older customers. Future research will focus on how smart retail services can support shopping-related social interactions and community support for older customers.


Yuanyuan Yin is an Associate Professor of Design, Head of Research at the Design Department, and co-director of the Global Smart Lab at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Dr Yin completed her PhD in Design Research and MA in Design Strategy & Innovation from Brunel University, UK. She earlier obtained her B. Eng. degree in Industrial Design in China. She joined the University of Southampton in 2009. Her research has concentrated on inclusive design for older people through ethnographic user studies, co-design collaborations, and improving innovation in product and service design. She has received more than 1.4M in grants income from ESRC, British Council, and Confucius Institute Headquarters. Her recent research focused on design for inclusive ageing, inclusive smart retail service design, pension service design, and smart textile design for healthy ageing.

3:40-4pm Questions and Anwsers
4-5pm Session 4, Chaired by Dr Chen Qin, Imperial College London, UK
4-4:20pm Impact Case-evidence by Design Virtual Clinic in Managing Diabetic Maculopathy During Covid-19 Pandemic In the Largest NHS Trust In England
Dr Xiaoli Chen, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK
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Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is the leading cause of blindness in the diabetic population. It occurs due to fluid leakage from retinal blood vessels and accumulation in the macula, the retina part that is responsible for central vision. If left untreated, DMO can result in permanent vision loss. Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF or steroids are the main treatment options for severe DMO. Covid 19 pandemic has significant impact on ophthalmic service, including the treatment for DMO. Here, we evaluated the effect of virtual clinic in managing DMO in Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (HGS), one of the largest NHS Trust in England.

Virtual Clinic has been set up in multiple sites since August 2020: (1) Injections combined with vision & optical coherence tomography (OCT) assessments; (2) Results were reviewed and management plans made virtually by clinician; (3) Telephone consultation when necessary. Electronic records and OCT results between 01/08/20 and 28/02/21 were reviewed. Patients were included if they had attended DMO virtual clinic and received ≥ 2 intravitreal injections. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA, LogMAR) and macular OCT (average thickness, central thickness and total volume) were used for analysis, and the difference between the first and last visits were calculated.

874 Intravitreal injections were delivered to 312 eyes for the treatment of DMO in the 7 months. The drugs used to include Aflibercept (404), Ranibizumab (98), Bevacizumab (9), Dexamethasone implant (25) and Fluocinolone implant (1). Among those, 225 eyes had ≥ 2 injections. They gained an average of 3.65 ± 8.18 (SD) letters. BCVA stabilized or improved in 69% eyes (156/225). OCT shows average central macular thickness reduced by 65.75 ± 133.54 (SD)um. Similar trends were also noticed on macular average thickness and central volume.

During pandemic, virtual clinic has played an essential role in ophthalmic service. We demonstrated that large number of DMO patients have been treated through virtual clinic. DMO virtual clinic has preserved vision and reduced macular oedema for the majority of patients.


Dr Xiaoli Chen is a Senior Ophthalmology Registrar based in the West Midlands of England. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Ophthalmology from Xiangya Medical School at South Central University in China. With the support of an ORSAS and NERC scholarship, she went on to complete her PhD training and subsequent postdoctoral research in Vision Science at the University of Southampton in the UK. During her research, she focused on stem cells and their potential use in treating these conditions. Dr Chen received her GMC registration with a license to practice medicine in the UK in 2015 and has since worked as a clinician in the NHS.

4:20-4:40pm Homo Medicus: What Anthropology Can Teach Us About Studying the World of Medicine
Dr Jennifer Creese, University of Leicester, UK
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Dr Jennifer Creese

The world of medicine and healthcare is vast and complex –the way disease manifests in our bodies, the treatments we take, the healthcare workers who diagnose and perform procedures and help us back to wellness, and increasingly the technology we use to understand, monitor and augment our health. However, at its heart, every facet and story of health and medicine is one of human lives, governed by human identities and cultures. This means that understanding people — the way they identify themselves, the groups they place or find themselves in, and the norms, practices and values of those groups — brings us a vital understanding of how medicine, disease, treatment and care-work operate. The social science of Anthropology — the study of human identities and cultures — can provide us with new and rich ways to think about how the medical world operates and how health is situated within life. In this talk, I will lead an exploration of how anthropological understandings of culture and identity can bring a new layer of conceptual framework to studying the world of health research across multiple disciplines.


Dr Jennifer Creese is a sociocultural anthropologist and ethnographer specializing in the ways ethnic, organizational and professional cultures are formed and experienced within wider frameworks of society and health. She was awarded a PhD in Anthropology (2020) from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (2020-2021) as part of the Hospital Doctor Retention & Motivation Project funded by the Health Research Board of Ireland. She joined the University of Leicester in 2022 as a Lecturer in Healthcare Studies in the Department of Population Health Sciences. Her current scholarly interests focus on workplace experiences and identities of health and social care workers, with a particular interest in wellbeing and voice, and the intersections of ethnic and religious cultures with healthcare work and life experiences. She is also a keen methodological scholar, particularly in novel qualitative research approaches, and leads an annual international Ethnography for Healthcare Improvement Summer School.

4:40-5pm Questions and Anwsers

Organising Committee

  • Professor Huiliang Li (李会良教授), University College London, UK & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Medicine and Health
  • Professor Daqing Ma (马大青教授) MAE, Professor of Anaesthesia, Imperial College London & Executive Vice-President, ABCP & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Medicine and Health
  • Dr Chen Qin (秦宸博士), Imperial College London, UK & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Medicine and Health
  • Dr Wen Wang (汪文博士), University of Leicester, UK & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Sustainability and Ageing Society