Six people with links to UCLH listed among most influential people in London 

10/10/2019 00:00 
Six people with links to UCLH have been highlighted in the Evening Standard’s list of the most influential people in London.

The Progress 1000 is compiled every year. The theme of this year’s list is the future and technology, and embraces whole new sectors including augmented and virtual reality and cyber security, as well as a wide range of activists challenging inequality and helping the environment.

Dr Prasanna Sooriakumaran, a consultant prostate cancer surgeon at UCLH, was included for his pioneering robotic surgery. He is investigating new techniques to spare men with prostate cancer the potentially debilitating effects of surgery. Early trials show that his new technique has drastically reduced recovery time for up to 94 per cent of patients.

Prasanna said: “It is a great honour to top the list of London’s most influential doctors in the Progress 1000 after having also made the list last year. This is a testament to the wonderful staff at UCLH, who provide world class care to men with prostate cancer.”

Professor Bryan Williams is director of one of the UK’s leading NIHR Biomedical Research Centres at UCLH, director of research at UCLH and Chair of Medicine at UCL. He is a clinician at UCLH and is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on high blood pressure.

He said: “It is good to see recognition of the influence that staff at UCLH have in driving forward medical research and innovation in London and beyond.”

Professor Charles Swanton, UCL’s professor of personalised cancer medicine with a lab at UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross, a consultant at UCLH and chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, is leading pioneering research on lung cancer. Professor Swanton studies how cancers evolve in the body to spread and become resistant to therapy. He is also researching ways to treat tumours more effectively.

Charlie said: “This is a great testament to the hospital, university, Crick and CRUK and the team for making TRACERx possible.”

Professor Tariq Enver, director at UCL Cancer Institute and professor of stem cell biology at UCL, leads a “grand coalition” in the war on cancer by encouraging closer working relations between UCL, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the Francis Crick Institute, creating a centre of excellence for biotherapeutics.

Tariq said: “It is fantastic that the vital work being done by the team in London - which has the potential to transform cancer treatment in the long run – is being recognised and encouraged. Being nominated is a massive boost for all of us who have worked so hard to reach this point.”

Professor Ravi Gupta, until recently an infectious diseases clinician at UCLH’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, studies the evolution and spread of HIV drug resistance globally. He, along with colleagues at Imperial College London, recently published a report on how a patient with HIV and lymphoma is now free from both conditions after an allogeneic stem cell transplant using cells from a donor lacking a critical receptor protein for HIV infection, CCR5. This work has rejuvenated the field of HIV gene therapy.

He said: “It has been humbling to work at UCLH alongside such dedicated staff, both clinical and academic. I hope that recognition of the ‘London Patient’ HIV cure in the Progress 1000 list will serve as an inspiration in London and beyond in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England and a UCLH physician, was included on the list for his work which focuses on the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases in children and adults.

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