UCL Research Roundup: March 2019

UCL Research Roundup: March 2019

UCL is a world leader in science and technology research. Corlett Novis gives us a quick overview of what’s been going on at UCL over the last month.

Promising New Treatment For HIV

After stopping treatment, a second patient has seen a remission of HIV lasting over 18 months following a new stem cell treatment. This is according to a new study led by researchers at University College London and Imperial College London and may indicate a new leap forward in the treatment of the pervasive sexually transmitted infection. Nearly 37 million people live with HIV around the world (that’s more than the entire population of Australia or Canada). Lead researcher Professor Ravindra Gupta, of UCL, UCLH and Cambridge, has commented that“finding a way to eliminate the virus entirely is an urgent global priority, but is particularly difficult because the virus integrates into the white blood cells of its host.”

17% Pay Gap for Doctors in the NHS

An NHS review lead by a UCL researcher has revealed a significant pay gap between male and female doctors due to the dominance of male senior staff. The study led by Professor Dame Jane Dacre of the UCL Medical School is, to date, the largest investigation into gender pay data ever conducted in the public sector and highlights a continued need to improve gender equality in one of the nations most significant public bodies.

Lowering Benefits for Refugees Leads to More Crime and Less Schooling

Thanks to new research led by UCL and the Danish Rockwool Foundation, the importance of refugee benefits has been firmly established. Although in the past some political debate has centred around whether generous benefits for refugees may decrease their desire to seek out work or integrate, the study clearly demonstrated the opposite. Based on data from Denmark, the investigation was done into the behavioural trends of refugees before and after a significant reform in refugee benefits (a drop in up to 50%). The study bears particular relevance since Denmark’s system closely resembles other developed nations including the UK. Leading researcher Professor Christian Dustman of the UCL Economics Department pointed out that “refugees affected by the reform both commit more crime than refugees prior to the reform and their children’s educational attainment is reduced.”

New Building for Neurology

A new, world-class Neurology centre is due to be built at UCL following the approval of the UCL Council. The £281 million facility will be located on the site of Eastman Dental Hospital and is due to be completed by late 2023. The centre will focus research into some of the biggest neurological fields including dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders which are currently the largest cause of death in England and Wales.

The facility will provide a new home to the following departments:

  • the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN)
  • the national headquarters of the UKDRI, along with its researchers already based at UCL
  • the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s (NHNN’s) NHS outpatient and imaging suites.
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