Cambridge Conversations

Cambridge Conversations

Cambridge Conversations
Friday 17 April 2020, 12.00pm to 12.40pm BST
Past event
Past event
Friday 17 April 2020, 12.00pm to 12.40pm BST
  • Cambridge Conversations - COVID-19
Webinar — Cambridge Conversations: responding to the medical challenges of COVID-19
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Theme: 
Science and technology

On Friday 17 April, we were pleased to present our first webinar in our new Cambridge Conversations series. The Cambridge Conversations webinars provide you with the opportunity to listen, connect and engage with current Cambridge thinking, wherever you are. With the vast majority of our thousands of alumni in isolation or lockdown, each event allows our graduates digital access to leading academics and the chance to participate in a real-time Q&A session.

As the COVID-19 pandemic confronts the world, Cambridge experts are leading research into diagnosis and treatment of the virus itself, and examining the resulting challenges to our society — our economy, politics and educational system among many others.

The first Cambridge Conversations webinar featured Professor Ken Smith and Dr Nick Matheson, with facilitator Dr Chris Smith of the Naked Scientists. Together, they provided accurate scientific information as an antidote to the speculation and misinformation rampant on social media.

Watch now

Speakers

Professor Ken Smith

Professor Ken Smith

Ken Smith is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Clinical Medicine at Pembroke College and the Khoo Oon Teik Professor of Nephrology at the National University of Singapore. Ken studied medicine at the University of Melbourne and completed a BMedSc in the Nuffield Department of Surgery in Oxford. He trained in nephrology with an interest in autoimmune disease at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, before completing pathology training specialising in clinical immunology. His PhD (with David Tarlinton and Gus Nossal: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) examined aspects of B cell immunology, work built upon in two years working with Douglas Fearon in Cambridge.

Today Ken runs a laboratory in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, which has two main components. The first studies basic immunological mechanisms, and how defects in regulatory control of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity and alter defence against infection. The second is a translational programme in autoimmune disease (particularly SLE and vasculitis) and has led to the discovery of a novel prognosis-predicting biomarker now entering clinical trials, and the identification of important genes involved in disease pathogenesis. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and in 2007 was awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize.

Dr Nick Matheson

Dr Nicholas Matheson

Dr Nicholas Matheson is a Principal Investigator in the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID), Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and Honorary Consultant in Virology at NHS Blood and Transplant. He qualified in medicine from the University of Oxford in 2003, undertook specialist training in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases in London and Cambridge, and spent 2 years as a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His clinical work and research have been focussed on chronic blood borne viral infections, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), with a particular interest in viral manipulation of immunometabolism. More recently, he has been closely involved with the Addenbrooke’s Hospital response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including demand modelling for general medical and intensive care beds. At the same time, his lab is part of a campus-wide collaboration working to understand and combat SARS-CoV-2.

Dr Chris Smith

Dr Chris Smith

Dr Chris Smith is a consultant medical virologist, lecturer at the University and a Fellow Commoner at Queens' College. Outside the Public Health and Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Chris co-presents The Naked Scientists, for which he laid the foundations in 1999. He is a science correspondent for the ABC Radio National Breakfast show in Australia, presents '5 Live Science' on BBC Radio 5 Live, and talks science and answers listeners’ questions every Friday morning on Primedia's Talk Radio 702 / 567 CapeTalk, in South Africa. He also appears on Radio New Zealand National's ‘This Way Up’ to talk about recent scientific breakthroughs. Chris created the Royal Society of Chemistry's ‘Chemistry World’ and 'Chemistry in its Element' podcasts, founded and presented the first 100 episodes of the Nature Podcast for the journal Nature, and launched ‘The eLife Podcast’ for the eLife open-access online journal. He has published four popular science books.

Booking information

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