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RDM Image Competition Winner

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the latest edition of the RDM Newsletter.

As always, we have a huge number of successes to celebrate within the department and I hope that you enjoy learning about activities taking place across RDM.

The most notable achievement in the past months was the election of Prof Vincenzo Cerundolo as a Fellow of the Royal Society. This prestigious honour recognises his pioneering work on T cell immunology, particularly his discoveries on how peptides and lipids are processed and presented to T cells. This research has opened new therapeutic avenues. Enzo is Professor of Immunology, Director of the MRC Human Immunology Unit at the MRC WIMM, and Head of the Investigative Medicine Division in RDM.

I also want to highlight the first recipients of the RDM Award for Excellence in Supervision. Prof Graham Ogg and Associate Prof Tatjana Sauka-Spengler were each nominated by multiple members of their teams and were praised for the insight, time and enthusiasm they put into the development of their staff and students. Reading your nominations about excellence in supervision was a wonderful experience and I am proud that we have so many nurturing supervisors in the department.

The RDM Learning and Development Programme continues to be a successful initiative, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. We are currently working on how we can best continue to deliver the programme in 2018/2019 – please do get in touch via cdc@rdm.ox.ac.uk if you have any suggestions.

Keep an eye out for the next Staff Survey, which will be disseminated shortly. This anonymous survey is hugely important to us; it allows us to hear your views on a variety of topics and informs our plans to help shape the working culture within the department. Your responses are analysed by the Medical Sciences Division and we have no way of identifying staff members, so please be honest – we can only make changes if we know about concerns. Equally, if you’ve seen improvements please do say so. Your responses will also feed into our Athena SWAN Silver Award renewal, which will be taking place in 2019. Please help us exceed the 69% response rate that we achieved in 2016 Staff Survey so we can show a good level of involvement and can capture as many views as possible.

We are making changes to the structure of the committees responsible for delivering our Athena SWAN action plan. Until now, we have had committees in each of our divisions, with representation from a variety of staff members. These committees have been a success and were hugely important in securing our Athena SWAN Silver Award. In order to keep-up momentum, we will now move to a ‘working group’ model, where interested parties will be tasked with tackling various issues. We hope that this will enable more people to get involved with our Athena SWAN action plan and facilitate intradivisional working. You can find out more within the Newsletter.

I would also like to draw your attention to a celebration of the life of Prof Kevin Gatter on 3 July 2018. Kevin sadly passed away last year and this will be an opportunity to remember his life – both professional and personal. More details are within this Newsletter.

As ever, if you have any feedback on the Newsletter, please get in touch with communications@rdm.ox.ac.uk

With best wishes,

Prof Hugh Watkins, FRS

Head of Department