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News > OH News > Ami's Inaugural Lecture

Ami's Inaugural Lecture

Professor Amitava Banerjee (OH 1986-96) talked about his work as a cardiologist and research into the long-term effects of COVID-19
6 Oct 2022
OH News

Former Head Boy, Amitava Banerjee told us about his recent inaugural lecture at University College London:


An inaugural lecture is where a new Professor officially joins the senior faculty of a university and talks about the journey in research as well as where they are going next. I was promoted in July 2021 to Professor of Clinical Data Science at University College London but due to backlogs and delays due to the pandemic, my inaugural lecture only happened this week. I work 30% of my time as a consultant cardiologist, seeing patients, across two busy London hospitals: UCL Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trusts, and the rest of my time is spent doing research and teaching at UCL.

My lecture was titled, "Health data across silos: from heart disease to syndemics". I spoke about my early life in Hull (including my time at Hymers College) and my Indian heritage and the fact that I have grown up crossing silos, whether British and Indian culture, medical and non-medical communities or different interests from rugby to science. The overall theme was that I have spent my career so far trying to cross "silos" or "entrenched thinking" in global health, public health and my clinical practice as a cardiologist, where, for example, people still often think that global health is not relevant to all of us, or that infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases) are not connected. Particularly during the pandemic, thinking across silos has led my research group and many others to tackle challenges in a way that we were not doing before and in hopefully a much more productive way.

I described how I was helped by my time at Hymers (particularly Mr John Tinnion, my biology teacher and mentor) and went on to study medicine at Oxford, and after a year working in Hull, I pursued a Masters in Public Health at Harvard and then an internship at World Health Organisation in Geneva. After that, I returned to postgraduate medical training around the UK (Oxford, London and Birmingham), including a DPhil in Oxford looking at epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases. This work has greatly informed the work my team has done during the pandemic to look at the direct, indirect and long-term effects of COVID-19.

After the lecture, as part of the celebration, I organised a musical quiz where the audience had to  guess the tenuous links between famous songs and cardiovascular disease. In the band was old Hymerian and classmate, Paul Graham (OH 1989-96), on lead guitar! Other Old Hymerians attending the event were my brothers (Anupam, OH 1987-97 and Arindam, OH 1992-2002), Winston Eavis (OH 1986-96) and Edgar Randall (OH 1989-96). It was a very special occasion for me to bring together the important people from the different parts of my life, which Hymers shaped so much at an early stage.

To view Amitava's lecture, please visit www.youtube.com

 

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