RCVS news: Geneticist behind ground-breaking twins study and Covid symptom app to speak at RCVS Fellowship Evening

This year’s online Fellowship Evening, the culmination of a Fellowship Week which will showcase the variety and extent of the Fellowship’s knowledge base, will feature a keynote address from renowned epidemiologist and science writer Professor Tim Spector on personalised nutrition.

Professor Spector, a genetic epidemiologist at King’s College London, and his team were behind the ground-breaking Covid Symptom Study app, an innovation which directly influenced how the UK responded to the pandemic. For the last 25 years he has also been studying a cohort of 12,000 twins via the TwinsUK registry, the largest nutrition intervention of its kind, which has shown how we all react differently to the same foods, even genetically identical twins.

His talk, The Future of Personalised Nutrition, will look at how circumstantial factors such as sleep, exercise and meal-times impact our microbiome profile and therefore how we react to food, and how understanding these factors could pave the way for a new era of personalised nutrition.

Before Professor Spector’s keynote address, the 38 new Fellows who successfully applied to join the Fellowship this year will be formally welcomed to the learned society by RCVS President Dr Kate Richards and RCVS Fellowship Board Chair Professor John Innes. The list of new Fellows admitted this year can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/fellowship.

The evening is also a culmination of a Fellowship Week taking place between 30 September and 7 October with a variety of online activities including three Fellows in Focus talks, which are presentations delivered by three current RCVS Fellows on their areas of research and expertise. These talks are:

  • Dr Mandy Peffers FRCVS with her talk From bovine embryo transfer vet to Wellcome Trust Clinical Intermediate Fellow
  • Dr Christopher Shales FRCVS with his talk The integration of webinars within our practice
  • Dr Joan Smyth FRCVS with her talk Some discoveries of novel diseases and concepts through diagnostic veterinary pathology

There will also be six Fellows of the Future presentations where veterinary undergraduates and recent graduates deliver talks on their current academic research. The six entries will be considered by a judging panel comprising Fellows admitted in 2020, with the winning presentation being announced and played in full at the Fellowship Evening. s

Professor John Innes, Chair of the Fellowship Board, said: “The Fellowship Week activities and Fellowship Evening are for veterinary surgeons at all stages of their careers, whether Fellows or not, and, indeed, for veterinary students as well. The overall aim is to highlight the amazing knowledge and expertise contained within Fellowship and the veterinary professions as a whole and use this as an opportunity to share insights, information and inspiration.

“I look forward to both welcoming our new Fellows on board, and hearing from Professor Spector during his keynote address. The Covid symptom-tracking app that he and his team developed has had clear real-world impacts in, for example, broadening the range of recognised symptoms of coronavirus for public health authorities. Meanwhile, his personalised nutrition studies have also proven invaluable for research into diverse areas such as ageing, heritability and vision, as well as diet. His will be a fascinating talk and I do hope you can join us to hear it.”

Anyone wishing to attend the Fellowship Evening please contact the RCVS Events Team on events@rcvs.org.uk

Those unable to attend the evening will be able to watch a recording via the Fellowship Week webpage at: www.rcvs.org.uk/news-and-views/events/rcvs-fellowship-week-virtual-event/

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