Doctoral Inaugural Lectures

The Doctoral College is at the heart of our postgraduate community and provides support to postgraduates across the University's three Colleges.

These Inaugural Lectures are where the very best of our research degree graduates get the chance to share their work and their passion for research with the University and the public. For the latest Doctoral College news and events, find us on Facebook.


Friday 14 June 1700-1800

Energy companies and climate change: towards a greener corporate objective?

Lisa Benjamin

Shared and distinct genetic determinants between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other pulmonary traits

Richard Allen

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease where the lungs become scarred, making it increasingly difficult to breath. We do not understand why this happens and there are few effective treatments, meaning that half of people die within 3 years of being diagnosed. We know that a person’s DNA can greatly increase their risk of developing IPF. Identifying genetic mutations associated with IPF allows us to better understand the disease, and will help in the development of new treatments that are desperately needed. This PhD aimed to improve our understanding of the genetic risk factors of IPF.

I investigated over 13 million genetic changes across the DNA and found a previously unreported genetic mutation that increases the chances of developing IPF. This genetic change was found to increase the activity of a gene called AKAP13, which through collaboration was discovered to be more highly expressed in people with IPF than those that do not have IPF, and is primarily expressed in the parts of the lung affected by the disease. AKAP13 lies in a known fibrotic biological pathway that can be targeted by currently available drugs. By conducting the first ever genome-wide study into IPF survival times, I identified a set of candidate genes that may dictate why some people experience a highly progressive form of IPF. This also showed that the genetic mutations that increase risk of IPF are different to those that affect how quickly the disease progresses, which could have large implications on future drug research.






Check out our intriguing archives here - Doctoral Inaugural Lectures Archive.



Two fantastically clear and confident speakers – was a pleasure to be in the audience!” – DIL Audience Member
“Excellent event. Well done all” – DIL Audience Member
“I was very impressed with both speakers…” – DIL Audience Member
“thank you for all the work you put into running and advertising the lectures tonight, despite my nerves I had a great time and really enjoyed giving my lecture!” – Dr Shane Hussey, DIL Speaker
“thank you so much…for such a wonderful occasion. It was such a privilege to be able to deliver an inaugural lecture..” – DIL Speaker
“the two lectures last night were great!” - Member of the Public
"It was lovely to share my work with such a nice audience” - Academic from School of Education
"Thanks a lot for organising this! I really enjoyed the event" - Academic from School of Business

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