Awards recognise remarkable achievements of Imperial staff


Sheena Cardoso won a Julia Higgins Award

Sheena Cardoso, winner of the one of the Julia Higgins Awards

Staff at Imperial have been celebrated for their hard work with the Provost’s Awards.

Winners of the Provost’s Awards in Excellence in Health and Safety, Animal Research and the Julia Higgins Awards were announced this week.  

Imperial’s Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley said: “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Provost’s Awards. The awards recognise the creativity, hard work and achievements of our colleagues, and your impressive accomplishments embody the excellence that is the hallmark of Imperial’s mission. Thank you to all nominees, as well as those who took the time nominate them.” 
Hear from some of this year’s winners: 

Sheena Cardoso: Equality, diversity and inclusion  

Woman smilingSheena Cardoso, Coordinator at the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC) was one of this year’s Julia Higgins Award recipients.  

As a long-standing member of the EDIC team, Sheena earned the award for her work in helping promote equality, diversity and inclusion at the College, particularly her efforts in organising Women at Imperial Week over the past two years.  

Sheena was nominated by Professor Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Kani Kamara, Head of EDIC who said: “Sheena has taken a leading role in organising what is a very important week of events for the College. Sheena?is the driving force in making things happen. She liaises with all those who have proposed events to make sure that logistics are in place, makes sure that there is a full timetable of events, and pulls together all the necessary communications. She does all this with skill and professionalism. 

“Sheena’s approach to her work reflects her commitment to modelling our College Values of collaboration and excellence.” 

In response to winning the award, Sheena said: “I’m honestly in shock from winning the award. I definitely wasn’t expecting it! It has been a challenging few years, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and learning how to engage with staff in a climate where we’ve all being working from our homes.  

“With the changes in the political and social climate, we’ve also had to build trust with our community and that has been challenging. But we have built on our work before the pandemic and we have been able to engage more staff with our events and activities.” 

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Hub: Keeping the community safe 

Woman smilingThe COVID-19 Contact Tracing (CCT) Hub team was awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Health and Safety.  

Leigh Turvey managed the CCT Hub, supervising the onsite testing team, the remote contact tracing team, and the LFD Collect service team.  

In response to winning the award, Leigh said: “It is an honour to receive this award as part of the CCT Hub team. A pandemic only happens every 100 years and to have played a part in keeping the Imperial community safe has been extremely rewarding.   

“The CCT Hub team gradually increased in numbers, consisting of a strong, hardworking, and dedicated team of clinical contact tracers and administrative staff.  Creating and managing an entirely remote team was challenging at times, but working together we created good communication skills, harmonious working and above all a great rapport amongst the team.  

“There were times throughout this period when we were all working very long hours every day of the week, but the spirit of the team never wavered. We supported and encouraged each other when things were tough. I am thrilled and very proud on behalf of the team to accept this award and to say a big thank you to all those that played a part in the CCT Hub.” 

Dr Masanori Asai: Animal research   

Man smilingBased in the Department of Infectious Disease, Dr Masanori Asai recently completed his PhD funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R). His work focuses on using caterpillars of the greater wax moth (galleria mellonella) as a mycobacterial infection model that could reduce the number of animals used in tuberculosis (TB) research. Masanori's research earned him the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Animal Research.  

Animal use has been integral to research concerning drug resistance in treating TB. Masanori has pioneered a novel, cheap, and rapid greater wax moth infection model that can be used for antimycobacterial drug screening. He has developed his model in response to feedback from the TB research community so it can be adopted on a wider scale.  

Masanori presented his work earlier this year at the Acid Fast Club, the UK's leading scientific research forum focusing on the mycobacteria, His work was widely received earning him the best speaker award for early career researcher and has led to collaborations with other university researchers.  

Accepting the award, Masanori said: “I am honoured to receive this award. It’s a nice way to be to be recognised for my contribution to the College. Working towards reducing animal usage in TB research has been a rewarding and collaborative journey so far. I am excited to further extend my research during my NC3R’s Training Fellowship by investigating the immune responses of galleria to mycobacterial infection.” 


Nikita Rathod

Nikita Rathod
Communications Division

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