Taking a stand against cancer

Two University of Brighton scientists are joining a pop-up stand in Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre on Friday (1 Feb) as part of events to mark next Monday’s (4 Feb) World Cancer Day.

Marta Falcinelli, PhD researcher in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (PABS), is passionate about fighting the disease and will be talking to members of the public at the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) event.

Marta joined the University’s Stress & Cancer group in 2016, fulfilling her ambition: “I have always been intrigued by science and at university I started to be very interested in molecular biology and scientific investigation, dreaming to perform experiments and work in a lab.

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Athena SWAN silver award for our school

The university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science (PABS) has received a Silver Award from Advance HE’s highly-regarded SWAN Charter, which promotes gender equality in the representation, progression and success of staff and students in Higher Education.

The Silver Award was granted in recognition of actions implemented to advance careers of women in science over the past few years.

The School of Applied Social Science, meanwhile, won a Bronze Award for their first submission which was the result of concerted effort from across the school. The schools join the university’s School of Environment and Technology(SET) and Brighton and Sussex Medical School in holding an Athena SWAN prize. The awards are valid for four years.

Professor Tara Dean, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, is Chair of the Athena SWAN Steering Group and is the university’s Gender Equality Champion.

She said: “I am delighted that two more of our schools have secured Athena SWAN recognition. In order to receive the award, schools need to provide evidence through robust self-analysis of how they engage, support and develop staff and students and devise an action plan to help them work towards their goals of gender equality.

“These awards are an endorsement of our commitment to equality in our working practices across our broad subject portfolio. We continue to enhance our policies and practices to promote a culture of equality of opportunity and aspiration among our staff and our current and future students.”

The University of Brighton has held an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze Award since 2013 and in 2016 it became one of only a handful of higher education institutions nationally to achieve an institutional award under the new expanded charter which now includes disciplines beyond STEMM.

The new awards will be presented at a ceremony to be in Southampton. Meanwhile, the university is committed to all schools achieving a Bronze Awards by 2020.

 

 

Innovative installation to be hosted in Huxley Building

A cutting-edge installation which produces real-time digital art from the data in its immediate surroundings has been installed in the Huxley Building.

Duality of Life, was created by Nexus Studios, an award-winning company with offices in London and Los Angeles.

It consists of a dual-screen display that generates real-time digital ‘lifeforms’ from interactions and local data. The design evolves as the data shifts, with the ‘lifeforms’ changing shape and movement. Read More

Hands-on science for Brighton students

Young people with an interest in science and engineering can learn how to turn their passion into a career at a science fair in Brighton tomorrow (11 July).

Big Bang @ Brighton will take place at the University of Brighton and organisers are promising “an exciting, colourful and noisy event” aimed at encouraging more students to pursue further studies and potential careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Organised by STEM Sussex, the University of Brighton’s STEM outreach department, the event is funded by the Sussex Learning Network’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), a four-year programme aimed at encouraging more young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, into higher education.

Big Bang @ Brighton will feature a range of hands-on activities, workshops and shows provided by many local companies, universities and colleges and other organisations, highlighting the STEM-related opportunities available to young people in the area. Read More

Bhavik Patel and Melanie Flint

£221,000 to find a new tool to help fight cancer

Bhavik Patel and Melanie FlintThe University of Brighton has been awarded £221,000 to develop a sensor device that will measure biomarkers in tissue to aid personalised cancer therapy.

Currently, little is known about how different amounts and types of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species influence the state of tumours and their response to chemotherapy.

Researchers will be looking to develop a novel electroanalytical sensor that can monitor these species over long time frames and provide answers to these questions.

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Breakthrough in ageing research

University of Brighton scientists have helped discover a way of regenerating  ageing skin cells – with compounds based on those found in red wine, dark chocolate and red grapes.

Laboratory experiments showed cells not only look physically younger but behave more like young cells and start dividing.

Professor Richard Faragher, the University’s Professor of Biogerontology, and Dr Lizzy Ostler, Head of Chemistry, said the breakthrough should generate more research into tackling health issues associated with ageing.

Professor Faragher said: “These findings illustrate the enormous potential of ageing research to improve the quality of later life. Older people no more want to be sickly ‘frequent flyers’ with the NHS than teenagers do.

“A recent Government report recognised historic underinvestment in ageing research in the UK. I say to politicians of all parties: Redress this now and give our older people the healthy futures they deserve.”

Dr Ostler said: “Breakthroughs of this kind really need chemists and biologists working on research and teaching together under the same roof. We prize our multidisciplinary collaborative atmosphere at Brighton. This breakthrough vindicates that approach.”

The scientists, members of the University’s Stress, Ageing and Disease Centre of Research and Enterprise Excellence, worked together to select the best compounds for testing from a library designed and synthesised by Dr Vishal Birar, whilst he was undertaking a University of Brighton-funded PhD studentship under Dr Ostler’s supervision. Read More

High note for “Sister Act” Gospel choir

A Brighton choir has reached the finals of the national University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY) competition.

Sound of Zion, based at the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, will be competing against eight other university gospel choirs at a televised event at the Dominion Centre in Wood Green, London, on 24 March.

Founded by Debbie-Ann Ofosuware, who graduated last year from the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (BScHons Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences), and Teniola Taiwo who graduated from the University’s Brighton Business School (BAHons in Business and Marketing), the choir comprises singers from both Brighton and Sussex universities.

Teniola, a Marketing Assistant in Brighton, said: “I can’t believe we’ve reached the finals! I never thought we’d have such an opportunity when we first started. It’s been an incredible journey and so many lives have been touched along the way – so even if we don’t win, we’re still grateful.”

The final is described by the UGCY organisers as a “Sister Act meets X Factor” event for the whole family. Judging will be singer-songwriter Stephanie Sounds, and Creative/Music Director Ayo ‘Ace’ Oyerinde, Mobo Award winning Gospel artist Volney Morgan and record producer Les Moir from Integrity Music.

Other finalists include Imperial College Gospel Choir, Cambridge University Gospel Choir, Manchester Harmony Gospel Choir, and returning champions London College of Creative Media Choir.

University Gospel Choir of the Year is a voluntary organisation providing a platform for university gospel choirs across the UK to develop and showcase their musical abilities.

Tickets for the 6.30pm show are available at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/ugcy2018

Best presentation award

Dr Dmitriy Berillo

Dr Dmitriy Berillo, a Marie Curie Research Fellow in our department, has been awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th International Conference on Environment, Water and Wetlands for his outstanding work  on the biodegradation of chlorophenol derivatives using macroporous material.

The petrochemical industry, textiles, leather production, domestic preservatives, and petrochemicals are the main sources of exposure of phenol derivatives and chlorophenols(CPs) into the environment. The International Agency for Research on Cancers categorized CPs as potential human carcinogens and they are very hazardous to the environment and animals. The aim of Dmitriy’s work is to develop a bioremediation system for phenol derivatives & CPs based on macroporous materials, which we believe can be efficiently used for wastewater treatment.