EEL Beat the Heat with Science!

Dr Neil Maxwell and a number of the Environmental Extremes Lab presented ‘Beat the heat with science’ at the British Science Festival Event in Falmer on the 5th September 2017. The presentation consisted of live experiments, myths and a range of other content delivered to some very enthusiastic members of the public as well as medical/science students.

 

Dr Neil Maxwell at the British Science Festival with (from left to right) Gregor Eichhorn (PhD Student), Kirsty Waldock (PhD Student), Bill Norton (MSc Student and Technician), Dr Mark Hayes (Senior Lecturer), Rebecca Relf (PhD Student and Technical Instructor) and Associate Professor Peter Watt (not pictured)

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EEL Contribute to PHE’s Annual Heat Wave Seminar

Dr Neil Maxwell and Kirsty Waldock (PhD student), presented at Public Health England’s Annual Heatwave Seminar on March 14 2017 that reviewed the Heatwave Plan in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths, reduce illness and hospital visits and increase public awareness. The seminar hosted delegates and speakers from PHE, NHS, Met Office, national climate change committees and charities, as well as regional council public health departments and universities from around the country. International representation also came from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Background

In Europe, 71,000 people died during the 2003 heat wave, with over 2000 of these excess deaths in England and Wales. For every 1°C above 23.3°C, an extra 75 deaths per week are estimated in the UK [Public Health England (PHE), 2015]. Last year was the third consecutive warmest year since records began and as the earth’s climate is warming with the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves increasing, this presents a significant health risk to vulnerable populations (e.g. elderly, children, chronically ill and those with heat sensitivity). Continue reading

EEL Present at a House of Lords Select Committee

Head of EEL, Dr Neil Maxwell and PhD student, Rebecca Relf, were invited to present to a House of Lords Government Select Committee on Breast Cancer Symptom Management in November 2016, to talk about their up-coming research linked to heat sensitivity amongst breast cancer survivors. Following breast cancer, survivors experience intense heat reactions (hot flashes) and night sweats similar to symptoms associated with menopause that can be very debilitating and impact quality of life. In addition to pharmaceutically-based interventions to treat these symptoms, there is interest in non-pharmaceutically based methods. However, current methods have shown variable success. After hearing about the research coming out of the University of Brighton linked to applied heat-alleviation methods, the committee were keen to learn whether cooling interventions could be potential candidates to recommend post treatment.

The committee were very encouraged by the planned research programme, offered their assistance as the project develops and have linked the research team [Neil, Rebecca, Dr Mel Flint (School of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences) and Dr Louisa Beale] with a Brighton-based Oncologist Consultant. The meeting was held at the Breast Cancer UK headquarters in London and was nevertheless a great experience for both Neil and Rebecca to showcase the research activity of the Environmental Extremes Lab.

The presentation was a bit of a baptism of fire for Rebecca who had only started her PhD seven weeks beforehand. However, she did an excellent job and the committee were very encouraged by the planned research programme, offered their assistance as the project develops and have linked the research team [Neil, Rebecca, Dr Mel Flint (School of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences) and Dr Louisa Beale] with a Brighton-based Oncologist Consultant. Unfortunately, the meeting was moved from Westminster to the Breast Cancer UK Headquarters, but was nevertheless a great experience for both Neil and Rebecca to showcase the research activity of SESAME’s Environmental Extremes Lab.

 

EEL Present at House of Lords Select Committee!

Dr Neil Maxwell and Rebecca Relf (Technical Instructor and PhD Student) were invited to present to a House of Lords Government Select Committee on Breast Cancer Symptom Management in November, to talk about their up-coming research linked to heat sensitivity amongst breast cancer survivors. Following breast cancer, survivors experience intense heat reactions (hot flashes) and night sweats similar to symptoms associated with menopause that can be very debilitating and impact quality of life. In addition to pharmaceutically-based interventions to treat these symptoms, there is interest in non-pharmaceutically based methods. However, current methods have shown variable success. After hearing about the research coming out of the University of Brighton linked to applied heat-alleviation methods, the committee were keen to learn whether cooling interventions could be potential candidates to recommend post treatment.

 

Eastbourne Leisure Trust invest in EEL!

An application made to the Eastbourne Leisure Trust in July, by Dr Neil Maxwell, Dr Mark Hayes and Associate Professor Peter Watt with support from Kirsty Waldock, has just been awarded. The £5170 grant will fund equipment and con-sumables connected to Kirsty’s PhD study ‘Optimising heat alleviating strategies in an elderly population.’ as well as covering travel costs for Kirsty’s volunteers, first aid training and promotional and marketing costs connected to disseminating the findings of the study.

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