We have been a bit silent on the Environmental Extremes Lab Blog recently. In part, this has allowed us to recharge the batteries after a very busy last academic year. Nevertheless, plenty has been going on over the summer and early autumn months. We supported nine MSc research projects allied to environmental extremes, with some exciting results coming out of them to share in due course. Dr Alan Richardson and Dr Mark Hayes were interviewed as experts for a Ministry of Defence Service Inquiry into the death of a soldier during an annual fitness test at Brecon in 2016. Mark with Dr Ash Willmott presented to the GB Hockey team around pre and per cooling strategies leading up to Tokyo 2020. We supported another two Para-Monte Altitude Awareness Days for individuals heading to altitude. Well done to our own University of Brighton’s Sally Reeve and her daughter, Marianne, who successfully and safely completed their trek to Machu Picchu, passing Dead Women’s Pass on the way.
Congratulations to Dr Alan Richardson and the occupational team (Associate Professor Peter Watt, Dr. Mark Hayes and Emily Watkins) of the Environmental Extremes Lab (EEL) who recently secured funding to support their research investigating firefighter and instructor health.
Welcome to Ash Willmott who joins our sport and exercise science lecturing team for the next 6 months. As many will know, Ash has been with us for some years now, first as an undergraduate BSc Sport and Exercise Science Student (1st class), then as a PhD student (which he finished, successfully defended and will graduate on the 16th February 2018) and also as a Sport and Exercise Science Support Officer within the Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy Unit (SESCU, 2014-2017). During his time here, he has made a huge difference to so many parts of our environmental extremes provision. He was instrumental in the success of the CAERvest, while we worked with Bodychillz Ltd. and will keep working with them as we continue this relationship. He has also been involved in supporting a number of other industrial partners while working with SESCU testing their products (all legal!). On the research front allied to thermal physiology, he has been a key member of the team for several years and we are now reaping the rewards following all those hours in the labs, with several papers published recently and few more on the way around the theme of heat acclimation.
Dr. Neil Maxwell and Dr Oli Gibson (now Brunel University) were featured on the front page of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) autumn issue of the Sport and Exercise Scientist magazine for having contributed. Led by Dr Jo Corbett of Portsmouth University and working in a team with Professor Neil Walsh (Bangor University) and Dr Caroline Sunderland (Nottingham Trent University), EEL’s Dr Oli Gibson and Dr Neil Maxwell met the team at the University of Portsmouth to work on the expert statement.
Congratulations to Professor Nick Webborn OBE who for the second time has been named in the Shaw Trust Power 100 list. The list is a celebration of Britain’s most influential persons with a disability or impairment. The Chief Executive of the Shaw Trust, who sponsor the Power 100 list said ‘this list plays a vital role in providing much needed encouragement to the young and talented leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to see that aspirations and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.
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.
Congratulations to Professor Nick Webborn who has been awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June for services to Paralympic Sports Medicine and the British Paralympic Association.
Rebecca Relf, Technical Instructor, received this year’s BASES Student Conference ‘Postgraduate Applied Research Presentation Award’ at Bangor University ( 22-23rd March) for her MSc study entitled, ‘Acute sleep deprivation increases perceptual indicators of heat-related illness without physiological consequences in females’ (Research Team: Jess Mee, Ash Willmott, Dr Oli Gibson, Dr Mark Hayes and Dr Neil Maxwell). Many congratulations Rebecca for an excellent presentation (10 minutes on the button) and facing some tough questions that made all those hours of sleep deprivation worthwhile!
A huge congratulations to Nick Webborn for being promoted to Clinical Professor (Sport and Exercise Medicine). Nick was also included in the POWER 100 list of Britain’s most influential people with a disability or impairment. Nick holds or held during 2015 the following committee positions: Chair of the Scientific Commission, International Federation of Sports Medicine 2014 – 2015; Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee – 1st European Games, Baku 2015; International Paralympic Committee Medical Committee; Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine – board member; UK Anti-Doping – Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee. Nick was on the organising committee and a session chair at the Genomics, Genetics and Exercise Biology Symposium, Santorini, Greece from 14-17th May 2015. Nick was also part of the International Olympic Committee Olympic Games preparation 2020 workshop – Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM) Medicine and Anti-Doping – in June 16-17th held in Tokyo. Also, congratulations to Nick for being invited as a guest editor to the BJSM.
Dr Alan Richardson – with support from research students Drew Smith and Carl James featured in a BBC1 documentary ‘The truth about…your medicine cabinet’, where Alan was interviewed by Dr Chris Van Tulleken and carried out an experiment on him examining topical analgesics (Deep Heat and Biofreeze) and whether they do what they say they do or not.
Below is a clip from The Truth About…: Your Medicine Cabinet that Alan featured in.