Explaining our research on the BBC

The university’s Diabetes Research Group (DRB) featured on BBC South East’s Inside Out programme on 27 February.

Professor Adrian Bone, Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology and Head of the DRB, and his team explained cutting-edge research being undertaken at the university to improve treatment for a disease that, for Type 1 diabetes alone, affects 10,000 people in the South East.

To watch the programme go to the BBC’s iPlayer service and scan along to 17.40 mins.

New insight into aged-related hearing loss

Scientists at the University of Brighton have moved a step closer to understanding the underlying cause of age-related hearing loss which affects 11 million people in the UK.
Hearing loss is believed to originate in non-sensory cells in the cochlea, the auditory portion of the inner ear containing the organ which produces nerve impulses in response to sound.
The cells are coupled together by ‘gap junctions’ which are formed of two proteins called connexin 26 and connexin 30. It is mutations or failures in these proteins that cause most cases of hearing loss.
However, experiments by our Sensory Neuroscience Research Group have shown that one particular mutation in the connexion 30 protein actually prevents deafness to high-frequency sound.
Professor Ian Russell, Professor of Neurobiology here at university and a member of the group, said: “This was a great surprise: The mutation should have impaired the function of the cochlea, not aided it.”
He said: “Other members of the research team are now making direct measurements from these supporting cells to understand how the mutation changes the properties of the gap junctions. They should obtain measurements that will enable us to understand how the mutation alters the electrical and mechanical properties of the cochlea and eventually lead to our understanding how sensitivity is preserved in a cochlea that would otherwise be decimated by age-related-hearing-loss.”
The Sensory Neuroscience Research Group’s findings were published on 21 February in Nature Communication. Continue reading

Calling all Pharmacy students

Come along to the Pharmacy recruitment fair on 22 February. It’s on from 11am-2pm in Cockcroft Hall.
Open to students in all years you can find out about pre-reg placements  and other pharmacy related jobs, part-time and summer work, as well as volunteering. Exhibitors include Boots UK, Kamsons Pharmacy, Lloyds Pharmacy, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation to name but a few.
You’ll also find some tips on making the most of a careers fair here.

Soapbox Science’s first visit to Brighton

Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.

Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.

Find out more about the Brighton event here.

Lunchtime learning

huxley_oct2010_001Our school are hosting a series of seminars on Fridays from 1-2pm in H400. Everyone is welcome so put the dates in your diaries.

Here’s what is coming up over in the next few weeks:

 

Friday 18 November
“e-learning apps: could they have an impact on student engagement and retention?”
presented by Dr George Olivier

Friday 25 November
“What we do not know about our hearing”
presented by Andrei Lukashkin

Friday 9 December
“Yeast: a versatile living test tube to screen drug targets and inhibitors”
presented by Dr Cathy Moore, Institute for Infection and Immunity

Studying and socialising in our nationally recognised building

estates_cockcroft_aw_048The recent, multi-million pound project transforming the Cockcroft building into a state-of-the-art research, teaching and information building has been recognised in the prestigious Green Gown Awards for 2016.

Our university and the architects we worked with Fraser Brown MacKenna were named Finalist in the Built Environment category for what was one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK.

The transformation was described by judges as “an innovative approach integrating architectural, building services and structure design” which unlocked the environmental potential of the 10,500m2 building using the latest technology.

Innovations include an aquifer thermal energy store, potentially reducing energy demand, CO2 emissions and fuel savings. The system stores and recovers thermal energy beneath the ground and provides heating and cooling.

A spokesperson for the awards told the university: “On behalf of the Green Gown Awards Team we wanted to congratulate you on your achievement. Being a Green Gown Awards Finalist is something to be extremely proud of.”

Earlier this year the Cockcroft project won in the Higher Education category of the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016. Judges called it a bold project and a model for future similar projects. Continue reading

PABS joins in BAFTA success

hal-in-moscow-2A children’s medical programme, supported by the University of Brighton, has been nominated for a 2016 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award.

Professor Hal Sosabowski, Professor of Public Understanding who is based in our school, acts as science consultant for the CBBC children’s series Operation Ouch!, which aims to make medicine and science fun and accessible for children.

Professor Sosabowski, who advises on how to conduct safe experiments, said: “The programme has already won two BAFTAs and is now one of CBBC’s crown jewels. It focuses on the more macabre and disgusting but at the same time, strangely compulsive elements of the human body.”

Our school, the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been contributing to the programme since it was launched in 2012 and filming has been conducted at labs at the Huxley Building here in Moulsecoomb and at a lab at the Hastings campus. The programme is hosted by Christoffer and Alexander van Tulleken.

Professor Sosabowski said: “The programme is now syndicated worldwide and our involvement can only happen due to the goodwill of School colleagues to whom I extend my heartiest thanks. Season Six has been commissioned and the University and the School receive credits at the programme’s end which will reach literally millions of young scientists.”

The BAFTA awards ceremony is on 20 November. Watch this space!
Continue reading

Award nomination for Brighton graduate

Congratulations to Post Graduate Diploma Pharmacy (OSPAP) graduate Mohammad Mahfuzur Rahman on being a finalist at The Pharmacy Business Awards 2016.

Mahfuz was one of two pre-reg pharmacists in the UK to be short-listed for the Pharmacy Business Pre-Registration Award at the ceremony in London. The award is for the pre-registration trainee who has achieved success from an innovative approach to professional services and patient care. The judges praised Mahfuz for the way he “approached his pre-registration year with the kind of precise attention to detail that has epitomised his progress as a promising young pharmacist.”

Having passed the GPhC assessment Mahfuz is now an MUR accredited Pharmacist working for Boots. He said of his time at Brighton: “I would definitely recommend the OSPSP course at Brighton. Not only does it contribute to the academic intent but it also provides insight into the professional world.”

British Science Festival heads for Brighton

british-science-festival-logoOne of Europe’s leading and longest established science festivals is coming to Brighton next year. And we will be co-hosting it!

The University of Brighton will co-host the 2017 British Science Festival with the University of Sussex from 5-8 September.

The festival, organised by the British Science Association, will have a programme of over 100 events featuring cutting-edge science from world-leading academics covering everything from technology and engineering to social sciences.

Welcoming the announcement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am delighted that the University of Brighton will be co-hosting the British Science Festival next year. We were keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity to showcase our world-leading research alongside cutting-edge science from around the globe in an accessible and engaging way.

“The city of Brighton & Hove is world-renowned for its Arts Festival. By hosting the British Science Festival, we can throw open the doors of our facilities to the wider community, including our new state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building that is currently under construction.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed, and hope to see you all there!