Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize

If you are currently in your final year and using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in your project you are eligible for consideration for this years Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize 2016-17, for final year undergraduate projects.

There is a £200 project prize this year, which will be awarded in recognition of the most commendable undergraduate final year project utilising microscopy.

To enter please send a copy of your project to Dr Jonathan Salvage either by email or as a paper copy marked for Dr Salvage’s attention to the school office, by Friday 9 June (latest).

Good luck!

Calling all Artists

Artists are being asked to submit ideas for a £30,000 piece of public art at the University of Brighton.

The university is partnering the Brighton Digital Festival and Brighton & Hove City Council to commission the work for the Huxley Building on the university’s Moulsecoomb campus in Brighton.

The work will be displayed in the foyer at Huxley, home to the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, teaching pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biomedical science and ecology.

Scientists there research causes and mechanisms of disease, new ways to treat them, better and more individualised ways to deliver these treatments, how people age, novel methods to remediate environmental damage, the effects of trace pollutants on aquatic life and to understand the lifestyle of mammals in an urban setting. The teaching spaces in the building are used to deliver degree programmes.

The co-commission is open to professional artists with £2m public liability insurance. They should consider the university’s Mission Statement and strategic plan https://www.brighton.ac.uk/practical-wisdom/index.aspx, the function and identity of the building and the necessity of engaging a wider public, connecting the university with the local community.

The university is committed to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges. The selection committee will welcome proposals that are consistent with the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges.

Proposals which include a digital element or where digital practice is a key component of the work’s development are welcomed. And proposals that explore how the arts, sciences and technology can combine to engage with complex challenges are also encouraged.

Five shortlisted applicants will be notified on 15 June. They will receive a concept development fee of £1,000 to work on a detailed proposal for final selection. These proposals that can also be exhibited at the British Science Festival, being hosted by the universities of Brighton and Sussex in September. Continue reading

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.

BSS and NSS Survey

Unless you have been avoiding emails, not coming into university and not talking to  anyone in the School you will, no doubt, be aware that the all undergraduate students are being asked to give their feedback on their university experience to date via either the Brighton Student Survey or the National Student Survey. This feedback is extremely important to both the school and university and helps us make changes for you.

You can read about some of the changes we made this academic year as a consequence of feedback from last year please do have a look at the your voice matters blog (https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/yourvoicematters/school-of-pharmacy-and-biomolecular-sciences/ )

The Brighton Student Survey (BSS)

The BSS is the School and University’s main opportunity to gather feedback from all level 4 and 5 students so that we can understand what we are doing well and what we can improve.  The BSS is opened on Monday 6 February and will close at midnight on Monday 6 March, if you haven’t yet, please do take 10 minutes to complete the survey – there are only a few days left and every response matters. Completing the survey automatically enters you into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a £200 voucher from the university.

How do I complete the survey?

The National Student Survey (NSS)

The National Student Survey (NSS) is commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and is a national survey, undertaken by Ipsos MORI, which gathers the views of all final year undergraduates about what it has been like to study their course at their institution.

The survey comprises 27 questions in the survey cover teaching, assessment and feedback, learning opportunities, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, and the student voice. There are also questions about careers, course delivery, work placements, welfare resources and facilities, social opportunities and overall satisfaction.

How do I complete the survey?

Because the school would really like to receive feedback from as many students as possible we have decided to donate £100 to the student society associated with the course that has the highest proportion of their students completing both the BSS and NSS so your society could receive up to £200 for 10 minutes of your time.

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