Sport scholarship for Millie

University of Brighton has awarded a sports scholarship to Millie Hemsley who is studying Pharmacy MPharm here.

“Being a sportswoman has personally helped me  with keeping a healthy balance in my life between sport and education, (as it stops me trying to revise 24/7)! I am really enjoying my time at the University of Brighton so far and I am sure this will continue across the 4 years I am here.

I applied for the sports scholarship and was lucky to be awarded this for my sport (pole vault ) which I have participated in for 4 years at Lewes athletics club. During these 4 years I have achieved the necessary heights and been chosen to represent the county at the national English Schools Championships 4 years in a row against Ireland,Scotland and Wales.

This scholarship will hopefully give me the support I need to win a championship medal!”

We wish Millie the very best!!!

 

 

 

The University of Brighton provide scholarships that recognise and reward academic and sporting merit.  Find out more about our scholarships on our website.

 

Why treating stress could help beat cancer

The stress of being told you have breast cancer may be reducing the potency of drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research by the University of Brighton.

Early trials show stress-relieving medications may increase the efficacy of chemotherapy and by doing so, improve recovery. Managing stress and anxiety at an early stage, researchers say, could become routine.

Dr Melanie Flint

Dr Melanie Flint, Reader in Cancer Biology at the University of Brighton’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been studying the impact stress hormones have on patients, and the effect chronic psychological stress has on disease progression, as well as response to drug treatment. Dr Flint said: “Stress hormones are highly potent and can interact with almost every cell in the body including normal, cancer and immune cells.”

Her research has shown that DNA can be damaged as a result of the interaction between our cells and stress hormones, leading to cell transformation: “A diagnosis of breast cancer is a cause of a great deal of stress, which in itself, is a significant reason for stress management to be considered early on.”

Melanie is part of a team of scientists at the University of Brighton researching breast cancer. Dr Flint collaborates with Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield, Professor of Psycho-Oncology, who will be speaking at the British Science Festival on the 5 September, in an event titled, ‘Risk and uncertainty in breast cancer treatment’.

Dr Val Jenkins, who works with Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield said: “Combining the expertise of laboratory-based scientists with that of psycho-oncologists in an innovative area of research is likely to produce tangible benefits for patients receiving cancer treatments.”

Dr Flint works with women who have recovered from triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), accounting for roughly 20% of all breast cancers. She has found the period of most stress is different for each woman:

“Patients experience stress for a variety of reasons: through knowledge that they are high risk, enduring multiple biopsies, indirect stress of family members, as well as fear of pain, sickness and potential end of life. Some patients seek stress interventions such as exercise and positive reinforcement from medically-trained individuals.”

Each of the women Dr Flint worked with stated that stress was a major factor during their cancer history, and that they felt stress could play a role even in tumour progression and treatment.

Dr Flint said: “Determining the effects of stress on the efficacy of chemotherapy will have an impact on the potential utility of pharmacological interventions such as beta-blockers, or psychological interventions including mindfulness-based stress reduction, and on the correct time point for administration in the disease trajectory for greatest therapeutic effect.

“The research will impact patients and clinicians, through recognition that stress is a contributing factor for drug resistance in the treatment of breast cancer.”

 

 

 

 

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.