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News and events for University of Brighton students

Inaugural lectures – summer 2024 series

Inaugural Lectures Summer 2024 series

Following our successful spring series, our inaugural lecture summer series is now open for bookings. 

Inaugural lectures are the first lecture delivered by a newly appointed professor at the University of Brighton and are followed by a catered reception where informal conversation can take place.

The lectures are free to attend for all students, staff and the general public – booking is essential to secure your space.

Perfect hosts for molecular guests – Professor Peter Cragg, 8 May 2024

Inaugural lecture from Professor Peter Cragg - Perfect hosts for molecular guestsWhy is nature so much better at performing highly selective chemical reactions than we are? How can chemists develop more effective pharmaceuticals and antivirals?

The answer to both questions lies in the sizes and shapes of the molecular host and guest involved and the interactions between them. Chemists can exploit this idea of molecular recognition, which harnesses the strength that comes from combining many weak chemical forces, to design and construct host molecules that selectively target molecular guests. Understanding how this works requires us to go beyond molecular chemistry to supramolecular chemistry.

Examples drawn from over 30 years’ research at the University of Brighton will include molecular tubes to transport sodium into cells, molecules that detect nerve agents and, in an unexpected turn, the discovery of a new class of antifungals.

Venue: Elm House, University of Brighton, BN2 4GJ. Doors open at 6pm. Book your place now.

Movie magazines and Hollywood: an interdependent history – Professor Tamar Jeffers McDonald, 22 May 2024

Inaugural lecture from Professor Tamar Jeffers McDonald - Movie magazines and Hollywood: an interdependent historyThe first movie magazine was published in 1911, but such publications – cheap, colourful and glamorous – became so popular that by the 1930s over 20 major publications could be found on American news-stands every month, with others available weekly, quarterly and as annuals. Despite the wide proliferation of titles, their contents remained homogenous: they provided movie reviews, news, competitions and readers’ letters, but primarily traded in star gossip.

This presentation explores the often-fraught relationship between the movie magazines and the Hollywood studios; although they frequently managed to operate symbiotically, the relationship between them was ripe for exploitation. Reversing the usual arrangement, in which magazines discussed films, this talk examines how Hollywood movies from the 20s to the 70s depicted movie magazines, revealing that this exploration provides a means to gauge relations between these two co-dependent and occasionally warring elements of the Hollywood film industry.

Venue: Sallis Benney Lecture Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 0JY. Doors open at 6pm. Book your place now.

Bringing hope to patients with leukaemia: unveiling the secrets of blood – Professor Timothy Chevassut, 5 June 2024

Inaugural lecture from Professor Timothy Chevassut - Bringing hope to patients with leukaemia: unveiling the secrets of bloodBlood is a remarkable tissue that sustains human life.  However, when mutations arise in stem cells in the bone marrow, acute myeloid leukaemia can develop. This is an extremely aggressive blood cancer that increases with age and carries a poor prognosis. Despite extensive research, treatment options are often limited with most patients unsuitable for stem cell transplantation.

Recent advances have brought hope of novel drugs targeted at key genetic mutations. Some of these involve epigenetic genes that regulate the cell through a process called DNA methylation. Understanding how this causes leukaemia has been the major focus of a bench-to-bedside research programme at BSMS for over 15 years that aims to bring new treatments to patients.

Professor Chevassut will be reflecting on his contributions as a researcher, educator, and physician. He will also touch on the Covid-19 pandemic, juggling life in academia and medicine, and how haematology is, quite literally, in his blood.

Venue: Chowen Lecture Theatre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Doors open at 6pm. Book your place now.


Robin Coleman • 12 April 2024

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