Tuesday 19 March 2013

Awards successes
UEMS has celebrated a number of grant successes over the past few months. Congratulations to all involved. Among them are: £5.5 million from NIHR to Prof Andrew, Dr Gill Baker and Prof Angela Shore for the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility; £2 million from MRC to Professor Andrew Hattersley for the first stage of the multi-centre Mastermind bid (MED-MI); £800k from MRC to Prof Lora Fleming for Linking human health and wellbeing with weather, climate and environment, in collaboration with other colleagues in UoE, the Met Office, Health Protection Agency and LSHTM; Prof Rodney Taylor is leading the UEMS component of the £2 million NIHR Programme Grant awarded to Dr Dalal and colleagues for REACH HF, a trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the heart failure manual plus usual care versus usual care alone; £320k Senior Research Fellowship from Alzheimer’s Research UK to Dr Jon Brown for Neuronal network disruptions in a model of tauopathy; £294k Doctoral Research Fellowship Award from NIHR to Dr Tamsin Newlove-Delgado; £220K to Professor Rodney Taylor for “Methods for Health Technology Assessment of medical devices: a European perspective”; £170k to Prof Andy Randell for a Royal Society Industrial Professorship; £127k from NIHR to Michael Allen for The right cot, at the right time, in the right place.

Staff Updates
Congratulations to our two new professors, Professor Tamsin Ford and Professor Colin Green, and to our two new Associate Professors, Karen Mattick and Katrina Wyatt. These are very worthy promotions, in recognition of the superb quality of their work. We are also delighted to announce that Dr Alison Curnow has agreed to take on the role of Year 1 and 2 Special Study Unit (SSU) Lead for the UEMS BMBS Programme. Alison is an experienced educator, having been involved in the design phase of the PCMD BMBS and BClinSci programmes, and having already held significant teaching and assessment roles within PCMD (including as module lead for SSUs). Welcome also to this month’s new starters. They are: Dr Oonagh Corrigan, Senior Research Fellow at the ECEHH; Sam Scott, PA to Professor John Campbell; Geraldine Boyd, Programme Delivery Administrator, based in Truro; Helen Evans, who is now in post as web marketing officer. Helen is maternity cover for Sally Cowling, who goes on leave later this month. We wish Sally all the best with her new baby. Meanwhile, congratulations to Vivian Love, who has been seconded to CEMPS as ACM (Finance) for the next few months. If you have any queries or questions on finance, please direct them to UEMSfinanceaccounting@exeter.ac.uk or UEMSPurchasing@exeter.ac.uk.

UEMS has decided to replace the Case Unit Manager role (which looked after 2 week blocks of the BMBS programme) with a smaller number of Term Leads (which will look after longer blocks within the BMBS programme). The aim is to increase the continuity of staff-student interactions, and to improve dialogue with and feedback to students. We are delighted to announce that we have now filled the vacancies for all three Term Leads for Year 1 UEMS in 2013/14 (Dr Jim McGarrick, Dr Nick Hopcroft and Dr Helen Watson) and one Term Lead for Year 2 UEMS in 2014/15 (Dr Joanna Tarr). We are looking forward to working with Jim, Nick, Helen and Jo in these important new roles to ensure an excellent student experience at UEMS.

Website improvements – action needed
As part of the ongoing improvements to the UEMs website, our web marketing officers are working hard to upload a profile page for each member of staff. They sent out profile forms early last month, but so far less than a quarter have been returned. They have requested new forms because some of the existing online information is out of date, and they want to ensure the new site is high quality and factually correct. Please return your form to them as soon as possible, so they can progress with improving the site. Anyone who has lost their form can download a new one from the Medical School website. Please return them to Helen Evans once completed.

Veysey Staff ID / swipe cards
We are ready to replace Veysey staff PCMD/ PMS ID cards with new UoE cards (which will allow us to switch over to the new UoE swipe system in the building by mid April). We need new photos from each of you by 1 April in order to produce the new cards. Please email universityreception@ex.ac.uk using the header "VEYSEY staff unicard", attaching a new ID photo in either a jpeg, png, or bmp format. Please provide your full name, staff number and date of birth in the email. The new cards will then be printed en masse ready for distribution at Veysey in early April. If you have any queries about this process please email universityreception@ex.ac.uk or uemsproject@ex.ac.uk for assistance.

North Devon Launch
UEMS is inviting staff and stakeholders to a Medical School launch event on 3 June. It will take place from 5.30pm until 7pm at the Lecture Theatre, Medical Education Centre (MEC), at North Devon District Hospital. The event will feature presentations from UEMS Dean Steve Thornton, Deputy Vice Chancellor Janice Kay, and Jac Kelly, Chief Executive of the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. It will include updates on UEMS research and education activities, as well as details of the partnerships which are being forged within the South West. Refreshments will be available on the night. All staff are most welcome to attend. To help with catering, please register your interest by emailing Louise Vennells. The event follows successful launches in Exeter, Torbay, Truro and London.

Events update
The UEMS home page features an events calendar, and we need staff involved in promoting events to update it regularly, to ensure it is a more useful source of information. Anyone who needs training to input events into the web system can contact Helen Evans, who will be happy to provide a session.

Medal Award
Congratulations to Professor Stuart Carney, Vice-Dean (Education), who has been awarded the Academy of Medical Educators President's Medal. The accolade was given in recognition of "services to medical education and to the Academy." The citation mentioned contributions to improving medical education including: Reforms of the first two years of postgraduate medical education (the Foundation Programme), technology enhanced learning, psychiatry education and training and the establishment of the Academy of Medical Educators (where he served as Registrar 2008-2012).

Sustainability Research Award
The Centre for Energy and the Environment (CEE) based at the University of Exeter has been awarded £25,000 by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Hospital Trust to research the prioritisation of sustainability measures at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E). It is an exciting development that complements the broader partnership between the local NHS and UEMS. To find out more read our news article.

Brain study seeks answers on dementia
Research which seeks to understand how the brain’s electrical behaviour is linked to dementia could pave the way for better treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Dr Jon Brown, at the University of Exeter Medical School, has just started a three year project to examine the complex networks within the brain, after initial evidence revealed that two areas, which are key to learning and memory, communicate abnormally under certain conditions. The research will be funded by a Senior Research Fellowship grant from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, of nearly £320,000 over three years. The work is a collaboration involving the major pharmaceuticals company Lilly, who will supply some of the materials to enable the research.

Athena SWAN Update
Work continues on the application to Athena SWAN for department bronze award. The deadline for submitting the College application is 30 April 2013. Anyone wishing to know about or contribute to the College Athena SWAN work should contact a member of the working group. The group has just concluded a series of focus groups, again which all staff and students were invited to attend and covered a range of topics including career development and flexible working. Following the focus groups the UEMS Athena SWAN working group proposed a number of changes and new initiatives to UEMS SMG. The majority of these have been approved and over the coming months staff and students will see a number of positive changes being implemented. I will keep everyone updated of these via the UEMS newsletter. Changes include revisions to the College induction procedure for new staff, changes to our web pages and greater communication about the training and support offered by the University.

Wonford room bookings
Rooms at Wonford are booked through an NHS system. At the moment, this can be accessed via the UEMS reception team at Wonford, but will transfer to a new system operated by the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Team once the neighbouring new RILD building is completed. The building work is on schedule to finish by the end of November.

PenCLAHRC update
Work is continuing on the bid for future funding for PenCLAHRC as the submission deadline of May 13 approaches. For more information, visit the new CLAHRC in Transition web page, which features news on the process and ways in which you can feed into it. On 13 February, representatives from the prospective CLAHRCs met with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for a Q&A session on the bid. The results from this session can be found on the CLAHRC in Transition web page.

PhD Students Present Research
UEMS and Environment and Human Health PhD students joined those from PCMD and PUPSMD to present their research at the Annual Research Student Conference. The event was held over two days (March 5 and 6) at the Palace Hotel in Torquay, where each student presented a synopsis of their study in just ten minutes. It provided an opportunity for students to present their work to an audience which included peers, academic staff and other interested researchers. It was also a chance for postgraduates to experience presenting in a conference setting, to meet fellow researchers and to share and discuss work that is being conducted around the college. The prize winner was Srijana Rai, for Mechanisms of lung tumour cell adhesion to human brain endothelial cells (HBMECs) during cerebral metastasis formation. Runner-up was Megan MacMillan for Understanding children’s attitudes towards disability. The quality of the presentations was outstanding, and the event was hailed a huge success.

Antibiotic resistance research
Dr William Gaze at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health recently co-authored a new review that considers the numerous factors that have contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistance. The review was published in The Lancet and considers human use of antibiotics, as well as their presence in the environment and billions of years of bacterial evolution. The occurrence of bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics was recently described by Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies as a potential "apocalyptic scenario". Dr Gaze’s review draws attention to a number of ways in which the rise of resistance can be slowed, many of which centre on reducing the amount of microbial pollution in the environment - through mechanisms such as improved waste water treatment and the increased use of biodegradable drugs. The European Centre’s Microbial Systems team currently have several projects underway in this area. For more information visit the European Centre for the Environment & Human Health website.

Academic Health Science Network
The Medical School is part of the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), which aims to bring together Universities with NHS organisations to share examples of best practice. The chair has now been appointed, and the Director is expected to be appointed soon. The AHSN is expected to bring in significant income through NHS funding sources. For more information view this PDF document.

Parkinson’s Talk
Staff and students are welcome to attend a talk on “How recent clinical trials have changed Parkinson’s disease treatment”. It will be delivered by Carl Clarke, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Director of Research and Development at City Hospital, Birmingham. The event is a joint meeting of the Parkinson’s Disease Specific Interest Group (PDSIG) and the Exeter Neuroscience Consortium (ENC). It will be held on Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 5pm, in the lecture theatre at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s Wonford site. No pre-registration is needed and tea and coffee will be available from 4.15pm. For more details, call Tim Malone on (01392) 406462 e-mail: timothy.malone@nhs.net.

Child Health Research Group Seminar
A seminar entitled “Epidemiology and secular trends of ADHD” will be discussed on 27 March, between 1 and 4pm, at the Veysey lecture theatre. Speakers will be St Stephan Collishaw and Dr Ruth Sellers, of the Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University School of Medicine. For more information please contact Ginny Russell. ADHD has recently been identified in more children throughout Europe and particularly in the USA. Much parent, professional and media concern suggests that today's children are less happy, and more behaviourally disturbed, than generations in the past. If true, such trends are of major public health concern; they may also offer a unique window on the identification of risks for children’s mental health. Utilising data from the UK’s rich series of birth cohort and population-based studies, and beyond, this talk will report on time trends in hyperactivity and inattention symptoms and report on recent work to uncover trends in child emotional and behavioural problems over a 40-year period.

Cubs do Sci
Dr John Chilton recently led a successful science outreach session with members of the 2nd Plymstock Scout Group in Plymouth. The event received coverage in the Plymouth Herald, which can be viewed on the This is Plymouth website. Dr Chilton and Dr Lorna Harries, two of the University’s four Public Engagement Champions, will host nearly 200 school children at their popular Men in White sessions tomorrow and Friday, when pupils will be challenged to solve a “molecular medical mystery”.

Online staff support
Online support materials for staff, including change management Colleagues in Learning and Development have created a number of online training and reference materials for staff and managers on a variety of subjects, including change management. The change management materials are available on the Learning and Development website. Additionally, colleagues may find the You e-develop resource helpful. The information supplements our existing training provision and offers practical support and guidance for everyday workplace challenges.

Independent Schools Seminar
The last Graduate School of Education Research Seminar for the Spring term is entitles “Independent School sin England. What are they for?” It will take place on Tuesday 26 March 2013 at 1 pm in BC114, St Luke’s Campus. Staff and students with an interest in educational research are invited to attend. The speaker will be Dr William Richardson, General Secretary, the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference and Visiting Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education. The seminar will examine the role of independent schools in England in the 2010s. What is an independent school? What are they for? What are they against? What kind of influence do they wield? And how much of that influence affects what state-funded schools do? Is the English situation significant internationally? Among the questions to be explored will be the role of the state in the running of schools, the nature of lobbying and influence in English schools policy, curriculum trends in the independent sector and the demographics of independent school pupils and teachers. Finally, is it the case that England’s fee-paying schools have vanquished the post-war comprehensive now that all English secondary schools are on the way to becoming ‘independent’?

Keep Staff Updated
If you have news or achievements that you want to share, please let us know. The next Medical School News in Brief will be distributed on Tuesday 9 April. The deadline will be Wednesday 3 April. If you have material to contribute, please contact Communications Manager Louise Vennells, or phone 01392 724927 or mobile 07768 511866.

This newsletter and previous editions are also available on-line at www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/news/medicalschool/.