Major deal to develop biochip imaging
DNA chips or biochips, also known as gene chips, which are DNA hybridization probe and the semiconductor industry is combined with crystallization. The technology refers to a large number of probe molecules fixed on supports with a fluorescent marker after the DNA samples were hybridized molecules, molecules by detecting hybridization of each probe to obtain samples of molecular signal strength and thus the number and sequence information.
News JANUARY 2009 Volume 15 No.4 Record grant for history team Major deal to develop See p5 Severn Barrage: biochip The debate See p6-7 Welsh Woman of the Year’s inspiring story See p9 imaging See page 3 Cardiff research goes supernova See page 2 NEWS Exploding star in 3-D Additional RAE T he remains of an exploding star have been reconstructed for the first time as a moving information 3-D visualisation by an international Following the publication by the team of astronomers, including funding councils of the Research Cardiff scientist Dr Haley Gomez. Assessment Exercise (RAE) outcomes in December 2008, all Using X-Ray images, and infrared data, universities have now received the group created the visualisation of additional information derived the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, from the Assessment. the remains of a star thought to have The information released by the exploded 330 years ago. funding councils – in confidence to universities until publication The model brought in Spring 2009 – comprises sub- profiles, subject overviews, main together the best panel reports and summary statistics techniques from the for each Unit of Assessment. fields of astronomy and Cassiopeia A supernova remnant. Copyright NASA/JPL- Caltech/O Krause This information is now being considered by the University. medical imaging, and Astronomers had known about the away from different angles. As well as being a pretty picture, it provides The funding councils will base plumes and jets before, but did not know allowed the team to their decisions on research that they all came out in a broad, disk- an amazing insight into the original identify a number of new explosion of the star.” spending allocations directly like structure, as revealed by the model. on the Assessment results. findings, including high Dr Gomez said: “This reconstruction The team was led by Dr Tracey Universities will not know until velocity plumes and is really extraordinary. Astronomers DeLaney of the Massachusetts March at the earliest exactly how and the public are used to seeing Institute of Technology. this funding will be calculated. jets shooting out from flat 2-D pictures, far removed from Front page image of Cassiopeia A • For Cardiff’s Research the star as it exploded. our everyday 3-D life. Now, we can Copyright NASA/CXC/D.Berry Assessment Exercise results visit: visualise an object 11,000 light years www.cardiff.ac.uk/rae/results • The Dental School table in December’s Cardiff News (p6) Operatic masterclass showed UK dental schools ranked by “Research Power” but incorrectly displayed “Research 4* and 3*” data. Cardiff University’s 5th ranking remains correct and further information can be seen at www.cardiff.ac.uk/rae/results/dentl Joining forces with world leader The University has joined forces with leading consultancy company Mott MacDonald to share and promote consultancy, engineering and research expertise. The new joint working arrangement could see the University and Mott MacDonald working jointly on a range of initiatives in sectors including health, sustainability, housing, transport, and water with the potential for project sponsorship, World-famous soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa held a sell-out public masterclass with students from the Cardiff skills transfer, specialist advice, staff International Academy of Voice. Dame Kiri, who is President of the Academy, worked with the students for a week, exchange and specialist research. mentoring them and helping them to develop their vocal technique. Seven students were then selected to perform in Derek Jones, Director of Business and the masterclass. Strategic Partnerships said: “This is a Catrin Aur Davies was one of the students performing: “It was an absolute privilege being picked out to sing in public with very exciting development to be able to Dame Kiri,” said Catrin. “She is so generous and warm - I learnt so much from her during her week at the Academy.” sign a joint working arrangement with Photo: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Academy Director Dennis O’Neill (front row, centre) with the students chosen one of the world's leading management for the masterclass (back row left to right) Rhys Jenkins, Noel Hernandez, Clare Egan, Philip Voldman (pianist), and engineering consultancies.” (front row) Phillip Rhodes, Catrin Aur Davies, Lisa Wilson, Carlos Osuna Full story at www.cf.ac.uk/news/ macdonald . 2 NEWS Optical biochips could New Year’s Honours 2009 be the “silicon chips The outstanding achievements of individuals working at, or associated with Cardiff University have been recognised of medical research” in the New Year’s Honours list. Professor Peter Wells, Scientific Director of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Medical Physics at the School of Engineering, is appointed a Faster disease diagnosis may result from work focused on developing Commander of the Order of the the next generation of optical biochips. British Empire (CBE) for services to healthcare science. University Fellow and graduate Owain Arwel Hughes OBE was also I nnovative lens-free cell from the School of Medicine, believes made a CBE for his contribution imaging equipment optical biochips may do for medical to music and charity. co-developed by research what silicon chips have done scientists at the School of for computers. He said: Derek Jones, formerly Medicine and the Gray senior director of the Welsh Cancer Institute Oxford, has Assembly Government, now the been taken forward by two “This technology will University’s Director of Business leading medical technology mean that we can act in and Strategic Partnerships was development companies. terms of diagnosing appointed a Companion of the The commercialisation Order of the Bath (CB). disease at the cellular could impact on treatments, level very quickly.” Professor Wendy Hall, Fellow such as cancer and wound of the University and Professor of healing, and how they are Computer Science at the University delivered. “It is envisaged that CyMap can be of Southampton, is appointed a CyMap – one of the developed into a hand-held device Dame Commander of the Order inventions emerging from which should make the equipment of the British Empire (DBE). the Optical Biochips accessible and affordable for more University Vice-Chancellor, Consortium led by Paul people working in cancer and other Dr David Grant, said: “These Smith, Professor of Cancer health related disciplines across awards recognise the significant Biology - being advanced the world, not just the larger well- contributions made by each of the through a commercial equipped biosciences laboratories.” recipients and I am delighted to agreement between Cancer In the diagnostics field, CyMap may extend congratulations to them on Research Technology also be developed to monitor bacterial behalf of the entire University.” Limited, the oncology- contamination, the presence of focused development other pathogens, or to count red and and commercialisation company, and the technology development Professor Paul Smith and Dr Rachel Errington white blood cells. One of the other advantages of CyMap technology is Healthcare first that it can be easily miniaturised and The UK’s only designated Chair specialists The Technology cancer, processes such as wound integrated with microfluidic systems responsible for driving forward Partnership plc. healing, and support drug screening - and it may also have other wider evidence-based research in healthcare Professor Smith, who leads a team across a wide range of parameters. research applications as well. improvement and patient care has in the Department of Pathology, was been appointed at Cardiff. in overall charge of the £2.3 million When illuminated using a simple biochip project carried out by the light source, the CyMap technology Dr Jonathon Gray becomes the Consortium and funded by Research enables 'items' such as cells or University’s Chair in Healthcare Councils UK. pathogens in a sample to create light Improvement, a joint collaboration diffraction and interference patterns between the School of Medicine, CyMap is a lensless imaging chip that can be recorded by a charge- School of Social Sciences and the able to detect a range of particle coupled device (CCD) - a type of Wales Centre for Health. types in a solution. It holds the digital camera - and then analysed potential to be used in highly cost- using computer algorithms. Scientists The new position enables the effective medical diagnostics systems are then able to count the number of University to improve its research in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and ʻitemsʼ in a sample, and also monitor capacity by better linking the Schools research laboratories. It is able to changes over time, such as location, by providing a lead, supporting detect, quantify and analyse cultured movement and division of cells. policy and improving evidence-based cells and medical samples including medicine in Wales and across the blood, and hence CyMap could speed Professor Smith, who is co-inventor world. Full story at www.cf.ac.uk/ up diagnosis of disease, including alongside Dr Rachel Errington, also Cells such as these can be tracked over time through the CyMap chip news/healthcare . January 2009 3 RESEARCH “A giant in the modern history of medical care” A day of reflection to celebrate the life and contribution of Professor Archie Cochrane – one of the founders of modern medicine – was hosted at the University. Organised by the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor Peter Halligan, the event attracted many who worked alongside Professor Cochrane and thoughts on his legacy from senior medical figures in the UK and the USA. A selection of the tributes is given below. Case Notes Born Archibald Leman Cochrane, 1909, Galashiels, Scotland Qualified in Medicine, University College Hospital, London 1938 Served with the British Ambulance Unit, Spanish Civil War Captured and served as Medical Officer in prisoner of war camps, World War II. Appointed MBE in recognition of “gallant and distinguished” war service. 1948. Joined the Medical Research Council Pneumonoconiosis Unit, Aspects of Archie. Professor Sir Iain Chalmers, founder of the Cochrane Collaboration; Professor Peter Elwood, School of Medicine, who worked Llandough Hospital. Embarked with Archie Cochrane on many research projects, including a breakthrough on the benefits of aspirin; Professor Max Blythe, who completed on a pioneering study linking lung Cochrane’s unfinished autobiography; Dr Julian Tudor Hart, another colleague and a pioneer in community control of hypertension and other disease to coal dust in two South chronic conditions. All four shared their memories at the Cochrane Reflection Day. For a fuller report see: www.cf.ac.uk/news/cochranetribute Wales mining valleys. “Archie Cochrane is a giant in the that work, I think was really quite Appointed David Davies Professor modern history of medical care tremendous.” Dame Carol Black, UK and healthcare services.” National Director for Health and Work of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Donald Berwick, Clinical Professor at the Welsh National School of of Paediatrics and Healthcare Policy, “The Cochrane Collaboration is Medicine (now School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA an incredible legacy which now Cardiff University), 1960 in the 14 years of its existence has “The Cochrane Collaboration touched many, many lives around Appointed a CBE in 1968 for database and all the work that’s gone the world.” Kay Dickersin, Professor services to the School of Medicine. on in all the countries of the world of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins has more than cemented his legacy Bloomberg School of Public Health, Published Effectiveness and as a pioneer in the provision of USA Efficiency: Random Reflections Tributes evidence-based healthcare.” Sir Liam Donaldson, Government Chief Medical Adviser, UK “Part of his work was actually about having results that would make a on Health Services, 1972. The book helped establish randomised “He had about ten ordinary lives difference to society.” Sir Michael controlled trials in medical rolled into one.” Rhodri Morgan, “He saw profound socio-economic Marmot, Director, International research worldwide First Minister for Wales disparities in health in his community Institute for Society and Health, and in his nation…and taught us that University College London 1988. Died peacefully at his “He was a friend and a marvellous these disparities are unconscionable.” nephew’s home in Dorset, aged 79 person to work with – charismatic, Lawrence Gostin, Associate Dean, “A man who had a enormous with a lot of ideas, lateral thinking and Georgetown University Law Center, impact on Wales and on healthcare 1993. Professor Sir Iain Chalmers enthusiasm.” Professor Peter Elwood USA worldwide.” Professor Peter Halligan founded the Cochrane Collaboration. “As a Medical Officer in the prison Some 15,000 researchers are now “The work that he did in the Rhondda “We were very fond of him, and he camps he felt totally responsible and involved worldwide, sharing the Valley for ten years in which he was very good to all the family.” began looking at disease patterns, results of medical trials on a not- really showed that exposure to Maggie Stalker, wife of Archie saying ‘What can I do to intervene?’” environmental agents was related Cochrane’s nephew Joe for-profit basis Professor Max Blythe to disability, and the way he did 4 RESEARCH Record grant to study When faulty proteins Europe’s first farmers collide Scientists from the School of Biosciences have explained how bowel cancer can become Cardiff is leading an international team in investigating the lifestyle of the aggressive and identified a key protein for potential drug first farmers in central Europe. development. Published in Nature Genetics, One of the key questions will be the study was led by Professor whether the existing European Alan Clarke, Cancer Research population of hunter gatherers UK’s lead researcher. themselves settled down as farmers, It found that a tumour or whether agriculture brought in by suppressor protein called Pten immigrants from Turkey and the Near is critical in stopping tumours East. The answer may be a combination from growing. Importantly, of the two. the team found that when Pten The team will be analysing human becomes faulty some of these and animal samples to learn more tumours turn aggressive. about the diet and mobility of the LBK When Pten faults coincide with populations. Teeth, for example, can faults in another protein called show if people were brought up in a APC, then a kinase protein different area to where they died. called AKT stimulates tumours Professor Whittle and Dr Daniela to become aggressive and they Hofmann from Cardiff will be are then more likely to spread. working with Dr Alex Bentley, a Detecting this trend led to the reader in anthropology at Durham Professor Hedges, Professor Whittle, Dr Bentley (holding a replica LBK bowl) and Dr team to identify AKT as a strong University and Professor Robert Hofmann planning the research project, which will span central Europe. lead for drug development to Hedges, a leading archaeological target bowel cancer. scientist from Oxford University. A crucial period in the in Europe, have won £610,000 from Professor Alan Clarke said: settlement of Europe will be the Arts and Humanities Research Dr Bentley and Durham colleague “These findings are really investigated in detail by a Council. The interdisciplinary project Professor Graham Pearson will interesting. We now have a team from the School of History and combines archaeological research on examine strontium isotope signatures model of how bowel cancer Archaeology. The Linearbandkeramik Neolithic settlements and cemeteries in teeth and how they differed progresses. Previously scientists (LBK) culture covered large areas as well as the very latest in scientific across the region, while Professor only had a very limited idea of central Europe between 5500 and analysis of on a wide range of human Hedges will analyse carbon, nitrogen of how bowel tumours were 4900BC – the first phase of settled and animal remains. and calcium isotope signatures for believed to progress. agriculture in this region. For the first information about the prehistoric diet, time, cereal was grown in Europe and oxygen isotope signatures for “This has given us a clearer and domestic animals were raised. The award is the largest further insights into mobility. picture of how bowel tumours It was traditionally thought that this ever made to Cardiff by actually grow and provides Professor Whittle said: “It is very was a uniform culture, with few the Arts and Humanities scientists with crucial rare that this suite of techniques differences across the region. But information for drug design to Research Council. can be used together to gain a now a substantial grant will enable slow down or stop the spread of deeper understanding of several the Cardiff team and their colleagues the disease.” The sweep of the project will take in complementary aspects of past to look for economic and social Alsace, southern Germany, northern lifeways. The project is an important Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer differences within this culture. Austria, the southern part of the inter-disciplinary and international Research UK’s director of The team, led by the School’s Czech Republic, Slovakia and western case study of diversity and its cancer information described the Professor Alasdair Whittle, along Hungary. The team will be looking at implications within a superficially findings as “a really important with colleagues from Durham a large number of samples collected uniform culture – a problem repeated piece of science”. and Oxford and collaborators in from Neolithic sites across this region. across many prehistoric situations.” Strasbourg, Mainz and elsewhere There’s so much going on… Timely report on contingency fees Cardiff News contains only a fraction of the A new report by Professor Richard Moorhead, Deputy Head of Cardiff Law School, University’s news output, the majority of which suggests this country’s justice system would not be impaired by contingency deals is published at www.cardiff.ac.uk/news Here allowing lawyers to take fees from damages won for clients. The report, completed are just a few of the recently featured items. in partnership with Senior Costs Judge Peter Hurst, was commissioned by the Civil Justice Council. Full story at: www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/fees . January 2009 5 DEBATE The Severn Barrage Debate Multi-disciplinary collaborations between colleagues in different Schools and Centres are an important feature of research of Cardiff University. Given the breadth of world-leading research taking place across the University, academic staff often bring different perspectives or concentrate on different aspects of the same issue. T he controversy surrounding the proposed Severn Barrage is one of those issues. There is a wide range of expertise available at the University for considering both the Severn’s potential for energy generation and the environmental dimensions. Here, Professor Roger Falconer from the School of Engineering argues that the Severn Barrage would bring benefits in sustainable energy generation while Professor Steve Ormerod of the School of Biosciences raises some of the associated wildlife and conservation issues… The Severn Barrage: Roger’s view The main proposal for tidal energy provision from the Severn Estuary is the Cardiff-Weston Barrage. The barrage would be 16 km long, would generate 5 per cent of the UK’s current electricity supply, would focus energy capture in an efficient manner and would have the benefit over wind and wave energy in that tides are predictable. This barrage proposal – along with others – is being studied using computational models developed within the School of Engineering. The model simulations have shown that a barrage would reduce the upstream Professor Roger Falconer discussing the Barrage with Jonathan Porritt for BBC Wales spring tidal range from 14m to 7m, which would result in a marked loss of in the estuary; increase the light In terms of impact on the local region, it we are going to have to do something the inter-tidal habitat areas. Whilst this penetration through the water is estimated that a barrage would create very bold in the UK and for me one loss would potentially have an adverse column and encourage an increase an additional 40,000 jobs and would of those things is to get the Severn impact on the aquatic environment and change in the bio-diversity and significantly increase the potential for Barrage built.” I agree with this upstream, the model also shows that aquatic life on the estuary bed; tourism and the local economy. conclusion. the peak tide elevations would be lower and enhance the opportunities for In a recent BBC Wales TV Professor Roger Falconer by up to 1.5m upstream to Gloucester recreational water sports. documentary, Week In Week Out, and by at least 25cm for some 75km The main concern with the loss of Jonathan Porritt (Chair, Sustainable downstream of the Barrage, thereby inter-tidal habits relates to the impact Development Commission) Professor Falconer is reducing flood risk – both upstream on the bird population. However, the concluded: “my colleagues in the Halcrow Professor of Water and downstream. Severn is a dynamic estuary, already environmental movement don’t seem Management at the School of The lower tidal currents induced by being affected by climate change, to understand the scale and threat of Engineering. As a member of a barrage would: reduce the very and the RSPB’s own figures for climate change. the Department for Business, high levels of sediments in the water Dunlin show that a dramatic decline Enterprise and Regulatory of nearly 50 per cent has occurred in “For me that takes priority over Reform Expert Panel, he is column (thereby making the water the estuary’s bird population between everything else - if we’re going to do bound by confidentiality on a much clearer or bluer); improve the 1988-93 and 2000-05. something about these threats then number of points. overall water quality characteristics 6 DEBATE The Severn Barrage: Steve’s view Architecture’s If current CO2 emissions continue, call for habitat damage will commit over a third of land-based plants and animals to extinction by the 2050s. sustainable Wales cannot escape. In the River development Wye, for example, Atlantic salmon Welsh business leaders learned about have declined by over 50 per cent as the Welsh School of Architecture’s temperatures and river flows have contribution to sustainable projects changed over the last 25 years. around the world at a recent Cardiff University Innovation Network event. How tragic that the proposed Severn The Head of the School, Professor barrage could curtail adult migration Phil Jones, set the scene for the and risk local extinction in one of the audience at the Wales Millennium very species that emission mitigation Centre, explaining how sustainable is intended to benefit. design had gone from niche market to This and several other endangered mainstream in the past three decades. migrant fishes in the Severn are listed He called for a research-led on the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/ development industry and added: EEC), which confers Europe’s highest “We have a lot of skills for delivering conservation safeguard on the Rivers a more sustainable environment. The Wye, Usk, and the Severn estuary. question is – can we apply them within The estuary is also a Special the short timescale we have left?” Protection Area (79/49/EEC) for The Network then heard of the some of the migrant waterfowl and partnership work on The Pearl Island wading birds for which Britain has development in Qatar between the disproportionate importance. School’s Centre for Research in the European law outlines how such Built Environment (CRiBE), and sites are protected from development Professor Steve Ormerod Cardiff-based company Building projects except where no alternatives Energy Partnership. Peter Robson, exist and where there are “imperative founding partner in Building Energy reasons of overriding public interest”. Partnership, which won the tender to produce a sustainable design manual Even then, compensation measures for the development, told the audience: are required. None of us has yet “To prove the integrity and credibility begun to imagine the scale of such of the work, we approached CRiBE compensation for the river and to see if they would be interested in estuarine resources involved here. working with us. That proved to be There is no doubt that we must our masterstroke.” reduce carbon emissions urgently • Sustainability site launch – page 9 through conservation and safe energy generation. The Severn offers huge potential from its tides and currents, but several tests should apply before New post to they are exploited: take forward IT Firstly, expenditure on any barrage should not preclude more rapid Third, any generating option should But might this not offer a win-win modernisation not be more damaging than the situation in which tidal energy reductions in emissions from capital Eileen Brandreth has problems we wish to alleviate. is harnessed with manageable spent on reducing energy demand. been appointed as environmental impact? Recent work by the engineering Cardiff University’s Second, any option to generate company, Atkins, showed that a ‘tidal Professor Steve Ormerod first Director electricity should represent value reef’, from Aberthawe to Minehead, of University for public money. The £15bn was technically feasible, £2bn Information Cardiff-Weston barrage, discussed Professor Steve Ormerod is cheaper than the Cardiff-Weston Technology (IT). by the Sustainable Development Professor of Ecology at Cardiff Barrage, and capable of generating Commission, would be among the School of Biosciences. He is Before taking up this position, Eileen 17 per cent more electricity with most damaging options ecologically currently Chairman of RSPB was Chief Information Officer for considerably less environmental while offering one of the most Wales and serves as President Corporate Services in Royal & Sun damage. expensive means of renewable of the Institute of Ecology and Alliance. Martyn Harrow, Director generation. There is concern that this option Environmental Management. of Information Services, said “Eileen might not be included in the He is also a trustee of the will considerably strengthen the In providing c 4 per cent of UK next phase of the UK and Welsh Association of Rivers Trust. position of IT in the University, electricity, costs-per-unit would be Governments’ Feasibility Study. bringing in extensive practical double those generated renewably from other available sources. IT leadership experience and an impressive track record of success gained in the business world.” January 2009 7 RESEARCH Calling for a school food revolution N ew research from the Drawing on empirical data collected time, place, and zeitgeist coming Below: Professor Morgan and Dr School of City and Regional in urban and rural areas around the together. Academics, politicians and Sonnino visiting the Plumcroft School, Planning is having such world, the book takes a critical look communities are all getting involved Greenwich allotment with Year 3 pupils an impact that it is being launched at school food reform, the creation of and realising that the humble school (left to right) Issy Stevenson-Quilty, Emily in triplicate across the UK and markets for local producers and new meal is a prism through which we White, Shuab Jama, and Jabir Samater. worldwide. food education initiatives. can explore some of the biggest issues The borough of Greenwich, despite facing our society - the environment, being one of the poorest in London, The first launch of The School This perspective on the design and features in The School Revolution as sustainability and social justice.” Food Revolution: Public Food delivery of sustainable school food having been in the vanguard of school and the Challenge of Sustainable systems in an international context The keynote speaker for the London food reform. Professor Morgan and Dr Development, a new book by has already drawn worldwide launch was Sheila Sisulu, Sonnino presented a copy of their book Professor Kevin Morgan and Dr attention with Professor Morgan and the Deputy Executive to the school’s head cook and took the Roberta Sonnino, was hosted at the Dr Sonnino invited to present their Director of the World opportunity to visit the allotment, one University. This was followed by a research in 13 countries to date. Food Programme. of the healthy eating and sustainability London launch in November and initiatives taking place at the school. Speaking about the attention their the work will be introduced to an work has attracted, Professor international audience via a New Morgan said: “It is an York launch in May 2009. astonishing case of Staff survey reveals University commitment high satisfaction – to research staff and areas to improve The University has declared its commitment to a national strategy valuing their work and providing them with support and career Cardiff University employees have University to others as a good place to for research staff development development. high levels of overall satisfaction with work. The main factors contributing with a day-long conference on their work according to the results of to the overall satisfaction level were Professor Terry Rees, Cardiff researchers’ careers. a comprehensive staff attitude survey. workplace culture, help with pressure University Pro Vice-Chancellor both inside and outside work and the The Research Staff Conference for Research, emphasised the Some 2357 members of staff – around was addressed by Professor importance of the effective quality of line management. 43 per cent of the total workforce – Sir Ivor Crewe, chair of the implementation of the Concordat completed a questionnaire in May Areas of lower satisfaction included implementation steering group and spoke of those Concordat and June. The results have just been internal communication, the reward for the new national Concordat to principles which are already published, showing that, overall, 79 system for good performance, Support the Career Development integrated into the structures of per cent are satisfied with working for advancement and promotion, and of Researchers. Sir Ivor told the University. More information the University. There are similar high consultation about change at work. the audience that the Concordat on training and development figures for staff who said they enjoyed Priority action areas are now being was based on the principles of opportunities for research doing their job and for satisfaction with taken forward from the survey. recruiting and retaining the best staff can be found at: conditions of employment, while 71 per researchers, recognising and www.cf.ac.uk/researchstaff. Full results of the study can be found at cent said they would recommend the www.cardiff.ac.uk/humrs/pwe/survey/ 8 NEWS Welsh Woman of the Year success Sustainability site launched P rofessor Judith Hall, School of Medicine, has been A new University web area named Welsh Woman of the dedicated to sustainability has Year in recognition of her inspiring been launched showing how the achievements as both a clinical University community is working academic and as founder of the together on this important issue. educational charity Mothers of Africa. The web microsite brings together In 2003, Professor Hall learned that the University’s environmental African mothers are 80 times more policies, plans and progress. It also likely to die in childbirth than those details the challenging targets set in developed countries. She decided by the University to reduce carbon immediately that something had to emissions. be done. Faster access to information about “The scale of maternal mortality in Sub- sustainable development research Saharan Africa is almost inconceivable taking place across the University to someone from the UK. Every day is enabled and the site also carries more than 400 young women, that is ideas and tips on how students and the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of staff can get involved, take action young women, in the prime of their and make a difference locally and lives, are dying unnecessarily in globally. childbirth,” said Professor Hall. “And, The University has a responsibility of course, it gets worse because if towards protecting the environment mothers die, then the chances of their not only through its own actions babies dying increases dramatically.” which address a wide range of She established Mothers of Africa Professor Hall accepts her award as Welsh Woman of the Year sustainability issues, but also by in 2004 with the aim of reducing seeking to bring about positive these appalling figures. The charity is just emerging from a terrible civil war my husband Simon, Mothers of Africa change through a world-leading supported by the medical community and the need there is enormous.” simply would not have happened. programme of research, learning in Wales with teams of educationalists, I am also grateful for the wonderful and teaching. Professor Hall’s ‘day job’ is working teachers and clinicians from the support the charity has received from as the UK’s only female Head Initiatives on sustainability are School of Medicine and Cardiff and the wider University community.” of Department of Anaesthetics continually being introduced, Vale NHS Trust travelling to deliver and Intensive Care Medicine. Professor Hall is the third University updated and added to across all teaching in Benin, Togo, Ethiopia and Acknowledging that there are often winner of Welsh Woman of the Year, the University’s sites. Liberia. They educate local health care not enough hours in the day, Professor following Ann Taylor (1999) also workers to recognize sick mothers and To read about your more Hall dedicated her award success to based in the School of Medicine’s to provide them with immediate life- sustainable University visit: the charity’s many tireless fundraisers Department of Anaesthetics & saving care. www.cardiff.ac.uk/sustainability/ and trustees. Intensive Care Medicine and “Our most recent work has been Professor the Baroness Ilora Finlay of She said: “If it were not for the support carried out in Liberia, possibly the Llandaff, an honorary professor and I receive from my colleagues at the most challenging but also the most School of Medicine, my friends, and former Vice Dean of the University’s Setting the standard rewarding of our trips. The country is School of Medicine (1994). for journalists The National Council for the Training Partnership to sharpen focus on Welsh issues of Journalists has revealed the Diploma in Newspaper Journalism, Welsh issues are to get an even opportunities to further deliver agreement marks a significant step run at the School of Journalism, sharper focus thanks to a new quality research which informs forward for the Institute in a year Media and Cultural Studies, as the agreement between the University future of policies, promoting new when we are celebrating our 21st UK’s best performing postgraduate and the Institute of Welsh Affairs. and innovative approaches to issues anniversary. The complementary journalism course. of relevance to Wales. strengths of both institutions The agreement with the leading Students on the course have received will bring an even sharper focus think tank for Wales, paves the way Speaking at the launch at the the best results in examinations run by on the issues facing Wales. I for greater collaboration in public National Assembly, Professor Ken the National Council for the Training hope it is a forerunner of similar policy development. Woodhouse, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Journalists. collaborations.” for Engagement, said: “This is Working together to advance • The Cardiff University student a great example of how higher The University’s Wales Governance research into political and legal magazine Quench has been named education and organisations such Centre has already been working matters in Wales, the agreement Magazine of the Year at the Guardian as the Institute of Welsh Affairs with the Institute of Welsh Affairs formalises an already long-standing Student Media awards. The judges can work together to inform and on the publication of a series of relationship with the Institute. said: “Of all the magazines, it felt like influence the public agenda.” Cardiff Bay Papers, the second of the one that was going to be picked up The Partnership will increase which - Politics in 21st Century Institute of Welsh Affairs Chair a lot and used.” the prospect of attracting grants Wales - has just been launched. Geraint Talfan Davies, said, “This and maximising other funding January 2009 9 PEOPLE Health Minister opens new ‘virtual’ radiography suite A new state-of-the-art ‘virtual’ collaboration with computer science Dr Paul Brown said: “The ‘virtual radiography suite, which will experts in Cardiff University reality’ system allows some 20 improve care of patients with and expect that this will lead to therapeutic students per year to gain cancer, has been opened by Health exploration of opportunities for the vital ‘hands-on’ experience of using Minister, Edwina Hart. training of other types of clinical staff the linear accelerator treatment and for research in the growing field machines in a safe environment, in The Cardiff University Radiography In a New Mexico city where only of virtual reality and simulation.” preparation for, and alongside their Virtual Environment Suite, based 14 inches of rain fall in a year, clinical training. in the School of Healthcare Studies Radiotherapy is a treatment for a Cardiff University packamac and funded through the NHS Capital patients with cancer and some non- “The new facility uses two Sony 4K might not be considered essential. and Expenditure Scheme, allows malignant disorders which utilises projectors and Vicon MX cameras However, when former University therapeutic radiography students the the biological effects of high energy designed and installed by HoloVis Secretary Eirian Edwards was opportunity to practise their skills in X-rays and other ionising radiations. Limited and puts us ahead of other caught out by a thunderstorm just a completely safe environment. UK universities in terms of its before an opera in Santa Fe, it Tracking the user through a series projection capability and future came in very handy. Opening the new unit, Mrs Hart said: of infra-red camera sensors, the training and research potential. Our “I am delighted to officially open this sophisticated new equipment creates a The packamac, which Eirian students will now be able to learn cutting edge virtual reality training simulated environment which is then obtained at an Eisteddfod many important concepts, and practice new unit which is the first such facility for projected on to screens via Virtual years ago, also proved to be a techniques in a safe environment, NHS staff in Wales. This new unit Environment Radiotherapy Training conversation starter. where no harm can come to the gives students the experience of what computer software. The student user student or patient.” Eirian said: “One of my group it would be like working in a clinical is immersed into the ‘virtual world’ setting. of a radiotherapy treatment room Whilst the Radiography Virtual told me she had published a and can perform the usual functions Environment Suite is primarily used paper with someone from the “It will provide radiography students School of Biosciences. The people undertaken in ‘setting up’ a patient for radiotherapy training, future with a facility which will greatly having a picnic next to us said for their radiotherapy treatment and use will include virtual diagnostic improve training opportunities they had a daughter at Swansea associated tasks. radiography and possible research and ultimately enhance the care of and greeted me every time they developments within other healthcare patients with cancer. I am particularly Deputy Director of Radiography, saw me thereafter. Some of the professions. pleased to see interdisciplinary School of Healthcare Studies, other friends I was with were senior staff at the House of Representatives in Washington and were quite intrigued – so I reckon that I (accidentally) did a good PR job!” Deaths With regret the University records the deaths of: Professor Ursula R.Q. Henriques, former Professor of History. A contributor to the leading historical journals in the English language, Ursula was a very distinguished figure and a great asset to the University’s History department. A long-standing member of the University, she generously endowed both a postgraduate bursary and an undergraduate prize. Sheila Miller, a catering assistant within the Campus Services Division, who died on 28 November 2008. Sheila worked for the division for over 42 years and was described by both managers and colleagues as an excellent team member. Obituaries appears on the University Cardiff University radiotherapy students Kate Robertson, left, and Carol McDonald, right, demonstrate the new virtual suite to Health website at www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/ Minister, Edwina Hart. staff/obituaries. 10 PEOPLE Cardiff People: John Pearce IN BRIEF… The Staff Counselling Service will be running a series of Health & Well-Being workshops/ Professor John Pearce FRS presentations for University staff, I joined the Department of on January 27, February 3, 4, 13, Psychology of University College 17 and 24, March 3 and 11 and Cardiff in 1980 as a lecturer. I rose April 29. For details of the events, through the ranks to be appointed venues, times and how to book, to a Personal Chair in 1992. My see www.cf.ac.uk/cllng/forstaff/ . research is directed at understanding the nature of animal intelligence. I was elected to the Royal Society in The pilot Certificate in Higher 2006 for my contribution to formal Education for Dental Nursing theories of learning in animals. Now course has commenced at the that our three children have left Postgraduate Dental Centre home, my wife Victoria and I spend in Prince Charles Hospital in our spare time endeavouring to trek Merthyr Tydfil. Paul Langmaid, to remote places. Chief Dental Officer for Wales gave an opening address and What do you listen to first welcomed the students from across Wales who are undertaking thing in the morning? the course. He said the course, I regard the compact disc as one run through the School of of mankind’s finest inventions and Postgradate Medical and Dental usually listen to a CD as I travel to Education, was an exciting work. This morning I listened to a John Pearce having just described his latest theory to a group of seals in the development – the first of its kind truly awful country album entitled Galapagos Islands. in Wales and the UK. the Best of the Statler Bros which inexplicably never fails to raise Most memorable encounter What one question would my spirits. A perennial favourite is with a celebrity? you really like to know the India’s High Commissioner to Beethoven. A current favourite is Britain, His Excellency Shiv While at school I taught Joe answer to? an English singer/songwriter, Thea Shankar Mukherjee, paid a visit Strummer of the Clash to play rugby. What is my dog thinking about when Gilmore. to the University to discuss the I also looked after cousin Edward he looks at me, if anything? I fear development of further links when he became ill from eating too that we shall never know the answer between Cardiff and India. He Who inspired you on your much toothpaste. He grew up to be to this fundamentally important had the opportunity to meet with “Fast”Eddie Clarke of Motorhead. question. career path? students and senior members of Jim Wright at Leeds University. He staff from the Business School, opened my eyes to a new way of What thoroughly annoys you? Tell us a joke School of Engineering, Law studying animal intelligence. Rather little. Shopping. John The one that amused my children School, and School of Journalism, Humphrys on the Today programme. most when they were young is: Media and Cultural Studies. Full Being told something is impossible. story at www.cf.ac.uk/news/india . Which word do friends use “Two bishops in a bed, which one Slow drivers. People who say about you most? “Enjoy” - it is a transitive verb. wore the nightdress?” (Mrs Bishop) At an age when most people Because they are my friends, Filling in forms. Lights left on by my are thinking of settling down they haven’t told me. But one of children. Rather a lot, really. Your favourite view in to retirement, Marian Williams my students once wrote on their the whole world (or the began taking courses at Cardiff feedback form “John Pearce is a What is your secret universe)? University’s Centre for Lifelong lovely man - I wish he was my Learning. Now a new book, grandfather”. ambition? (just between us) I should like to say Lake Karambar entitled The History of Lifelong To drive a Series-1 Land Rover in the Hindu Kush, North Pakistan; Learning at Cardiff University across the Sahara. but based on the amount of time I (1883-2008), based on research spend gazing at it, the answer would undertaken by Marian has just seem to be the view from my office What does the University been published to celebrate 125 window. need more of? years of lifelong learning at More PhD students. They are Cardiff University. invariably great fun to work with, Who would play you in the and the future of research depends film about your life? Cardiff Law School and Hugh upon them. More hours in the day. If Victoria is to watch the film, the James Solicitors beat off stiff actor will have to be Daniel Craig. competition from across England and Wales to win the Student Which book did you re-read Team Award at the prestigious most as a child? Law Society Junior Lawyers’ Ginger’s Adventures (Ladybird). Division 10th Anniversary Pro A heart-warming story of a dog’s Bono Awards. The awards were search for Tommy, his master. presented at a ceremony at the John and Victoria Pearce in the Law Society in London. Galapagos Islands January 2009 11 Visit our website at www.cardiff.ac.uk New partnership How well do you know takes to the river your University? The friendly fish featured in last month’s picture is one of a A new sponsorship deal between Peter, a Lieutenant with the Royal number of intricate carvings to be found on the doors which Cardiff University and Fly Navy Navy, rowed to victory as part of the connect the Committee Rooms in the Glamorgan Building. – the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal men’s coxless four in the 2008 Beijing Navy - has been launched by Olympic Olympics. The location will be revealed in next month’s issue and can oarsman Peter Reed. also be found at the online version of Cardiff News at At an official ceremony to mark the new partnership Peter unveiled the www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/jan09 . names for two University boats – Sea Have you noticed an overlooked feature of the University Vixen and Sea Fury, chosen by Fly campus? Please send suggestions or photographs for future Navy after two of their aircraft. issues to email@example.com. The Rowing Club has received £5000 in sponsorship from Fly Navy, which will be put towards purchasing a new boat for the men’s squad. Rowing Club President Penny Challans said: “This new partnership between Cardiff University Rowing Club and Fly Navy is testament to the Club’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence. We were honoured that (Above) Peter Reed launches Sea Fury with Peter Reed attended the ceremony Rowing Club PR and Sponsorship Officer – hopefully some of our rowers Vicky Williams Image: Rodrigo Sanchez will one day follow in his Olympic (Below) In action with Cardiff Men’s VIII footsteps.” What’s On Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, Senghennydd Road, 7.15pm, open to all. This is a sample of Cardiff University events. Please visit www.cardiff. Tel: 029 2087 597 ac.uk/events for a full listing. Email: WyattD1@cardiff.ac.uk Wednesday 28 January Tuesday 10 February The Welsh Socialist Tradition Young, Muslim and British: an from the 1880’s to the 1960’s introduction to a field Part of a series of free Centre for the Study of Islam Humanities seminars for in the UK seminar series adult learners Speaker: Sadek Hamid, Programme Speaker: Martin Wright Leader and Lecturer in Muslim The Editor reserves the right to edit Cardiff News contributions received. Whilst care is taken (Cardiff University). Youth Work at the University of Chester Editor: Brian Richardson, Director to ensure the accuracy of information, this These lectures are intended to Public Relations and Communications cannot be guaranteed. Views expressed in provide adult learners with a fresh Room 0.36 Humanities Building, Division, Cardiff University, ‘Cardiff News’ do not necessarily reflect and up to the minute taster of the 7pm – 8pm, open to all. 46 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BB. those of the University. Items of interest kinds of research undertaken within Tel: 029 20 876125 ISSN 13355-3127, Vol 15 No 4 relating to the University and its staff are the Humanities at Cardiff University welcome and should be sent to: Public Email: Gilliat-Ray@cardiff.ac.uk Copy deadline for next issue is 6 February and beyond. Relations and Communications Division. 2009 for publication in February 2009 Tel: 029 2087 5596, Fax: 029 2087 0104, Printed on 100% recycled paper. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address Label Cardiff News is available in large print format. To request a copy contact Catrin Palfrey on 029 2087 0293, email PalfreyC@cardiff.ac.uk 100% Recycled