News in brief

9 April 2018

Win for University of Sheffield researcher in half marathon helps raise funds towards medical technology

Sheffield Scanner Team Photo

50 members of staff from the University of Sheffield took part in one of the country’s most challenging half marathons on Sunday (8 April), in a bid to raise vital funds for the Sheffield Scanner appeal.

Will Mycroft, a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield’s School of Maths, placed first, ahead of more than 7000 other runners with a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 12 seconds.

Will and other members of staff from the University of Sheffield were running to raise money towards the £2 million Sheffield Scanner appeal for a ground-breaking MRI-PET facility to transform our understanding of serious conditions including cancer, dementia, Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson's.

Will said: “The Sheffield Scanner is a great cause and will hopefully lead to some cures and preventative measures.”

The Sheffield Half Marathon started and ended in the city centre, with runners taking a 13.1-mile route along Ecclesall Road and up Ringinglow Road to the edge of the Peak District National Park. Runners then looped back into the city towards the finish line.

Will added: “The race was really tough, I worked hard on the uphill and managed to get a bit of a lead on the field. I had hoped to take the downhill a bit easier and enjoy the run in, but the chasing pack made me work really hard for it in the end.

“It was fantastic, though brutally hilly, of course. The views from the Peak District were great, and the support out on the course was the best I've experienced.

“Crossing the finish line in first was a great delight as the crowd at the finish was fantastic.”

The University of Sheffield launched the Sheffield Scanner appeal in March 2017. The revolutionary MRI-PET scanner combines the simultaneous power of whole body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in a single image, providing the most detailed information about the organs, tissues and structures in the body and how well they are functioning.

The superior images will enhance researchers’ knowledge about diseases and allow them to identify faster and better ways to detect, treat and prevent them. This will accelerate discoveries from the laboratory into clinical trials to develop new therapies and better outcomes for patients.

Find out more and donate

Find out more about the University of Sheffield’s half marathon runners

21 March 2018

Outbreaks and pandemics - Sheffield World Health Organisation event addresses next crisis

Students from the University of Sheffield are launching a ground-breaking educational simulation to demonstrate the creative capacity of the next generation of global health leaders.

Hosted by the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), the University of Sheffield World Health Organisation Simulation (SheffWHO) will offer the opportunity for students, alumni and professionals from all disciplines to gather and engage with a global health topic as they recreate the process of the annual World Health Assembly held at the World Health Organization (WHO).

The three-day event will explore the theme Outbreaks and Pandemics: Addressing the Next Crisis from 27 April to 29 April 2018.

Participants and delegates from around the world including Romania, Denmark and South Korea will discuss issues surrounding pandemics and outbreaks and generate solutions from a young professional perspective.

The two founding members of SheffWHO, Nikita Charles Hamilton and Naomi Limaro Nathan – who are both currently studying on the Europubhealth Master’s programme based in ScHARR – are the first to launch a health-themed simulation event in the city and only the second one to be held in the UK.

Naomi said: “This is a chance to recreate a simulation of a WHO event which I think is really exciting as I am very interested in global health and health governance. I love organising events which provide platforms to learn new skills.

“It should provide students and young professionals with opportunities for experiential learning, so they can understand how health decisions are made at the global level.”

Charles added: “It will be a great opportunity for people who are passionate about global health issues to meet and network. This will contribute to cracking the glass ceiling in international work – people will gain knowledge and perspective of how the WHO functions, and the skill set needed to enter this particular field.”

Registration for the event will close Friday 6 April. To find out more about, visit; https://sheffwho.org/

  Register for a place at SheffWHO

6 March 2018

Pioneering ageing research recognised by European Parliament

AgeingMajor new research into ageing conducted by the University of Sheffield has been recognised by the European Parliament in Brussels.

The research, presented by Ilaria Bellantuono, Professor of Musculoskeletal Ageing at the University of Sheffield, focused on a new class of drugs, geroprotectors, which offer the potential of cutting the need for multiple prescriptions in old age and better outcomes for patients.

Professor Bellantuono, from the University’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism, said: “The occurrence of multiple diseases at the same time is one of the major health issues in older age.

“Geroprotectors have the potential to delay the start of many age-related diseases at once and boost resilience in frail older people, reducing their need to take multiple drugs.

“With people older than 60 expected to comprise 22 per cent of the global population by 2050, such drugs could be crucial in easing pressure on the health and social care systems.”

Until now regulatory barriers and lack of research investments to support testing have prevented these drugs from reaching the clinic.

Professor Bellantuono is Chair of the COST Action MouseAGE network, which met with EU Parliament to urge all stakeholders to work together to ensure the research and testing is fast tracked.

The project is backed through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded network MouseAGE. MouseAGE represents more than 200 researchers from 25 EU countries from academia and industry with expertise in ageing, age-related diseases, and geriatrics and drug development.

Linda McAvan, MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “It’s great to see one of our local universities leading the way in Europe on ground breaking research into healthy ageing.

“This research into combating frailty could have a huge impact, enabling us all to live independently for longer, have better physical and mental health and in turn reduce costs for the NHS and social care services.

“It is one of many EU funded projects at local universities, but what worries me is what happens after Brexit. I hope the government will commit to continued UK participation in such EU wide projects so that we do not lose on the potential benefits such work offers for the British people.”

MouseAGE

12 January 2018

New link between anti-inflammatory drugs and reduced risk of heart attack

heartA new study has revealed a link between anti-inflammatory drugs and a reduced risk of heart attack.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield found patients in whom drugs have failed to reduce markers of inflammation in the blood, or who have high markers of inflammation after drugs are stopped, are at an increased risk of future heart attacks.

Inflammation is key to the development of atherosclerosis – a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. This plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood. Over time the plaque hardens and narrows arteries reducing the amount of blood flow leading to: angina, heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

It is now understood that treatment with drugs that reduce inflammation in patients who have previously had a heart attack can reduce the occurrence of future events.
Dr Alex Rothman, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, said: “Studies undertaken over many years at the University of Sheffield have linked inflammation and atherosclerosis and the first randomised study that showed drugs could alter inflammation in patients following a heart attack was performed in Sheffield. This work provided the basis for potential new treatments in the area.”

Dr Rothman, who is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Cardiology, added: “These new data highlight the risk of inflammation in patients with atherosclerosis and inform patients and doctors about the effects of anti-inflammatory drug therapy in this disease.”

Findings from the study are published in The New England Journal of Medicine. For more information please visit: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1714635

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease (IICD) is a world-leading centre for infection, immunity, imaging and cardiovascular research. Scientists pioneering discoveries help to fight disease and inform inspirational teaching.

Find out more about the Department of IICD

13 December 2017

PhD student awarded prestigious physics award

Patrick StowellA PhD student from the University of Sheffield has been honoured with a prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding work in neutrino physics.

Patrick Stowell, a final-year PhD student in the Particle Physics and Particle Astrophysics Group (PPPA) at the University of Sheffield, has been awarded the 2017 John G Rutherglen Memorial Prize in experimental particle physics for his research into how neutrinos interact with atomic nuclei.

During his PhD studies at the University of Sheffield, Patrick has worked on the Tokai-to-Kamioka (T2K) experiment in Japan, which is currently trying to using neutrinos to study the fundamental properties of the universe.

As a result of his research, Patrick has given four talks at international conferences, delivered a lecture course at an international summer school, and has been awarded a scholarship to work with the MINERvA experiment at Fermilab in the US - a national physics lab considered to be the neutrino capital of the world.

The memorial prize, previously won by TV presenter and physicist Brian Cox, is awarded annually to a postgraduate student for outstanding work in experimental high energy physics.

Patrick said: “I feel honoured to be awarded the John G Rutherglen Memorial Prize and overcome by the support of the particle physics group at Sheffield over the past four years.

“I have had the opportunity to develop the NUISANCE framework, a software package that optimises our interaction models by comparing them to data from experiments all around the world.

This software is now in use by a number of collaborations at Fermilab in the US, and is being used to investigate possible detector designs for the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment of which the UK is now an active collaborator.”

Professor Dan Tovey from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is also a previous winner of the award.

Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics at Sheffield

28 November 2017

University of Sheffield academic honoured with national science award

Professor Steve ArmesA scientist from the University of Sheffield has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

Professor Steve Armes, who works in the Department of Chemistry at the University, conducts pioneering work in the field of microscopic polymer particles, which has been recognised by the Macro Group UK committee with the 2018 Macro Group UK Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

His research has potential applications for the development of new cosmetics, laundry products and car engine oils, as well as the long-term preservation of human stem cells.

Professor Armes collaborates with scientists based in the UK, Europe, China, the USA and Australia and also works closely with industrial scientists based at Lubrizol, Ashland, Scott Bader, AkzoNobel, BASF, GEO and Procter & Gamble.

On receiving the award, Professor Steve Armes said: “Over my academic career I have always worked closely with a wide range of industrial companies, in addition to conducting my own curiosity-driven research. Such academic-industrial partnerships always provide us with very interesting problems.

“I am fortunate to lead an excellent team of highly-motivated young scientists who develop highly-marketable expertise during their studies. I accept this award as a tribute to their hard work and ingenuity over many years.”

The Macro Group UK is a joint interest group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry, which aims to encourage and enhance polymer chemistry in The UK.

Chemistry at Sheffield

9 November 2017

How to spot the warning signs of mouth cancer

Learn how to spot the warning signs of mouth cancer and the best ways to protect yourself from the devastating disease at a special event hosted by students from the University of Sheffield.

As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month members of the Sheffield University Dental Students Society (SUDSS) will be taking over a stall at Moor Market on Friday 17 November 2017 to help shoppers learn easy ways to check their own mouth for any signs of cancer and why taking a trip to the dentist is vital.

Students will be on hand to offer free advice between 9am and 5pm.

More than 7,000 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK last year – 30 per cent more than a decade ago. Head and neck cancer is the eight most common type of cancer affecting both men and women.

SUDSS secretary and dental student, Courtney Orloff, said: “We want to get people thinking about mouth cancer.

“It remains a largely preventable disease and it is our duty to make people aware of the ways they can try to protect themselves: stopping smoking and reducing their alcohol intake for example.

“Unlike other cancers which are more common in those aged over 40, mouth cancer is an increasing problem in younger people, whether they have teeth or not!

“We really hope that by going out into the community we will help more people to understand the huge scale of the problem and what we can do about it together.”

This is just one of a number events SUDSS are hosting to raise money and awareness for mouth cancer. The students have hosted a charity bake sale, a special lunchtime lecture, a charity quiz and a netball tournament, as well as selling blue ribbons across the dental school.

Mouth Cancer Action month runs throughout November.

Dentistry at Sheffield

28 September 2017

University of Sheffield wins a number of national patient awards

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised at this year’s prestigious British Medical Association’s Patient Information Awards in London.

The University, in collaboration with staff from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Optical Jukebox, won in two special awards categories and were runners up in another for its myTube project.

The pioneering online education resource provides information on gastrostomy tube feeding for people living with Motor Neurone Disease and allows patients across Yorkshire to share their personal stories and the difficult care decisions they have made.

A project by the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry, which aims to help children overcome their fear of the dentist, was also highly commended. The self-help guide "Your teeth YOU are in control" includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques for young people with dental anxiety. This project was also shortlisted for a special award for innovative resources aimed at children.

Since 1997 the BMA Patient Information Awards has recognised excellence in the production and dissemination of accessible, well-designed and clinically balanced patient information.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, said: "We are very proud of the teams from Neurology, Stroke Care and Dentistry at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who won an array of awards at the recent BMA Patient Information Awards ceremony.

"These awards reflect our strategy to provide excellent clinical care and communication and to improve outcomes and quality of life for the patients we serve in Sheffield and South Yorkshire."

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals also came first in the Easy Read award, for producing a series of resources for patients with aphasia who have difficulty swallowing.