News in brief

16 April 2019

University of Sheffield academic chosen to take part in prestigious British Academy exhibition

A University of Sheffield academic has been chosen to display her work at a prestigious cultural event in London.

Professor Vanesa Castán Broto, from the University of Sheffield's Urban Institute, will present her project What prevents people from accessing energy in cities in Mozambique? During the British Academy's Summer Showcase this June.

It will also delve into how the city of Maputo - the capital of Mozambique - which is rich in fossil fuels and natural resources, fails to provide the population with a sufficient amount of supplies.

Professor Castán Broto's study was made possible through the Sustainable Development Programme provided by the British Academy.

The Showcase offers everyone the chance to delve into, ask questions and be inspired by research and ideas that are shaping the world.

A wide variety of topics ranging from what's in an accent? To what Renaissance art can tell us about global trade, will be exhibited at the festival.

There will also be a Summer Showcase late-night event to allow evening visitors the chance to enjoy exclusive talks and performances.

A schools day is also planned so that students have the chance to talk to the researchers directly about their work, with broadcaster Dan Snow curating a number of discussions with special guests.

The British Academy Summer Showcase will run from 21 June to 22 June 2019 with more programme details announced in May.

For more information, please visit: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/events/summershowcase/2019

19 March 2019

University of Sheffield laboratories open to the public for Discovery Night

Discovery NightThe University of Sheffield opened up its laboratories and lecture theatres to the public for the annual Discovery Night.

The free science event, aimed at all ages, was held at the University's Firth Court and included talks, demonstrations and hands on activities from science, engineering, medicine and dentistry .

Visitors were encouraged to put on a lab coat and have a go at activities including hunting for worms or being a dentist at the Teddy Bears’ Dental Surgery.

There was also the opportunity to find out about the hidden world of local otters, discover how our brains work and see the Cabinet of Curiosities at the Alfred Denny Museum.

Visitors found out what happens when everyday objects get very, very cold with liquid nitrogen demonstrations. Talks included Exploring The Deep Sea a chance to discover the strange, dark world of the deep sea and Big Numbers - an entertaining look into the magic of maths.

30 January 2019

University of Sheffield academic elected to national body

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has announced Professor Nick Bishop from the University of Sheffield as its new Vice President for Science and Research.

Professor Bishop, who is Head of the Academic Unit of Child Health in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism at the University of Sheffield, will take up his new post on 6 March 2019.

Commenting on his election, Professor Nick Bishop said: “I am both delighted and very humbled to have been elected to this important role.”

Professor Bishop is keen to improve access to academic careers for trainees, and was part of the group that created the Academic Toolkit.

The RCPCH is the professional body for paediatricians in the UK and plays a major role in postgraduate medical education, professional standards, research and policy.

4 July 2018

Special celebratory event to mark NHS’ 70th birthday

RobotSheffield’s NHS and the University of Sheffield is coming together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service and showcase future advances in healthcare.

A vintage ambulance, a look back in history at the most life-changing NHS moments and free blood pressure checks are all part of the special celebratory event taking place outside Sheffield Cathedral tomorrow (5 July 2018).

Pioneering research from the University of Sheffield showing how ice pops could help children undergoing chemotherapy and humanoid campion care robots from the University’s Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH), which are helping to aid communication for people with disabilities, will be showcased.

Focusing on the past, present and future of the NHS, the event will bring together staff from Sheffield’s NHS, including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Primary Care Sheffield, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and medical researchers from the University of Sheffield.

The free, interactive event is open to adults and children alike, and will take place from 11am to 7pm.
It is being held on 5 July 2018 to coincide with the official anniversary of when the NHS was born back in 1948.

20 June 2018

Golden Globe Yacht Race supports Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Golden Boat Race SkippersA prestigious non-stop, around the world yacht race is supporting pioneering research conducted at the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN).

The Golden Globe 2018 Race will be raising money to help enhance the work conducted at SITraN which is leading revolutionary research into diseases including dementia, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson's disease and stroke.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first non-stop circumnavigation by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, a special charity race called the SITraN challenge was held from Falmouth to the start line of the Golden Globe 2018 yacht race in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Vice-President of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield, said: "To be nominated as the charity for this year's prestigious Golden Globe Race is such an honour.

"The vision behind the creation of SITraN was to establish a world class research institute where teams of clinicians and scientists could be brought together to focus their combined skills on enhancing therapies and technologies to benefit the lives of those affected by devastating neurodegenerative diseases across the globe.

"We are immensely grateful for the support from this year's Golden Globe Race and wish all competitors the best of luck.”

She added: “The money raised will make a huge difference in helping to accelerate our pioneering research and innovative programmes which help people not only in Yorkshire and the UK, but across the globe."

SITraN was chosen as this year's dedicated charity thanks to the tireless work of SITRaN Patron Stuart Keane.

Stuart said: "My son Shaun died of MND after suffering with it for two and a half years.

"SITraN is the world's first purpose built, dedicated research institute for MND, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It relies on charitable donations to buy specialised medical equipment - for example the £10 million pound MRI-PET Sheffield scanner which will be one of only eight in the UK."

The epic 30,000 mile, unassisted race will begin from Les Sables d’Olonne next month (1 July 2018). The 19 skippers will travel via the five Great Capes before returning to the French town.

Australian adventurer and explorer Don McIntyre is the founder and chairman of the race which will be sailed under the support of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga. This year’s race will also include five-time circumnavigator Jean-Luc van den Heede.

Find out more about SITraN

Donate to the MRI-PET Sheffield Scanner Appeal

13 June 2018

Researchers to exhibit University’s world-class medical research

Leading researchers from the University of Sheffield will take part in a festival demonstrating the world-class medical research taking place in the city this weekend (Saturday 16 June).

‘Getting to know… Medical Research’ will explore how the latest medical research from the University of Sheffield is improving people’s lives through exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Highlights of the event include:

  • Production of toxic cell parts in motor neuron disease
  • What is one of main causes of Parkinson's disease?
  • Battling the bugs: how our bodies prevent infections
  • The skeleton: not just there to hold you upright!
  • Developing a true ‘bionic’ ear

The event is part of the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Festival of Medical Research, where MRC-funded units, centres and institutes showcase and discuss their work through events and activities around the UK and in Africa.

‘Getting to know… Medical Research’ will take place at the Moor Market in Sheffield City Centre from 11.00am - 3.00pm. The event is free, family-friendly and open to everyone.

For more information, visit; https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/pre/public-engagement/mrcfestival

29 May 2018

New book marks five years of widening participation research and evaluation at the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit (WPREU) has published a book to mark five years of researching and evaluating widening participation issues.

The book, subtitled Critical reflections on evaluation, policy and practice in widening participation and student success, is structured around a series of reflections by current and previous WPREU researchers on contemporary efforts to increase the progression of under-represented and disadvantaged students into and through Higher Education.

The book includes reflections on the relationship between equality and diversity and widening participation (WP), inclusive learning and teaching, student finance as well as a series of think pieces on appropriate evaluation and research methodologies.

The book will be launched on 30 May 2018, during an event that is also set to feature a guest lecture by Rae Tooth, Head of Strategy and Change at the Office for Student. Rae provided a foreword to the book and noted:

“What I have found most inspiring about WPREU’s work to date has been their ability to work within and between both academic and practitioner communities, creating and occupying unique spaces where all kinds of wisdoms are valued and no viewpoint should be considered beyond question.

“This generous and courageous way of working has meant that over its first five years WPREU has been able to transform The University of Sheffield’s WP practice, and be transformed itself, by developing a better understanding of how academic enquiry can best serve the community with which it is concerned.”

There will be a limited print run and some hard copies of the book will be available. The book will also be distributed online via the WPREU website.

The book is likely to be of interest to colleagues with a professional or academic interest in widening participation, student success and progression. If you would like more information about the book, please contact: WPREU@sheffield.ac.uk

16 May 2018

University of Sheffield receives £1 million investment in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

The University of Sheffield has been awarded £1 million as part of a major investment in research structure to accelerate understanding in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

NMRNMR is a key technique that has impact across a wide span of science disciplines from materials science to medicine.

The new funding is part of a £20 million investment announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Sheffield scientists investigating materials and molecular structures will benefit from a state-of-the-art facility enabling them to improve chemical manufacture, develop bioenergy materials, photosynthesis and green energy, cancer treatment and biopharmaceutical development.

The University is one of eight universities in the UK to receive a share of the funding which has been supported by the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council, Medical Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council.

Professor Mike Williamson, Head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, said: "This award is great news for us because it will allow us to carry out a much greater range of experiments. Importantly, it also means we will be able to acquire data five times faster, so we will be able to provide a faster and more complete service to local users."

The new 800 MHz NMR facility will be housed in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and will upgrade the exisiting equipment with additional high-pressure analytical capability.

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said: “Investing in research infrastructure is a vital component of any forward-looking plan to support science. This EPSRC investment means researchers will have new systems that provide greater sensitivity, enable a wider range of materials to be studied effectively, and a greater understanding of molecular structures, with potential impacts in pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, materials science and biotechnology.”

Other universities benefitting from investment in their NMR facilities include the University of Oxford, the University of Warwick and the University of Edinburgh.