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UOA 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies

Brunel University

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

Introduction/Overview

The context for our submission is a strategic shift in the University’s vision, with the aim of becoming a research-intensive institution. Post RAE2001, as part of a 10-year Research Strategy, the University embarked on a £14 Million programme of investment in new research-led academic appointments. Over 60 new research lecturers and 30 senior professors or readers have been appointed since 2001, enhancing both the breadth and depth of Brunel’s research.

This submission to UoA12 demonstrates our maturing research culture and activity through increases in external and University research support, increasing numbers of research students and research assistants, and the improved quality of published outputs. Research active staff submitted to UoA 12 have published a total of 571 peer reviewed journal articles, 16 edited books and 73 book chapters during the PoA. We have developed a positive strategy to publish in journals of high-impact that have an international profile and readership, and/or to publish in journals that influence those most likely to implement the results of research.

During the period of assessment our revitalized research strategy first reported in our RAE2001 submissions (UoAs 11 and 14) has continued to develop and a planned program of reconstruction of the research base has increased in depth and breadth.  The University’s reorganization of its academic units in 2004 has resulted in the planned merger of medical biosciences (submitted to UoA 14 in RAE2001) into UoA 12. While there has been continuity as well as innovation in the key research groups, the synergies created by the recent merger have substantially enhanced the research culture and continue to bring fresh research-related ideas into the School.

The research-active groups have continued to build research capacity and capability by encouraging and supporting early career researchers.  A proactive staffing policy together with the formalization of active researchers into University research centres (URC) and University interdisciplinary research centres (UIRC) (see structure below) have provided focus and incentive for increased research activity, a supportive environment for the mentoring and guided development of early career researchers, and a flourishing research culture.

Over the period 2001 – 2007, UoA 12 staff have:

· Generated new external research income averaging approximately £350K per year (Total £2.4 Million), and spent a total of £3.7M in external research grants over the PoA. Current active external research income exceeds £2.2 million representing an increase in average secured annual income of approximately 30%.

· Secured 44 projects from a wide range of funding bodies (eg the EC, DoH, NHS, MRC, CRUK, BCC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, Ataxia UK, MS Society and other medical charities) through rigorous peer review processes.

· Supervised 96 post-graduate research students overall, including 45 PhDs successfully awarded during the PoA, and 38 who registered less than 3 years ago (or the part time equivalent). In addition, 18 students are undertaking the new Doctorate in Public Health degree (first graduates due 2008).

· Developed extensive and productive national and international research collaborations and networks.

Research groupings broadly follow the structure of the respective URCs and UIRCs (see table below). A major development has been the integration of clinically based research with well established research activity in the medical biosciences, primarily in cancer genetics and in cell & chromosome biology; it is a priority objective that this integration strategy should realize the enormous research potential and synergies of overlapping research interests between our medical biosciences and allied health professional staff. A new grouping derived from The School’s practitioner-led learning and teaching group (submitted to UoA 68 in RAE2001) has been developed into the Centre for Professional Practice Research, with major international collaborative links. More recently, new academic staff appointments, including senior (professorial) posts, have led to the establishment of co-ordinated research activity in human disease mechanisms. It is anticipated that, with additional appointments and internal collaborations, this research grouping will rapidly evolve into a new URC during the next PoA.

Research Centres: Staff submitted to UoA12 in RAE 2008

Centre for Research in Rehabilitation (UIRC*)

Category A     

Category B

Professor L De Souza (Director)

Professor B Andrews

Dr D Hettinga (ECR)

Dr S Tyson

J Jones

Dr C Gissane                                     

C Kilbride (ECR)

Dr P Malliaras (ECR) 

Category C

Dr I Man (ECR)

Dr S Evans

A McIntyre      

Dr A Frank

Dr C Nikopoulos

Dr J McAuley

Dr A Nowicky

S Pajak

A Pratt (ECR)

S Prior

Dr F Reynolds

Category D

Dr S Rone Adams

J Lloyd

S Stynes (ECR)

Dr B Vivat (ECR)

Professor M Gilhooly

(50% with CCHS Res)

Centre for Professional Practice Research (URC)

Category A

Category C

Dr A Atwal  (Director)

Dr M Iwama

Dr M Banning

Dr E McKay

A Blank (ECR)

Dr T Sumsion 

W Bryant

Prof A Wilcock

C Craik

Dr S Chu

Dr P Harries

Dr M Jones (50% with CCHS Res) (ECR)

K H Lim

A. Mackenzie

N Plastow (ECR)

L Sayer

S Tempest (ECR)

L Wilson

Centre for Community Health Sciences Research (UIRC)

Category A

Category B

Professor J Peacock (Director)

Prof D Marsland

Professor M Gilhooly (50% with CRR)

Dr G Barrett

Dr S Garman

Dr A Farrow

Dr M Jones (50% with CRR)

Dr L Marston (ECR)

Professor D Reidpath (75% jointly with DMII)

A Scriven

Dr S Spencer (ECR)

Brunel Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (URC)

Category A

Category B

Professor R F Newbold (Director)   

Dr Minoru Koi

Dr S-L Li

Dr P Smith

Dr C Parris     

Professor D Jones

Dr M Rand-Weaver

Dr P Slijepcevic

Dr A Harvey (ECR)

Dr M Themis

Dr M Pook (50% jointly with CCCB)

Dr S Tosi (50% jointly with CCCB)

Dr E Makarov

Centre for Cell and Chromosome Biology (URC)

Category A

Category B

Dr I R Kill (Director)  

Dr Darren Griffin

Dr R Anderson (ECR)

Dr I Dickson

Dr J M Bridger

Dr E Karteris (ECR)

Dr U Kishore (50% jointly with DMII)

Dr G Stenbeck

Dr D Tree (ECR)

Dr A Tsolaki (50% jointly with DMII)

Dr M Pook (50% jointly with BICGP)

Dr S Tosi (50% jointly with BICGP)

Disease Mechanisms: Infection & Immunity Research Group (proposed new URC)

Category A

Dr U Kishore (Head of Group) (50% jointly with CCCB)

Professor R Evans

Professor Y Gidron

Dr A Tsolaki (50% jointly with CCCB)

Professor D Reidpath (25% jointly with CCHSR)

· URC: Recognized University Research Centre; UIRC: Recognized University Interdisciplinary Research Centre (UoA12 staff only listed – further details from Centre web-sites: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/acad/health/healthres). ECR: Early Career Researcher.

Rehabilitation and physical disability research has continued to make significant contributions in the fields of neurological and musculoskeletal disability. New areas have developed that focus on the rehabilitation of function in children with autism, and in elderly people with disabilities. Research outputs have been utilized as evidence in Cochrane reviews and the National Service Framework for long-term disabilities. Findings have enhanced the knowledge and understanding of the nature of disabling conditions, the impact of disability on the quality of life of disabled people and their families, and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions and disease management programs. Innovative research in neurological disability has advanced knowledge of motor actions and behaviours, and innovative techniques using functional electrical stimulation, imaging and video have demonstrated how new technologies can be applied to the benefit of patients.

Community health science research has expanded the focus on women’s and infants’ health. Findings regarding the effects of prenatal, perinatal and environmental factors on the health and well-being of children and parents are of international importance and inform issues of wider public concern. Large cohort research studies have examined the long term health issues of pre-term infants. Research into respiratory disorders, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, has also taken a long-term perspective to chart the effects of drugs and changes in health status over time. Public health issues, such as diet, smoking and planned pregnancy have been explored and have contributed to health policy and service development nationally and internationally.

Professional practice research has shaped contemporary practice through research carried out alongside and with health practitioners, students, and service users. Through the systematic exposition of professional and lay knowledge and expertise, our findings have facilitated knowledge transfer to the practice arena, and enhanced expertise.  New tools and models that facilitate change have been tested to determine how they reflect the needs of health care professionals in clinical reality. Research focused on mental health, and involving people with enduring mental illness, has contributed to evidence-based practice through implementation of findings in mental health policy and service provision.

Cancer genetics research has led to important discoveries about the key molecular genetic events leading to the malignant transformation of human cells, in particular those changes underpinning reactivation of the cellular immortality enzyme, telomerase, in human breast and prostate cancer development. The all-important ‘master regulator’ genes that repress transcription of telomerase hTERT (the catalytic sub-unit) in normal human cells, as a central protective mechanism against cancer, have been identified and fine-mapped using functional (chromosome and gene transfer) techniques developed by the Brunel team. The function of these critical repressors (as highly gene-specific chromatin remodelling genes) has been unequivocally demonstrated by the group, as part of the EC FP6 Integrated Project, MOL CANCER MED, coordinated at Brunel. These technologies, developed at Brunel, have also been successfully deployed to identify the genes responsible for four inherited human childhood diseases in collaboration with scientists in Europe and Canada and the USA, leading to further publications in journals of the highest impact.

Cell and chromosome research has produced groundbreaking work on genome organisation in the mammalian interphase nucleus. This work has generated new insights into the spatial organisation of the genome in disease, proliferation, differentiation, ageing and following DNA damage. Major advances have been made in our understanding of the precise molecular and cellular defects operating in premature human ageing syndromes and in how DNA repair mechanisms become less effective during ageing of human cells. Important discoveries have been made in our understanding of vesicle trafficking in bone development and in demonstrating differential G-protein coupling of placental CRH receptors.

Research into molecular mechanisms of human disease is a completely new research area formed by five newly recruited (Category-A) academic staff (including two new Professors) with complementary research interests in clinical and molecular endocrinology, molecular genetics of infectious disease (eg tuberculosis), molecular immunology and neuroimmunomodulation of disease. This  research grouping which, as a result of recent appointments, is now reaching critical mass (for details, see below) will be a focus for further expansion and development, eg through promotion of collaboration with established research staff in other teams (cancer genetics, community health science) who have related but complementary interests.

Research Outputs

Major achievements during the PoA in relation to objectives set out in RAE2001

Physical Disability & Rehabilitation

· Demonstration, from randomized control trials, that early physical intervention offers better prognosis for acute low back pain than an ‘assess/advise and wait’ model of care (Spine  29, 2350-2356, 2004).

· Demonstration of the value of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) as a means to reduce swelling in the lower limbs for individuals who do not fully activate the musculo-venous pump (Med. Sci. Sports 35, 630-635, 2003).

· Demonstration of the value of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to map corticospinal connectivity to thoracic musculature in incomplete (thoracic) spinal cord injury (Spine 27, 1438-1443, 2002).

· Demonstration that meaningful lifestyle activities matter to people living with chronic physical illness, and significantly increase quality of life Disability and Rehabilitation, 25, (14), 785-794 (2003). This paper has been recognised as contributing to the corpus of research using Interpretative Phenomological Analysis (IPA) - see review by Brocki & Wearden (2006, Psychology & Health, Vol 21; 87-108)

· Evidence that quality of life is related to real-world problem solving in the elderly British Journal of Health Psychology, (www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpsoc/bjhp/pre-prints/223014 ]).

· Demonstration, from a randomised controlled trial that professionally guided self-care significantly improves aspects of quality of life and maintains independent living in the community in people with multiple sclerosis (Clinical Rehabilitation 16; 119-128, 2002). This research has contributed to a Cochrane Review (Steultjens et al.: Occupational Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis. The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2004), The Multiple Sclerosis Trust (Delivering Long-term Solutions), Multiple Sclerosis –National Clinical Guidelines for NHS Management in Primary and Secondary Care (NICE 2003) and the MS Society (Guidelines for the Management of MS).

· Demonstration, from a clinical trial, that active motion rehabilitation is superior to static splintage following extension tendon injury of the hand. This study has led to a change of practice away from static splinting in favour of an active splinting protocol (J. Hand Surg. 30B (2) 175-179, 2005).

Professional Practice

· First application ofan empirical expertise indexonoccupational therapists’ clinical judgments, usedto demonstrate the effectiveness of a training tool which has now become a freely available web-based educational resource (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 19, 441-454, 2006).

· Demonstration that group interventions with an occupational focus are considered more meaningful, beneficial and relevant to acute mental health inpatients (Australian Occupational Therapy Journal  54; 22-32, 2007)

· First evidence that integrated care pathways lead to improved outcomes for a health care trust, but not to enhancement of inter-professional relationships and communication (Scand J Caring Science 16; 360-367, 2002). (Highly cited paper).

· Identification of key factors for service users, carers, staff and managers of day and accommodation services for the mentally ill. The findings of this study have informed service development for both strategic changes and everyday working practices and the paper (Journal of Mental Health14 109-120, 2005) is cited as a source of evidence for occupational therapists by the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (54:78-9, 2007).

Community Health Sciences

· A national survey of the British public’s views on the use of medical data by the National Cancer Registry, demonstrated (BMJ 332, 1068-1072, 2006) for the first time that there exists strong support for the use, from medical records, without consent, of identifiable cancer data for public health research. This is contrary to that assumed by recent government policy, and will inform a new parliamentary Bill on cancer registration.

· Demonstration (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 163, 122-128, 2001) that long-term quality of life was significantly better in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who had received steroid therapy. This study contributed to the development of international guidelines (where the paper is cited) and to a Cochrane Review of the effectiveness of inhaled steroids in COPD (Yang, Fong, Sim et al,The Cochrane Library 2007 Issue 3).

· In a multi-centre randomized trial, demonstration of the relative efficacy of high frequency oscillating ventilation for the prevention of chronic lung disease of prematurity (New Eng. J. Med. 347, 633-642, 2002). (Highly cited).

· Discovery that prolonged use of oral contraception before a planned pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of delayed conception (Human Reprod. 17, 2754-2761, 2002). This study provided reassurance to women that they will not be disadvantaged in terms of time taken to achieve conception.

· Findings that challenged the lack of evidence behind the common assertion (supported by UNAIDS) that a social artefact (HIV related stigma) drove the HIV epidemic (PLoS Medicine 3 (10): 1708-1710, 2006).  This was the first paper to identify (a) that there was no evidence supporting this view, and (b) that there was a plausible counter argument that HIV related stigma could protect populations from the spread of HIV.

Cancer Genetics

· Functional identification of two key telomerase (hTERT) repressor genes, on normal chromosomes 3 and 11, that reinstate limited growth capacity in breast and (more recently) in prostate cancer cells in a highly tissue-specific manner (Cancer Research 61, 7594-7602 (2001) (Highly cited).

· Elucidation of mechanism of action of critical hTERT repressors as targeted modulators of chromatin structure (Cancer Res. 63, 689-695 2003). (Paper featured in national press and BBC News headlines (1-02-03; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2709151.stm ).

· Successful application of BICGP’s chromosome transfer technology to the identification of three novel human disease genes (New Engl. J. Med.  351, 2080-2086, 2004; New Engl. J. Med. accepted for publication, 2007; Cell 113, 445-456, 2003). (Highly cited).

· Identification of genes encoding human telosomal proteins Pot1 and Tank2 as sensitive biomarkers of breast cancer progression and aggressive disease (Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, published online & in press, 2007).

· Evidence that telomere elongation in severe combined immunodeficiency cells is a complex trait resulting from interactions between homologous recombination mechanisms and DNA-Protein Kinase C (Mutation Res. 578, 134-142, 2005).

· Demonstration for the first time that mammalian telomere length can be used as a marker for cellular radiosensitivity (Cancer Research 61, 912-915, 2001). Results have important implications for cancer radiotherapy. (Highly cited).

· Demonstration that DNA repair is limiting for haematopoietic stem cells during ageing (Nature 447, 686-689, 2007).

Cell & Chromosome Biology

Demonstration that:

· Proliferating laminopathy cells display a senescent-like genome organisation pattern (Aging Cell  6 139-153, 2007).

· Aging of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome fibroblasts is characterised by hyperproliferation and increased apoptosis (Experimental Gerontology, 39:717-724, 2004). (Highly cited).

· Positioning of all human chromosomes in proliferating cells may have major functional significance (Hum. Mol. Genet. 10 211-219, 2001) – Selected for Faculty of 1000 library (http://www.facultyof1000.com).

· Chromosomes with silent ribosomal genes can still associate with nucleoli (EMBO J. 20, 2867-2877, 2001). (Highly cited).

· Patent (Kill): “Medical implant comprising a biological substrate and a diamond-like carbon coating. International Application No.:    PCT/GB2005/004679. http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2006061598

· Presentation of the draft genome sequence of the red jungle fowl Gallus gallus, the first non-mammalian amniote to have its genome sequenced. (Nature. 432: 695-716, 2004). (Highly cited).

· Characterization of a novel mouse model of the GAA repeat expansion mutation-associated disease, (Genomics 88, 580-590, 2006)

Selected examples of research achievements by academic staff recently appointed to the School

· Generation of new insights into the evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that may be important in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and the epidemiology of tuberculosis worldwide, by examining differences in genome content between bacterial strains (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101, 4865-70, 2004 and J Clin Microbiol. 43, 3185-91, 2005).

· Publication of first experimental evidence for the therapeutic potential of a recombinant form of pulmonary surfactant protein D in treating lung allergy and possibly asthma (Journal of Clinical Investigation 107, 467-475, 2001). (This paper formed the foundation for subsequent research that has led to phase I and II clinical trials.)

· Demonstration, for the first time, that the three chains of the globular domain of human C1q, the recognition subcomponent of classical complement pathway, have structural and functional autonomy (Journal of Immunology 171, 812-820, 2003). This work makes possible the generation of recombinant inhibitors of complement system of considerable clinical importance.

· Demonstration that preeclampsia is associated with impaired regulation of the placental nitric oxide-cGMP pathway by CRH and CRH-related peptides. (J Clin Endocrinol & Metab 90, 3680-3687, 2005).

· Identification of a novel feedback loop system in Drosophila development (asymmetric planar cell polarity signaling). (Cell 109, 371-381,2002).

· Demonstration through multifactorial analysis, that the clinical and social risk factors for respiratory morbidity in infancy following very premature birth were male sex, oxygen dependency, having older siblings under 5 years old and living in rented accommodation. (Archives of Disease in Childhood (Fetal and neonatal edition) 90: 320-323,2006)

· Demonstration that a meaningful correlation exists between psychological factors and monocyte percentages in patients after an acute coronary syndrome. (Brain, Behavior & Immunity, 17, 310-315, 2003).

Research Environment

Rationale behind our new research structure:

During the PoA, developments in research activities have been consolidated and brought to fruition the majority of the research plans outlined in 2001.  While maintaining our long-standing strengths in Rehabilitation, Cancer Genetics and Cell & Chromosome Biology, we have significantly expanded our areas of research in Professional Practice (formerly submitted with Education colleagues to UoA 68 in 2001) and Community Health Sciences which has developed from our already strong area of ‘Health and the Environment’ research (2001; UoA11, group 2).

The Institutional restructuring into Schools, together with the creation of recognized University Research Centres (see above), has facilitated the development of new research synergies focused on cross-cutting themes interlinking areas of established expertise.  We envisage that our future research developments in health-related research will be focused within areas of major importance to science, to patients and to the professions, and policymakers; moreover, they will span the interfaces of new knowledge from laboratory bench to bedside and beyond.  Our future plan has already commenced during this period of assessment.  We have firmly established our major areas of strength in the School’s Allied Health research, and innovative cross-cutting themes will now form a natural development within our future strategy (see Future Research Strategy below).  These themes are: Aging and Health of Older People (key academic staff involved: Kill, Bridger, Gilhooly, Rone-Adams, Atwal, McIntyre); Cancer (Newbold, Parris, Harvey, Slijepcevic, Tosi, Rand-Weaver, Themis, Reynolds, Vivat, Prior, Barrett); Neurological Conditions (De Souza, Reynolds, Prior, Nowicky, Vivat, Kilbride, Pook, Themis, Gidron); Respiratory Disorders (Peacock, Spencer, Kishore, Tsolaki); Reproductive Health (Barrett, Farrow, Rand-Weaver, Scriven, Karteris).

The above rationale derives in part from a key decision by the University Council, early in the PoA, to develop the University into a research-led institution, and the associated policy decision that all full-time academic staff should conduct both research and teaching. Within the School of Health Sciences, our research-active staff now act as focus for incoming new academics and early career researchers to develop their research (see below). Simultaneously, the new URCs/UIRCs have placed both our established and future research on a firmer, better organized footing. The strategic recruitment of a large cohort of new, well-established research-active academic staff (attracted by our existing research excellence) into our medical biosciences has facilitated the development of novel areas of research activity that link exciting translational developments in molecular biology and genomics with practical efforts to improve patient care.

Research income:

External grants and contracts to support the School’s research have been maintained year-on-year throughout the PoA, with over £3.7 million spent during the period. A large proportion of awards/contracts were won in a highly competitive environment. Particularly prestigious awards include: (i) a quinquennial programme grant (£520K) from Cancer Research UK (Newbold) and a CRUK project grant (Barrett, £28K), (ii)  3 multinational (8 partners in each project) research contracts under EU Framework 5 programme (total EC support €4 million, a large Integrated Project (14 partners; value €4 million) under FP6, and a new multinational translational cancer research  project under FP7 (8 partners; value €4million) all devised and Co-ordinated within the BICGP (Newbold) (iii) two recent triennial research project grants from the Breast Cancer Campaign (£280K) (Newbold, Harvey), and one new FEC project (£375K) from the Department of Health (Anderson), (iv) triennial project grants exceeding £750K from the BBSRC and the Wellcome Trust (Griffin), awards from the AHRC (Reynolds, £15K), (vi) triennial grants from the NHS (R&D)  and the DoH (KTP) valued at £240K and £166K (DeSouza), (vii) triennial grants from the HSE (Farrow) (£84K) and the MRC (Li) (£190K). As a result of recent recruitment of new research-active staff and the implementation of a more dynamic research management strategy within the School, external research grant income won by Category A staff submitted here under UoA12 has increased substantially in the last 12-18 months of the PoA. The value of active research grants held at the end of the PoA (31 July 2007) exceeded £2.2 million which, taking into account the duration of each award, translates into an annual funding level in excess of £800K. This represents an increase of 29% over the average grant spend (£570K/annum) recorded during the period 2001/2 to 2005/6, and therefore considerable recent growth in research support and activity, including increased numbers of post-doctoral and graduate researchers, and PhD students.

Research structure:

Brunel University developments in research during the PoA

Introduction

The development of a strong and active research culture has been a priority for Brunel since 2001. Institutional infrastructure and central support has been strengthened. This includes the formation of the Brunel Graduate School which co-ordinates all postgraduate provision across the University and the expansion of the Research Support and Development Office which supports the growth of external research income and provides advice on funding and collaborations. This has resulted in research income growth from £8M in 2001/02 to £16.7M in 2006/07, an increase of 109% over the PoA.

A range of initiatives have been launched across the University during the PoA to develop further and enhance the research environment have been fully integrated within the School’s research activities and include:

· The establishment of five University Research Centres and Interdisciplinary Research Centres around coherent research themes and strengths. A new University initiative provides selective funding to URCs and UIRCs for activities to enhance the research environment. For example, the 1st Brunel Pain Symposium held by CRR on 9th July 2007 (reported in: Clinical Services Journal 6(8):43-45

· Arrangements for the mentoring of less experienced academics and Early Career Researchers (see below) and internal peer review of research applications. 17 Early Career researchers contribute to this submission.

· A new, streamlined research leave scheme to encourage the uptake of periods of study leave. Eight staff submitted to this UoA have benefited from funded research leave

Responsibility for strategic research issues at the School level rests with a designated Deputy Head of School for Research (Gidron) who chairs the School Research Committee, and represents the School on the University Research Committee. He is responsible for facilitating and enhancing research activity within the School, in line with the University’s mission.

Institutional (internal) funding streams

The Brunel Research Initiative Funds (BRIEF) are available for new researchers as pump priming awards.  They are awarded by competitive peer review across the University.  Staff submitted to UoA12 have been awarded a total of 14 BRIEF awards during the PoA.

Research study leave is awarded annually by the University in response to proposals in line with the School’s overall research activity and objectives.  Leave of absence and supporting funds are awarded on an internal competitive basis by the University Research and Enterprise Committee following peer-review of proposals. Eight staff in this submission have been awarded research study leave during the PoA

Mechanisms for promoting research, sustaining and developing a research culture, and for capacity building

The URCs and UIRCs are the main mechanism for promoting research and sustaining a vibrant research culture. Each Research Centre has a defined strategy, meets regularly and supports informal seminars by staff, postgraduate students and research associates. This is complemented by a more formal seminar programme with presentations from researchers in other research centres in the School, other researchers in the University and by visiting academics. Research grant applications are actively encouraged within the School by its Research Committee. Vigorous procedures are in place for the mentoring of early career researchers in the skills of grantsmanship, utilizing the proven grant-winning expertise of our senior staff (see Section on Research Income). In particular, transfer of established grantsmanship skills from the medical biosciences constitutes a major focus of effort in this direction.

Early career researchers, on joining the School, are attached to one of the URCs or UIRCs according to their area of research activity. Each has an experienced researcher as a mentor, and further support is provided by the Centre Directors. Their career development is planned and monitored over a three year period with yearly formal appraisal against agreed objectives, and interim informal review as appropriate. Those who are healthcare professionals have additional specific guidance and progression objectives linked to the development of their Professional Portfolios. A formal Panel convened at School level reviews the achievements of each person towards the end of the three year development period, and makes recommendations to the University concerning the consolidation of each person’s academic post.

Research students are important to maintaining and growing the research culture. They organise meetings of their own, run a PhD students’ website for exchange of information, and organise and co-ordinate their annual research students’ conference day. The 3rd Annual Conference for the School’s PhD students was held in July 2007 (a School research initiative). The students organised the programme, arranged rooming and display areas for platform presentations and posters, co-ordinated their supervisors as session Chairs, and as Introductory and Concluding speakers, and invited an independent panel of judges (professors from other Schools) to judge and award prizes (cash awards donated by the Graduate School) for “Best Platform Presentation” and “Best Poster”.  

The School has a PhD Studies Committee, chaired by the Deputy Head of School for Graduate Studies (Gilhooly), which meets once a term. Student issues are addressed and taken on to the School Research Committee, or to the Graduate School Board.

Our active PhD student programme indicates an active research culture and it has been an important and successful part of the School’s mission to build research capacity in Allied Health and related research. Our PhD graduates have gone on to work in other centres of research excellence, with some appointed to key research leadership roles, eg: S Tyson (Salford), T Sumsion (Western Ontario), E McKay (Limerick), K Meaburn (NIH, USA),  F Abbaszadeh (Institute of Cancer Research), J Wilding (Oxford),  D Dafou (UCL), J McAuley (Sydney).

Nature and quality of research infrastructure including equipment, laboratories and research student facilities

· Our new £8 million health building (opened by HM The Queen in May 2006) providing purpose-built state-of-the-art facilities for research and research-led teaching.

· The Centre for Cell and Chromosome Biology has 8 research laboratories, a tissue culture suite, one histology and two bioimaging suites, and an images analysis facility. Most of the equipment used by the centre has been obtained through past or current research awards from the BBSRC, JREI, ARC and Royal Society. Funding from the JREI has provided the Centre with three Zeiss microscope systems: a 4 channel fluorescence inverted microscope allowing time lapse and 3-D imaging of live cultures, an upright multicolour FISH system and an upright microscope dedicated to Quantitative FISH. Recently we have acquired a Nikon three-channel upright confocal microscope with facilities for Total Internal Reflectance Microscopy (TIRF).

· The research infrastructure in the area of rehabilitation includes a new Human Movement Laboratory (including two CODA kinematic machines, infra-red telemetry EMG, a Kistler force platform, a balance platform, electrogoniometers and Biopack), and a Neurophysiology Laboratory . The School’s facilities include two Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) systems and additional equipment for recording and analysing surface electromyography. The laboratory has a 30Hz repetitive TMS stimulator as well as a Bistim 200-2 which allows for the exploration of changes in excitation and inhibition within the sensorimotor cortex in a number of ongoing studies. The laboratory also accommodates Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Rowing equipment and the Brunel Active Balance Saddle (BABS) both of which are used for research in spinal cord injury patients

· The Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (BICGP) occupies approximately 630m2 of contiguous purpose-built space, and includes: (i) a DNA sequencing and gene mapping laboratory, (ii) a large fully-equipped air-conditioned 12 workstation dedicated human cancer cell culture unit, (iii) a molecular cytogenetics laboratory, bioinformatics suite and microarray laboratory, an air-conditioned quantitative PCR laboratory, and several gene cloning laboratories. Contiguous, self-contained office space for post-docs, research assistants and PhD students exceeds 80m2. Major equipment (value in excess of £2 million) located within the BICGP includes: (i) 3 multicapillary genetic analysis systems for DNA sequencing and gene mapping, (ii) ABI7900HT sequence detection system for real-time PCR, (iii) ‘WAVE’ mutation detection system, (iv) Nucleic acid spotter and scanner for microarray gene expression profiling and functional genomics, (v) 12 Class 2 biological safety cabinets and 15 associated CO2 injection incubators for cell culture, (vi) 4 high-sensitivity Zeiss/Leica microscope workstations and software for cell/chromosome imaging, and telomere imaging/length determinations, (vi) Flow cytometry laboratory, (viii) phosphorimagers and gel documentation workstations.

· New Cat 3 containment facilities (due academic year 2007-08) will facilitate research advances of new “disease mechanisms” research group. The newly refurbished adjacent laboratory (will) provide state of the art facilities for research active staff and their doctoral research students

· Complete refurbishment of our biosciences laboratories for research and teaching (completed 2005). Includes a dedicated flexible work area designated for use by people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.

· Access to BIT Lab (Brunel’s £2 million virtual reality centre, used for motion capture and animation). Purpose built Animal House equipped for maintaining transgenic and ‘knockout’ mouse strains for translational biomedical research.

· Collaborations with other Centres and clinical resources for access to patients and services for research, acquisition of tissue samples, etc, eg clinical links, ICR, CRUK, EC/EU, St Georges, Hillingdon Hospital (our “local” hospital), Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Royal Free Hospital.

· Three fully equipped PhD student suites with 24/7 access. Daily Living Suite comprising 2 kitchens, bathroom, bedroom, with all equipment provide by and sponsored by Pressilit of Denmark. The suite is a National Demonstration Centre for the Pressilit “Keep Living” programme in the UK and was opened by The Princess Royal in March 2007. It provides a core resource for the Professional Practice Research group.

· 5 enhanced PhD scholarships (2 physio, 3 OT), awarded to the best  candidates from 54 applications has allowed allied health professionals with outstanding clinical expertise and demonstrable research potential to study full time for PhDs on an enhanced bursary (£20K plus fees). 

· 2 Brunel Academic Development Programme staff (1 physiotherapist, 1 occupational therapist). This unique initiative provides allied health professionals with high level practice expertise to undertake PhD studies while contributing to research-led skills teaching in physiotherapy and occupational therapy as a full academic member of the lecturing staff.

Policy and practice in relation to research governance

Policy and practices to enhance research governance is directed at creating and developing a culture to ensure high quality research commensurate with contemporary legislation, standards of professional practice and standards of research probity expected by major research funding bodies, journal editorial boards and collaborating organisations and individuals. It involves all researchers from Principal Investigators to research students.

All research involving human subjects or human tissue is submitted to the School Ethics Committee for ethical review, and where appropriate, this EC provides advice for projects that need to proceed to the University Ethics Committee, and to NHS Research Ethics Committees. The School ensures that expert statistical advice is provided for projects using quantitative methods, and expert design advice for those using qualitative methods. Research involving animals or the transfer of animal tissue is reviewed by a separate University Committee for ethical standards, and by the University Health and Safety Committee to ensure that it complies with current HSE requirements.

Research ownership, intellectual property rights, and authorship of research outputs (BMJ 1994; 309:1456-7) are negotiated by the individuals involved in each project. Safeguarding of IPR emerging from the School’s research is pursued vigorously, where appropriate including the signing of formal agreements (including confidentiality declarations) between interested parties.

Relationships with research users (practitioners, policymakers)

· Policy and user communities at local, national and international levels form a large proportion of research in allied health and related disciplines at Brunel.  This ensures a high degree of contact and collaboration. For example, all of our research involving users of electric powered indoor-outdoor chairs (EPIOCs) has been carried out in collaboration with representatives of the local EPIOC users’ group (DeSouza; Frank; Evans).

· Projects are often designed and carried out in collaboration with funding bodies as advocates for user communities –e.g. the NHS and Department of Health; The European Commission (FP5/FP 6/FP7); Cancer Research UK; The Wellcome Trust, MS Society; Friedrich’s Ataxia Society. The EC, through their Framework projects in particular, encourage development of productive interactions with research users and ‘stakeholders’ and demand evidence of this to be set out in annexes to contracts and annual project reporting to the Commission.

· Dissemination spans academic, policy and user communities (see RA2) and include a high-volume of targeted papers and articles, and presentation of results at prestigious national and international conferences.

Industrial & key external academic collaborations

Productive research collaborations with industry and other academic centres are widespread throughout the School and have contributed substantially to our research outputs. For example:

· The Co-ordination (Newbold) during the PoA of 4 major EC collaborative projects (FP5 and FP6) in cancer research (total EC contribution: €8 million) has resulted in major international collaborative research and publications. 

· Industrial collaborations with AstraZeneca, Xenova Plc, Piramed Plc (Newbold), Bayer & Glaxo SK (Spencer), GW Pharmaceuticals (UK) & Repligen Corporation (USA) (Pook), Biocon (India – Phase I clinical trials) (Kishore) have added to our research infrastructure through the provision of external funding to support PhD students and post-doctoral scientists and to conduct collaborative translational work.

· A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project (De Souza) with the NW London NHS Hospitals Trust was the first KTP funded by the DoH via the Health Portal. This grant supports research in patients’ experiences in Accident and Emergency services, and funds the KTP Research Associate (Pajak) to undertake a PhD.

· Further significant external research collaborations are evidenced by our joint research activities with Category C researchers (see RA2 and RA5c).

Ways in which clinical or professional practice has been informed by research.

Research has contributed to Cochrane Reviews (e.g. Spencer, DeSouza), and to National Guidelines from both the statutory and voluntary sectors (see above and Esteem below). The Centre for Professional Practice Research addresses issues of direct relevance to clinical and professional practice, in particular, in the areas of mental health (e.g. Craik, Bryant, Blank), clinical reasoning (e.g. Harries, Banning) and professional development (e.g. McKenzie, Sayer, Tempest). Research outputs and researchers’ expertise have informed Professional Bodies (e.g. McIntyre, Craik), the Royal Colleges (e.g. Barrett, Gilhooly, Scriven, Reidpath), and Government (e.g. Anderson, Gilhooly)

Staffing policy:

Staffing policies underpinning School’s research plans during the PoA:

The policy since 2001 has included strategic renewal of staff at all levels through the appointment of research active staff, and professional practice staff with research potential, and the appointment of new professors as research leaders. In parallel, the School has developed the research careers of staff from within through a proactive staff development programme underpinned by regular appraisal to discuss research progress. Successful promotions from within have provided the School with new research leadership and research role models. As well as the appointments of Peacock, Reidpath, Gilhooly, Gidron and Evans as professors there have been new appointments at lecturer and senior lecturer levels, 8 of these being health practitioners early in their research careers. In addition, there have been 5 internal promotions to Reader (Li, Scriven, Rand-Weaver, Reynolds, Farrow) and 5 promotions to Senior Lecturer (Barrett, Bridger, Nowicky, Reynolds, Pook).

Staffing changes since RAE2001 and effect of these on strength of research culture:

The departure of Prof Brian Andrews during the PoA reduced our capacity at a senior level for laboratory-based neurophysiological research. However, his expertise in research with spinal injury patients in the field of neuromuscular stimulation has had a positive and beneficial effect in the School. Current researchers continue to develop skills in lab based research in spinal injury, and his expertise continues to influence our research activities through his ongoing involvement with the School as an honorary visiting professor.

Similarly, the departure of Dr D Griffin to a chair at the University of Kent in 2005 undoubtedly affected our capacity for research income generation in the area of human and animal fertility. However, this loss has been counterbalanced by the recruitment of a new Professor in biosciences (R Evans from King‘s College, London) who is ideally qualified to contribute to the new research grouping in Human Disease Mechanisms and, along with new biosciences recruits Drs Karteris, Kishore and Tsolaki, and Professor Gidron (psychoneuroimmunology of disease), will build this into a new UIRC with an international reputation, and a strong capacity for income generation, during the next quinquennium.

Future research strategy

The specific core aims of our future research strategy will be:

· To increase further the international profile of our existing research centres through the highly selective recruitment of new academic research staff of the highest calibre, increased external research grant income, and high impact original research publications.

· To firmly establish our new research groups in the areas of Human Disease Mechanisms (see above) and in Ageing (recently awarded UIRC status: Brunel Institute of Ageing Studies) as international centres of excellence.

· To develop new interdisciplinary research projects that will cross the boundaries of existing areas of research expertise, particularly those that bring together existing research strengths in health sciences with those in the biomedical sciences (e.g. in ageing, cancer, infectious disease, gene therapy, bone research) to generate genuine synergies and joint high impact results and publications.

· To improve further our research infrastructure by securing external funding from the medical charities and from HEFCE initiatives.

Main objectives and activities over the next five years:

Our research centres (URCs and UIRCs) remain at the core of our activities. However, group boundaries are likely to become more permeable as we begin to realise the benefits of cross-cutting research where appropriate. We intend to actively explore greater inter-centre collaboration through the development of research at the boundaries and interfaces of our existing expertise.

The Centre for Research in Rehabilitation will expand current research in pain rehabilitation to include selected topics of sports injury and rehabilitation, and will develop new research in the field of work/vocational rehabilitation. We will continue to expand our research into the psychosocial and cultural issues that impact the pain experience of people with spinal pain, and continue our international collaborations with the Back Pain Research Group, University of Sydney. The laboratory-based neurophysiological research will continue to explore FES as a rehabilitation technique, investigate the potential therapeutic applications of transcranial direct current stimulation, and will develop new research into central fatigue and the perception of effort. Research into clinical interventions will expand to further research the management of multiple sclerosis in the fields of palliative care, lay carers’ health and quality of life, and the experiences of people with very severe disabilities. New research will be undertaken into the physiotherapeutic treatment of ataxia, and the problems experienced by people with ataxia in everyday life (in collaboration with national charity Ataxia UK). Inter-centre collaborations will be developed in the broad field of ageing research with the new UIRC, The Brunel Institute of Ageing Studies, and further collaborations explored in the area of cancer and gene therapy. A new project examining decision making by managers and professionals in health, social care, banking and asset management focussed on detecting and preventing financial abuse of older adults will commence in early 2008 with a new grant to Prof Gilhooly from New Dynamics of Ageing Programme (over £300K)

We plan a third round of major strategic expansion of cancer genetics research within the BICGP during the next PoA, with a major focus on translational research aimed at converting promising anti-cancer targets and malignancy biomarkers, identified by the Brunel team over the past five years, into novel drug leads and diagnostic tests (focusing on breast and prostate cancers). Further multinational EC Framework projects (FP7 and beyond) will be initiated and coordinated from within the BICGP to facilitate these goals. A major multinational FP7 project, initiated & coordinated within the BICGP, had been fully funded (3M Euros EC contribution) at the RAE census date. Additional major funding will be sought from the cancer charities (e.g. renewal of quinquennial programme grants from CRUK, and triennial grants from the Breast Cancer Campaign the Association for International Cancer Research and prostate cancer charities). Increasing levels of external support will be sought from industrial sources to speed cancer drug development programmes. Applications of other major discoveries by BICGP scientists will also be exploited. For example, our work identifying gene sequences responsible for severe radiation hypersensitivity in cancer patients (Parris, Slijepcevic) will be expanded to produce simple molecular screening tests that can predict patient response to radiotherapy; recent productive work to understand the role of telomeres in DNA repair and radiosensitivity will complement these approaches. Young academics that have recently joined the Institute have already begun to raise significant external funding to support their research (e.g. a triennial project grant for work in cellular growth control pathways disrupted in breast cancer from the BCC to Harvey) and special attention will be devoted by experienced BICGP researchers to providing the necessary infrastructure for this new work to flourish within the Institute.

The central aim of the Centre for Cell and Chromosome Biology will be to extend its influence as an internationally-recognized centre for excellence in cell and chromosome biology research. To this end, the CCCB will strengthen its focus on fundamental aspects of cell and chromosome structure and function with particular emphasis on translational research applicable to human health. Growth of research activity will be supported through increased competition for substantive funding from external sources, including the BBSRC, MRC, ARC, Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health (in addition to charities such as Research into Ageing). New collaborative projects between members of the Centre, with an emphasis on the incorporation of early career staff, will be developed (e.g. focusing on wnt signalling in wound repair; genome organisation and on DNA damage; & regulation of osteoblast proliferation during bone remodelling). New projects will be initiated between the CCCB and the Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (in premature ageing and telomere biology), between the CCCB and Institute for the Environment (fish models for ageing Research). In addition, members of the CCCB will lead new interdisciplinary groups in ageing research and disease mechanisms. The volume of “third leg” funding will be increased through promotion of commercial activities and SME involvement.

Members of the Centre for Professional Practice Research will expand investigations into research embedded teaching at both under and post graduate levels within the university.  The Centre will actively develop new areas of research interest and collaborative work with other URCs/UIRCs. Active links are already in existence with NHS Trusts (West London Mental Health Trust (MHT), South West London and St George’s MHT, Central and North West London MHT and Hounslow PCT). In keeping with its early stage of development, the Centre for Professional Practice Research has a modest record of gaining external consultancy and research grants. CPPP will build on this foundation, and seek further research funding with existing partners. Future research plans include investigations into the experiences of people with mental health problems of Occupational Therapy services on entering and re-entering work;  investigating the utility of the Kawa River Model of Occupational Therapy for mental health services users in a UK multicultural setting;  investigating people with mental health problems using day services through Participatory Action Research in order to facilitate service users’ involvement in the delivery and organisation of their mental health services. The Centre members share areas of research interest withthe Centre for Research in Rehabilitation, and Brunel’s Social Work (UoA 40) Centres for Citizen Participation and for Child Focused Research and will actively develop new interdisciplinary research in the future.

The Centre for Community Health Sciences is a cohesive group of researchers who work collaboratively internally and externally with UK and overseas Universities, international bodies and commercial companies. In the coming 3-5 years, CCHS will strengthen its portfolio of research in maternal and child health, child and adult respiratory health, and health in older people. The focus of activity will be on several fronts. Prof Peacock will determine the later respiratory and developmental consequences of extreme prematurity and effects of early type of ventilation in the unique UKOS cohort, comparing their outcome with otherwise similar children who were born at full-term. Dr Barrett will further her collaborations with international researchers who are using her measure of unplanned pregnancy, and will develop a prospective measure of pregnancy intention in non-pregnant women. Dr Spencer will determine novel ways to utilise Rasch analysis in the development of outcome measures in respiratory health and in other conditions such as incontinence. Professor Reidpath will expand his research into the effects of the social, cultural and environmental context on health, both nationally and internationally, with a focus on developing countries. Professor Gilhooly will develop further her well-publicized research into human ageing, gathering unique data on loneliness and social support in older people.

Future recruitment plans and infrastructure changes required to achieve these objectives

The School’s recruitment plans are shaped by its present URCs and UIRCs and future URC developments (see above). The aim continues to be to expand the research activity in each URC/UIRC by future recruitment directed to either strengthening existing research specialisms or investing strategically in new fields related to our proposed cross-cutting themes. 

We will continue to recruit senior staff with substantial research records who are attracted to and underpin our research culture, and who will provide research leadership in the School. We shall also continue to recruit early career researchers of outstanding promise, with the aim of underpinning long term objectives and providing the next generation of internationally recognised researchers in medical biology, health-related research and subjects allied to medicine. In doing so, we seek evidence of research potential of the highest quality.

Most of the infrastructure for our health-related research is already provided in our new purpose-built health building. However, future new development is planned to enhance our facilities further. For example, the human physiological laboratories will be upgraded to include new equipment in line with advances in TMS and surface EMG technology. The “Keep Living” (Activities of Daily Living, ADL) Suite will be regularly refurbished to ensure that the facility remains in the forefront of new developments in design for people with disabilities. A five-year contract with our commercial partners, Pressilit of Denmark Ltd, ensures future planned developments of the ADL Suite. A new research and teaching laboratory is planned with space earmarked and initial plans developed for an IT/media-based facility for proposed new developments in vocational/work rehabilitation.

In order to keep abreast of the rapidly changing technological advances in medical biology and health-related research, a programme of infrastructural changes are planned. The areas housing medical biology, including the wet laboratories, will undergo a full stock upgrade in 2008. A new category 3 containment facility with a fully refurbished adjacent research laboratory will be developed to support our growing new research group in Human Disease Mechanisms. All of these improvements have been designed to help meet the School’s future core research objective, namely to expand radically the generation of novel interdisciplinary research that has immediate translational applications for the benefit of patients.

Evidence of esteem: Category A staff

Centre for Research in Rehabilitation

LH DeSouza: Invited Keynotes­ –The MS Professional Network Annual Conference, Stirling (2004); Therapists in MS Conference, The Royal College of Physicians, London (2006); Research on multiple sclerosis (Clinical Rehab 16:119-28) used as evidence to inform the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) Guidelines for MS Management, the MS Society’s Guidelines for MS Care and the National Service Framework (NSF) for Long-term Conditions; Member of the Care Advisory Panel of the Motor Neurone Disease Association; Advisor and reviewer to the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand; Associate Editor and member of the editorial board for Physiotherapy Research International. Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. B Vivat (ECR): Co-ordinator and lead investigator on a project to develop a spiritual wellbeing questionnaire on behalf of the Quality of Life Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer,with international collaborators (9 Countries). C Kilbride (ECR): (2005) PhD research wonanational award from Health Service Journal for Clinical Service Redesign; Peer reviewer for the National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke published by the Royal College of Physicians. M Gilhooly: Elected Academician of The Academy for the Social Sciences (2005); President of the British Society of Gerontology (2000-04); Council Member of The International Association of Gerontology (2000-04); Member of the Advisory Committee, Ageing Programme, NHS Health Scotland (2006-onwards); Invited Keynote: Transport and Quality of Life in Old Age, University of Braunschweig, Institute fur Psychologie, Germany (2006); Invited Keynote: Meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow (2006); Invited Keynote: Conference of the European Commission Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Seville (2007). Member of the invited panel for the third ESRC Annual Debate on Ageing Britain Glasgow, (2006). Member of the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and The Journal of GeroBilim (the journal of the National Association of Social and Applied Gerontology of Turkey). A McIntyre: Manager for the commissioned project “Guidance for the Use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the Ottawa Charter for the Promotion of Health in Occupational Therapy” for the College of Occupational Therapists (report published by COT, 2004); Invited member of an international research project team for the World Federation of Occupational Therapists for “Evidence about the ICF for Occupational Therapists Worldwide” (2007-2010).  P Malliaras (ECR): Awarded ASICS “Best Paper-Lower Limb” at the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, Melbourne, (2005). A Pratt (ECR): Invited Speaker: The International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy, Edinburgh, (2004).

Centre for Professional Practice Research

A Atwal: Member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. C Craik: Chair, Resource Management Board College of Occupational Therapists (COT) (2001); Member of the Executive Management Group COT (2001);Member of COT Council (2001); Member of the Health Professions Council/ QAA Standards of Proficiency working group (2004); Member of the Editorial Board Special Issue “Occupational Therapy in Health Care” (2004);Member of the Editorial Board “British Journal of Occupational Therapy” (from 2007); P Harries: Member of the Editorial Committee of “Mental Health in Occupational Therapy”. K-H Lim: Vice Chair of The Association of Occupational Therapists in Mental Health (2003-5); Member of the Editorial Committee of “Mental Health in Occupational Therapy” (2002-05); Chair of Special Symposium “Global Occupational Therapy: Asian Perspectives, Challenges and Contributions” at the 4th Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress, Hong Kong, (2007). W Bryant (ECR): Invited keynote speaker and invited workshop leader at the COT National Conference, London (2005).

Centre for Community Health Sciences Research (UIRC):

G Barrett: Invited speaker at the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London (2001); member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s expert panel on contraception and contraceptive use (2005-present). Member of a funding panel for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2005); Member: Joseph Rowntree Foundation advisory group on intentional teenage pregnancy (2004). A Scriven: Invited speaker for the following: University of Szeged, Hungary (2005);  RoSPA’s Occupational Safety and Health at Work Congress, Birmingham, (2005); University of Magdeburg (2004); Member: RSPH e-forum group developing the advisory document for the DoH on Health Trainers; Invited chair, Shaping the Future of Public Health: Promoting Health in the NHS, Staffordshire University (2006). S Spencer: Invited speaker - Cardiothoracic Society mini-conference (2004); Contributed to the development of international guidelines for COPD (www.goldcopd.com) included in a Cochrane Review (Yang, Fong, Sim et al, The Cochrane Library 2007 Issue 3). D Reidpath: Honorary Academician of the Royal Society of Health (awarded July 2007); Director, Victorian Public Health Research and Education Council (2004); Editor of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness (2006-onwards); Invited Keynote: The IS Academy Expert Meeting on HIV/AIDS, at the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, (2006). J Peacock: Member of Council, the Royal Statistical Society; Member of the Editorial Board “Statistical Methods in Medical Research” Honorary Member of the Royal College of Radiologists; Invited Member of the Steering Committee of the HTA funded “PITCH” Trial (2004-07); Invited Chair of the data monitoring group for the HTA funded “SNAP” Trial (2006 onwards); Visiting Professor, Community and Family Medicine, at Dartmouth Medical School, USA.

Brunel Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics

R F Newbold: Editorial Board: International journal of Cancer; Trustee, Hillingdon Hospital Postgraduate Research Centre (to 2004); Entry in Debrett’s People of Today (since 1996); Marquis (USA) Who’s Who in Medicine, Science & Technology, the World; International Union Against Cancer (UICC-WHO) UICC Fellowship Advisory Board member (since 2003); Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Oncostem Therapeutics, a Madrid-based biotechnology company; Expert Review Panel Member, European Commission Framework 7, Cancer (2007-); M Pook: Invited speaker: International Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Conference, NIH, Bethesda, USA (2003); 4th International Conference on Unstable Microsatellite Repeats and Human Disease, Banff, Canada (2004); International Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Conference, NIH, Bethesda, (2006); M Rand-Weaver: Member of an international review panel of distinguished experts for the Norwegian Research Council (2007). A Harvey (ECR): Member of Scientific Advisory Board for the Breast Cancer Campaign (2007); E Makarov: Invited speaker, 77th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Biochemical Society, Yokohama (2004); M. Themis: Research included in HSE recommendations in the 2004 SACGM Information Notice; Member of the American Society for Gene Therapy Musculo-Skeletal Disorder Committee (2004-2007); Founder and Associate member of the British Society for Gene Therapy; Invited speaker at more than 15 major international conferences, including: The 3rd Stem Cell, Clonality and Genotoxicity Retreat, Florida, (2006); The 4th-9th Annual Meetings of The American Society for Gene Therapy, Baltimore, (2001-05); 12th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Gene Therapy, Germany (2005).

Centre for Cell & Chromosome Biology

R Anderson (ECR): Expert witness for Parliamentary Inquiry 'Nuclear Test Veterans' at Palace of Westminster (2007); Invited speaker at American Statistical Association Conference on Radiation and Health, Monterey (2006). J Bridger: Member of Editorial Board, Chromosome Research; Guest Editor: Chro Res, Cytogenetic Genome Res, Chromosoma; Member of the International Chromosome Conference Standing Committee; Invited speaker at the following: FEBS Conference (2007); Gordon Research Conference “Plasmid and Chromosome Dynamics”, USA (2001); The 14th International Chromosome Conference, Wurzburg (2001, awarded prize for oral presentation); Organiser, 15th International Chromosome Conference (2004), Brunel University. E Karteris: Invited speaker, European Federation of Endocrine Societies Conference, presented with the European Young Investigator Award (2006). I Kill: Invited speaker at the following: Royal Institution Friday Evening Discourse: “Ageing: new answers to old questions” (2002); American Ageing Association Conference, Boston (2006); 5th European Congress of Biogerontology, Istanbul (2006). TV appearance, Korean Broadcasting Service documentary on Ageing, (2006); Member of Executive Committee, British Society for Research on Ageing. Member of Scientific Review Panel, RAFT, Mt. Vernon Hospital. U Kishore: Editorial Board: Eurekah Bioscience and Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry; Managing editor: Frontiers in Bioscience. G Stenbeck: Invited member of the MRC College of Experts (since 2004); Invited speaker, Second Joint European Calcified Tissue Society and International Bone and Mineral Society Meeting, Geneva (2005). A Tsolaki: Invited speaker, International Society for Infectious Diseases, Lisbon (2006).

Human Disease Mechanisms: Infection and Immunity Research Group

Y Gidron: Member of the Editorial Board of “Anxiety, Stress and Coping”; Invited presentations: World Congress on Advances in Oncology, Greece 2005. R Evans: Chair (2003-5) and Vice Chair (2001-3), Inorganic Biochemistry Discussion Group (a Special Interest group of the Royal Society of Chemistry). Invited presentations: 5th International Conference on Lactoferrin, Banff, Canada (2001); 3rd International Symposium on Biometals, London (2002); 15th International Conference of Oral Chelation, Taiwan, 2005.