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UOA 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies

University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

Introduction

The Cardiff School of Health Sciences was formed in August 2006 through the merger of Applied Sciences with Health and Social Science. In RAE2001 the School of Applied Sciences made submissions in UoA11, Allied Health Professions and U0A16, Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science. The UoA11 submission was exclusively Biomedical Sciences while UoA16 was dominated by food safety research. The School of Health and Social Science made no submission to RAE2001 although Health Psychology was recognised within the School as a developing research area and flagged as such in RAE 1996.

 

The School’s current position results from strategic investment in research in Biomedical Sciences, Food Safety, Nutrition and Health and Health Psychology with an emphasis on fostering a research culture within which our postgraduate research community can flourish. Strategic professorial appointments have provided academic leadership (Erusalimsky, Griffith, Jones, Karani O’Leary, Tatham & Peters) whilst Readerships have been awarded to Alwyn, Cooper, Fielding, Morris & Watt.

 

The research strategy for the new school was geared by the need to foster an inclusive school-wide research culture and facilitate interdisciplinary research. Fundamental to this strategy was the alignment of food research with health-specific issues, focusing on strategies to reduce incidence of food poisoning through understanding the behaviour of food handlers, consumer food safety attitudes, management of the food production environment and the role of probiotics in health. The appointment of Tatham, Professor of Food Science and Nutrition in November 2005 underpinned this approach providing a conduit to expand interdisciplinary research in this area.

 

Research Students and Research Studentships

Research students including research assistants undertaking research at Doctoral or Masters level, are fundamental to the research culture in the School. All postgraduate research (PGR) students have either 2 or 3 supervisors drawn in the main from internal staff, with external supervision where indicated. All our research students have individually appointed external examiners. A number of funding streams have been used to support PGR student activity, the most significant of which are:
- The use of Higher Education Council for Wales research funding to establish School research studentships which support a stipend, tuition fees and bench fees over three years. Nine PhD studentships have been created, 3 of which have completed, 1 has submitted and 5 are current.
- University-wide centrally administrated, competitive bursaries that cover tuition fees and a full stipend. We have been awarded 3 full PhD studentships through this scheme, 1 in each of the last three academic years. The School provides bench fees for these students at up to £12,000 per annum, dependent on the nature of the research being undertaken.
- Staff development to encourage staff, both academic and technical, to enrol on PGR degrees. During the RAE period 2 academic staff in Biomedical Sciences have been awarded PhDs, while 2 technicians were awarded research masters (MPhils). We have 5 academic staff and 1 technician enrolled on PhD programmes for which we provide supervisory support and a bench fee.
- Externally funded research assistants are encouraged to register on PGR programmes. In these cases tuition fees are waived. Competitive research grants from the Department of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Food Standards Agency (FSA), British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and European Wound Management Association have resulted in 7 PhD and 2 MPhil students.
- The University International Office has contributed to a successful strategy for attracting international students with government-funded studentships from Libya, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We also attract self-financing international students and have 1 Aga Khan Scholarship student.
- The Welsh Office Research and Development funded Research Capacity Building Collaboration in Allied Health Studies has provided funding for 2 PhD students amounting to £90,000. These are practice-based studentships awarded to Health Profession Council registered practitioners.
- Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) schemes have provided an opportunity for associates to engage with applied research and enrol on an appropriate Research Degree including 3 at PhD level and 7 at MPhil. The School has provided continuation funding to allow a KTP Associate enrolled on a PhD programme to widen his research beyond the remit of the original KTP scheme.
- Cancer Research Wales provided a £40,000 studentship from 2000-2003.

 

Biomedical Sciences have had 13 PhD and 3 MPhil completions since 2001 with a total headcount of 19 full-time (FT) and 7 part-time (PT) students. International student recruitment is good with 9 FT and 1 PT candidate 6 of whom are female. Seven of the international students were funded by their Government with 3 being self funded. In 2007 the Welsh Assembly Government funded a Welsh Medium PhD studentship.

 

Food Safety, Nutrition & Health have had 10 PhD and 2 MPhil completions since 2001 with a total headcount of 19 FT and 18 PT candidates. Funding for FT candidates includes competitive peer-reviewed project grants from the FSA.

 

Health Psychology has had 2 PhD and 2 MPhil completions since 2001. Since the inception of Cardiff School of Health Sciences we have supported PGR enrolments with 2 full studentships paying fees, stipend and bench fee. Currently the research group has 1 MPhil and 8 PhD students.

 

Research Income

Research income has been sourced principally through FSA project grants and KTPs with the food and biotechnology industries. We have growing support from research charities and industry.

 

Food Standards Agency (FSA)
The School has had significant levels of funding from the FSA with 12 projects awarded during the census period on a competitive basis.

 

Four Food Standards Agency projects running at the beginning of the census period demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of our food safety research and the unique approach we have taken to understanding consumer behaviour, risk assessment and education. We have worked in collaboration with other research groups where such collaboration has strengthened the bid. All 4 projects ran simultaneously providing evidence of the importance the FSA places on research into consumer food safety and the role people play in ensuring safe food.
"An evaluation of food handlers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about food safety and its interpretation using social cognition models, 1998-2001", £120,540 (Griffith, Peters, collaboration with Professor Price, Cardiff University)
"Assessing and reducing the risk of cross contamination of food stuffs in food handling environments", 1999-2002, £104,473 (Griffith, Peters, Fielding)
"Determining exposure assessment and modelling risks associated with the preparation of poultry products in institutional catering at the home", 1999-2002, £122,695 (Griffith, Peters, collaboration with Dr Tennant, Chemical Risk Modelling)
"The evaluation and application of information on consumer hazard and risk to food safety education", 1999-2001 (Griffith, Peters, collaboration with Professor Humphrey, PHLS Exeter)

 

Following earlier MAFF funded work where we argued that proper evaluation of food safety initiatives were an essential component in strategy development we were successful in obtaining four FSA project grants in this area.
"Evaluation of the butchers licensing initiative in England", 2002-2003, £59,430 (Griffith, Collaboration with the Food Advisory Service)
"Evaluation of ADAS on-farm pasteurisation project", 2002-2003, £30,000 (Griffith)
"An assessment of the effectiveness of a food safety management pack (Safer Food Better Business), adapted for use in fish and chip shops",  (Griffith, Worsfold)
"Evaluation of consumer food safety education initiatives in the UK and determination of effective strategies for food safety risk communication", 2004-2005, £199,612 (Griffith, Redmond)

 

We have also obtained FSA funding to develop strategies to assist small and medium sized enterprises understand food hazards and their control and then to evaluate the resource in SME manufacturers.
"Technical Knowledge of Food Processes, 2002-2003", £142,000 (Fielding, Peters in collaboration with Leatherhead Food International)
"Hazard Analysis for SMEs, 2004-2005", £56,079 (Fielding, Peters, Clayton & Morris)

 

We have also conducted a review of food safety & irradiation with particular emphasis on consumer safety
"Safety of irradiated food", 2005-2007, £20,379 (Fielding)

 

Evidence of the sustainability of FSA funding is manifested by existing funding running to 2009 while 3 applications are currently under review.
"An Investigation into the attitudes and behaviours of consumers and care-givers in the preparation, handling, storage and feeding of powdered infant formula inside and outside the home", 2007-2009, £210,000 (Griffith, Redmond, Collaboration with Wageningen University and Cardiff University)

 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)
Our success in attracting Teaching Company Schemes and KTPs with the food industry and biotechnology industry has provided a significant vehicle for innovative applied research in food safety, new product development and manufacturing competitiveness. We have had a total of 25 such schemes with industrial partners from across the UK. The partnerships have enabled 5 associates to enrol on MPhil programmes and 3 on PhD programmes and resulted in several research outputs (Peters, Griffith, Fielding).

 

One partnership demonstrates long-term support for applied research. The Automatic Vending Association has supported applied research in the School since 1997. A Teaching Company Scheme was awarded from 2001-2003 and a second KTP from 2004-2007.

 

Medical Research Council
Socio-economic status, psychosocial stress and cellular ageing (Erusalimsky jointly with Prof A. Steptoe and Prof Sir M. Marmot of University College London)
Award: £212,772 over three years starting 1 July 2007 (UWIC allocation is £83,766)

 

Research Charities
Wellcome Trust
The potential for tryptophan metabolites as natural alcohol aversion therapy 2007-2008, £80,000 (Badawy)

 

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
The effect of honey on growth and cell division in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), 2006-2007, £29,000 (Cooper)

 

UK Council for Alcohol Research
Promoting safe and sensible attitudes to alcohol in children and their families Phase I £36,000, Phase II £40,833. Collaboration with University of Wales, College of Medicine and University of Glamorgan (Alwyn)

 

Collaborations with NHS Trusts
North Glamorgan NHS Trust, Does appropriate management of children at high risk of developing asthma reduce the risk of chronic disease in adults with asthma? £58.660, 2006-2008 (Jones).

 

Industry Funding
The applied nature of research in the school is reflected in our funding from industry. We have had a large number of small research contracts from industry and significant funding from funding from a leading pharmaceutical company. 

Shire Pharmaceuticals
Erusalimsky
has been funded continually since 2002 transferring the contract to UWIC on appointment. Total funding of £658,632 with £474,331 for the current project: Anagrelide, a tool to uncover the mechanisms of megakaryocyte development, 2005-2008

 

Research Structure 

The School has a Director of Research (0.5 FTE post) supported by a full time Research Administrator and a Graduate Studies coordinator (0.3 FTE academic appointment). The School is supported centrally by Research and Enterprise Services providing support for project management and postgraduate students.

 

The School has strategically planned research groups within recognised research centres that are centrally approved and produce annual business plans to ensure sustainability. The institution has in place a Management Board structure for centres that have direct staffing costs to strengthen financial planning and management.

 

Centre for Biomedical Sciences
Research in this Centre focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of disease, its prevention and the development of associated therapies. Researchers are identified with four interacting groups. Collaboration between groups is primarily manifested through research degree supervisory teams. In addition the Centre has a number of intramural and extramural collaborations, most notable among the former is a long standing partnership with scientists undertaking food related research (see below).

 

Cellular Senescence and Vascular Biology Group
The group, led by Prof J. Erusalimsky, has been engaged in a major programme of research exploring the mechanisms that underlie the relationship between ageing and cardiovascular disease. Seminal work carried out under Erusalimsky’s leadership includes (1) the demonstration that senescent cells become engorged with numerous lysosomes, a finding which provides a rational basis for the identification of senescent cells using the histochemical marker commonly known as senescence-associated β-galactosidase and (2) the discovery that senescent cells accumulate in the blood vessel wall during neointima formation after experimental angioplasty (this latter  work was the first to show the occurrence of vascular cell senescence in vivo). Currently work on senescence examines why senescent cells accumulate in arteries, what are the mechanisms that underlie the emergence of these cells, what are the functional changes that they undergo and how these changes contribute to the development and progression of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
Erusalimsky’s
work on vascular cell senescence has been increasingly recognised at international level with invitations to write reviews on the subject and to lecture at international conferences (e.g. IXth World Conference on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, July 2008, Quebec; Canada; see also measures of esteem).
In a related area of research Erusalimsky has been studying the process of megakaryocyte development using a technique to grow these cells ex-vivo from blood stem cells. An important contribution was the finding that anagrelide, a drug used in the treatment of Essential Thrombocythemia, interferes specifically with megakaryocyte growth without affecting the development of other blood cell types.

Erusalimsky
is currently investigating how anagrelide works at the molecular level and in doing so hopes to gain a better understanding of the process of megakaryocyte and platelet development.
The group currently comprises five members, including two post-doctoral fellows and one PhD student. An important objective of the group has been the training of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. The aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of the molecular basis of normal physiology, pathogenic mechanisms, and of novel methods for investigation and therapy. Within this remit the group also aims to equip researchers with tools to translate scientific advances within cell and molecular biology into clinical medicine.

Erusalimsky
has a number of research collaborations. His work with Prof S. Moncada from the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at UCL, has led to the formulation of a novel paradigm proposing that the interaction of nitric oxide with the mitochondrial electron transport chain gives rise to intracellular signals that activate cytoprotective responses. A long standing collaboration with Prof. A Steptoe from Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health of UCL has led to the award of an MRC grant which will enable the two Institutions to jointly investigate the links between social inequalities, life stress and cellular ageing.
Erusalimsky
has published more than sixty peer reviewed publications and his work has received sustained and generous support from the British Heart Foundation and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

 

Immunology Research Group
The group, led by Professor Jones, has interests in both innate and adaptive immune responses across a wide range of clinical applications. This is both in applied and basic research. The group focuses primarily on pulmonary immunology and is involved in investigating T-cell drive in interstitial lung disease and the regulation of innate immune responses in the lung by surfactant phospholipids. A long term collaboration with a consultant respiratory physician, Professor Brian Davies has resulted in funding from a charitable trust, numerous outputs and a funded MD student (registered with Cambridge University).

This respiratory focus is also emphasised with continuing research in collaboration with industry in relation to the sensitisation of workers involved in waste treatment, where exposure to bioaerosols presents a serious respiratory occupational health hazard.
Research by Jones and Rolf has also examined the impact of asthma and allergy on long term health and wellbeing, working with epidemiologists and medical practitioners in a long term study of a cohort of patients in South Wales. The impact of exercise on innate and adaptive immune responses is being studied in collaboration with the Sports Physiology Group in the Cardiff School of Sport. Rey-Nores in collaboration with University of Cardiff has researched the role of Toll-like Receptors in innate immune responses and the regulation of their expression to elucidate maturation of monocytes.
Recent research from the group has generated several high impact publications, numerous presentations at international meetings, successful funding applications and significant and expanding applied research funding from industry examining respiratory health risks across a wide range of industrial processes including waste processing, metal working and baking industries, the latter in collaboration with Tatham (Food Research Group).

 

Diabetes Research Group
Research, led by Dr Thomas, has focussed on the mechanisms involved in regulating the inflammatory response and its amelioration in Type 2 Diabetes. This research has examined the role of pharmacological PPAR –gamma ligands such as Rosiglitazone in the treatment of diabetes and the cellular and molecular mechanisms of its action, including the role of these drugs in cytokine secretion, calcium signalling and on the expression of the receptor for Advanced Glycated End-Products. This group is also investigating the impact of natural dietary PPAR-gamma ligands, namely conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) present in meat and dairy products on the regulation of inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes.  Morris is involved in a clinical study with Cardiff University investigating the effect of certain isomers of CLA in regulating endothelial and inflammatory response in subjects with metabolic syndrome - a precursor of Type 2 Diabetes. More recent studies by Morris and Thomas have demonstrated that moderate exercise can regulate PPAR-gamma and hence regulate the inflammatory response in both normal subjects and those with Type 2 Diabetes. These studies have also uncovered a novel mechanism for the beneficial effects of exercise in regulating inflammation. These studies are being extended in conjunction with clinicians at Cardiff University to determine the role of CLA in preventing the progression of metabolic syndrome to Type 2 Diabetes. The group has received funding from charitable trusts managed by the NHS, support from commercial companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline and Welsh Assembly Government funding in the form of a scholarship for a PhD studentship to undertake research with a particular interest to diseases affecting Wales.

 

Microbiology & Infection Research Group
Research activities of the group, led by Dr Rose Cooper, revolve around wound infections with particular focus on the control and prevention of infection. In particular, the role of topical antimicrobial agents such as silver, iodine and honey in the treatment of chronic and/or localised wound infections have been studied and have led to the publication of three reviews of clinical and laboratory evidence, plus several applied research projects for industry. Membership of expert advisory boards of companies marketing antimicrobial wound dressings provides evidence of external recognition. Research on wound healing has had a direct impact on the 2005 and 2006 Position Documents of the European Wound Management Association, for which Cooper was Consultant Editor. These were published in English and translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese. Collaboration between staff within UWIC (Cooper & Peters, Food Safety Research) has led to the supervision of postgraduate projects on biofilm (one significant cause of wound chronicity) and the role of honey in controlling biofilm. On-going projects concerning biofilm have been commissioned by industry. Another internal collaboration (Cooper and Griffith, Food Safety Research) has developed approaches that have been utilised in the food industry for limiting microbial contamination of food products to situations in hospitals.  The role of hospital environmental surfaces in the transmission of infection has been investigated; to date seven papers in peer-reviewed journals have been published and innovative ways of evaluating cross-infection risks are being developed based on notational analysis and computer modelling.
Research has been supported by grants from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, European Wound Management Association and several pharmaceutical companies. Collaborations exist with the University of Waikato and the University of Southampton. Research has been done for University of Limoges and an exchange with staff at the University of Santiago in Chile is planned

 

Food Research and Consultancy Unit
Directed by Professor Chris Griffith the unit provides applied research and knowledge and technology transfer. In addition to the research group the unit is home to the Food Industry Centre, providing a vehicle for knowledge transfer and technical support to the food industry. The centre is part of the Welsh Assembly Government funded Food Network Wales and has a permanent Director, administrator and training officer. Research has had considerable funding from the FSA and through KTPs

 

Food Safety, Nutrition and Health Research Group
Food Safety research, Led by Professors Griffith and Peters has three interrelated components.

Consumer food safety behaviour and education: Griffith and Redmond are acknowledged leaders in the field and their research has influenced policy in the UK and across the globe including New Zealand, the US and Europe. The research has been interdisciplinary and collaborative, involving consumer science, food microbiology, quantitative and qualitative risk assessment, public health, psychology and social science. The group developed the use of notational analysis, as used in sports performance analysis, to record and analyse food safety behaviour.  Clayton, an early career academic, has made a significant contribution to understanding the psychology of food handler behaviour and is working with Griffith on organisational culture relating to food safety.

Food Safety Management systems: Peters & Griffith have undertaken research in the area since 1995 funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Early research has influenced the development of intervention strategies by the Food Standards Agency and Griffith, Fielding, Peters & Worsfold have undertaken research to develop and evaluate interventions for engaging Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the manufacturing, catering and retail sectors and the role of training in food safety control. KTPs have facilitated applied research implementing and evaluating food safety management systems.

Decontamination and cleaning in the food industry: Led by Griffith, research has centred on the assessment of cleaning and the role of novel biocides in decontamination of both the food production environment and foods. The application of risk assessment techniques to cross contamination events and the use of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) as a tool to monitor cleaning in the food industry has been transferred to the health care environment. Griffith, working in collaboration with Cooper (Microbiology and Infection Group) first proposed the use of HACCP in a clinical environment to control hospital infection and the group have published widely and are an authority on hospital cleaning. Fielding has undertaken industry funded research on the use of ozone in decontamination of soft fruits, food plant and to clean equipment used in drinks dispensers. Peters has led research on the development and control of biofilm in the food industry and, through research with the Automatic Vending Association biofilm in vending machines and water dispensers. This work has also crossed disciplines with Peters and Cooper supervising PhD research on biofilm in infected wounds.

Nutrition and Health Research: Led by Professor Tatham focuses on food allergens and intolerances. This encompasses both basic and applied research. The effects of processing and the food matrix on the stability and allergenicity of food allergens is being undertaken in collaboration with industry (nut processors, ‘free-from’ and gluten free foods) by a research assistant and, in part, a KTP associate. In collaboration with Griffith and Fielding the effects of ozone and open air factors on the decontamination of food premises for both microbiological agents and allergens are being assessed by a PhD student.  This builds on the strength of Griffith’s research by elucidating the mechanisms by which these agents act. Tatham is also collaborating with Jones (Immunology research) on a project examining the effect of wheat flour allergen exposure on the respiratory health of bakery workers.
In addition, Kanekanian, Tatham and Peters are investigating the role of bioactive compounds produced by the action of probiotic organisms on milk, in the promotion of human health and nutrition. The peptides produced by different organisms and through enzymic pre-treatment of milk are being characterised by their sequences and effect on, for example, cholesterol reduction, in reducing blood pressure and as anticariogenic agents. This work is currently being carried out by four PhD students

 

Health Psychology Research Group
Research in the group is centred on two themes and involves collaboration within the school and with external partners. Health Psychology is conceptualised in the School in its broadest sense to include physical, psychological and social well being, with a strong focus on the relationship between behaviour and health.

Lifestyle Psychology
Lifestyle is a term first adopted by the medical profession to describe diseases that have a lifestyle component in their aetiology. The lifestyle behaviours associated with these chronic disorders form the basis of the research interest of this group.  Thirlaway is investigating the role of lifestyle choices over the lifecourse and one PhD student is working with her in this area.  Limbert’s particular focus is on eating disorders whilst Alwyn and Smith’s research focuses on addictive behaviours.The FAST alcohol screening measure developed by Alwyn and co researchers has been translated into 4 languages and is used on the Alcohol Concern website. Funding from the Alcohol Education Research Council over the past 4 years examined attitudes to alcohol in children and families.  Recent appointments are working in collaboration with Cardiff University on the impact of amphetamines on cognition (Dunn), the effects of Caffeine on cognitive function and well being (Hewlett) and drinking habits (Perham). Clayton’s work with in the food area, mentioned previously, links through its focus on health behavioural change models to lifestyle psychology.  Harris is investigating the role of complementary therapies health ,well being and lifestyle choices.

Forensic Psychology
The Forensic Psychology research in the School of Health Sciences focuses on forensic mental health, offender motivation, therapy and rehabilitation. The research has been funded exclusively by the Department of Health in collaboration with the University of Bristol and Cardiff University.  Watt and Sellen have been named on 3 grants from the Department of Health, National Forensic Mental Health Research and Development Programme.   The group currently has 3 full-time CSHS-funded MPhil/PhD students engaged with projects on: 1) Cognitive processes and mental health 2) Qualitative evaluation of offender motivation for change 3) Measuring offender motivation for change.

Watt has made a contribution to professional consultation on government policy for both the Welsh Assembly Government and UK national government.  He took the lead on the response of the British Psychological Society to a Home Office consultation paper “Strengthening powers to tackle anti-social behaviour” (2006). Sellen is a recipient of a UWIC extended research leave award in 2008 to develop an international forensic psychology network

 

Promoting and sustaining a research culture
The School has used research income resulting from the RAE2001 to underpin and widen its research culture. Key to this plan has been the promotion of research groups within the School’s research community with support for full time PhD studentships; staff development including international conference attendance and for staff to undertake PhDs.

 

Research culture is promoted through regular research seminars, staff development activities and an active postgraduate committee, formed by the postgraduate community. A dedicated research resource room provides facilities for researchers to meet to discuss their work and hold supervisory, journal clubs and research group meetings. The resource room is managed by the postgraduate community who also organise regular social events within the department and externally. An annual residential research colloquium has been held since 2000 at Gregynog, the University of Wales Conference Centre in Newtown, Powys.

 

Our PhD completions contribute to the research culture within the School and externally. Of 2 PhD completions by academic staff in 2001, one is now University of Wales Reader in Biomedical Science (Morris). The other has taken on a management role as Director of Learning & Teaching and Deputy Dean of School. Two PhD students are now ostdoctoral researchers in the School 2 are early career researchers (Clayton, Redmond) 6 hold postdoctoral or academic appointments at Cardiff University and University of the West of England. We have also had 2 successful MPhil completions by technical staff; one is now responsible for managing the tissue culture core facility in the School while the other has taken employment as a Registered Biomedical Scientist.

 

In 2006 the Institution instigated an Academic Development Fund. The School successfully applied for £27,000 to support research infrastructure development and to promote interdisciplinary research through pump priming a small number of new research projects. The award, with £5,000 top-up funding from the School, was used to re-equip the postgraduate offices with new desks and computers, support international conference attendance by postgraduate students & staff and run a highly competitive, peer-reviewed internal competition for new interdisciplinary research. A total of 20 submissions totalling £47,000 were received of which 8 were supported with a value of £12,600.

 

In 2007 The Academic Development Fund has supported an ambitious programme in the School to develop interdisciplinary research investigating the impact of lifestyle and diet on molecular markers of ageing. The funding of £87,000 will allow us to support three early career researchers in biomedical sciences, nutrition and health psychology. Each will have a research assistant with mentoring from experienced peers. This initiative will establish a new interdisciplinary group undertaking research into ageing under the leadership of Professor Erusalimsky.

 

Research Infrastructure 

The School has invested heavily in its research infrastructure in order to meet the requirements of the Joint Research Quality Assurance code of practice. We successfully bid for support from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) calls 2 and 3.

 

Our SRIF2 award of £280,000 in 2004 provided the means to refurbish a laboratory for molecular biology, new cell/tissue culture core facility and purchase of core laboratory instrumentation including a two laser flow cytometer with automated cell sorting and a Nikon fluorescent microscope.

 

SRIF 3 funding of £420,000 in 2006 provided for complete refurbishment of 220m2 laboratory space providing for microbiology, cell and molecular biology, analytical chemistry and an imaging suite. Equipment procured included an Agilent LC/MSD Trap XCT Ultra, an upgrade to the Agilent 5793 MSD for the existing gc-ms and an Improvision imaging system with deconvolution software for the Nikon fluorescent microscope. The School provided an additional £30,000 for the purchase of ancillary equipment.

 

The above SRIF funding has thus provided a significant increase in capacity to undertake laboratory-based research, providing first-class facilities for 35 laboratory-based researchers. In order to ensure sustainability we have introduced a laboratory charging system to provide for planned maintenance and equipment replacement.

 

Research students are provided with desk space in 7 offices that were refurbished in 2006/7. Each student is allocated a desk, a new computer and file storage facilities on initial enrolment. Postdoctoral researchers occupy offices in the same area as the postgraduate community and provide a degree of mentoring in the doctoral process.

 

The University is well advanced in the construction of a £3.7 million new research facility for the School of Health Sciences. The four storey, 2,400 m2 building will include a home for the Food Industry Centre, kitchens and sensory analysis suite, a research kitchen for consumer behaviour study, 500m2 research laboratories for cell and molecular biology and a 500m2 postgraduate centre including office space, seminar and meeting rooms that will enable us to increase our capacity for research students and staff to 70FTE. Planning permission has been granted and a main contractor appointed. The building phase is expected to start in January 2008 with a December 2008 handover date.

 

The School operates a Research Quality Assurance policy that meets the Joint Code of Practice on Research Quality Assurance. The School’s Director of Research has overall responsibility for ensuring research complies with the Code of Practice and all grant applications are subject to detailed scrutiny by the School and central Research & Enterprise Services. We have licence from the Human Tissue Authority to undertake research on human derived materials and meet all requirements of that licence. All research involving human participants is subject to ethical scrutiny by the University Research Ethics Committee and no such research can commence until given appropriate ethical approval.

 

Staffing Policy
In 2005 the University, in a major strategic initiative, funded new professorial positions in key research areas. The School appointed Erusalimsky as Professor of Biomedical Science and Tatham as Professor of Nutrition and Food Science. The appointments include a fund to establish research assistants and support dissemination of research. Professor O’Leary joined the institution as Dean of Graduate Studies, and is working with the School to develop research links between Optometry and Health Psychology. The School has appointed a number of early career academics (Clayton, Hewlett, Perham, Rushmere, Sellen, Smith) and has ensured that support mechanisms are in place to allow them to develop their research interests within the School’s research groups. As staff retire or leave the School has a policy to replace with people who will make a positive contribution to research.

 

The University provides funding underpinning research culture and capacity development. It has, since 2004 operated an Extended Research Leave award, providing staff with a 6 or 12 month period to undertake specific research activities. Initially aimed at giving experienced researchers the opportunity to fast track research careers; e.g. Morris and Fielding were both recipients of awards contributing to their promotion to Reader.

 

More recently the award has provided support for early career academics to enable them to develop research. Sellen has a 6 month award to develop Forensic Psychology research.

 

Prior to 2004 the University ran a highly competitive UWIC Research Opportunity scheme, providing seed funding of up to £5000 to develop research ideas. Recipients of this funding included Adams, Fielding, Griffith, Peters and Thirlaway.

 

Research Strategy
The University is determined to foster an inclusive approach to research participation and this is reflected in the School’s research strategy. The School will continue to foster a strong research culture that encourages participation in research. For emerging research areas we will focus on interdisciplinary and collaborative research to best capitalise on existing research strengths. The on-going development of staff from early career researchers through to reader and professor level is critical to developing a sustainable research culture. A rolling 5 year research strategy sets measurable targets and monitors outcomes including personal research profiles, supervisory capacity and numbers of PGR students and completions, research outputs, research income and measures of esteem. 

 

The new 2400 m2 research facility will increase capacity and foster collaboration between Food & Nutrition, Health Psychology and Biomedical Sciences. The development of an interdisciplinary research programme on healthy ageing will promote intra and extramural collaboration with the strategic aim of establishing a Welsh Institute of Research into Ageing.

 

The School aims to make Professorial appointments in Applied Public Health and Health Psychology to champion public health research and an integrated approach to behavioural attitudes to health

 

Esteem Indicators
Staff are actively involved a range of research related activities including reviewing manuscripts for journals, reviewing funding applications for research councils and major research charities and examining doctoral degrees in the UK and internationally. The esteem indicators listed are a selection of the most significant.

Major Awards
Griffith:
International Association of Food Protection International Leadership Award, 2006 for global contribution to food safety research.

 

Membership of external committees related to research
Cooper
:
Member of Council of International Bee Research Association.

 

Erusalimsky:
Research funding committee: Austrian Science Fund (2004-present)

 

Fielding:
Member of Food Advisory Committee, FSA Wales (2006-present)
Member of Disease Strategy Consultative Group (FSA London), (2007-date).

 

Karani:
Member of Environment Agency Advisory Committee

 

Tatham:
Member and elected Chair of Food Group at Royal Society of Chemistry (2007-present)
Member of Royal Society of Chemistry Committee on Chemical Science: priorities for food production and sustainability

 

Griffith:
Member of Welsh Food Microbiology Forum
Member of Communicable Disease Committee, International Association for Food Protection.

 

Watt:
Member British Psychological Society Council, (2004 – present)
Invited member Wellcome Trust Bioethics Forum

 

Editorships and Editorial Board Members
Griffith:

Editor in Chief, British Food Journal, Emerald.
Editorial Board member for American Journal of Infection Control.

 

Cooper:
Consultant editor and contributor to the 2005 and 2006 Position Documents of European Wound Management Association.

 

O’Leary:
Guest Editor, Optometry and Vision Science, 2005

 

International Symposium Organisers
Cooper
:
Bee Products in Medical Research, at the 8th International Bee Research Association and VI Encontro sobre Abelhas conference on tropical bees, Ribeiro Preto, Brazil, September 2004.

 

Griffith:
Vice Chair/ Chair of the European Conference Organising Committee of the International Association of Food Protection

 

Keynote lectures and invited presentations
Clayton
:
Hand washing: What works and what doesn’t - A psychologist’s approach. International Association of Food Protection 89th Annual Meeting, San Diego, 30 June – 3 July, 2002.

 

Cooper:
The microbiology of acute and chronic wounds. Conference on Management of the problem wound, The Royal Society of Medicine, 10th May 2006;
Wound Healing Management Position Paper at the 16th Conference of the European Wound Management Association, Prague 18-20 May, 2006
Can something as sweet as honey be effective for wound care?, National Clinical Conference organised by the American Professional Wound Care Association in Philadelphia 19-21 April 2007.

 

Erusalimsky:
Chronic oxidative stress increases telomere length heterogeneity and accelerates the onset of senescence in endothelial cells, Society of Free Radical Research International XII Biennial Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May, 2004.Anagrelide: Cellular studies on its mode of action”, 36th Nordic Hematology Spring Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, May 2005.Endothelial cell senescence: Examining the history, the evidence and some of the alleged players”, British Atherosclerosis Society Autumn 2005 Meeting, Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK. Sept 2005
Endothelial cell senescence: Modulation by oxidative stress, growth factors and nitric oxide, Biogerontology Symposium, Institute for Ageing and Health, University of Newcastle, UK. July 2006.
Nitric oxide does not modulate telomerase activity or replicative capacity of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. European Conference on Ageing, ECONAG06, Innsbruck, Austria,Nov 2006

 

Griffith:
Personal Hygiene and Food Safety, China International Food Safety & Quality Conference, Beijing, September 2007.
Routes of transfer in the spread of pathogens - relative risk, International Association for Protection 91st Meeting, Phoenix, USA August 2004.

Hygiene in hospitals: Clinical application of HACCP, Strategic Infection Control Network, London, June 2005.
A Systems Approach to Food Safety Management, IAFP EU Conference, Barcelona November 2006.

 

O’Leary:
British Contact Lens Association Annual Scientific Meeting, Birmingham, May 2002
Annual meeting of the Association of Optometrists Ireland, Galway, April 2003.
Vereinigung Deutscher Contactlinsen-Spezialisten e. V. Contact '03, Augsburg, October 2003
20th Congress of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, Kuala Lumpur, March 2005

 

Peters:
Impact of Distribution Systems on Ingredient Water, Symposium 4: Global Water Quality Food Concerns, International Association for Protection 92nd Annual Meeting Baltimore, USA August15-18th, 2005
Biofilm in the food industry: impact on food quality and safety. International Association for Protection 90th meeting, New Orleans, August 2003
Biofilm in the food industry: development and control, Biofilms in Medicine, Industry and Environmental Technology, European High Level Summer School, Galway, Ireland, August, 2002.
Heterotrophic Bacteria and biofilm development in vending machines, NSF International/World Health Organisation on HPC bacteria in drinking water, Geneva, Switzerland, April. 2002.

 

Sellen:
Developing the Personal Concerns Inventory for Offenders.  A pilot study.  Offenders and Change Conference.  Inaugural Meeting, Portsmouth, UK.  October 2004

 

Tangible indicators of esteem from the user community
Erusalimsky
:
Consultant in Cell and Molecular Biology for Ark Therapeutics Ltd, London UK, a biotech company listed in the UK stock exchange (1997-present).
Co-inventor of “the use of inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system for the treatment of hypoxia or impaired metabolic function” PCT/GB98/03122 (19/10/1998). WO 99/20260 (29/04/99). US 07071183 (04/07/06), a discovery that led to clinical trials (currently in Phase III) on the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of cancer-induced cachexia.

 

Griffith:
Emerald Leading Editor Award for Excellence Literati Network 2006

 

Peters
Member of Automatic Vending Association Expert Committee on water in vending (2001-present).

 

Commended Research Outputs
Clayton:

Highly Commended Award at the Emerald Literati Club Awards for Excellence 2005. Clayton, D.A. and Griffith C. J. (2004) Observation of food safety practices in catering using notational analysis. British Food Journal, Vol. 106, No.3, pp.211-227. 

 

International Recognition
Morris
:
Consultant to the World Health Organization in Sri Lanka on Laboratory Training, (2005)
Consultant to the World Health Organization in Nepal on HIV and Avian Flu testing and Screening (2006 & 2007)

 

O’Leary:
Project Leader for Vision Co-operative Research Centre, Myopia Section, in collaboration with University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Australia and University of Houston, Pennsylvania College of Optometry USA;  2003- present
International Educational Consultant to UNESCO, 2006