Monday, 11 December 2017

Student insights

We recently have been improving the School website to show more about what students actually do on the courses. This includes more examples of students' experiences, e.g. on the Nutrition, Exercise and Health site which you can access here.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Healthy Cities

One of our lecturers, Michael Jarvis, recently spoke at the London meeting of the WHO (World Health Organisation) 'Healthy Cities' program about the need for urban planning to take into account the risk of infectious disease outbreaks. Here is the link to Michael's (<3 minute) talk on YouTube, and you can read about the Healthy Cities program on the WHO's website.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Children in Need

Many thanks for those who helped out and attended the Health Clinic last Friday to raise money for Children in Need. Really excellent feedback comments from all attendees. Funds raised were well in excess of £100. Well done! Below are some photos of the event.

Some Public feedback:
‘Very Interesting, well informed students, explained the science behind the readings well. Excellent!’ P Russell
‘Great experience. Was kept well informed. Students were very good, polite and explained things well’ A Kendall
‘Professional, Friendly and approachable’ H Drucker
‘Chris was very professional with ECG, put me at ease and explained everything well. Lucy was great, again explained the test very clearly’ J Perkin
‘Thank you Georgia, you have done a great job explaining everything to me’ J Ollington

HCS Student participants included Hannah Waite, Georgia Lott, Chris Grabham, Lucy Hickman, Hifza Tanveer, Emma Biggs, Carla Pas and Holly Pye. NEH students were Matthew Sharp, Luke Solomi and Wen Yu Ung. Clinical Cardiologist was Paul Huxham. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Biomed graduate publishes expert review

Plymouth has an ever-increasing reputation in mucosal immunity, particularly that associated with probiotic bacteria and how this understanding can be harnessed in the control of the body’s defence mechanisms to pathogen infection. Investigations in both teleost fish (school of biological sciences) and human cell models (SoBHCS) have helped us gain a clearer understanding of the immune-regulatory effects of probiotic supplementation.

Amy Llewellyn, one of our graduates of biomedical science (pictured left), has just published her research focussing on probiotic modulation of immune cell signalling events in an international, peer-reviewed journal. In this account, Amy recounts her experience of the writing and publication processes and what this means to her future career development:

"I came to write this review with Dr Andrew Foey during my final year of Biomedical Science at Plymouth University in 2015. It was in fact Andy who inspired my passion for Immunology with his weird and wonderful immunology analogies throughout my studies at university. We discovered our shared interests during an exam revision session and began writing the review in summer 2015. And today, 23rd of October 2017, the review has been published in the latest edition of Nutrients!

Myself and Andy participated in the writing of this review equally and this involved many drafts, comments and back and forth emails to perfect the content of the review and ensure it encompassed our joint interests and the most current research. I thoroughly enjoyed every step in the process, from the literature review, to the drawing of pretty little cell signalling diagrams! The extensive literature review especially, provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the topic and proved very interesting.

The writing experience has taught me how much time, work and effort goes into writing academic reviews, but the hard work certainly pays off. I have seen a vast improvement in my writing skills and ability to critically analyse the literature. I am now a Research Assistant in an Ear and Respiratory Child Health team at Menzies School of Health Research, in Darwin, Australia and I have been able to expose my immunology interests to my current colleagues in a professional manner. This review may one day contribute to the acceptance of a PhD scholarship, which I hope to gain in the next 1-2 years. Publishing this review has given me the skills and confidence to take on further writing projects in the near future.

This would not have been possible without the outstanding level of expertise provided by Dr Andy Foey and his continued support in my abilities, not only throughout this writing process but throughout my university studies and towards my professional career which I hope to establish here in Australia. I am very proud of this achievement and look forward to one day writing another review!"

Andy adds: "I am also proud of this review and that it has been led by the enthusiasm and drive of one of our best graduates. This publication will have wide-reaching impact to the field of probiotics and immune regulation and I hope will inspire Amy to follow her dreams in pursuing a life-long career in immunology."

Monday, 6 November 2017

Working with A level students

Nuffield Foundation Placements with Feisal Subhan
Every year the Nuffield Foundation organises STEM placements for over 1,100 post-16 students across the UK. They spend several weeks in various university laboratories, industry, research institutes and also small & medium-sized enterprises. In summer 2017, I had two placement students, Eleanor Richards and Georgina Sewart. Eleanor worked on new diagnostic criteria for Sniff nasal inspiratory pressures, while Georgina analysed heart rate variability and autonomic function in triathletes. Both worked tremendously hard during their vacation time. Our regional Nuffield coordinators kindly invited us to a celebration event on 1 November at Exeter, where we were given certificates and all students in Devon & Cornwall presented posters on their work.

Photographs.  Eleanor Richards, Feisal Subhan and Georgina Stewart (L to R) collecting our certificates. Below that is Feisal and Georgina in front of her poster. Bottom is Eleanor’s poster.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Third year project students' work published

Third year project students, recognised as the 'SoBHCS Student Team' have contributed to a new paper in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes. The study suggests that consumption of juice obtained via a commercially available nutrient extractor results in blood glucose levels the same or lower than seen with whole fruit. This unexpected finding offers a possible dietary alternative enabling consumption of normally dietary-restricted fruit juice. You can read more about the work here.

Monday, 16 October 2017

New Scientist Live Event - the interview

In an earlier Blog, I mentioned that one of our lecturers, Tina Joshi, was at the New Scientist Live event ("Ask a Biologist") organised by the Royal Society for Biology. Here is the link to her interview.