Category / Research themes

NIHR Grant Applications Seminar & Support event – last chance to book

 

 

 

 

Are you planning to submit a grant application to NIHR?

Research Design Service South West (RDS-SW) are holding a one day event on 9 November 2017 at Plymouth Science Park, Devon.

Last few days to book!

The events consists of:

  • a morning seminar session which is open to anyone to come and RDS advisers give presentations on what makes a good grant proposal.
  • an afternoon support session of one-to-one appointments which is for those who would like to discuss their own proposal with an RDS adviser. Those interested in this opportunity will be asked to supply in advance a brief description of their project idea.

Registration is FREE and lunch will be provided. Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. In order to secure a place at one of these events, delegates will need to complete the online registration form by 1pm 30 October 2017. One-to-one appointments need to be booked in advance by selecting the appropriate option on the registration form.

You can find out more here

Don’t forget your local branch of the NIHR Research Design Service is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) on the 5th floor of Royal London House. Feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.

FHSS student needs help with online questionnaire for her research

Our PhD student Orlanda Harvey is currently conducting her study on why people use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS).  Since steroid use is a sensitive topic and its users are a hard-to-reach population we need as much help as we can get to get her survey distributed to as many as possible potential steroid users (aged 18 and over).  We, as her PhD supervisors, would like to ask you to alert friends, family, neighbours, health care professionals working with this target group, etc. to the existence of this survey.   Her questionnaire is available in paper version (from harveyo@bournemouth.ac.uk or telephone Edwin van Teijlingen at: 01202-961564).  However, the easiest and most anonymous way would be for people to complete it online using the following online link.

 

Thank you very much in advance!

Dr. Margarete Parrish

Dr. Steven Trenoweth

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

 

Congratulations to James Palfreman-Kay

Congratulations to BU’s Equality and Diversity Adviser James Palfreman-Kay whose application to HEFCE’s ‘Catalyst Fund: Tackling hate crime and online harassment on campus‘ has been successful.  He is one of 40 academic recipients of funding at universities and colleges throughout England.  Applications have been  assessed by a panel of HEFCE staff and external experts from across relevant areas of knowledge particular to student safeguarding.

 

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

 

BU Research contributes to National Creativity, Arts, Health and Wellbeing report

Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill  from the Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR) and the Humanising practice SIG  (FHSS),  recently attended a discussion of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing at Kings College,  London.  Speakers included Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, Lord Howarth of Newport and Ed Vaizey MP, co-Chairs of the APPG.

Caroline contributed to one of the parliamentary inquiry meetings and also led the  HeART of stroke study which is cited in the report, and which was funded through the National Institute for Health Research – Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR-RfPB) funding programme.  The research was carried out with colleagues from Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) and many external stakeholders including NIHR, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and the University of East Anglia.

The APPG report is a landmark document that brings together available evidence from across the UK to support the role of the arts in the health and wellbeing of people across the life-course. The report has ten recommendations which will be considered at national and local policy level, with the aim of promoting the arts within mainstream services when considering health and wellbeing in the future.

Hidden Microbes in Christchurch House “Pond”

Microscopic investigations of water samples from the half-barrel pond in Christchurch House courtyard have revealed a menagerie of single-celled life. These tiny organisms (smaller than one tenth of a millimetre) are incredibly important as they form the basis of food webs.  They also play a major role in maintaining water quality as they feed on bacteria, and stalked species such as Vorticella (image) are responsible for their removal in waste-water treatment plants.  The half-barrel “pond” may be almost as small as its inhabitants but it promises to become a treasure of local ‘hidden’ biodiversity!

For further information please contact Genoveva F. Esteban gesteban@bournemouth@ac.uk, Jack Dazley i7447079@bournemouth.ac.uk, or Damian Evans devans@bournemouth.ac.uk

BU’s PGR Paul Fairbairn at the Lipids and Brain IV conference in Nancy

The Société Française pour l’Etude des Lipides (SFEL) recently held the fourth iteration of their Lipids and Brain conference in Nancy France.

I was given the opportunity to present some preliminary results from an ongoing study I am conducting as part of my PhD, looking into the effects of a multi-nutrient omega-3 fatty acid supplement and exercise on mobility and cognitive function in ladies aged 60+.  Analysis of the baseline data revealed relationships between levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood with cognitive and gait outcomes, however this effect differed between non-frail and pre-frail participants.

The conference brought together scientists, physicians and nutritionists to provide a unique prospective on the role of lipid nutrition in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with a large focus on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  The conference was a mix of lectures, invited reviews, and poster sessions.  There was a tremendous variety of topics presented, including lectures on the pathophysiology and epidemiology of AD, how AD can impact lipid metabolism and the effects of lipid intake on prevention and treatment of AD.

During the conference Professor Stephen Cunnane from the Research Center on Aging, Sherbrooke (Canada) was presented with the prestigious Chevreul Medal.

On a personal note this was an exciting opportunity for me to present my work and represent Bournemouth University and my supervisory team of Dr. Simon Dyall and Dr. Fotini Tsofliou at a respected conference.  It was very satisfying to see some interest in my work from researchers whose work I myself look up to.

I would like to extend my gratitude towards Bournemouth University, for providing the funding that allowed me to attend the conference and to the scientific committee at the SFEL for organising such an impeccable event.

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at pfairbairn@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

AHRC report about arts and humanities research on mental health

A new report, Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing, published by the Arts and Humanities Research Council highlights the important role that arts and humanities based research can play in helping to address complex issues around mental health.

The report brings to life a wealth of case studies that are contributing to the mental health debate. These include examining the work of academics at the University of Cambridge who are pioneering an innovative design of a personalised fragrance dispenser to help manage anxiety to a project being managed by the University of Essex to educate policy-makers on the issues surrounding impaired decision-making capacity.

Research around mental health is focused around developing a cross-disciplinary approach – and arts and humanities scholars have a key role to play. The AHRC has funded research in many different aspects of mental health research in recent years, with an investment of over £10m in seventy-six projects since 2010.

The new cross-disciplinary mental health research agenda sees the UK’s seven research councils joining forces to collaborate on mental health research. Published in August this year, the agenda paves the way for cross-council collaboration on mental health, highlighting the importance of including the arts and humanities in this area of research.

Molecular basis for a healthier heart…new work published by BU

Research funded by the British Heart Foundation looking at tissue fibrosis (scarring), will soon be published in Experimental Gerontology, one the world’s leading journal on ageing. Fibrosis occurs naturally as part of our injury response process but also develops in ageing and chronic disease. Treatments are scant despite fibrosis leading to organ failure and increased risk of death.

The image shows valves (v) in the hearts of young and ‘late middle aged’ fruit flies that have been genetically engineered to express fluorescent collagen, an key ‘scar protein’. Although the fly heart is just two cells wide it represents a lot of the genetic machinery for a human heart. Amazingly, the function of human and fly hearts declines as they age – and they both accumulate collagen.

Our previous work linked heart function with SPARC – a protein associated with fibrosis in humans.  We’ve now demonstrated that the heart’s ‘health-span’ during ageing can be significantly lengthened if the expression SPARC is reduced. We also show that if SPARC levels increase – fibrosis is increased too. Hence, we’ve nailed a cause-and-effect relationship between SPARC and heart function which supports the idea of targeting SPARC clinically to control cardiac health and fibrosis.

Paul S. Hartley (Department of Life and Environmental Science).

SAIL Project Team Meeting

Last week, Prof Ann Hemingway,  Prof Adele Ladkin  and Dr Holly Crossen-White joined European research colleagues in Ostend, Belgium for a SAIL Project bi-annual team meeting. Over two days  all research partners from four different European countries had the opportunity to share their initial research data from pilot projects being developed within each country for older people. The BU team will be undertaking the feasibility study for the SAIL project and will be drawing together all the learning from the various interventions created by the other partners.

 

 

New CMMPH midwifery publication

Congratulations to Dr. Sue Way and Prof. Vanora Hundley in BU’s Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on their latest publication on the latent phase of labour.  Their paper ‘Defining the latent phase of labour: is it important?’ appeared in Evidence Based Midwifery and was written with midwifery colleagues across the UK, Germany and Canada [1].

 

Congratulations

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Hundley V, Way S, Cheyne H, Janssen P, Gross M, Spiby H (2017) Defining the latent phase of labour: is it important? Evidence Based Midwifery 15 (3): 89-94. 

 

New research shows that active gaming technology could help people with Multiple Sclerosis

A new study published by Bournemouth University has shown that using the Nintendo Wii™ could help people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) become more active.  Being more physically activity has a range of potential benefits, including better balance and posture, improved confidence and improved mood.

The study saw 30 participants trial the use of Wii Fit Plus™, Wii Sports™ and Wii Sports Resort™ games at home, following initial orientation and guidance from physiotherapists in a hospital setting.  People recorded how often they used the Wii™, as well as responding to a number of questionnaires exploring its effects.  Dr Sarah Thomas, lead researcher, explains the rationale behind the project:

“Physical activity is known to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of people with MS, but they often face greater barriers to participation.  I’d noticed from my own family that playing the Wii appealed across the generations and was interested to see whether its ease of use and accessibility would make a difference to people with MS,” says Dr Thomas.

“Conversations with the Dorset MS team showed that they’d been thinking along the same lines, as they’d noticed that the Wii was increasingly being used by their patients.  That’s what led us to develop a successful grant application to the MS Society.”

As part of the Mii-vitaliSe study, people with MS were allocated  at random to one of two groups – one which trialled the Wii intervention immediately alongside their usual care for 12 months, and one which started the Wii intervention after a 6 month delay.

“The people we worked with were relatively physically inactive at the beginning of the study,” explains Dr Thomas, “Through regular 1-2-1 sessions with a physiotherapist, they were able to develop individual goals, which they then worked towards achieving using the Wii™ in their own homes.”

“We found that people were using the Wii™ on average about twice a week, most often for balance exercises, yoga or aerobics,” continues Dr Thomas, “Our participants found it a fun and convenient way to increase their physical activity levels, with people reporting benefits such as reduced stress, increased confidence and better balance, among others.”

“In day-to-day life, people noticed improvements such as dropping fewer pegs when hanging out washing, finding it easier to get in and out of the shower and walking further.”

We hope to build on these promising initial findings by carrying out a large multi-centre trial to test whether this intervention is effective.”

The full study can be read here.

A briefing paper about the research can be found here.

CMMPH student wins prestigious Iolanthe Midwifery Trust award

Congratulations to Dominique Mylod, clinical doctoral student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health , Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

Dominique was awarded a Midwives Award from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust for her research into early labour, which explores whether using a birth ball at home in early labour improves birth outcomes. She is supervised by Professor Vanora Hundley, Dr Sue Way, and Dr Carol Clark.

The picture shows Dominique receiving her award from Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE, Patron of the Trust.