News in 2014

  • Matt Ridd Promotion 16 December 2014
  • CRUK programme grant awarded to Richard Martin and Caroline Relton 2 December 2014
  • SSCM Newsletter November 2014 2 December 2014
  • Amelia Martin wins Alumni Association Award 27 November 2014
  • Amy Green, John Potokar, Claire Durant and Maria Barnes grant award 24 November 2014
  • Trial evaluates new laser operation for prostate surgery 10 November 2014
  • RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award prize 9 October 2014 Rachel Dommett, Theresa Redaniel, Mike Stevens, Richard Martin and Willie Hamilton won a category prize in the 2013 RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award for their research paper entitled “Risk of childhood cancer with symptoms in primary care: a population-based case-control study,” published in the British Journal of General Practice. In their paper, 12 features of childhood cancers were identified, each of which increased the risk of cancer at least tenfold. These symptoms, particularly when combined with multiple consultations, warrant careful evaluation in general practice.
  • HIV survival boost for South African patients 11 September 2014 South Africans with HIV have chances of remaining alive after two years on antiretroviral therapy (ART) that are comparable to those of North American patients, provided that therapy is started promptly, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine.
  • International Journal of Epidemiology tops the Impact Factor Ratings 7 August 2014 The 2013 impact factor ratings released on the 30th July (ISI Web of Science Journal Citation Reports) sees the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) at the top of its field – Number one out of a field of 160 journals.
  • National Institute of Health Research Public Health Research Programme Award 30 July 2014 Dr Ruth Kipping and colleagues have been awarded £431,495 by the National Institute of Health Research Public Health Research Programme to undertake a feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial in child care settings
  • New promotions/progressions in SSCM 23 July 2014 Richard Huxtable has been appointed Professor of Medical Ethics and Law. Sarah Purdy has been appointed as Professor of Primary Care. Congratulations to them for this well-deserved recognition of their outstanding achievements. Congratulations are also due to Pete Blair and Nicky Welton on their promotion to Reader, and to Laura Howe on her promotion to Senior Research Fellow.
  • SSCM Newsletter July 2014 23 July 2014
  • School scheme unable to boost healthy eating and activity among children 17 July 2014 A school-based scheme to encourage children to eat healthily and be active has had little effect, conclude researchers in a study published on bmj.com today.
  • Approval of prison modelling study 17 July 2014 Gilead Sciences has approved a research proposal at the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol. The investigator-sponsored research proposal is entitled "The impact and cost-effectiveness of HCV treatment in prison in the DAA era: modelling analyses in England and Scotland".
  • Sir Henry Dale Fellowship awarded 17 July 2014
  • Obesity and excess weight in childhood may increase asthma risk, study finds 2 July 2014 Long-term study of 5,000 children suggests likelihood of developing condition rises 55% for every extra unit of BMI
  • ALSPAC beats Banksy, Wallace and Gromit, Brunel and Concorde! 29 May 2014 An artist has filled in an image of a hot air balloon left empty on his hand-drawn map of Bristol after asking local people for their design ideas.
  • New BMJ editorial published on why schools should promote well-being 16 May 2014 An editorial in the BMJ co-authored by Prof. Rona Campbell
  • Bristol Professors elected to Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowships 14 May 2014 Two Professors in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry have been recognised for their contributions to medical science with their election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • Screening is ‘not effective’ in the fight against domestic violence 13 May 2014 One in three women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner. Although domestic violence is associated with a range of adverse health impacts, even after the abuse has ended, it is not easily identified by health care professionals, prompting some countries, notably the United States, to introduce screening programmes in healthcare settings. A new study, published online by the BMJ today [13 May], has found no evidence to support domestic violence screening.
  • Ground-breaking research centre set to revolutionise asthma care 13 May 2014 A new research centre to improve the lives of people with asthma is being launched today [13 May], bringing together experts from across the UK to find better treatments and make them available faster than ever before.
  • Making schools healthier places 17 April 2014 New research into the effectiveness of the World Health Organisation's Health Promoting Schools framework has just been published in The Cochrane Library. This is a holistic, whole-school approach to health promotion  focusing on the school’s health curriculum, its ethos and environment, and its links with families and  communities.
  • Men who started smoking before age 11 had fatter sons 2 April 2014 Men who started smoking regularly before the age of 11 had sons who, on average, had 5-10kg more body fat than their peers by the time they were in their teens, according to new research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol. The researchers say this could indicate that exposure to tobacco smoke before the start of puberty may lead to metabolic changes in the next generation.
  • Bristol Surgical Trials Centre Launch Event 24 March 2014 Bristol Surgical Trials Centre Launch Event 28 March 2014, 10 am Friday 28th March 2014, 10am – 4pm Mshed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN There is no charge but, registration is required.
  • Alastair Hay inaugural lecture 24 March 2014 Professor Alastair Hay will give his inaugural lecture on Friday 28 March 2014 at 6 pm at the Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1 RJ. It is entitled: "A brief history of antibiotics in primary care – and using prisms to reduce repeat offending." 80% of all antibiotics consumed are prescribed by GPs and nurses in primary care. Professor Hay will present a brief historical perspective on the increasing use and abuse of antibiotics since the discovery of penicillin in 1928 and how recent primary care research could help prolong effectiveness for the 21st century.
  • Bristol Surgical Trials Centre launch 21 March 2014 A new centre that brings together expert scientists and surgeons to raise surgical standards and help deliver better care to thousands of patients will be officially launched on 28 March.
  • Lifesaving meningitis vaccination programme gets green light 21 March 2014 Campaigners are celebrating after the Department of Health announced it would be working towards introducing a life-saving vaccine for Meningitis B into the childhood immunisation programme. Bexsero is the UK’s first lifesaving vaccine for Meningitis B - the most common form of bacterial meningitis in the UK - and will be free on the NHS for babies, subject to price negotiations. Researchers in the University of Bristol’s School of Social and Community Medicine, with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have been responsible for developing the mathematical and economic models used by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to inform their recommendations on the use of Bexsero in the UK.  
  • Alastair Hay appointed chair of NICE guideline group 12 March 2014 Professor Alastair Hay from the School of Social and Community Medicine has has been appointed to chair a NICE guideline development group for the production of antimicrobial stewardship medicines practice guideline.
  • Working pressures increase children attending nursery with respiratory tract infections 7 March 2014 Working parents are often caught between the needs of their sick child and their job, which can lead to continued day care use even when their child is ill. New research has found children going to nursery when they are unwell with respiratory tract infections (RTIs) may be an important factor in the spread of these illnesses in the community. The findings, presented on Thursday 6 March at the South West Society for Academic Primary Care (SW SPAC) meeting, explored why parents send their children to nursery when they are unwell.
  • Prestigious fellowship for leading Bristol professor 6 March 2014 A leading epidemiologist from the University of Bristol has been elected as a fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). Professor George Davey Smith, from the School of Social and Community Medicine, is one of 53 new fellows for 2014.New fellows are elected each year via a rigorous five-stage nomination process. They are selected in recognition of outstanding contributions to their field, representing a wide range of disciplines, spanning the arts, business, science and technology sectors. Professor Davey Smith is the Scientific Director of the Children of the 90s study, a long-term health research project that enrolled 14,000 pregnant mothers in 1991 and 1992, and has followed the health and development of their children ever since.
  • Report reveals cancer drug divide 5 March 2014 Patients suffering from cancer in England are up to seven times more likely to be prescribed expensive cancer drugs than fellow sufferers in Wales, a new study assessing the impact of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has revealed. Researchers from the University of Bristol compared the prescription of 15 cancer drugs in both countries to show the divide created by the introduction of the CDF in 2010 to help patients in England access certain drugs.
  • Latest scientific research in primary health care showcased 5 March 2014 Health experts from across the South West will gather in Bristol this week for the South West Society for Academic Primary Care (SW SAPC) meeting. The conference, which runs on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 March, is hosted this year by the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol. SW SAPC is the leading regional academic primary care meeting, bringing together researchers and health practitioners to discuss the latest research and teaching which promotes excellence in the development, delivery and evaluation of primary health care.
  • 3D study to improve care for patients 5 March 2014 A nationwide £1.78 million study to improve the quality of life for patients suffering with multiple long-term health conditions begun on 3 March. Researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Dundee are joining forces for the 3D Study – a project which will see a new management system trialled in selected GP practices. This three year study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Health Services and Delivery Research (NIHR HS&DR) Programme. 
  • £4.3 million boost for pioneering health research centre 5 March 2014 A research centre which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of children has been awarded £4.3 million funding to continue its work for a further five years. The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) tackles key public health issues such as smoking, obesity and mental health.The renewed funding will enable experts from the Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea Universities to continue their work with children and young people across Wales and the South West, looking at how to tackle the social, environmental and behavioural issues which underlie health problems later in life.
  • NICE calls for greater awareness about domestic violence and abuse 5 March 2014 Domestic violence and abuse can affect anyone, both women and men regardless of their age or where they are from. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says there needs to be a wider understanding in health and social care, as well as in society as a whole, about how we can help people experiencing it. NICE published new guidance on 26 February which aims to help identify, prevent and reduce domestic violence and abuse. It outlines how health services, social care and the organisations they work with can respond effectively to domestic violence and abuse.The group which developed the guidance was chaired by Professor Gene Feder from the University of Bristol.
  • New project investigates the internet's impact on suicide 25 February 2014 Researchers at the University of Bristol are joining forces with Samaritans to carry out groundbreaking research into the role the internet plays for those with suicidal thoughts. It is the first time this hugely important issue will be researched by talking to people with actual experience of using the internet when they were feeling suicidal. The announcement comes amid growing concern that the internet is playing an increasing role for those experiencing suicidal feelings.  The media has highlighted a number of cases where it is claimed that suicides have been heavily influenced by online content in various self-harm and suicide-related websites and social networking forums.
  • Dr Richard Huxtable challenges the definition of death in New Scientist 17 February 2014 Do we need to rethink life's cut-off point, wonders medical ethicist Dr Richard Huxtable in the latest issue of New Scientist. Dr Richard Huxtable, from the School of Social and Community Medicine, has debated whether we need to rethink life's cut-off point in the latest issue of New Scientist.The article comes amidst controversy over two brain-dead patients who are being kept on life support.  Dr Huxtable, a Reader in Medical Ethics and Law, acknowledges that science and the law play a part but these are ultimately ethical dilemmas, which invite radically opposing responses.
  • £75,000 project to tackle UK’s biggest cancer killer 17 February 2014 A team at the University of Bristol has won £75,000 funding to tackle lung cancer - the UK’s biggest cancer killer. The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is funding the project, which aims to look for genetic markers in the blood which could identify lung cancer at a very early stage, when it can still be cured. Researchers will look at thousands of blood samples, taken from lung cancer patients several years before they were diagnosed, and compare them with blood samples from healthy patients. They are looking for something called an epigenetic mark, which is a biochemical change in the body that directly affects DNA, turning some genes on and turning others off.
  • £3.8 million for public health research partnership 22 January 2014 The University of Bristol, with partners at University College London, Cambridge MRC Biostatistics Unit, and the University of the West of England, has been awarded government funding of £3,865,761 for health protection research. The money will be used to fund one of 12 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) - partnerships between universities and Public Health England (PHE) in a range of priority areas.
  • NHS cancer risk threshold ‘too high’ for patients, research indicates 14 January 2014 Patients have expressed an appetite for potential cancer symptoms to be checked out much sooner than current NHS thresholds guidelines suggest, new research has revealed. A study led by the University of Bristol, with colleagues at the University of Exeter Medical School and the University of Cambridge, found that 88 per cent of participants opted for further investigation, even if their symptoms carried just a one per cent risk of indicating cancer. Although no fixed threshold is defined for the UK, in practice, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines suggest that patients need to have symptoms which indicate a five per cent risk or higher before further tests for most cancers are carried out.
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