News in brief

26 May 2015

University lecturer named as rising broadcast star

A University of Sheffield lecturer has been named as one of the country’s top ten brightest minds with the potential to share their cutting-edge academic ideas through television and radio.

The newly announced New Generation Thinkers 2015Dr Catherine Fletcher, of the University’s Department of History, was selected from hundreds of applicants in a nationwide search to find broadcasters of the future in the annual New Generation Thinkers initiative by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The ten New Generation Thinkers 2015 were selected after a six-month selection process involving a series of day-long workshops at the BBC in Salford and London and were announced at Hay Festival on Sunday.

The winners will spend one year working with BBC Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their ideas into broadcasts.

They will make their debut appearance on Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Free Thinking, on successive editions beginning with a special edition of the programme recorded and broadcast on Thursday 28 May 2015 featuring four of the winners.

All of the New Generation Thinkers will be invited to make regular contributions throughout the year.

Dr Harris, who worked as a historical on BBC drama Wolf Hall earlier this year, said: “I'm very excited about working with BBC producers over the coming year to develop programmes based on my research for a wider public. Lots of people have heard of the Medici, or the Borgias, or Machiavelli, but behind the popular images are many hidden stories. I'm looking forward to bringing them to new audiences.”

Each New Generation Thinker will have an opportunity to develop their ideas for television, making short films for BBC Arts Online.

A selection of short films made by the 2014 intake are available at

20 May 2015

New Academy will improve the detection of rare life threatening disease

Scientists from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have joined forces with renowned researchers from across the globe to launch a pioneering facility that aims to improve the diagnosis of a rare life threatening blood disease.

The National Academy of Clinical Flow Cytometry, which will be based at the University, will help to train scientists in the detection and monitoring of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH) to ensure the disease is diagnosed as early as possible.

PHN is a rare, life threatening, genetic condition that affects around two people in every million. The condition can occur at any age and is characterised by the destruction of red blood cells by part of the body’s immune system that leads to a high risk of thrombosis.

The National Academy, funded by Alexion UK, will be led by Professor David Barnett from the University of Sheffield and his internationally respected team from UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Professor Barnett and his team will teach clinical healthcare scientists across the country how to implement best practices for PNH testing.

It is envisaged by improving both the knowledge and skills of healthcare scientists there will be a dramatic advancement in the diagnosis and monitoring of PNH leading to standardisation of testing procedures at a national and ultimately international level.

The Academy will also seek to address training where clinical flow cytometry is used in other diseases such as leukaemia diagnosis and HIV monitoring. As a result the Academy will have a positive benefit for the treatment and management of thousands of patients suffering from all these conditions across the UK and beyond.

20 May 2015

South Korean business delegation visits AMRC

Members of a South Korean business delegation have toured the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing as part of an initiative to boost trade and investment.

South Korean delegation visits the University of Sheffield’s AMRCThe delegation was the first led by a representative of the South Korean government to visit a UK region outside London.

Delegates held meetings with representatives from local government, business and academia in the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre, before visiting the Nuclear AMRC, where they signed Memorandums of Understanding with the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

They then toured the Factory of the Future and the Composite Centre.

Speaking during the visit, University of Sheffield Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, emphasised the links that already existed between the University and Korea and the importance of having a vibrant Korean community in the academic world.

Sir Keith said the University was eager to expand its relationship with Korean industry.

“We greatly admire the manufacturing prowess of Korea. It has done the most extraordinary and wonderful things across a whole range of activities,” he added.

“We believe we have here something to offer to your Korean colleagues. We would love to be your partners in the next generation of products.”

Jounghwan Lee from the AMRC Composite Centre played a key role in helping to organise the visit.

Image: Memorandums of Understanding signed at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing. Pictured left to right are: James Newman (Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman); University of Sheffield Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Jones; Y S John; leader of the Korean delegation Jeonghwa Han; and chairman of the Korea Venture Business Association Joon Chung.

15 May 2015

US Ambassador gives Sheffield students insight into international partnerships

US Ambassador meets AMRC apprenticesThe United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom gave students at the University of Sheffield an intriguing insight into the way the US engages with the world.

Ambassador Matthew Barzun’s visit to the University is part of an ongoing programme to strengthen ties between the United States and the UK.

He was welcomed by Professor Jackie Labbe and Professor Gill Valentine and gave an engaging presentation to students from the Politics Society and the United Nations Association.

Students shared their views on a variety of topics relating to the US which will be collated and passed on to President Obama.

Ambassador Barzun also visited the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and met with apprentices to learn more about the AMRC’s pioneering work and relationships with corporate partners such as Boeing.

For more information about the AMRC visit

13 May 2015

Students tackle organ donor shortage

Students from The University of Sheffield’s Biomedical Science department have taken part in a project to raise awareness of organ donation.

donor campaignSecond-year undergraduates worked in small teams to create campaigns targeted at young adults. They worked with marketing agency Diva Creative, The Children's Hospital Charity, and the city’s NHS Blood and Transplant centre.

Three groups, whose work included app storyboards, postcard scratch cards and collectible t-shirts, were chosen to present their campaign in an Apprentice-style final lecture attended by representatives of Diva Creative and the NHS.

Creator of the project, Dr Lauren Buck from the The University of Sheffield’s Department of Biomedical Science, said: "The amount of effort put in has been astounding and shown sensitivity and maturity to issues such as faith, ethnicity and communicating with young adults.

“We hope that by embedding enterprise education into the anatomy curriculum, students will gain new skills and an insight into how their subject-specific knowledge can be used to communicate with the public on important issues."

12 May 2015

Helping to improve child health in Yorkshire

The University of Sheffield is helping to shape improvements in child health thanks to a pioneering partnership.

The South Yorkshire Institute for Innovation and Research in Child Health (SIIRCH) has been developed by the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and Sheffield Hallam University with the aim of enhancing cross-sector partnerships to support future research to improve child health.

Fragmentations in provision have often led to failure in care for children and research for children may also be fragmented.

In healthcare research, typically only one element of a care pathway will be examined, or research is constrained to a single definable clinical population. But within natural sciences, arts and humanities and social sciences, there has been a diverse range of research on child health issues.

SIIRCH will provide a forum for developing novel approaches to partnership working with children and families enabling a range of academic perspectives and helping to improve child health.

For further information, please contact the SIIRCH operations team at:, or visit

7 May 2015

New international flagship research centre in interdisciplinary biblical studies launched

SIIBSA new international research centre in Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) will be launched at the University of Sheffield later this month. 

The innovative and multidisciplinary approach to Biblical Studies will link the subject to core concerns about religion, culture, politics and society as well as other academic subjects.

Researchers are already involved in pioneering projects regarding biblical languages, forced migration, religion and violence, pop culture and gender studies which affect today’s society.

Dr Katie Edwards, Director of SIIBS, said: “Biblical Studies is of course about religion, but there are many avenues to understanding the world’s bestselling book. While public figures lament a decline in biblical knowledge, popular culture from pop music, fashion to hip hop is saturated with biblical themes, stories, imagery and motifs.

“Religion, however understood or constructed, is regularly seen to be at the heart of conflicts and terrorism. In our current world climate, understanding the Bible and its effect on culture and society is more important than ever.

“Sheffield has had an excellent tradition of research in Biblical Studies for many years. The new Institute allows us to draw expertise from across the academic disciplines together and build a centre of national and international excellence.”

The official launch of the new Institute will take place on Wednesday 20 May, between 6pm and 8pm, at Jessop West and will feature a panel with some of the UK’s leading academics and journalists including Anna Cox, an award-winning documentary film maker and Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion in the University of Exeter's Department of Theology and Religion.

For more information about SIIBS and to register a place at the official launch event please visit

5 May 2015

Rising star wins national cardiovascular prize

Marwa Mahmoud and Professor Paul EvansA talented student from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Cardiovascular Science has been honoured with the prestigious Young Investigator Prize at an international event which brings together leading experts in heart disease.

Third year PhD student Marwa Mahmoud won the title for her ground breaking research into blood flow patterns at disease prone sites in the arteries.

The study provides a new mechanism to explain why disease occurs at areas where blood flow has been disturbed which could lead to the development of new targets to prevent and treat atherosclerosis – a serious condition where the arteries become blocked.

Professor Paul Evans, from the Department of Cardiovascular Science said: “I was delighted that Marwa received this prestigious award which is testimony to the quality of her science and long hours in the lab”.